There were 35 offensive skilled position players picked in the 1st two days of the NFL draft and here’s how I have them ranked prior to the 4th-7th rounds. I will update the rankings after the draft is complete and throughout the UDFA and mini camp process.
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay- Big WR that will win at the catch point and will get plenty of balls opposite of VJax.
- Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo- Must/Will become the #1 in Buffalo.
- Eric Ebron, TE, Detroit- The Lions will turn Ebron in to the Jimmy Graham of the North.
- Cody Latimer, WR, Denver- Will fit in the role Eric Decker left behind, but must wait his turn.
- Bishop Sankey, RB, Tennessee- One-cut backs thrive in Kubiak’s system.
- Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia- Will catch a ton of balls for Chip Kelly. PPR bonus.
- Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans- Sonic Boom will thrive in Sean Payton’s offense.
- Odell Beckham, WR, New York Giants- If the O-Line keeps Eli up, Beckham will be open.
- Tre Mason, RB, St. Louis- He is a better back than Zac Stacy, and will be the lead back soon.
- Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis- Andrew Luck’s future #1.
- Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati- Will be a TD machine.
Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco- Crowded backfield will take some time to thin out, but Hyde is the best of the bunch.
- Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay- Will replace James Jones and will fit nicely.
- Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville- Not the raw talent that Blackmon is was, but will be Bortles’ #1 soon.
- Dri Archer, WR, Pittsburgh- Will be a very good NFL slot WR.
- Terrance West, RB, Cleveland- Will have to play behind the oft-injured Ben Tate. Will get his chance soon.
- Josh Huff, WR, Philadelphia- Chip Kelly picked an Oregon guy and will know how to use him.
- Marqise Lee, WR, Jacksonville- The Jag coaches must have had no trust in their WR core.
- Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville- Only QB in the top 20 is in Jacksonville. I must be drunk.
- Jace Amaro, TE, New York Jets- The Jets needed a WR, but grabbed a very good TE.
Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami- Will not be out worked. Ever.
- Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina- Should be able to get some TDs, but yard will be hard to come by.
- John Brown, WR, Arizona- Arizona gets a very solid slot WR.
- Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay- Will be the #2 behind Doug Martin, and has big upside.
- Richard Rodgers, TE, Green Bay- Former WR will replace Finley
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Tampa Bay- Big target will be hard to cover.
- Paul Richardson, WR, Seattle- Fast, but way too small.
- Derek Carr, QB, Oakland- Has a cannon, but needs to develop some nerves.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Houston- Is a very solid TE that could grow to a very good TE.
- Johnny Manziel, QB, Cleveland- Who will he throw to?
- Crockett Gilmore, TE, Baltimore- Eh
- Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota- Hate his fit in Minnesota.
- Troy Niklas, TE, Arizona- Bruce Arians loves TEs, but he will be used more as a blocker.
- Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, New England- 3 year plan
- Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota- WHY?
Last week I previewed the 5 directions the Saints could go with their 1st round pick, and today I mocked those directions out using http://www.first-pick.com/. The grades next to the picks are the grade the site gave the choices.
Round 1 Pick 27: Odell Beckham, WR, LSU (A)
Round 2 Pick 26: Marcus Martin, C, Southern California (A)
Round 3 Pick 27: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska (A)
Round 4 Pick 26: Devon Kennard, OLB, Southern California (C-)
Round 5 Pick 27: Jeoffrey Pagan, DE, Alabama (B+)
Round 5 Pick 29: Justin Ellis, DT, Louisiana Tech (A)
Round 6 Pick 26: David Fales, QB, San Jose State (A)
I like this one a lot. Beckham will be a very good NFL WR, and we get our C/G of the future in Martin in the 2nd. Jean-Baptiste is a big CB Rob Ryan would love to use. Fales is the 6th is a steal, and would be Drew’s understudy.
Round 1 Pick 27: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU (B)
Round 2 Pick 26: Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana (B+)
Round 3 Pick 27: C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa (B+)
Round 4 Pick 26: Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina (A)
Round 5 Pick 27: Corey Linsley, C, Ohio State (C)
Round 5 Pick 29: Preston Brown, ILB, Louisville (B+)
Round 6 Pick 26: Danny Kistler Jr, OT, Montana (D-)
I would have liked Fuller in the 1st, but he went the pick before. Verrett is alright, and I love getting Latimer, Fiedorowicz and Ellington. Continue reading
The New Orleans Saints hold the 27th pick in next month’s NFL draft, and like most teams have number of directions they could go with their 1st round pick. Let’s take a look at the most likely positions/players the Saints could take in the 1st.
The Saints have turned their safety corps into one of the league’s best, but they still have some work to be done in the front of their secondary. Keenan Lewis is has one side of the field locked down and proved one of the best free agent signings of 2013. Champ Bailey is a future Hall of Famer, but at 36 he is better suited as the Saints nickel corner. The Saints would be very wise to go with a big press corner that will give Rob Ryan’s pass rush more bite. Darqueze Dennard would be that guy, but he might not be there #27. The 27th spot would be the perfect spot for the Saints to grab Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller. Fuller is very physical at the line and isn’t afraid to attack vs. the run. The Saints would be able to let him transition into the starting role while he learns from Champ. Getting a CB in the 1st would free the Saints up to address their need at WR or the interior line in the 2nd and 3rd.
Marques Colston is the clear #1 WR in NO, but after him the Saints are in need of some new offensive firepower. I like Kenny Stills, and feel that he is in for a big 2014 season. That being said, the Saints could use the pick one of the WR’s from this deep 2014 class. Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandin Cooks would be great at replacing the production from Darren Sproles and Lance Moore if the Saints are looking for a smaller slot type WR. If they are looking to they are looking to bring in a strong big bodied WR, Allen Robinson or Donte Moncrief would be there for the taking at #27. Though I know the Saints have done plenty without the help of 1st round talent on offense, the thought of grabbing a WR in this spot intrigues me.
RUSH DE/OUTSIDE LB
The Saints defense was a turnaround story of 2013, but one thing they lack is talent from the rush end position. The 1st round of this draft will have plenty of options for the Saints to address this defensive hole. This looks like the most likely option for the Saints in the 1st. Dee Ford, Ryan Shazier, Demarcus Lawrence or Kony Ealy should be around at #27, and the Saints’ D could use any of their talents on the edge. Ealy would be my preferred pick in this slot. His size and versatility to play 4-3 DE or 3-4 LB would be interesting to see Rob Ryan work with. He has great Watt-like hands when he can’t get to the QB.
The Saints letting De La Puente walk to the Bears leaves a hole at the O-Line’s anchor position. Centers seem to be an easily replaceable position for Sean Payton, but grabbing someone like Marcus Martin would be a nice pick. I know what you are saying. TAKE A CENTER IN THE 1ST ROUND! WE AREN’T THE COWBOYS! We take Martin in the 1st and he becomes our starting center immediately. He provides a smart solid presence in the middle, and makes the Saints line among the leagues best. The next year when we lose Evans and/or Grubbs to free agency, Martin slides over to OG and Tim Lelito takes over as the 2015 center.
The Saints have a long history of great linebackers, and Mosely could carry on that tradition. Mosely is the toughest most athletic ILB in this draft and he would step in and be the leader of the Saints defense. He is a smart and instinctual player that will make any unit better. If he’s there at #27, the Saints need to make the pick.
The Florida State Seminoles have decided to kick a little more dirt on the Native Americans by dropping this horrible new logo. I guess it’s supposed to be a screaming Indian, but it mainly resembles someone in their vinegar strokes. I guess that is better than using the typical screaming Indian stereotype. Daniel Snyder and the ghost of Andrew Jackson must be proud.
This Jim Irsay DUI story is about to blow up, and the NFL team doctors better get ready. I don’t have any facts and this is all based on pure hypothetical insanity on my part, but I would put the chances that Irsay was getting his alleged drug of choice (Pain meds) from the Colts’ team doctor at about 90%. No matter what comes down from the NFL as a punishment for Irsay I just hope that he is able to get the help he needs. I mean the man has lost about 70 lbs recently and you’re telling me that it’s because he’s trying to prevent back pain. Come on! Jim Irsay is in a full blown battle for his life addiction and he needs some serious help.
Though I won’t be cheering for Derrick Coleman today (He’s playing my Saints), I will now always be a fan and will look for him to continue to fight the odds. Both of maternal grandparents were deaf and spending Louisiana summers with them made some of my greatest childhood memories. My grandfather wasn’t one to let his disability slow him and he taught me a lot about playing the hand you’ve been dealt to the fullest.