June 2, 2015 by Ell and Mike Sports
Ell’s NFL Draft Grades 2015
Miami: The Dolphins wanted a WR who could prove to be a #1 WR, after cutting ties with Mike Wallace, and WR DeVante Parker, out of Louisville, fits the bill. Parker is a prospect with great hands, size, and speed who doesn’t mind going across the middle while making explosive plays also. He needs to improve his route running and improve in the blocking game. DT Jordan Phillips, out of Oklahoma, is a huge prospect with good strength and 1st round talent who can be plugged in at NT to stop the run immediately, but he must play hard consistently and try to stay healthy. OG Jamil Douglas, out of Arizona State, is a prospect with experience at LG and LT, he is more of a finesse blocker who can handle the inside rush and he has the athleticism to get out in the run game; however, coaches want to see more of a mean streak. CB Bobby McCain is tough corner with solid tackling ability while playing with a physical nature, he will compete for a job as the nickel CB, but he must improve against the deep ball and man coverage. RB Jay Ajayi was seen as a second to third round prospect with his size, ability to catch out of the backfield, and ability to be the workhorse back; however, he does have serious injury concerns which caused him to drop and he must improve on taking care of the football (fumbles). FS Cedric Thompson has good size, speed, and strength with the ability to cover and stop the run, but he is better close to the line of scrimmage; however, he must continue to work on his technique and show better awareness. WR/CB Tony Lippett is an athletic prospect with good size who played both offense and defense in college, but fits best as a WR; however, he could provide depth at CB also. Lippett knows how to get open, go up and get the ball, and make plays in space, but he must become a better blocker and improve on his route running.
Vikings: The Vikings were in need of a #1 CB in a division full of passers and CB Trae Waynes, out of Michigan State, was the #1 CB on the board and is the prototypical press cover corner. Waynes has good size, speed, and cover skills, but he must watch his penalties and continue to work on his craft to prove to be a shutdown corner. ILB Eric Kendricks, out of UCLA, is a high motor player, who can tackle sideline to sideline and cover, but he is undersized and he needs to make more impact plays; he may get moved outside. DE Danielle Hunter, out of LSU, is a special teams beast who has good size, athleticism, and the ability to stop the run and the pass, however he has the potential to excel in pass rush eventually, but he needs coaching. OT T.J. Clemmings is a huge, athletic prospect with good footwork, but he is a converted DE who still needs coaching to help him improve his technique and reach his potential. Clemmings was originally considered a late 1st round pick before sustaining a foot injury. TE Mycole Pruitt is a small school prospect with good speed and great catching ability with the potential to be a matchup problem, but he is an inconsistent blocker and needs to improve his route running. WR Stefon Diggs is a versatile prospect with good size, route running, and speed who can make plays in space, as a returner, and out of the slot; he is a homerun threat, however he needs to get stronger and he has injury concerns. OT Tyrus Thompson is a huge prospect with experience at both tackle spots and good pass blocking skills who fits best as a LT; however he needs to improve his overall technique and run blocking skills. DE B.J. Dubose is a prospect known to play with good leverage who can take up space as a run stopping or gap stuffing DE/DT, but he is not a pass rusher and struggles against double teams. OT Austin Shepherd is a prospect with good size and pass blocking skills, but he needs coaching with his footwork and run blocking technique. OLB Edmond Robinson was the 1st DII player off the board and he has good cover skills while being a sideline to sideline tackler, but he needs to get stronger and he needs coaching to help his technique. Grade: A-
Patriots: The Patriots were in need of D-line help with the loss of long time vet NT Vince Wilfork, the Pats selected DT Malcom Brown, out of Texas, who has good size and a high motor he was considered a mid 1st round talent, but fell to the last pick of the 1st round. Brown needs to continue to get stronger, but his versatility in both the 3-4 and 4-3 defenses will help him find his way into the rotation early. SS Jordan Richards, out of Stanford, is known as a smart player with good character and work ethic who can stop the run and has good hands to catch interceptions, but he struggles in his coverage awareness and is not the best tackler at times; he will need coaching and he was considered a late round pick. DE Geneo Grissom, out of Oklahoma, is an athletic prospect with a NFL ready body who can rush the passer with experience at DE, OLB, and TE, but he needs to add strength and he was considered a late round pick; the Pats will know what to do with this player as he needs more coaching and most teams don’t know where he fits best. DE Trey Flowers, out of Arkansas, is a strong, high motor player, who is best at stopping the run, but he does have some pass rush ability which needs some work as he relies on a bull rush; he will see time in the D-line rotation. OG Tre Jackson, out of Florida State, is a huge prospect with an experience college career who plays with good power and strength with the ability to excel in the pass blocking game and the run blocking game, but he needs to improve his footwork and his consistency which dropped him down the board 2 rounds. C Shaq Mason, out of Georgia Tech, is a strong player who is considered one of the most powerful blockers in the draft allowing him to excel in the run game, but his short arms limit him in pass protection and he needs coaching in that area. LS Joe Cardona is known to have elite traits in his long snapping and has been accurate over a span of years, but his obligations with the Navy may not allow him to earn a roster spot. LB Matthew Wells is an athlete with good speed and tackling ability, but he needs to get bigger and stronger. TE A.J. Derby is a strong, physical player with good speed and size who comes from NFL bloodlines, but he is coming off a knee injury and has limited experience at TE after being a LB and QB. CB Darryl Roberts is a big corner with good speed who fits a press scheme and he is a willing run stopper with good coverage skills, however he needs to limit his penalties downfield and continue to get better. OLB Xzavier Dickson is a pass rushing beast, who can play DE and OLB, but he needs work in coverage and he needs to get stronger. Grade: C+
Saints: The Saints needed help up front after cutting Ben Grubbs and wanting to shift to a power run game with an older O-line, making OT Andrus Peat, out of Stanford, the pick as he is a huge prospect with experience at LT, but he fits better as a RT for now as he struggles with speed rushers. Peat has good fundamentals, plays with good strength, is good in the pass and run game, has NFL bloodlines, and could eventually play LT. ILB Stephone Anthony, out of Clemson, has a NFL body, good coverage skills, good speed, and the ability to get after the quarterback, however he need some coaching to improve his fundamentals. OLB Hau’oli Kikaha, out of Washington, is a pure pass rusher, who can get after the quarterback from DE or OLB, but he needs to improve against the run, shedding blocks, and he has some injury concerns. QB Garrett Grayson, out of Colorado State, is a very accurate prospect who can throw a good deep ball, however he needs to improve his awareness and continue to get better; he could learn a lot from Drew Brees. CB P.J. Williams, out of Florida State, is a tough press corner with good speed and size who can also help in the run game, but he needs to work on his consistency and avoiding penalties; he can play inside or outside at CB and may play FS. OLB Davis Tull is a small school DE, who will be converted to OLB, but he is a strong player with good speed and a high motor, who can get after the QB, but he will need to learn his position and get used to the competition; he will provide depth. DT Tyeler Davidson is a huge D-lineman, who can play DE or DT, he plays with good strength and can get after the passer, but scouts question his motor and motivation. CB Damian Swann is a physical blitzing CB who can play CB (inside and outside) and FS, but he needs to improve his awareness and prove that he can make more impact plays (INTs). RB Marcus Murphy is a small pass catching RB who can make plays in space with the acceleration to carry the ball outside, but he is too small to take on a lot of carries or block consistently. Grade: B+
Giants: The Giants surprised most fans taking OT Ereck Flowers, out of Miami, in the top 10. Flowers is a huge lineman with great strength who plays with a mean streak and finishes blocks in the run game. However, he needs to continue to get better in the passing game and if he struggles against edge rushers he could be moved inside where some scouts think he would dominate. SS Landon Collins, out of Alabama, is a solid prospect who had a 1st round grade. Collins is a solid hitter who can take down RBs in the open field and plays with toughness and physicality; however, he needs to get better in pass coverage, mostly not letting up big plays. DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa, out of UCLA, is a tough physically-fit prospect who has had suffered previous hip injuries, but he is an athletic player who can set the edge and stop the run. DB Mykkele Thompson is a prospect with good size and coverage skills who can play CB and FS, but fits better as CB with his inconsistent tackling ability. WR Geremy Davis is a prospect with good size and route running ability who is a willing run blocker, but he must prove that he can get open as he is not the fastest and can struggle against press coverage. OG Bobby Hart is a huge prospect with experience at tackle who plays with power in the run game, but he needs to improve in his pass protection and continue to get better. Grade: B
Jets: The top rated player fell into the lap of the Jets with the top QBs going #1 and 2, but DT/DE Leonard Williams, out of USC, will be a beast up front. He can rush the passer and stop the run with a nonstop motor; the Jets have one of the best D-lines and they have just gotten better. WR Devin Smith, out of Ohio State, is a big play receiver and deep threat who knows how to come up with the spectacular catch; he should be very useful in the slot with his size and ability to stretch the field. OLB Lorenzo Mauldin, out of Louisville, is a high motor prospect with the ability to get after the run and provide a solid pass rush; he needs to get better at his pass rushing technique, but he will be in the rotation. QB Bryce Petty is a developmental QB who has all the skills to be successful, but coming out of a spread offense there will be a learning curve as far as reading defenses and playing under center. OG Jarvis Harrison is a huge prospect with the ability to play some tackle, he is a solid run blocker and good pass blocker, but he must play with more power and finish his blocks. DT Deon Simon is a huge prospect, who has the potential to be a run stopper inside, but he is coming off a knee injury and he needs to work on his technique; he should provide depth at NT. Grade: A
Raiders: The Raiders needed a WR who could grow with 2nd year QB Derek Carr and WR Amari Cooper, out of Alabama, fits the bill as he has good size, speed, route running, and the ability to play inside and out; Cooper should be able to contribute from day 1. DT/DE Mario Edwards Jr., out of Florida State, is an athletic prospect with good strength who can stop the run, but is not much of a pass rusher. However, Edwards played at 310lbs in college, but showed up at his pro day at 272lbs and in great shape; teams don’t know which weight will be his best playing weight. TE Clive Walford, out of Miami, is an athletic prospect with good speed who can stretch the field and make plays after catch; however he must continue to improve as a blocker. OG Jon Feliciano, out of Miami, is a solid blocker who is better a raw blocking and has experience at guard and tackle, he has short arms and needs to improve his footwork, but he will provide depth. ILB Ben Heeney is a high motor, hard working prospect with good speed and athleticism, but he must continue to get better in his tackling technique, add some bulk to his frame, and prove that he can make plays in coverage. OLB Neiron Ball is a tough, high motor player with experience inside and outside, good size and strength who can stop the run and make plays in coverage; however, Ball has major health concerns and could use some work on his technique. OLB Max Valles is a pure pass rusher who is still raw and using his athleticism to make plays, however the potential is there for him to cause problems at DE and OLB with proper coaching. OL Anthony Morris is a prospect with good size, technique, and motor who is still a bit raw and coming out of a small school, but he could compete for a guard spot now. WR Andre Debose has good size, speed, and jumping ability, but he is more of a returner than a WR; he will fight for a spot on special teams. CB Dexter McDonald is a big CB with good speed and jumping ability, but he must play more physical and improve his technique; he fits well as a press corner but needs to improve. Grade: B-
Eagles: The Eagles needed help at WR after allowing Jeremy Maclin to leave so they selected WR Nelson Agholor, out of USC, who shot up draft boards as a 1st round prospect due to his route running ability. Agholor has an ability to get open and make plays in space and he is a solid return man, however he doesn’t get open deep often, struggles against press coverage, and needs to add bulk, but he should find time in the slot and outside. CB Eric Rowe, out of Utah, played FS for 3yrs and converted to CB so he has good size and ball instincts. Rowe is a good fit for press coverage and could play CB or FS. OLB Jordan Hicks, out of Texas, is an athletic tackling machine who is known for his love for the game, but he must stay healthy, improve in coverage, and make more impact plays. CB JaCorey Shepherd is a press cover corner and converted WR with great ball skills who knows how to make plays, but he needs work on his technique and could struggle against stronger and/or faster WRs in the league. He could eventually find time as the nickel corner, but for now he will provide depth. CB Randall Evans is has good size and he is known for his intelligence and tackling ability, but he needs continue to work on his technique and prove that he can play at the 4.4 speed he posted at the combine; he will fight for a roster spot. DE Brian Mihalik is a huge defensive prospect, who needs to add strength and continue to get better, but his size could get him a roster spot as he improves.