May 8, 2016 by Ell and Mike Sports
Ell’s NFL Draft Grades Part 2
The Packers had a need at ILB and depth along both sides of the line and they did a good job of that; despite not adding an impact ILB. Clark should be a solid replacement for NT B.J. Raji. Spriggs should provide solid O-line insurance when the injuries occur. Fackrell should take over for Peppers eventually. The rest should provide depth and Davis could be a possible return man.
In the 1st round, Packers select DT/DE Kenny Clark, out of UCLA, a solid athlete and former high school wrestler who plays with good leverage and strength, but he must continue to get bigger and polish his game; he has the potential to cause problems against the pass. In the 2nd round, Packers take T Jason Spriggs, out of Indiana, who fits the mold of many Packers lineman as a T/G type of lineman who can plug and play in either spot; he will allow the Packers to be versatile on their O-line. In the 3rd round, Packers take OLB Kyler Fackrell, out of Utah State, an athletic, coverage LB with pass rush potential and solid tackling ability; he should be Peppers eventual replacement and may see time on the field quicker than many people think. In the 4th round, Packers select LB Blake Martinez, out of Stanford, and DE Dean Lowry, out of Northwestern. Martinez is a tough, run-stopping ILB, who is a tackling machine, but he is not very fast; he will provide depth and see time on special teams. Lowry was a productive college player who could play outside and inside, so he is a perfect fit as a 3-4 DE. Lowry plays with a high motor and has some pass rush ability, but he needs work on his technique and he needs to get stronger; he should provide depth. In the 5th round, WR Trevor Davis, out of Cal, a transfer from Hawaii who proved to be a solid return man while providing help in the receiving game; he will be a returner in the league while he polishing his route running and receiving skills. In the 6th round, Packer select T Kyle Murphy, out of Stanford, a solid run blocking tackle, who must get stronger and work on his pass protection; his brother is a lineman for the Vikings.
The Texans got some much needed WR help by adding two athletic playmakers with speed in Will Fuller and Braxton Miller. Nick Martin helps complete a rebuilt offensive line and gives free agent QB Brock Osweiler his long term center. The other picks bring solid depth and they should find their way on the field at some point in the season.
In the 1st round, the Texans take WR Will Fuller, out of ND, which is a pick that I predicted, as the Texans need WR help. Will Fuller is a very fast WR with the ability to get behind defenses and the only top WR in the draft with pure speed. He has pretty good size and could add a new dynamic to this offense as the deep threat with Hopkins taking on double teams, but he must work on his hands and consistency. In the 2nd round, the Texans take C/G Nick Martin, out of ND, a very smart player who plays with good strength and energy; he was the 2nd rated center in the draft. Martin should have no problems taking over the starting job; his brother Zack is a solid O-lineman for the Cowboys. In the 3rd round, Texans select WR Braxton Miller, out of Ohio State, a big, athlete who decided to switch from QB to WR with the logjam at the position and he showed good speed and playmaking ability; he must continue to work on his route running and polish his skills, but he does have all the tools to be a solid WR who can play inside or outside. In the 4th round, Texans take RB Tyler Ervin, out of San Jose State, a small RB/WR/KR who can make plays all over the field, but he must get stronger. Ervin could contribute as a return man and may see some time as a 3rd down back. In the 5th round, Texans select S K.J. Dillion, out of West Virginia, and DT D.J. Reader, out of Clemson. Dillion is an athletic, playmaking safety with a good combo of being able to play in the box or cover WR’s, but he doesn’t really excel at either one and must continue to polish his game; mostly tackling consistency and he’s not very fast. Reader is a talented big man, who draws double teams using his strength to push the pocket and a good motor, but he must play to his potential and needs to continue to polish his game; he could learn a lot from Vince Wilfork.
The Colts needed O-line help and Kelly should help immediately, while Clark should make it on the field eventually, Haeg and Blythe are more of a work in progress. Green brings a much needed athlete to the secondary, but he still has things to learn as well. Ridgeway, Morrison, and Bates should add toughness and depth. Kelly, Green, and maybe Clark are the only people who may end up starting.
In the 1st round the Colts select C/G Ryan Kelly, out of Alabama, to anchor an interior line which has been a problem for years. Kelly is a smart lineman with good strength and the overall game to protect QB Andrew Luck for a long time. In the 2nd round, the Colts select FS T.J. Green, out of Clemson, is a raw, but gifted athlete who is a converted WR with good speed, cover skills, and recovery skills; he must continue to polish his game and continue to learn the position. In the 3rd round, the Colts pick T Le’Raven Clark, out of Texas Tech, is an athletic tackle with good footwork and the ability to pass and run block well, but he projects more of a RT or guard in the league and needs to work on his technique; he has all the skills to be a starter eventually. In the 4th round, Colts select DT Hassan Ridgeway, out of Texas, and ILB Antonio Morrison, out of Florida. Ridgeway is the active type of D-lineman the Colts love with pass rush ability, but he must work on his conditioning and avoid injury. Morrison is an undersized aggressive LB who is a tackling machine and a force against the run, but he needs to get stronger and continue to polish his skills. In the 5th round, OT Joe Haeg, out of North Dakota State, is a big lineman with experience at both LT and RT and good footwork, but he needs work on his technique as both a run and pass blocker; he also needs to adjust to better talent. In the 7th round, the Colts select LB Trevon Bates, out of Maine, and C Austin Blythe, out of Iowa. Bates is a LB with nice size who has played DE and LB, but projects more as an ILB; he needs to show that he can adjust to playing against better talent. Blythe is an undersized, former high school wrestler with experience at guard and center, but will be forced to play center and the league; teams question if he can handle long arm defenders.
The Jags had one of the best/if not the best draft picking up Ramsey and Jack as instant upgrades on defense. Ngakoue should find his way into the pass rush rotation, as the draft shows that was something they clearly wanted to improve. Day is an active lineman who will find his way on the field. Holmes, Allen, and Woodward are all solid developmental projects. Only thing missing was an O- lineman; preferably at center or guard, but there’s always undrafted free agents.
In the 1st round, Jaguars select CB/S Jalen Ramsey, out of Florida State, a player considered the safest pick in the draft and the best overall defensive prospect in a deep defensive draft. Ramsey plays with the physical nature of a safety, has good size, good speed, and all the tools of a shutdown CB or playmaking safety; every player in the league wanted a chance to play with him. In the 2nd round, the Jaguars select OLB Myles Jack, out of UCLA, a LB with good size and a former RB who has been used all over the field. Issues with Jack’s knee slid him down teams draft boards, but he is confident he can play and getting him this late was a steal as team’s wouldn’t have bated an eye if he was selected with their 1st round pick. In the 3rd round, Jaguars select DE Yannick Ngakoue, out of Maryland, is a productive pass rusher who is continuing to grow into his role, but he needs to polish his game and could use some technique help. In the 4th round, Jaguars select DT Sheldon Day, out of Notre Dame, a strong, but undersized D-lineman with experience playing inside and outside, he has good ability versus the run and the pass, but needs to get bigger; he will join the rotation. In the 6th round, the Jags select OLB Tyrone Holmes, out of Montana, and QB Brandon Allen, out of Arkansas. Holmes is a pass rushing LB with good size who needs to get stronger and polish his game. Allen is an undersized QB with good accuracy who can also make plays with his feet, but he must show he can work through his progressions and take on less hits. In the 7th round, DE Jonathan Woodward, out of Central Arkansas, is a huge prospect with good size and strength who needs to continue to polish his skills and learn the position, but he has the skillset.