Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
41. Buffalo Bills — Cyrus Kouandjio, OT Alabama
Adam’s Take: The NFL Combine sent Kouandjio’s draft stock reeling, as he recorded the slowest 40-yard dash of all invited prospects at 5.59. Additionally, several teams did not pass him on his physical, citing an “arthritic knee, which stemmed from a failed surgery”. Alabama doctors have stood by the stability of his knee. Nevertheless, he plays a premium position, possesses clean lateral agility at 6’7 and his wingspan is enormous. Buffalo allowed 48 sacks (T-28th) in 2013.
42. Tennessee Titans — Kareem Martin, DE North Carolina
Sebastian’s Take: The Titans clearly need to upgrade their line with a DE. Martin is huge at 6’6 and 265 pounds and has plenty of potential to succeed at the next level. He is a solid run defender and has the ability to rush the passer, especially from the interior of the line. His 11 sacks, 20 tackles for a loss and 14 QB hurries will garner enough interest for a team to take a chance on him.
43. New York Giants — Troy Niklas, TE Notre Dame
Adam’s Take: Can we be looking at Mark Bavaro revisited 19 years later? Perhaps not; Niklas has two inches and 25 pounds on the former Jints hero. Standing at 6’6 270, he began his Irish career as an outside linebacker. His pass catching potential spiked upwards substantially as a junior, catching 32 balls and demonizing the red zone. His punishing blocking skills are readymade for the league and ideally utilized in the Giants’ scheme. Niklas didn’t run at the combine due to injury, so keep an eye out for his Pro Day.
44. St. Louis Rams — Odell Beckham, WR LSU
Sebastian’s Take: St. Louis drafted Tavon Austin in the first round last year, and while he had some incredible moments in his rookie campaign, he was not consistent enough. The Rams elect to give Sam Bradford another toy to play with, this time with a traditional WR target. To stay competitive with the elite defenses in the NFC West you need some firepower on offense. Beckham aggressively pursues the football with strong hands.
45. Detroit Lions — Bradley Roby, CB Ohio State
James’ Take: Another Ohio State standout, the 5’11 192 lb. corner ran a 4.39 40 time with a 38 1/2 vertical jump. The only thing keeping him from being a 1st round pick is his focus. If he can learn to play the whole game and not take plays off, he will be an outstanding addition for the Lions poor secondary.
46. Pittsburgh Steelers — Louis Nix, DT Notre Dame
Adam’s Take: Injury concerns or not, Nix falls too far here. He’ll need to prove his health following knee surgery in November, but he’s already shed 20+ pounds. Once again, his Pro Day will be paramount. Many scouts consider him a specialized nose tackle, making him a handsome fit in Pittsburgh’s 3-4 system. The Steelers allowed 18 rushing scores a year ago.
47. Dallas Cowboys — Dion Bailey, S USC
James’ Take: Bailey is a high-level, rangy athlete who certainly passes the eye test. While he has tendency to lose awareness when covering in space, he’s also capable of flying in from left field to make a play on the football; as buttressed by his 11 career interceptions. Bailey still has some linebacker instincts that he needs to squash.
48. Baltimore Ravens — Marcus Martin, C USC
Sebastian’s Take: Joe Flacco needs to stay upright somehow, right? With the Ravens re-signing Eugene Monroe at LT, they decide to go with the top center available in the draft. Marcus Martin had a solid season as a Trojan and he could be plugged into the offensive line from day one. He possesses guard versatility as well in a pinch.
49. New York Jets — Jimmie Ward, S Northern Illinois
Adam’s Take: Ward didn’t participate in combine workouts/drills due to a foot issue. He recorded 95 or more tackles in three straight seasons in the MAC and picked off seven passes as a senior. His combination of range (5’11 195) and activity in coverage is highly attractive.
50. Miami Dolphins — Brandon Thomas, OG Clemson
James’ Take: Thomas did himself a lot of favors at the Senior Bowl. He was able to show teams his ability to play both tackle and guard, and that versatility will ameliorate the makeover of Miami’s offensive line. His arms are a little short to be playing tackle according to most, but his toughness is unquestioned.