With the draft just days away, GmenHQ will be breaking down all the new information for the 32 teams over a 3 days stretch. Starting from the bottom and we’ll move all the way to #1
32. Baltimore Ravens – Kevin Minter, ILB/LSU – I am not alone in thinking Baltimore will be looking to somehow replace Ray Lewis and the skill set he gave the Ravens throughout his career. Minter has been compared to Jets LB David Harris. Harris has 22.5 sacks in 6 seasons with the Jets, so to be honest; I think Baltimore would be thinking bigger than those numbers. Minter was the most dependable player on an LSU defense chock-full of prospective NFL talent, According to NFL.com’s Rob Rang, Minter compares to DeMeco Ryans and not Harris as mentioned before. Rang was quoted as saying “Like Ryans, Minter is slightly undersized and relies on his instincts and reliable tackling ability — rather than sheer explosiveness — to accumulate impressive stat-lines. Florida International SS Jonathan Cyprien is another name to watch for here.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Zach Ertz, TE/Stanford – I believe the 49’ers will move up in the draft in order to secure Ertz. Zach has been mentioned as a target for plenty of teams and because of his popularity, as well as the 49’ers having more picks than anyone else in the draft, they’ll move up somewhere in the teens to make this pick. With the departure of Delanie Walker the 49ers need a substitute for their 2 TE sets. Colin Kaepernick needs the keep with the same offensive sets to make the pistol offense as effective as we saw it in 2013. Ertz is a poor blocker and will struggle at time at the next level, but his hands are that of a possession WR. Look for the NY Jets to trade out of the #13th pick they just got from Tampa in order to acquire 2-3 picks from San Fran in exchange.
30. Atlanta Falcons – Desmond Trufant, CB/ Washington – The brother of Seattle Seahawk CB Marcus Trufant and NYJ CB Isiah Trufant, little brother Desmond may be the best of all three. He set career-bests in 2011 as a junior with a pair of interceptions and 16 passes defended, and has the luxury of picking the brains of his two older brothers about the trials and tribulations of the NFL. Atlanta is also short at the DE position and if a big name, (Moore, Werner, Jones) were to fall to 30, I think they’d gobble them up.
29. New England Patriots – Margus Hunt, DE/ Southern Methodist – The Patriots are one of the best at scouting small school kids, with big time talent. Speaking of talent, Hunt hails from Karksi-Nuia, Estonia, and came to SMU as a decorated track and field athlete (he’d set a junior world record in the discus throw at the 2006 World Junior Championships). Margus first started playing football in 2009 and set an NCAA record with 17 blocked kicks (10 field goals, seven extra points) for Southern Methodist. His lack of time spent around the game of football may be the only critique scouts have given him. Good for Margus, Coach Bill Belichick can push him into the film room, and let him learn in training camp and practices what it takes to be a complete NFL player before rushing him out there.
28. Denver Broncos – Datone Jones, DE/ UCLA – Offense is no longer a problem in Denver, thank you Peyton Manning, Wes Welker, etc.. Jones ran a 4.80 official forty at the Combine and was a top-five performer among defensive linemen in the 20-yard shuttle (4.32). Gil Brandt of CBS believes Jones is more of a fit as a DE in a 4-3. Denver will be looking for a replacement for Elvis Dumervil who recently signed with Baltimore. Jones will team up with Von Miller to cause havoc on the rest of the AFC West.
27. Houston Texans – Cordarrelle Patterson, WR/Tennessee – Patterson scored a touchdown via kickoff return, punt return, receiving, and rushing, joining Carl Pickens (receiving, KR, PR, INT) as the only players in Tennessee history to score a touchdown four different ways in a career. Andre Johnson isn’t getting any younger and this kid would be a top 12 selection if he had his head on straight. I think going to a veteran team like Houston would be a great fit. He would get to see how real professionals work every day, and learn how to read and react to defenses, while making crisp cuts and running good routes. Originally I had Patterson going as high as 8 to the Bills, but as we get closer to the draft, the chatter in Buffalo is to move down and grab Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib somewhere in the 20’s.
26. Green Bay Packers – Eddie Lacy, RB/ Alabama –This is a luxury pick. The luxury of having one of the best QB’s in the game! Aaron Rodgers has done virtually everything possible in the passing attack for the Packers. Having a quality, forceful downhill runner to get those tough third downs, is something Lacy proved he could do having totaled 1,046 yards and 17 touchdowns in 7 games last year. He’s proven to be worthy of a 1st round pick.
25. – Minnesota Vikings (Via Seahawks) – Alec Ogletree, ILB/Georgia – Coach Leslie Frazier strongly hinted that the Vikings may use one of their first-round picks on a middle linebacker, and it should be between Ogletree, LSU ILB Kevin Minter, and Notre ‘ Manti T’eo. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock says he is “scared to death” of Georgia LB Alec Ogletree as a first-round pick due both to off- and on-field concerns, but the need for a linebacker is too high for the Vikings to not take the chance that Mayock is wrong.
24. Indianapolis Colts – Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, DE/ Florida State – Can I start by saying I love his nickname “Tank.” With Dwight Freeney looking to sign elsewhere, the Colts will be in a position of need at DE. “Tank” has been rising up boards and some have him going to the Vikings who sandwich the Colts with picks after the Percy Harvin deal. We’ll get to the Vikings in a second; Carradine suffered a torn ACL in November of 2012, and was performing at his pro day in April. That’s Adrian Peterson like, heh, another Vikings reference. With that being said…
23. Minnesota Vikings – Sylvester Williams, DT/ North Carolina – How do you continue to make the Williams wall work in Minnesota?? Draft another Williams of course! In the first of their 2 picks the Vikings will give the Williams wall a little help at DE and DT with Sylvester’s help. If Williams gets past the Cowboys, which is a big “If,” I would expect Minnesota to jump at the chance of having what many consider to be a highly touted prospect.
22. St. Louis Rams (Via Redskins) – Matt Elam, S/Florida – At 5’9”, Elam’s size is a major concern for NFL teams looking to draft him since he will be the last line of defense against the Gronks and Calvin Johnsons on the league. He was asked to cover slot receivers at Florida so he has shown his ability to cover well, and he’s also known for laying a hit. St. Louis has many needs, safety being one of the most prevalent. The Rams should send Robert Griffin a thank you card for this one.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Jonathan Cyprien, SS/ Florida International – The Bengals will be choosing between a DB, S, and RB so there is no guarantee on Cyprien. However the needs to address to secondary may seem more logical when what most seem to think is the best Strong Safety in this years’ class is still on the board. Since TE’s have become such an important factor for how offenses move the ball these days, the ability to stop them becomes a defensive priority. Cyprien is known to explode into opposing players, but is criticized for taking bad angles on plays, therefore missing tackles. Something a coach can fix if he’s willing to listen.
20. Chicago Bears – Tyler Eifert, TE/ Notre Dame – In my last draft I had mentioned that I wouldn’t rule out the Bears as a potential landing spot for Eifert. Well after more reading, I understand new HC Mark Trestman likes to run a 2 TE set in his offense often, and that was the key to this pick. Martellus Bennet just signed with Chicago, but having Eifert on the opposite side would give Jay Cutler 2 safety nets, when his offensive line fails him again and again. Offensively, Eifert is a beast. At 6’5” 250lbs. he’s a massive target with great hands. His only trouble is blocking. He ran a 4.68 40 time at the combine and it’s been suggested on other mock drafts that he could go as early as the Dolphins. If there is one of the top 7 offensive lineman still available at this point Eifert should be an after-thought considering how often Jay Culter gets rushed out of the pocket. The likelihood of that happening seems to lessen the closer we get to draft day.
Tomorrow GmenHQ will post picks 19-10 with all the latest information corresponding to each team, and picks 9-1 on Thursday.
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