Final installment of my mock draft
25: San Francisco 49ers: Kyle Van Noy
Kyle Van Noy might not be as productive as a pass rushing threat this year but it’s not because he has taken a step back but instead because he is often seeing double teams on passing downs because the lack of a complement on the other side of the defensive line. Noy also has been dropping into coverage more and is overall becoming a well-rounded player. He needs to add size and strength if he wants to be drafted this high but I don’t doubt Van Noy’s willpower. Coaches are going to love his non stop motor and is often found in the film room and has developed his game into that of a very good pro.
26: Cleveland Browns from Indianapolis Colts: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu
Just how amazing would this Browns defense be if they had a complimentary corner across from Joe Haden? The Browns have put a lot of time, money, and energy into this defense but they need to be able to shut down the opponents playmakers and having great coverage will lead to more coverage sacks and thus better field position for their offense that is going to be led by (in my draft) Tajh Boyd. In a division where defense is king the addition of another great coverage man could put the Browns over the top, they may even make a push for the playoffs. Ekpre-Olomu is an aggressive ball hawk and often dominates receivers that are almost 6 inches taller than him, and what is more impressive is that he comes up in run support better than almost anyone in the draft. All in all Ekpre-Olomu is an aggressive and impressive player.
27: New England Patriots: Eric Ebron
We all saw how lost the Patriots offense was without a good complimentary tight end to Rob Gronkowski so I fully believe that the Pats will spend at least one pick on the tight end position. Ebron could be very effective as the “move” tight end for the Pats offense. Ebron, though he is best used as a receiving tight end is very effective as a blocker and flashes the ability to be a dominant player at the tight end position. However Ebron is raw when it comes to route running and needs to be more consistent catching the ball but he has all the mental abilities to be a tremendous tight end later down the road.
28: Carolina Panthers: Marqise Lee
Lee would be an absolute steal for the Panthers, they lack a true deep threat outside of Steve Smith, who isn’t getting any younger. They have a very good offense but they need an explosive playmaker on the outside when Steve Smith moves on. Lee falls this far because of a lack of explosive plays, for the most part because of being bracketed on nearly any play and lacking a great quarterback to give him the football. Even though he isn’t used as a runner or a returner he has all the ability to be a truly great offensive weapon in the mold of Percy Harvin. He has the ability to take it to the house anytime he touches the ball and has talent to emerge as a top receiving threat.
29: New Orleans Saints: Cameron Erving
The former defensive lineman has really come into his own as a top offensive tackle prospect. He absolutely owned pass rusher extraordinaire Vic Beasley when the Seminoles faced Clemson but has not been a major draft prospect at the beginning of the year even though he has great athletic ability and did very well as the bookend tackle to last years second round pick Menelik Watson. He has improved greatly since his move and is a very good run blocker with that coveted “mean streak” is aggressive and needs to improve his hand usage but he has all the ability to improve and be a great player for the Saints. The Saints offensive line needs to improve and I believe the Saints are going to have to choose between Erving and Baylor guard Cyril Richardson.
30: Kansas City Chiefs: Stephon Tuitt
Tuitt was born to be a 3-4 defensive end, he has elite height and size and is tremendous as both a pass rusher with 17 sacks over the last 2 years and a great run defender with 8 tackles for loss this year. Kansas City needs another defensive end because Tyson Jacksons contract expire and frankly Jackson has been overpaid and underperforming for the entirety of his short career as a Chief. Coach Andy Reid loves lineman on both sides of the ball and he will have a hard time passing on such a talented lineman at any point of the draft.
31: Seattle Seahawks: Cyril Richardson
Richardson is an absolute force in the middle of the Baylor offensive line and has elite size, strength and surprising speed for a man more than 330 pounds. He has the ability to play any position on the line and could easily find himself higher than this but many teams believe that an elite guard can be found almost anywhere in the draft. Seattle however knows that a guard the caliber of Richardson is worth a first round pick. He is technically sound in both pass and run blocking and is smart enough to be effective at all positions of the line, he fits into Seattle’s power running scheme and is a mauler that can dominate in the right system.
32: Denver Broncos: Scott Crichton
The Broncos need a pass rusher on the other side of Von Miller and Crichton is the best fit at this juncture of the draft. He has good size and very good get-off as a pass rusher and has all the physical tools to take over for the departed Elvis Dumervil. Shows the bend needed to be an effective pass rusher and grades out as a better run defender than the undersized Dumervil. Crichton has an elite bull rush for someone his size and can shed blocks, however he has to diversify his array of pass rushing moves however he could be very special if the mental parts of his game improve.