All Drafts are important, but this one became huge for the LIONS with the key roster deletions from last year’s team. THe DT tandem of now & the future (SUH/FAIRLEY) are both gone as is Reggie Bush/RB. This is another franchise that is looking like it has a Franchise QB but can’t find enough talent to fill out an entire roster and be a serious Super Bowl contender. The team is without picks in both Round 4 & 5. They have to strike big in Rounds 1,2 & 3.
Round 1, PIck 23 EDDIE GOLDMAN/DT/FLORIDA STATE/6’4/336 GBN Rank: 24
This monster of a man will team with NGATA inside to replace SUH & FAIRLEY. It makes no sense to try to quantify his college stats because the Seminoles rotate DL, so his 27 career starts and 62 total tackles look puny. But he is the real deal and compares favorably to FAIRLEY coming out of Auburn, but bigger. He could use a bit of physical conditioning to improve his durability, but he is the kind of player opposing teams will have to scheme around every week. He and NGATA would wreak havoc on any interior OL.
Round 2, Pick 54 DONOVAN SMITH/OT/PENN STATE GBN Rank: 59
A survivor of the Penn State Sandusky scandal, SMITH surprised many folks by entering the 2015 Draft Class. But the scouts were also pleasantly surprised with his work at the Senior Bowl. With a bit of weight loss and training room work he could be starting at RT very soon on Sundays. He’s massive, strong and has those long arms (34 3/8″ arms/10 5/8″ hands) that the NFL loves for an OT slot. He can move a bit and shows some nice leg explosion. His 32″ vert from the Combine is impressive at his weight. Excellent in run blocking, better than average in pass-pro. May never go to a Pro Bowl, but might start for 10 years.
Round 3, Pick 88 JAVORIS “BUCK” ALLEN/RB/USC/6’1/221 GBN Rank: 88
Solid runner, who times a bit faster than many expected at the Combine with a 4.53/40. That number is only 1/100th of a second slower than MELVIN GORDON. He can slide to and thru holes gracefully, but finishes his runs with forward lean and multiple yards after contact. He averaged 4.5 yards per carry for his college career. Has a nose for the goal line. There may be more tread left on his tires than most of the RB coming out this year. ALLEN had only 480 total touches from scrimmage while at USC. He should compliment JOIQUE BELL nicely in the RB rotation.
Round 6, Pick 199 CHRIS CONLEY/WR/GEORGIA/6’2/213 GBN Rank: 201
CONLEY is likely to be moving up Big Boards, but would be a real steal at this point to supplement MEGATRON & GOLDEN. He was in a very crowded WR group at UGA, but blew up the Combine with a 4.35/40, 45″vert & 11’7″ broad jump. He also has 9 7/8″ hands and 33 3/4″ arms. He looks like a player who could have much upside and be in a team’s top 4 WR group.
Round 7, Pick 231 ANTHONY JEFFERSON/S/CB/UCLA/6’01/198 GBN Rank: 232
Versatile guy who came on strong his last two years at UCLA. Some see him on the Corner potentially, but a 4.72/40 at the Combine says that is an unreal expectation. He plays smart and hard, but gets nicked up too easily. Good back-up and sub-package potential.
Round 7, PIck 240 ZACH VIGIL/ILB/UTAH STATE/6’2/238 GBN Rank: 240
This guy is too smart, too productive and too versatile to not be drafted. He was a tackling machine in college, and also played RB quite effectively in spots. The coaching staff will love his attitude and approach to the game. He’s the kind of guy who, if he ever gets a chance to fill in for a starter, will be very hard to get out of the lineup. He should be an immediate star on Special Teams.
NEW YORK JETS
It’s a good thing that the JETS have signed a slew of VFA, because they will be light in the Draft with no picks in Rounds 5 & 6. THey have some serious needs that they were unable to fix in VFA, so they especially need a productive first 4 Picks.
Round 1, Pick 6 VICTOR BEASLEY/OLB/ER/CLEMSON/6’3/246 GBN Rank: 7
CALVIN PACE is their best Edge Rusher and he’s 35-years old. BEASLEY showed up at the Combine rocking 246 lbs, and still ran a 4.53/40. Most impressively he had a 41″ vertical, 10’10” broad jump and maxed at 35 reps in the bench press. The numbers pretty much confirm that he is a superior athlete, with explosion, and just what the JETS need to get some pass-rush speed off the edge. BEASLEY also appears to be “clean” off the field coming out of Clemson. Plug him in and play him.
Round 2, Pick 37 JORDAN PHILLIPS/DT/OKLAHOMA/6’5/329 GBN Rank: 39
Another impressive physical specimen who is a very exciting combination of size and athleticism. He might be able to split time spelling at both the DE and NT spots for the JETS. They are paper thin at both of those positions right now. He may need some conditioning to be more consistent in his play, but he will be a handful for interior OL to take on.
Round 3, Pick 70 JAY AJAYI/RB/BOISE STATE/6’0/221 GBN Rank: 73
AJAYI is not a speed burner, like Chris Johnson who was let go, but he can run, catch and block. He reminds me of a young Matt Forte. His 10″ hands & 32″ arms help make him an appealing target catching the ball out in space. Teamed with IVORY & POWELL he will give HC TODD BOWLES the deep backfield he needs for his proposed ball control Offense.
Round 4, Pick 104 JEREMIAH POUTASI/OT/UTAH/6’5/335 GBN Rank: 110
POUTASI would provide the JETS with the massive presence they need along their OL. He might even be moved inside and grommed quickly to take WILLIE COLON’s spot. No matter where they work him in he should add immediate depth to their OL unit, and eventually win a starting job somewhere. He’s a good athlete at a position needing help and depth.
Round 7, Pick 223 TITUS DAVIS/WR/CENTRAL MICHIGAN/6’1/196 GBN Rank: 226
The JETS have many names listed as WR on their roster, but beyond DECKER/MARSHALL/KERLEY no one really stands out. DAVIS is a solid, sure handed route runner who can compliment the current crew nicely. He’s not fast but he gets open by running tight routes and reading defenders well. He caught 121 balls the past two seasons. Hard worker who shoud also earn a couple of niches on Special Teams.
Round 7, Pick 224 KALEB EULLS/DE/MISSISSIPPI STATE/6’3/305 GBN Rank: 233
A member of a high quality and deep DL group for the Bulldogs. He shows flashes on game tape and then you look at some of his workout numbers and begin to see potential for a pretty solid pro career. Played DT in a 4-3 scheme in college, but projects well outside to a 5-technique for the JETS scheme. His Pro Day numbers were very solid with a 4.59/40, give or take, and 26 reps in the bench press. His 11″ hands and 33 1/2″ arms also are impressive. Could be quite the “get” this late on Saturday.