#26 Overall -- Whitney Mercilus / DE / Illinois
#9 defensive end on my board and had a 2nd round grade on Mercilus. Questionable pick considering who they passed up, but Texans obviously feel good about his 1 year of production. Relentless motor and gets a lot of his sacks due to second and third effort as opposed to flat out winning at the snap. Not the worst pick here, but not the best either in my opinion. Grade: C+
#68 Overall -- DeVier Posey / WR / Ohio St.
Posey wasn't on my draft board. Not a fan of him off the field or on it. I don't like this pick at all. Grade: F-
#76 Overall -- Brandon Brooks / OG / Miami (Ohio)
#3 guard on my board and had a 3rd round grade on Brooks. Should fit in well with the Texans zone blocking scheme. This kid can flat out play and should've been invited to the combine. Grade: A-
#99 Overall -- Ben Jones / C / Georgia
I had a 6th round grade on Jones and was rated my #6 center. One of the more overhyped offensive line prospects in the draft, and I just never saw it. Looked clueless at times. This is a reach. Grade: D+
#121 Overall -- Keshawn Martin / WR / Michigan St.
I didn't have Martin on my draft board. Slot receiver who could make the roster for Texans, but probably could've had him later. Grade: C-
#126 Overall -- Jared Crick / DE-DT / Nebraska
#14 defensive tackle on my board and #5 3-4 defensive end should he get looks from teams employing a 30 front and gave him a 4th round grade. Struggled with injuries as a Senior but can flat out play. One of the better picks of the entire 4th round. Grade: B
#161 Overall -- Randy Bullock / K / Texas A&M
I don't scout kickers unless they're in high school and in our division.
#195 Overall -- Nick Mondek / OT / Purdue
I didn't scout Mondek and will defer to the Texans on this pick.
I also caught your micah hyde comment. I will be watching him closely as well. At times, I think he has it, and at times I see him as an absolute liability out there. he makes my head hurt.
Iowa plays a lot of 7 man box. I am hopeful they will switch it up and instead of seeing so much off man, I hope we see some press coverage with micah this year and all the dbs really. Expose any weaknesses so a guy can get a real good evalutation on him. micah has been here long enough he should be stepping up into a leadership role. I've heard tanner miller has been impressive so far this spring. If I could get iowa to blitz once in awhile, i'd be able to see how these dbs do when they are the last line of defense!!! evidently, we don't like to use the B word here in iowa...
#1 Overall -- Andrew Luck / QB / Stanford
Colts opt to start off a new era here by selecting a rare quarterback prospect with the #1 overall pick, just like they did in '98 when they took Peyton Manning, and decided to open a new chapter of Colts football. Exact same thing I would've done. Grade: A+
#34 Overall -- Coby Fleener / TE / Stanford
They go right back to Palo Alto and select Luck's favorite weapon in the passing game. #1 tight end on my board and had a mid-late 1st round grade on Fleener. Deceptive speed and soft hands. Looks like he's gliding on the field.... natural runner. Chemistry with Luck is obviously built-in. Great pick here. Grade: A
#64 Overall -- Dwayne Allen / TE / Clemson
The #2 tight end on my board and gave him an early 2nd round grade. Colts land the top 2 TE's in the draft back-to-back in the 2nd round. Colts started Manning off with the 1-2 punch of Ken Dilger and Marcus Pollard early in his career. They'll do the same here with Luck. I thought Allen would go about 15 picks earlier. Grade: A-
#92 Overall -- T.Y. Hilton / WR / FIU
Not exactly Marvin Harrison as a route runner, but few ever have been. Hilton was my #3 slot receiver and gave him an early 3rd round grade. One of the most dangerous kick returners I've seen in years at the college level. Speed to burn, and operated mainly out of the slot for FIU... running past secondaries. Single handedly won FIU some games they shouldn't have won. Needs to carry the football better in traffic. Explosive. I like this pick. Grade: B+
#136 Overall -- Josh Chapman / DT / Alabama
#13 defensive tackle on my board and #2 nose tackle behind Ta'amu. I gave Chapman a 4th round grade. Immovable in the run game. I've never seen him move an inch. Played most of the season on a torn ACL and meniscus. The words "Pluck and Grit" in Alabama's fight song describe Chapman. Colts should be able to structure their 30 front around this 2-down plugger at nose tackle. These first 5 picks are terrific. Grade: B-
#170 Overall -- Vick Ballard / RB / Mississippi St.
Ballard was the #6 feature back on my board and had a late 4th round grade on him. Will make the Colts roster and contribute. Fantastic nose for the endzone. Grade: C+
#206 Overall -- LaVon Brazill / WR / Ohio
#12 slot receiver on my board and gave him a 5th round grade. Another kid who should make the roster and has upside as a developmental receiver. Probably should have come off the board earlier. Colts get another nice receiver here. Grade: C+
#208 Overall -- Justin Anderson / OT-G / Georgia
Anderson wasn't on my draft board. Other lineman I liked better. Grade: D
#214 Overall -- Tim Fugger / DE / Vanderbilt
Wasn't on my draft board but improved his stock by testing well in pre-draft process. Really only produced as a Senior and didn't impress me on tape. Grade: D
#253 Overall -- Chandler Harnish / QB / Northern Illinois
Harnish was my #9 quarterback and had a late 4th/early 5th round grade on him. Highly athletic, productive, and a winner for Northern Illinois... clutch. 4 year starter and one of the better collegiate bodies of work in this class. Struggled with some injuries earlier in his career, but not a major red flag. He's been on my underrated list for a long time. Another underrated MAC quarterback who was overlooked by the Big-10 and had something to prove. Played in an unconventional offense and will need development on fundamentals. I liked him better than a lot of quarterbacks in this draft. This Mr. Irrelevant is anything but irrelevant. He should eventually get a chance in this league, although a backup is his most likely destination. I've always compared his floor to Tyler Thigpen, and ceiling to Tony Romo. You can't possibly do better with the last pick in the draft. Grade: A
#5 Overall -- Justin Blackmon / WR / Oklahoma St.
Jags traded up to take the #1 wide receiver on most boards with the 5th overall pick. Tremendous route runner with a large catch radius. Utilizes some advanced techniques to beat press coverage... sinks his hips and explodes out of breaks to create separation, and eats up a DB's cushion for the speed cut. Seems to be a good kid off the field other than one alcohol related incident. Will start week 1 for Jaguars. Grade: A-
#38 Overall -- Andre Branch / DE / Clemson
Wasn't on my draft board. Completely invisible in the Orange Bowl while his defense was busy giving up 70 points. The latest in a long line of overrated Clemson defensive ends. I don't like the pick. Grade: F
#70 Overall -- Brian Anger / P / California
I don't scout punters... but Jags obviously feel they need a good one with Blaine Gabbert.
#142 Overall -- Brandon Marshall / OLB / Nevada
#16 4-3 outside linebacker on my board and gave Marshall a 5th round grade. Decent pick here who should contribute at some point. Grade: C+
#176 Overall -- Mike Harris / CB / Florida St.
About the area where I had Harris graded. #28 cornerback on my board and had a 7th round grade. Didn't time well on a stopwatch and that hurt his already teetering draft stock. Does have pretty good fluidity in his hips and above-average ball skills. 14 PBU's, 5 INT's, and 2 forced fumbles over the past 2 seasons for the Seminoles. Worth a shot at this point. Grade: C+
#228 Overall -- Jeris Pendleton / DT / Ashland
Didn't scout this player and will defer to Jaguars on this selection.
#20 Overall -- Kendall Wright / WR / Baylor
Titans select the #3 wide receiver on my board here who I had given a mid-late 1st round grade. Plays faster than he times. Blocks on the perimeter for the numerous bubble screens required in Art Briles' offense. Explosive after the catch. Reliable hands. Tremendous vertical threat. Was the star of Robert Griffin's pro day in my opinion. Grade: A-
#52 Overall -- Zach Brown / LB / North Carolina
Brown wasn't on my draft board because I'm not fond of linebackers who avoid contact. Great athlete. Bad football player. Grade: F-
#82 Overall -- Mike Martin / DT / Michigan
#11 defensive tackle on my board and had a 3rd round grade on Martin. Improved his stock after testing at or near the top in literally every athletic test at the combine for his position. Solid pick here for the Titans. Grade: B+
#115 Overall -- Coty Sensabaugh / CB / Clemson
#16 cornerback on my board and had a 4th round grade on Sensabaugh. Has all the physical skills to stick around for a while in the NFL. Smart player on film and solid pick here for the Titans. Grade: C+
#145 Overall -- Taylor Thompson / DT-DE / SMU
Didn't scout Thompson and will defer to Titans.
#190 Overall -- Markelle Martin / S / Oklahoma St.
#9 safety on my board and had a 4th round grade on Martin. Questionable football IQ in certain instances dings his grade for me. Wasn't the best player in the Oklahoma St. secondary, but solid pick here at this point in the draft. Grade: C+
#211 Overall -- Scott Solomon / DE / Rice
#14 defensive end on my board and had a 5th round grade on Solomon. Good lower body explosion for a pass rusher, but slow and not a very good athlete. Injury issues. Worth a flyer this late. Has been productive during his career for Owls. Grade: C
colts really did nail it with their first four picks. i like that they went and 3 weapons while in the beginning process of a complete rebuild, just further points to the evolution of the game IMO. keep em coming slimms.
#55 Overall -- Peter Konz / C / Wisconsin
I had a late 1st round grade on Konz and figured he might come off the board earlier than this as the #1 center on my board. Falcons get tremendous value here getting him an entire round later at the end of the 2nd. A true road grader in Paul Chryst's IZ, and his bread-and-butter is mauling run defenders. Should fit right in with the inside zone running game in Atlanta. Grade: A-
#91 Overall -- Lamar Holmes / OT / Southern Miss
Holmes was the #14 offensive tackle on my board and had a 5th round grade on him. Falcons reached here for Holmes, but could end up worth this pick if they can develope him. Got run ragged by Vinny Curry. Did a solid job against Sammy Brown in the C-USA Championship Game. Long arms which will help him at the tackle spot. Helped himself in the East-West Shrine Game. Grade: C+
#157 Overall -- Bradie Ewing / FB / Wisconsin
I typically don't put true West Coast fullbacks on my draft board, and Ewing wasn't on it. However, he would've been the only true West Coast fullback that I would've been interested in taking in this draft. Another staple of Paul Chryst's offense at Wisconsin and was an outstanding receiver catching passes out of the backfield in the flat from Russell Wilson. Good blocker who helped Montee Ball become a Heisman candidate. Falcons should find a way to utilize his ability. Grade: C
#164 Overall -- Jonathan Massaquoi / DE / Troy
#19 defensive end on my board and had a 6th round grade on him. Probably good value here at this slot for a kid who could become a rotational pass rusher. Followed in the footsteps of productive Troy pass rushers DeMarcus Ware, Osi Umenyiora, Brandon Lang, and Cameron Sheffield. Falls right in the middle between the latter two and Ware/Umenyiora as a prospect. Grade: C+
#192 Overall -- Charles Mitchell / S / Mississippi St.
Mitchell didn't make it on my draft board. Just didn't show me enough and I tend to give Mississippi St. defenders the benefit of the doubt. Grade: D
#249 Overall -- Travian Robertson / DT / South Carolina
#27 defensive tackle on my board and gave him a 7th round flyer grade. That's essentially what he is here. Grade: C
#9 Overall -- Luke Kuechly / ILB / Boston College
#1 inside linebacker on my board and had a top 10 grade on Kuechly. This was my pick for Miami at #8 had I been the one pulling the trigger. Instincts and football IQ are at an elite level that you don't often see. Rare size/speed ratio for a linebacker. Threatened to break the NCAA record for tackles after only 3 seasons as a starter. Best coverage linebacker in the draft. Will make the front calls and play the cat and mouse game with the elite centers in the league. Panthers get one of the truly elite defensive players in the draft here. Grade: A+
#40 Overall -- Amini Silatolu / OG / Midwestern St.
#4 guard on my board and had a 3rd round grade on this small school stud. Completely dominated the players lined up across from him at that level to the point that it was unfair. I've watched over 300 snaps on this kid and count the number of times he didn't pancake his man and still have fingers left. Played left tackle but will kick inside at the next level. I'd get him on the field immediately and work the kinks out from there if I were the Panthers since they reached a bit for him here. Grade: C+
#103 Overall -- Frank Alexander / DE / Oklahoma
#17 defensive end on my board and had a 5th round grade on him. Has gotten the better of tackles like Riley Reiff and Andrew Datko. Little bit of a reach this early but could be a rotational pass rusher. Grade: C+
#104 Overall -- Joe Adams / WR / Arkansas
I had a late 2nd/early 3rd round grade on Adams and was the #2 slot receiver on my board behind Ryan Broyles. Didn't time as well on a stopwatch as he plays in pads. I tend to trust what I see in pads here. Dynamic punt returner. Not a polished route runner and hands aren't always reliable. Drops some passes that are dead on the money. Solid pick to get him here. Grade: B-
#143 Overall -- Josh Norman / CB / Coastal Carolina
Didn't have him on my draft board. Hard to play corner in the NFL as slow as he is. Grade: F
#207 Overall -- Brad Nortman / P / Wisconsin
I don't scout punters.
#216 Overall -- D.J. Campbell / S / California
Campbell wasn't on my draft board. Grade: D
New Orleans Saints
#89 Overall -- Akiem Hicks / DT / Regina (Canada)
#15 defensive tackle on my board and had an early 5th round grade on him. Was one of the top JUCO defensive tackles in the country at one point and signed with LSU before transferring due to recruitment violations. Probably would've been a 2nd round pick had he been able to develope at LSU. Grade: C+
#122 Overall -- Nick Toon / WR / Wisconsin
I had a 6th round grade on Toon and was the #19 wide receiver on my board. Effort blocker in the run game and fairly average at everything else. Doesn't do anything great or terrible, although I thought he was a slight reach here. Grade: C
#162 Overall -- Corey White / S / Samford
This kid was essentially right around in my back yard in Birmingham and I had never heard of him. Obviously will defer to the Saints with this selection.
#179 Overall -- Andrew Tiller / OG / Syracuse
Didn't scout this player and will defer to the Saints.
#234 Overall -- Marcel Jones / OT / Nebraska
Wasn't on my draft board due to being a heavy legged waist bender in pass protection. Decent run blocker for the Huskers. Grade: D+
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
#7 Overall -- Mark Barron / S / Alabama
Consensus top safety in the draft and Tampa traded up for him after realizing Trent Richardson wasn't going to happen. I had a top 20 grade on Barron and the dropoff after him to the rest of the safety class was a significant one in my estimation. Battled through some injuries during his career and the level of his play never suffered because of it... and it endeared him to scouts and personnel executives who value this type of throwback attitude. Tore his pec muscle in the first half of the Iron Bowl in 2010 and had to be replaced in the secondary by a walk-on named Will Lowery. What ensued was one of the great collapses I've ever seen by an Alabama defense. Cam Newton had been held in check and harrassed into jitters while Bama built a 24-7 halftime lead. 21 second half points later, Alabama walked off the field in defeat by the score of 28-27 at the hands of our hated in-state rival due to blown coverages and mis-communication in the secondary. Barron was the quarterback of the defense after Rolando McClain moved on to the NFL. If not for the injury, Barron would've declared as a Junior and entered the draft. A leader and key cog on a defense that won 2 National Championships, and one of the best defenses I've ever seen in college football. Grade: A-
#31 Overall -- Doug Martin / RB / Boise St.
The #2 feature back on my board behind Richardson and had a late 1st/early 2nd round grade on him. Does everything well. Compact, powerful runner with deceptive speed and agility. Most productive back catching passes out of the backfield in the Chris Peterson era at Boise St. I like this pick. Grade: A-
#58 Overall -- Lavonte David / OLB / Nebraska
The #2 4-3 outside linebacker on my board and had a 2nd round grade on him. Undersized niche linebacker who's not a fit for every scheme. Best fit was in a Tampa-2 style defense in my opinion. Instinctive, reads keys well and flies to the football. Reliable wrap up tackler. Great value here for the Bucs. Grade: A
#140 Overall -- Najee Goode / ILB / West Virginia
Goode wasn't on my draft board. Reach here. Grade: D
#174 Overall -- Keith Tandy / CB / West Virginia
#19 cornerback on my board and had a 4th round grade on him. This pick made more sense where they took Najee Goode. Tandy is a solid tackling cornerback and breaks down well in the open field. Will stick his nose in there and support the run on the perimeter, which is a staple of Tampa-2 style corners. Very nice pick here. Grade: B-
#212 Overall -- Michael Smith / RB / Utah St.
The #5 change-of-pace back on my board and had a 4th round grade on him. I've touted this kid as one of the most underrated backs in the draft for several months. Split carries with Robert Turbin at Utah St. Breaks arm tackles and incredibly explosive runner. Compact. Averages right at 7 yards/carry for his career. Always reminded me of Willie Parker. Grade: B-
#233 Overall -- Drake Dunsmore / H-back / Northwestern
#2 H-back on my board and had a 5th round grade on him. Tested very well athletically and should be able to make the roster and develope. One of Dan Persa's favorite targets. Grade: C+