I realize that the combine kind of started with a few weigh-ins but this is going to be my last mock before all of the workouts and everything.
1st round- Eric Ebron TE North Carolina- He is really growing on me. I always thought he was a stud but with the new offense and seeing his weigh in better than I thought I think he could be just the weapon that we need to get this offense back to form.
STRENGTHS: Smooth, gliding athlete with easy acceleration to speed past defenders in coverage and finish. Agile feet and dangerous after the catch to create with quick cuts to make defenders miss. Quick release off the LOS with route fluidity and natural flexibility. Smooth adjustments to pluck the ball with his hands away from his body - large catching radius. Physical when he wants as a blocker with strong initial power at the point of attack. Very good toughness and plays unintimidated and confident. Good football awareness and plays alert. Versatile experience lining up in-line, but mostly in the slot - also plays on special teams coverage. Still far from his ceiling.
WEAKNESSES: Still developing his body with room to add bulk and get stronger. Still learning how to use his size to his advantage. Needs to show more authority in his routes and is too easily redirected - needs to be more physical in this area to match up in tight spaces. Needs to be more aggressive and strong at the catch point, especially in contested situations. Has his share of focus drops and needs to be more consistent finishing catches. Good length, but won't overwhelm defenders in the run game. Blocking technique needs developing - somewhat untested as an in-line blocker. Room to refine and sharpen his routes. Right shoulder injury in 2013.
COMPARES TO: Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers - Freaky athletic specimens, both Ebron and Davis move like wide receivers, but have the size and length of tight ends to create mismatches in coverage.
--Dane Brugler (1/7/14)
2nd round- Carlos Hyde RB Ohio St- Absolute monster of a RB. He is just the type of RB that this team needs.
STRENGTHS: Well-built from head to toe and is at his best running with a head of steam, lowering his pads and pounding forward. Powerful North/South runner. Combination of power and drive, refusing to be stopped. Some fluidity to his 240-pound frame to wiggle out of tackles, showing an excellent ability to absorb hits while continuing to pump his legs. Can turn on the jets when he needs to win the edge.
WEAKNESSES: He tends to have an identity crisis at times, not breaking as many tackles as expected. Got winded and fatigued in some games. Ground and pound style isn't an ideal fit for today's spread-out NFL game. Will have to answer questions about three-game suspension in 2013 following alleged incident with a female at a nightclub over the summer. Did show significant remorse.
3rd round- Dakota Dozier OG Furman- Small school guy who I REALLY like. He is a big guy who can play multiple positions. This guy is a beast.
STRENGTHS: Well-proportioned, athletic-looking, muscular frame. Exhibits light feet, a fluid kick-slide, and is a natural bender. Gets good arm extension to keep defenders out of his chest, and utilizes his lower half well to establish leverage on contact and absorb the power rush. Quick off the snap as a run blocker, and gets off the line and into the hole swiftly when asked to trap or pull. Shows good awareness on the move and does a good job of utilizing active hands to hold sequential defenders at bay and maintain course through contact. Can break down and change direction rapidly and exhibits impressive body control to maintain balance in tight spaces, particularly when firing through the line to the second level.
WEAKNESSES: Will over-extend off the snap, or simply set his feet too early in pass protection leaving him susceptible to being stood up and pushed back, or swatted to the side. Gets too far out and over his feet at times on the move, and will whiff or drop his head as a result. Appears to possess some natural power but it doesn't consistently show up on contact. Played mostly tackle at Furman but may need to move to guard due to lacking ideal length to play tackle at the next level.
COMPARES TO: Jonathan Cooper, Guard, Arizona Cardinals - Dozier's "plus" athleticism and movement skills are extremely impressive for a big man, and may remind some of last year's seventh overall pick Jonathan Cooper. Dozier's limited experience against high-level competition and very recent conversion to guard (Shrine Game) certainly differentiate him from Cooper in terms of draft value, but his upside could be massive and it wouldn't be surprising to see him gone by the end of round three.
--Derek Stephens (2/5/14)
4th round- Adrian Hubbard OLB Alabama- He is a guy flying under the radar a bit who has some big upside. 6'6 250+!
STRENGTHS: Hubbard generally uses his speed to beat tackles off the corner but can surprise them with a strong bull rush and flashes a quick inside cut to complement both. Belying his length, Hubbard is surprisingly effective against the run, showing good knee bend when taking on blocks, as well as the strong, long arms to take on, shed and make the tackle when the ball-carrier is near. Hubbard generates power on contact, pushing ball-carriers backward with his tackles. He is often asked to drop back into coverage, showing light enough feet, balance and speed to contribute in this role at the next level.
WEAKNESSES: Is a bit of a wild card, in that he is not extraordinary in any one category. He lacks an explosive first step, isnt very sudden when asked to redirect in space, and wont overwhelm opponents with elite quickness or agility.
COMPARES TO: Dion Jordan, OLB, Miami Dolphins - Hubbard's combination of length, flexibility and power could earn him comparisons to former Oregon star Dion Jordan, the No. 3 overall pick in 2013 by the Miami Dolphins. Hubbard isn't as explosive off the snap as Jordan (in fact, Hubbard is often slow off the ball) but his long gait does help him build speed quickly and he has some bend to avoid blocks.
-- ROB RANG
5th round- Walt Aikens CB Liberty- Big CB who has a lot of upside
STRENGTHS: Boasts a tapered, athletic build with long arms (32 1/4") and good overall muscle definition. Light feet and loose hips give him the fluidity to handle coverage responsibilities. Asked to play press-man and off-man often for the Flames, showing the athleticism and confidence to handle either role. Gets an initial jam on the receiver when in press, turning and running with receivers fluidly. Good patience when off or zone but keeps his eyes peeled on the quarterbacks and has a quick burst to close on the ball. Good (perhaps not great) straight-line speed down the sideline, but accelerates smoothly and has a second gear, when necessary. Highly competitive in run support. Aggressively fights through blocks, extending his arms to initial contact with receivers and is willing to sacrifice his body to knock ball-carriers to the ground. Sound drag-down tackler who rips at the ball. Good vision to set up blocks with the ball in his hands. Impressed at the Senior Bowl with his confidence, quickly proving that he belonged on the same field.
WEAKNESSES: May not possess elite top-end speed. Gets a little grabby down the sideline, as he's highly aggressive and will extend his arm. Tracks the ball well but shows only average ball-skills overall. Pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft charges in July 2010 and served two weeks in Champaign County jail for possessing a computer taken from a dorm room.
COMPARES TO: Keenan Lewis, New Orleans Saints - Aikens will have to work hard to develop into the consistent starter that Lewis has proven himself to be in successful stops with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Saints, but the aggression and athleticism are there to project him as a legitimate rotational player early in his career with the possibility of developing into a starter as he adjusts to the speed of the NFL.
6th round- Tyler Larsen C Utah St- He is a guy I like in the late rounds that fills an obvious need. Add Larsen, Dozier, and Pugh are 3 young lineman with high ceilings.
STRENGTHS: Tall, barrel-chested center with surprising mobility. Good initial quickness off the ball. Can turn and seal off defenders in the running game, creating effective lanes. Gets a quick punch on his opponent and slides well laterally to contain in pass protection. Good lateral agility and surprising straight-line speed to block at the second level, showing above average change of direction to adjust to moving targets. Also an effective short-yardage run blocker due to good leg drive and determination. Reliable in the shotgun and traditional snapping. Tough and durable. Started the final 51 games of his collegiate career. Good bloodlines. Brother Cody played defensive tackle at Southern Utah and is now with the Baltimore Ravens.
WEAKNESSES: Bit top-heavy and may possess shorter-than-ideal arms as too often strong defensive tackles are able to slip free from his blocks. Average knee bend and can get himself in trouble when he tires and bends at the waist, losing ground to bull rushers and leaving himself vulnerable to swim moves over the top. Missed all but the first two games of the 2009 season with a knee injury.
COMPARES TO: Jonathan Goodwin, 49ers: Like the 49ers' standout, Larsen is a physical, battle-tested pivot with the size and light feet to handle playing guard in a pinch.
2 OL picks Dozier a pick versatile guy with loads of potential and Larsen whose only knock besides not elite athleticism is short arms which kind of reminds me of the knock on Pugh and he turned out great in his rookie year.
Add a TE who is serious game changer catching the football and has room to improve on his blocking but is not as poor of a blocker as many think
Add a monster RB with great production
Add a big LB who is compared to Dion Jordon who was one of the top prospects in last years draft
Add a big CB who has great potential