Posted on: April 7, 2010 5:30 pm
Edited on: April 7, 2010 5:36 pm
By Joe Brown, BleacherReport.com
20. Brandon Graham—Michigan (DE/6-2/268) — Round: Mid-1st
Graham was a terror in the Big Ten and gave a sneak peek to other conferences after his MVP-showing at the Senior Bowl. He would instantly upgrade a teams’ ability, or lack thereof, to generate a consistent pass-rush.
Graham might be a bit undersized by NFL standards, but he’s the epitome of explosiveness. With his gym-rat, high-motor characteristics, any NFL defensive coordinator will be thrilled to add a player of Graham’s caliber.
19. Ryan Matthews — Fresno State (RB/6-0/220) — Round: 1st
After leading the nation in rushing last year, it was hard to imagine there was much more Matthews could do to improve his stock.
He did just that at the combine by showing off an incredible combination of strength and speed.
Perhaps the one knock was questions about his receiving skills but he proved at the combine his hands are not a reason to be concerned.
Matthews can run effectively between the tackles or bouncing it outside if need be. His toughness and work ethic can’t be taught and in my opinion, he’s the best pure running back in this draft—including C.J. Spiller.
18. Jahvid Best — California (RB/5-10/200) — Round: Late 1st – Early 2nd
If it wasn’t for a scary injury last season, Best would be projected much higher than the late-second, early-third projections most mock drafts have him at.
Injury concerns prevent Best from being a surefire first-rounder but his explosiveness and receiving ability should be enough to overcome that.
17. Vladimir Ducasse — Massachusetts (OT/6-5/335) — Round: 2nd
Besides having one of the more intriguing side stories in this crop of prospects, the Haiti native might be one of the most versatile, too.
Size and strength of his magnitude are rare and the fact Ducasse didn’t begin playing football until his junior year of high school makes him an interesting risk-reward selection in late April.
Ducasse can play multiple positions on the line immediately and he could provide depth at tackle, or start at guard while he gains another year of coaching.
16. Terrence Cody — Alabama (DT/6-4/350) — Round: 2nd
The former Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College transfer anchored Alabama’s defensive line and prevented any opposing running back from gaining 100 yards in a game.
Cody’s impact rarely shows up in the box score but he allows his teammates considerable room to roam the field and make plays. He’s a perfect fit to plug the middle of the line for a 3-4 defense and his size alone is enough to demand at least two blockers on every play.
The biggest concern about him is conditioning, but his losing weight before the combine was an encouraging sign to his suitors.
15. Jonathan Dwyer — Georgia Tech (RB/5-11/230) — Round: 1st
Posting a 4.64 at the combine meant Dwyer could have potentially fallen out of the second, let alone first-round.
However, he rebounded by running a 4.51 at Georgia Tech’s pro day. The 2008 ACC Player of the Year proved durability and consistency characteristics by rushing for 1,395 yards the last two seasons.
Dwyer is an extremely tough, in-between the tackles type of runner who simply shuns would-be arm tacklers and is a reliable blocker. He plays through injuries and has soft-enough hands to be an every-down running back.
Category: NFL Draft
Tags: Alabama, Alabama, Best, Brandon Graham, Cal, California, Cody, Crimson Tide, Draft Tracker, Ducasse, Dwyer, Fresno, Fresno State, Georgia Tech, Graham, Jahvid, Jahvid Best, Jonathan Dwyer, Massachusetts, Matthews, Michigan, Minutemen, NFL Draft, NFL Draft Tracker, NFLDT, Ryan Matthews, Terrence, Terrence Cody, Tide, Tracker, UMass, Vladimir, Vladimir Ducasse, Wolverines, Yellow Jackets
Posted on: January 27, 2010 5:43 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2010 11:28 am
BleacherReport.com continues their series of team-by-team mock drafts, projecting the best-case, most realistic and worst-case scenarios for each team. As we move forward we'll combine these mocks in to three-team packages for easier consumption.
In conducting research for this article, it was clear that one individual player can be found being projected as many as six rounds above or below another draft expert.
To show you how crazy the mocks are: one site had four of their six writers predicting that the Bills would use their first pick on an offensive tackle. That’s fine, but then you realize that none of the four writers could agree on who the tackle was, because they each identified someone different. And that was for the No. 9 pick!
So, needless to say, don't fall off your chair if my results and your results vary. Expect it. Since no crystal ball was used in this exercise, nor were any card readers hired, I have no idea what round the Bills will draft their future quarterback, linebacker, running back, offensive line help, defensive line help, etc.
You’ll see these positions addressed in multiple rounds.
The Steelers’ offensive line play in 2009 was abysmal, to say the least. While Ben Roethlisberger can be accused of holding on to the ball too long, he hasn’t exactly had the time he needs to pass from the pocket.
In a best-case scenario, the Steelers are looking to address the offensive line with a big-time prospect, and Maryland’s Bruce Campbell would still be on the board when they are picking at No. 18.
Campbell is a physical specimen at the left tackle position. Standing at 6'7", he has the length and reach that NFL teams salivate over.
And, if Campbell has scouts salivating over his height and length, then he has them drooling over the fact that he is abnormally fit for a man of his size and football position. Weighing in at only 310 pounds, the junior has the agility and quickness of a much smaller player. (He has been timed running a sub 4.9 in the 40).
The Raiders have many needs, and could go in several different directions. Free agent signees and availability will go a long way in determining the pick.
In round one, the best case scenario for the Raiders is to draft Rolando McClain. He’s simply the best football player available, and no one can convince me otherwise.
Worst case scenario… Al drafts the best athlete available. That athlete is Taylor Mays.
In reality, however, McClain could be gone and the Raiders do need help on the offensive line. Should that be the case, Bruce Campbell may have the most upside of any left tackle available, and does fill the need.