Mock Draft 1.0 (Picks 6-10)

Thursday March 19, 2015

This article also appears in NFL Draft

6. jets helmet Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

No pressure on the Jets staff to make the playoffs or be fired (like Rex Ryan) allows them to not reach for a QB like Mariota whose question marks as an NFL-level passer don’t fit this range. So instead, defensive-minded head coach Todd Bowles gets a shiny piece of molding clay.

Randy Gregory has all the physical tools to become a dominant edge rusher. He’s not there yet but he will immediately contribute in the run game, Bowles likes to use his corner blitzes for pressure anyway so there’s no rush for Gregory to develop. In this situation, Gregory could reach every bit of his All-Pro potential.

gregory

Don’t pray too hard now, buddy

Height: 6’5

Weight: 235 lbs.

2014 Stats: (missed 2 games) 54 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 3 passes deflected

Projection: Pro Bowler

Floor: Rotational player/journeyman

Ceiling: Perennial All Pro

NFL Comparison: Barkevious Mingo (OLB Cleveland)- A little on the smaller side for a 3-4 OLB but with elite quickness and overall athleticism, raw and lacking in eye-popping production, all the potential in the world.

7. bears helmet Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

The Bears need help everywhere, literally everywhere. Probably their most solidified position is wide receiver (even after the Brandon Marshall trade). But the Bears failed to replace Henry Melton after he was injured and left for Dallas last year and they also lost Stephen Paea in free agency so an upgrade to the defensive line is in order.

Danny Shelton has traits to match his outrageous production, many scouts have fallen in love with the Washington product as much as we can assume he loves cheeseburgers. Weight has been a problem for Shelton, as has fierce competitiveness, but as an agile space-eater that takes up double teams, there isn’t a better player in this draft.

Danny Shelton

He doesn’t know how he fits through doorways either

Height: 6’2

Weight: 339

2014 Stats: 93 tackles, 16.5 for loss, 9 sacks

Projection: Above-average starter/rotational player

Floor: journeyman/out of league

Ceiling: All Pro

NFL Comparison: Dontari Poe- Has surprising athleticism, bullies lesser competition and eats up double teams consistently. Also a surprising factor in the pass rush.

8. falcons helmet Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson

Falcons need a pass rusher, they have forever (since John Abraham drifted off into the sunset), they tried Osi Umenyiora last year, no dice. They grabbed Brooks Reed (more of a traditional 4-3 OLB) and Adrian Clayborn (mediocre and injured), but Dan Quinn is thankfully smart enough to know the problem isn’t solved.

Watch out for a possible trade for Michael Bennett by the former Seahawks defensive coordinator, but if everyone stays put, Beasley is the best player on the board and fits perfectly as a 4-3 defensive end. He brings the ideal size, supreme athleticism and an impressive array of skills as both a pass-rusher and run-defender. He is the most complete edge player in the draft outside of Dante Fowler, plus he said it would be a dream come true to play for the Falcons. Dreams really do come true.

vic

Look Ma, I’m an airplane

Height: 6’3

Weight: 246

2014 stats: 34 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, 1 fumble return for touchdown, 2 forced fumbles

Projection: Pro Bowler

Floor: rotational pass rusher

Ceiling: Perennial Pro Bowler

NFL Comparison: Robert Mathis- Instinctive off the snap, possessing strong finesse pass rush skill set, smaller size for an edge player but possesses ability to set edge and push plays out wide.

9. giants helmet Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami

The Giants have their own one-trick pony pass rusher in JPP and Landon Collins and Bud Dupree don’t fit the range, they went out and grabbed a DT (Kenrick Ellis) in free agency and there’s no inside linebackers worthy of the top 20 picks in this year’s draft. Tom Coughlin is sticking around, which means Eli will still be the quarterback.

All of that in mind, it makes sense to challenge the left tackle spot with a house of a man like Ereck Flowers. Despite being so large, Flowers has swing tackle traits and surprisingly fluid feet. He’s a fast riser in both pass protection and as a mauler. He really is a prototype who could contribute from day 1 and make life easier for the entire Giants offense. As a bonus, he has the size and skills to slide inside and could supplant woeful incumbent guard John Jerry.

ereck flowers

On the goal line and out wide, Flowers really does fit anywhere

Height: 6’6

Weight: 329 lbs.

Projection: Strong starter

Floor: Swing tackle

Ceiling: All Pro

NFL Comparison: Tyron Smith (OT, Dallas Cowboys)- Possesses the quick feet and fluid hips despite the size. Athleticism is strong and a mean streak comes with it. Can road grade when asked but always ascending in pass protection.

10. rams helmet Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

And all the Rams fans cheered. They finally found their number one receiver, and just in time to help new addition Nick Foles get acquainted with the Rams offense. While Kevin White might have a more ideal frame and more potential, Cooper has a polish and pro-readiness rarely seen from draft prospects. He also had over 1700 yards last year.

Cooper provides a target on all levels of the field, he can win deep, he’ll brave the middle and he can win with quickness on short routes. He’s a coaches’ darling as he is not a diva and actually has quite a reserved demeanor. Though he’s had some issues with drops, he’s a hard worker and NFL coaching will likely help correct that. He’ll be a mainstay in any NFL offense for the next decade.

amari-cooper

Coopering, from the guys who brought you Tebowing

Height: 6’1

Weight: 211 lbs.

2014 stats: 124 catches, 1727 yards, 16 touchdowns

Projection: Pro Bowler

Floor: High-end WR2

Ceiling: Perennial Pro Bowler

NFL Comparison: Isaac Bruce (WR, St. Louis Rams)- Can pop the top off a defense or take a short pass to the house, crisp route-runner, loyal, consistent, with strong body control and vision in the open field.

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