Since this is my last mock before the draft I might as well go back to a lot of my personal favorite players to fill this draft. I hope you enjoy it.
1st round- Eric Ebron TE North Carolina- I have stuck to my #1 pick even with some people really against the pick. He is a true game changer and if he is there he should be the pick unless someone unexpected falls. He CAN block but needs to work on his technique. He has the occasional focus drop but he only dropped 8 passes (the majority poorly located balls). He has all of the athletic ability you could ever ask for from a TE. He is the quickest to his top speed out of any TE ever tested by sport science. He has a larger catch radius than Gronk. He will really open things up for Cruz and Randle too!
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- Scott Crichton DE Oregon St- Big fan of Crichton. He has a non stop motor which scouts have pointed out repeatedly. He is very solid vs the run. He also can get to the QB. He is a Tuck like player IMO. I don't know if he will achieve as much as Tuck in the league but they have very similar styles of play I think.
STRENGTHS: Possesses a well-built frame with good overall musculature. Times the snap well, showing good initial quickness off the ball to cross the face of offensive tackles. He uses his hands very well, frequently chopping and ripping through opponents' attempts to latch onto him and possesses good core strength, showing the ability to simply bull-rush would-be blockers into the pocket. Holds up well in the running game, showing the power to anchor, as well as lateral agility and balance to string plays out to the sideline. Good strength in his hands to grab hold of ball-carriers for the drag-down tackle. High-revving motor. Pursues laterally and downfield with passion. Time in the weight room has been obvious, as Crichton has added over 30 pounds to his frame since his high school days.
WEAKNESSES: While possessing an impressive build, Crichton's physique does not lend itself well to flexibility, however, making him a bit stiff when changing directions. Further, he does not possess ideal straight-line speed for the position and relies more on anticipation rather than closing speed to track down ball-carriers. As such, Crichton is limited to the schemes and roles in which he's likely to be successful in the NFL.
3rd round- Paul Richardson WR Colorado- P-Rich might have been the first player that I really became a huge fan of. He was one of the first guys that I went to draftbreakdown and checked out game tape of because of a game I saw vs Oregon. He is a legit deep threat WR who seems to get open deep every time he tries. He shows good hands and feet with making sideline catches. He can run other routes well too but is known for his ability to beat the CB off the LOS and get separation deep. Eli would love throwing deep to this guy since he loves to let it fly.
STRENGTHS: Terrific athlete who appeared every bit as agile and explosive in 2013 after missing the entire 2012 season with a torn ACL. Very good straight-line speed making him an excellent option on vertical routes. Savvy route-runner who alters his gait off the line and throughout his route to gain separation from cornerbacks. Sinks his hips and explodes out of his breaks.
Generally plucks the ball cleanly out of the air with his hands, securing it quickly. Can track the ball over either shoulder and flashes the ability to dive and haul in the extraordinary catch. Good vision to set up blocks. Good bloodlines. Father, Paul, Sr., played wide receiver in the NFL with Philadelphia, Oakland, Green Bay and the New York Jets.
WEAKNESSES: Very slim build and has struggled with durability throughout his career. Doesn't track the ball over his shoulder as well as he should for a receiver who makes his living on big plays. Too often senses the oncoming defender and allows the pass to slip through his fingers. Doesn't offer much as a downfield blocker.
COMPARES TO: Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers - Some will compare Richardson to Sanders' more established teammate Antonio Brown. Until Richardson (and Sanders) catch the ball with more consistency, however, each is likelier to earn more of a complementary role in the NFL despite natural playmaking ability.
4th round- Travis Swanson C Arkansas- I haven't really talked him up much but I like his game and think he would be great value in the 4th. He would be able to solid depth behind Walton and be able to step up if he went down with an injury I think.
STRENGTHS: Has the athleticism to pull in the running game. Able to seal off defenders from the action when blocking straight ahead. Can anchor well against strong run defenders. Good explosiveness to deliver his snaps and awareness in making line calls.
WEAKNESSES: Lack of ideal straight-line apparent when unable to make the edge at times. Struggles to generate movement against stronger defenders.
5th round- James White RB Wisconsin- Been high on White for a while. He really caught my eye at the Senior Bowl. I liked his game a lot out of Wisconsin but he was always overshadowed by Monte Ball and Melvin Gordon. He is very underrated IMO. Can block well (said to be the best blocking RB at the Senior Bowl), he has solid hands, he can break tackles, and he can make great cuts.
STRENGTHS: Vision, agility, burst and surprising power. Gets to the second level quickly, and has better power than his size suggests because he keeps his legs churning and upper body squirming as he's being tackled. Attentive and competitive pass blocker. Good hands to reel in off-target throws and make defenders miss.
WEAKNESSES: Obviously smaller than scouts would prefer.
5th round- Kevin Pierre Louis OLB Boston College- He is a very fast LB who can blitz, play the run, or drop in coverage and does it all well. He will at the very least be a solid special teams player I think. He could potentially push JWill/Paysinger for the weakside OLB spot. I like KPL's game a lot.
STRENGTHS: Athletic movement skills and stays light on his feet. Fluid in his drops with smooth body control. Smart and instinctive with excellent read/react quickness with an explosive first step. Very active and always around the ball with terrific anticipation. Nose for the ball. Good eye use to avoid blocks in space while tacking the ballcarrier. Reliable tackler and stays controlled through the process to finish. Strikes through his target. Aggressively takes on blocks and plays the game as if he were bigger and stronger than he is. Sound ball skills. Versatile experience, even making impact plays on special teams. Very high football and off-field character with a productive resume as a four-year starter.
WEAKNESSES: Looks more like a safety with his marginal size and slight body type. Limited strength and growth potential to add much more bulk. Too easily eliminated by blockers, lacking the power to quickly shed. Flows with the action and loses back-side contain or gets lost in the traffic, struggling to keep himself clean in a crowd. Plays too high and needs to show better bend and pad level to improve his base and technique as a tackler. Would like to see more of a sense of urgency on every snap. Strong durability concerns with his lack of size and needs to stay healthy for a full season. Missed a handful of games the past few seasons due to injury.
6th round- Jay Bromley DT Syracuse- I have to have a 'Cuse guy in my final mock! Bromley is a solid DT who can get to the QB. He would be a solid rotational guy at the DT spot. Him and Crichton would sure up the DL that has a few quesiton marks at the moment.
STRENGTHS: Tall, well-built frame with some upper body bulk. Good length with strong hands to finish once he gets his hands on the ballcarrier. Quick first step to win with initial burst to force the issue. Strong momentum to attack gaps, creating holding calls. Controls the line of scrimmage with upper body strength and handles blockers well at the point, not easily redirected. Good pursuit speed to chase down ballcarriers from behind. Takes well to coaching with strong preparation habits. Versatile experience lining up just about everywhere on the defensive line at Syracuse, even played on some special teams coverages. Three-year starter including a productive senior season, becoming the first Syracuse interior lineman to have double-digit sacks since 1987.
WEAKNESSES: Adequate lower body power and needs to strengthen his anchor. Needs to keep his pads low and use consistent leverage to penetrate the backfield. Sacrifices his body too easily and will be stonewalled when blockers attack his body. Bad habit of lowering his head and eye level when engaged, losing sight of the ball. Not the most fluid and plays too upright, struggling to change directions smoothly. Needs to show consistent snap anticipation on every play - streaky on tape in this area and will jump offsides. Limited array of pass rush moves and needs to develop better arm and hand techniques. Tends to wear down after his initial rush doesn't work and needs to work on his counter measures and second chance motor. Needs to improve his balance and awareness through the trash.