Intro: If you missed round one, you can catch up here:
The biggest part of the pre-draft process is getting to know all of the names. It can be overwhelming when you take that first step. Sifting through player after player after player and then coming up with baseline rankings. This draft class is very interesting and the depth is great. Amazing value will find it’s way into the late 3rd round. With that in mind it was a no-brainer to do at least one more round to help you with your own evaluations. This two round mock is mostly on how we see things as far as player evaluation. But there will be a huge wrench thrown into the actual evaluations once the combine hits. Someone will run really fast in their underwear and mess it all up. So consider this mock a pre-underwear Olympics venture.
1. Odell Beckham – LSU
NFL Comparison – A strong Victor Cruz
Analysis: Attack attack attack. I love watching Beckham off the line of scrimmage. He is the opposite of Mike Evans. The guy literally BURSTS off the line and either blows by his DB or engages him even faster than the DB expects. His hips give new meaning to the phrase “bend it like Beckham”. He can change direction with his lower body by itself all while maintaining strong downfield speed. Odell’s body control is very subtle and you have to watch closely, but he has a timing that is truly exceptional which leads to great positioning on deep balls and will result in a lot of pass interference penalties. Lastly, I love his ability to go get a football. His leaping ability matched with his timing makes for some pretty remarkable plays that I don’t see a receiver like Marqise Lee making. Odell can polish up his routes a bit and he can get some alligator arms and leaves a few balls on the turf. This guy has the potential to be the steal of the draft.
2. Davante Adams – Fresno State
NFL Comparison: Hakeem Nicks (when he was good)
Analysis: Adams is a bit more of a risky pick but the upside is obvious. Was he product of a pass happy system? His stats sure didn’t suffer because of it. Davante is a big, physical wide receiver that thrives in the redzone. His biggest assets are his hands and his physicality. His concentration on contested throws is impressive. Adams is definitely not a “burner” but he has enough speed to break some big plays. This season he had 24 receiving touchdowns to go with his video game like 131 receptions for 1,718 yards. So with all of this, why is he a risk? The biggest question mark is because of the lack of high end competition. This doesn’t mean he can’t dominate in the NFL. It is just a factor you have to consider. He could have some issues getting separation at the next level too but with his physical style, it shouldn’t be a big problem.
3. Teddy Bridgewater – Louisville
NFL Comparison – Sam Bradford
Analysis: Sam Bradford! I can hear the boo birds now. Sorry folks, I just am not sold on Bridgewater as an elite level NFL talent. Elite college level talent.. sure. I like him though, don’t get me wrong. Much like Bridgewater, Bradford had exceptional accuracy in college. He was one of the most highly touted college QBs coming into the NFL as is Bridgewater. I wouldn’t get too down on this comparison as I still believe Bradford’s best days are in front of him, but I expect Bridgewater to reflect the quality of the team that’s around him. If Teddy ends up in Houston per say, that would be ideal. Oakland… ya not so much. Teddy has a very good pocket presence. Even if he is closer to 6’ vs his listed 6’3”, he stands tall in the pocket and delivers timely and accurate passes to open receivers. He is very text book. His footwork is sound and he can make good throws from almost anywhere on the field. I don’t like how much he operated out of the shotgun and will need more under center work and I don’t like how many predetermined reads he made. Overall Teddy will carry a lot of value for a few years so if you can land him in the 2nd round of your draft, I would count your blessings. Even if he doesn’t end up as a QB1.
4. Tre Mason – Auburn
NFL Comparison: Chris Johnson
Analysis: This draft is unique at the running back position. Typically there are a couple running backs that are obviously a cut above the rest. That isn’t so much the case this year. Mason is one of five running backs that I see as the potential first RB selected (Carey, Freeman, Seastrunk, and Hyde being the others). Mason had an incredible work load at Auburn this year that gave him a stat line of 317 carries for 1816 yards and 23 touchdowns. Some will be rightfully skeptical of Mason due to the read option offense at Auburn. They will call him a system back. While his stats may have had some scheme padding, Mason also has some great traits. His vision, lateral quickness, and acceleration are definitely NFL caliber. While he wasn’t asked to catch the ball much, he appears to be an adequate receiver. One big flaw that is obvious in Mason’s game is ball security. This can and must be fixed to stay on the field at the pro level. The other negative that can be seen on Mason his habit to “dance” behind the line of scrimmage a little too much. This can be a side effect of the read option offense though so it may not be a pure defect.
5. Terrence West – Towson
NFL Comparison – Zac Stacy
Analysis: OMG Dan.. enough with the Zac Stacy stuff! Well you know what.. if the shoe fits. And it does. I love this comparison and West is officially my “Zac Stacy” of this draft. He’s a guy with very little “tape” and coming from a small school there are arguably even more questions about him than Zac. When I watch what tape there is, I see a number of comparisons. His instincts, feel, and vision are absolutely top notch. He’s got the build and running style to be that true every down mulit-dimensional back that can light up the fantasy football scoreboard. Don’t let the bowling ball frame fool you though, he has a sneaky long speed that you don’t expect and should be right in that 4.45-4.55 pocket . Combined with his power, West has the making of another true workhorse back for years to come.
6. Marqise Lee – USC
NFL Comparison: Kendall Wright
Analysis: This is probably the only pick I made that was due to the perception of a player rather than the skill set. We got a lot of feedback after round one wondering where Marqise Lee was? How could he not be in our top 5 players taken? Marqise Lee is a strange one for me. It isn’t out of the question that he can be a WR1 in NFL. So what is missing? Pretty much everything. He lacks one defining characteristic that will make him special in the NFL. The only above average feature is what he can do with the ball in his hands but there is the problem. Lee dropped about 12% of targets last year and he isn’t a natural “hands catcher”. He lacks the size and physicality to dominate at the point of the catch and the hands to finish. His speed is decent but not even close to elite. He is in WR limbo. Not big enough or elite in one area that will make him significant. People talk about the rawness and risk that goes with Kelvin Benjamin. Give me that risk all day because the reward is 5 times higher than with a prospect like Lee.
7. Jimmy Garoppolo – Eastern Illinois
NFL Comparison – I plead the 5th
Analysis: If I put the player that I want to down, then I may lose all credibility. I will give you a hint. He is in the Superbowl today. Ugh.. I know. I don’t want to compare Jimmy to Peyton b/c there are many things that are not the same, but the part I LOVE about Jimmy is his ability to run the offense from the line of scrimmage. Ah… there’s the comparison. No predetermined reads for this guy. We have all sat back on Sundays and watch Peyton “fake snap” defenses into giving away their coverages and then watch the following 20 seconds as he adjusts the play and sets his playmakers up to be in the right place at the right time. This is what separates Jimmy Garoppolo from every other QB in this class. Well, that and his ridiculously quick release. It is quite frankly the quickest I have seen in years. If you decide to take Jimmy in this draft, do so with at least a one year waiting period. Jimmy’s excellence will come with his ability to understand the offense better than everyone else and that might take a season. He’s big. He’s athletic. He’s a leader. And he has all the necessary intangibles. I firmly believe that Jimmy’s long-term upside is higher than any other QB in this draft due to his ability to understand and run an offense on an elite level. However, his lack of competition puts his floor below Bridgewater and Manziel.
8. Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Washington
NFL Comparison: Julius Thomas
Analysis: Big. Athletic. Those are the only two words that matter with ASJ. Eric Ebron and Austin Seferian-Jenkins are the two potentially elite TE prospects (Troy Niklas is another one to monitor). There is a cult like love for former basketball players playing tight end and he falls right in that group. Austin played college basketball his freshman year before focusing solely on football. At 6’6” and 270 lbs, he is a load but his speed and athleticism are pretty incredible for his size. I admit that scouting tight ends is like watching paint dry. There are so many intricacies to the position (especially when it comes to blocking) that I can’t pretend to know it all. I judge tight ends on size and playmaking ability. Seferian-Jenkins has both and appears to be an adequate blocker as well. He will be enough of a playmaker for an NFL team to find a way to keep him on the field.
9. Brandin Cooks – Oregon State
NFL Comparison – Steve Smith (Carolina) (Do I still need to reference WHICH Steve Smith?)
Analysis: Just a bundle of muscle and speed that could be a slot machine at the next level. Cooks elevates well and cuts on a dime on underneath routes. The Guy’s muscles extend to his lower arms and hands and he can fight for balls with the best of them. Cooks has a natural “running back” style to him which makes him very tough to tackle (think Percy Harvin). Size will be Cooks biggest limitation. Will his team be able to utilize him on outside routes with consistency and dependability like Smith or will he be relegated to the slot position? I firmly believe Cooks will be highly successful at the next level regardless and with this deep WR class will be a gem to be had in the 2nd round.
10. Jarvis Landry – LSU
NFL Comparison: Shorter Jordy Nelson
Analysis: Jarvis Landry is a great prospect. There is nothing to not like about him. He is listed at 6’1” and 195 lbs, but plays bigger than his size. The other half of the great LSU WR duo, Jarvis isn’t the deep threat/homerun hitter that Odell Beckham Jr. is but he can be equally dangerous. The thing that stands out about him is his amazing awareness and body control. He sets defenders up and uses his athleticism to make plays. If he is given a little room he can take off and make Jordy Nelson-ish big plays. Like Beckham Jr., Landry also plays with toughness and the “that’s my ball” mentality that is so important at the WR position. This WR class is shockingly deep and Landry is a 1st round talent. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him in the back half of the 1st round in dynasty rookie drafts.
11. Derek Carr – Fresno State
NFL Comparison- David Carr (Seems obvious enough)
Analysis: How the heck did I end up with 3 QBs this round. For the record QB is my least favorite position to draft for multiple reasons (A conversation for a different time).
I suppose its easy to compare little brother to older brother and I am sure Derek is good and sick of it by now, but to me the similarities are striking. David 6’3” 220. Derek 6’3” 210. Both have strong and accurate arms with a quick delivery. Both played very well in the senior bowl and saw their draft stock take a sharp and sudden rise going into the off-season of their senior year. Both have a “gun-slinger” mentality and both have gotten into trouble because of it. Both have a weird side arm throwing motion at times. Both belong in a west-coast style offense to maximize their skill set which makes Derek’s options somewhat limited in terms of possible teams. Most notably, both Carr brothers get uncomfortable in the pocket. And while they can both make things happen with their feet, most of their mistakes happen when under pressure or under “phantom pressure”. Derek needs to land right and he needs to have a strong O-line in place to help build his confidence. Some see Derek as a sure thing first rounder. I have him graded out as a 3rd rounder and feel like he will be a huge reach in the 1st.
12. Andre Williams – Boston College
NFL Comparison: Fred Jackson
Analysis: Williams is a beast of a running back at 6’0” and 227 lbs. He displays good outside speed and a punishing running style. He was a true workhorse back this year carrying the rock 355 times for 2177 yards and 18 touchdowns. One of the best features to Andre’s game is his decisive running with a low pad level. With his size and power, this could be an incredible asset in the NFL. All of these positive things and he is a late 2nd round pick though? That may not be warranted. It is very possible Williams will shoot up draft lists around the fantasy world. I am a little hesitant to do that because he piled on numbers against subpar teams and struggled against higher end competition. Boston College isn’t a standout school though and Williams was their main offensive weapon. This is something that is common in college. Opposing teams focus on the lone offensive weapon. Personally, I love Andre Williams and I really think he will be moving up as this process plays out.
Conclusion: The draft process is a long, tedious test. The key is to not take any one part for more than it is. Everything is a piece to the puzzle that you have to put together. In the center of this puzzle is one giant piece: talent. Let your eyes tell you what the story is and fill in the rest with information. The important first step is getting to know the names. Watch a player and then read an opposing point of view. It is common to have our eyes see what they want to see and not take in the small negatives. Look at these things and adjust your point of view if necessary. Remain open minded and enjoy the process.