With The 47th Pick, in the 2016 NFL Draft, The New Orleans Saints Select ...

Updated: May 12th

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Welcome everybody to the worlds worst Mock Draft, yay. We all have no idea what is going on the Draft before: Senior Bowl, Combine, Pro Days, and Free Agency. So sit back and laugh, because this picks are going to suck!

PICKS 32-47

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Team

My Picks: 

Key Needs:

Team Moves:

8.

39.

Buccaneers

Defense: 4-3

Noah Spence

OLB Ohio ST

6-2, 251, (PD) 4.75, 

10'1" Broad! 35" Vert,

33" Arms, 25 Reps, 

7.21 3-Cone, 4.35 SS, 

10 3/4" Hand

 

*Vernon Hargreaves III-

CB FLA

CB, S, DE, OG, OT, DT, CB, WR, LB

2016 Picks:

1 (11) Vernon Hargreaves CB Florida

2 (39) Noah Spence DE E. Kentucky

2 (59) Roberto Aguayo PK Florida St.

4 (108) Ryan Smith CB NC Central

5 (148) Caleb Benenoch OT UCLA

6 (183) Devante Bond LB Oklahoma

6 (197) Dan Vitale FB Northwestern

Key FA Signed:

Doug Martin RB 

J.R. Sweezy OG

Daryl Smith LB

Brent Grimes CB

Chris Conte S 

Bryan Anger P

Key Free Agents:

Bobby Rainey RB 
Larry English DE 

Da'Quan Bowers DE 
Tony McDaniel DT 
Henry Melton DT 

Mike Jenkins CB 
Sterling Moore CB 
Keith Tandy S 

The Team: The funniest part of this pick is that Spence is friends with Winston. "I’m very good friends with Noah Spence," Winston said. "We played in the Under Armour All-American Game coming out of high school, so it was good. When he came to town, he was telling me that he was talking to the coaches and stuff. So I was very happy for him." That should be a cloud made in heaven.

The coaches where happy with him in their meetings. "I love their coaches a lot," Spence said. "I feel like I had a good feel with them; I felt like family when I walked around the facility. When I was with [the DL] Coach Jay [Hayes]. I felt like he reminded me a lot of my dad. It felt almost like a home away from home." Now the real work comes.
He got lucky that his coach at Ohio ST didn't abandon him. "I'm just blessed to be able to be taken in the draft at all," said Spence. "I'm going to do as much as I can to make this team great." If he stays sober he as a chance to help this defense be great.

He got off the ecstasy, and now just has to continue to stay sober. Even though he revealed some flaws in his thinking right before the Draft "We were as comfortable as we could get with him, after meeting him several times, having our director of security meet him several times." Licht said. "We feel that we have a very strong locker room, especially on defense with Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David, some of those guys." When you are an elite passrusher, and get thrown out of Ohio State for doing drugs, it is about addiction for you. 

There is always risk when dealing with druggies, especially when they start denying addition. "I wouldn't say we were surprised. My staff advised me that he would be there. He was one that, once again luck is involved, he was there for us Then continued. "[He] loves football. It was taken away from him. He learned a lesson. He doesn't want that to happen again." I was 100% on board with taking him early, until I read that quote.

But, the NFL has changed. QBs are the top priority. Then two and three are elite passrushers and elite Corners. Passrushers, while maybe tied with Corners, are the most valuable position in the NFL after QBs. "You have to feel comfortable with the person," Licht said. "You can't just make a quick decision on whether or not he falls into one of those categories. You have to spend time, you have to do your research, you have to go back into his life and you have to sit down with him, obviously, and talk with him. But if you feel comfortable and you feel good about it, then you can't sentence a guy for life for some mistakes that he's made in the past." So taking a chance on a boom or bust passrusher is the new norm.

The Player:  4/26 Noah Spence: Can't Touch This: Part II.

The Reason:  Spence is a boom or bust player who has the best knack for hitting the quarterback of any OLB in this Draft. "He's lightning-quick off the ball, he has passion and he loves the art of pass rush," ex-NFL DE Chuck Smith said. He has been training college DEs to prepare for the Draft. "He's really a disciplined football player that listens to coaching, and I think he's going to be a great fit with Mike Smith, an awesome coordinator. He couldn't have a better defensive line coach than the great Jay Hayes." He is wretched against the run. 

But he is the most natural passrusher I have seen since Von Miller. "He's the best pass-rusher in this draft. No one else is even close, and he'll show it this year," Chuck Smith said. "This is the perfect fit for Noah Spence. I'm ecstatic that he's going to get a chance to play under Mike Smith and Jay Hayes. I can't wait till he comes into that Dome in Atlanta. I'm a former Falcon, but I'm going with Tampa these days." They were one of the worst passrushing teams in the NFL last year. Getting a guy who can get 10 or more sacks every year has to be a priority for this team. His Combine numbers don't match Miller's, but he could be a double digit Sack guy in the right defense.

Spence is a troubled dude, but he can turn the corner quicker and with more agility than anyone in the Draft since Miller. "Well you can never guarantee anything in this league but we were as comfortable as we could get with him after meeting with him," Licht said. "Having my director of security meet with him several times and also our area scout, national scouts, everybody involved in the process. Like you said, he owned up to his mistakes. We thought he made some immature decisions and we feel like we have a very strong locker room. Especially on defense with Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David, some of those guys. We thought he was immature at one point and he’s owned up to them and now he’s looking to move forward. He loves football . We think if a guy loves football, and it's taken away from him, he learned a lesson and he doesn’t want that to happen again." He doesn't have Miller's pure speed and burst, but he has that knack for beating the OT to the corner, and bending past him.

9.

40.

Giants

Defense: 4-3

 

Sterling Shepard-

WR Oklahoma

5-10, 184, (O) 4.48, 

41" Vert!, 10'3" Broad!

7.0 3-Cone, 4.35 SS,

30.3" Arm, 20 Reps!

 

**Eli Apple

CB Ohio ST

OLT, DT, RB, CB, TE, DE, DB, RB, OL, LB, WR,

2016 Picks:

1 (10) Eli Apple CB Ohio St.

2 (40) Sterling Shepard WR Oklahoma

3 (71) Darian Thompson S Boise St.

4 (109) BJ Goodson LB Clemson

5 (149) Paul Perkins RB UCLA

6 (184) Jerrell Adams TE S. Carolina

Key F.A. Signed:

Victor Cruz WR

Jason Pierre-Paul DE

Damon Harrison, DT 

Jasper Brinkley LB

Keenan Robinson LB

Kelvin Sheppard LB

Janoris Jenkins CB

Rodney McLeod DB

Zak DeOssie LS

Key F.A.:

Markus Kuhn T

Brandon Mosley G
Dallas Reynolds C 
Daniel Fells TE 
Hakeem Nicks WR 
George Selvie DE 

Barry Cofield DT 

Cullen Jenkins DT  

Jayron Hosley CB 
Trumaine McBride CB 
Brandon Meriweather S 

Craig Dahl, S 

Danny Aiken LS  

Josh Brown, K 

Key F.A. Lost:

Rueben Randle WR 

Geoff Schwartz OL

Robert Ayers DE

Prince Amukamara CB

The Team: This kid was one of my favorite guys to watch in this years Draft. "You go to certain schools, there's young guys like, 'Man, who is that guy'" VP of Player Evaluations Marc Ross said. "He’s been that guy at Oklahoma. Just because he's always made plays: quick, athletic, competitive, savvy. He’s just been a playmaker for them since the time he stepped on campus." He will be a playmaker for them in the slot next season running patterns underneath Odell. 

They lined him up everywhere and he out quicked everyone, like Victor Cruz did at UMass. "That name came up when our scout group talked about him," Jerry Reese said. "That’s one of the names that came up, a young Victor Cruz. Very similar in some ways, body type. The one thing about this kid is he’s 5-10 and some change, but his strike zone is bigger than that. He’s got a 41-inch vertical jump, he’s got big hands. He’s a tenacious slot receiver, runs after the catch. Get the ball to him quick and he does some nice things after the catch, as well. Yeah, Victor Cruz was one of the names that came up." That would be a nice trio for them.

He is tough, and has one of the best story in this Draft. "Honestly, I play so big, I don’t limit myself to just the inside," he said. "A lot of people think that that’s all I can do is play inside just because of my size. But I think guys like Odell and Victor have proven that that’s not the case. I’m definitely one of those guys that can be bounced around and move all around." His dad, a huge Oklahoma fan, died when he was young.

He makes DBs miss running patterns. "We got a great pick tonight," Ben McAdoo said, “Sterling Shepard, tremendous young man, high character, plays the game the right way, plays the game the way it should be played, feisty player, can separate both inside and outside, strong hands. He'll block you and we’re fortunate to have him. Fortunate that he was on the board when he was." He does everything on Tape you want to see him do on the field.
His versatile is top of the line. "Absolutely," McAdoo said. "We play a lot of receivers, and we like to use a lot of different guys there. Dwayne Harris factors there as well. He had a nice year. Geremy Davis is coming along, Myles [White] has done some good things for us, and there are a lot of guys who are in the mix as far as that goes. The more the merrier, the better the competition. It gives you more flexibility. Obviously, Odell is a difference-maker, and Odell is a guy that is going to play inside and outside. He is going to be on the single side. He is going to be to the three receiver side. He is going to be in the backfield. He is going to be a little bit of everywhere. So the other positions have to have flexibility." He was primarily on the QBs right. He was uncoverable in the Slot and outside. 
But he has so much to learn now. "I mean, [Beckham's] one of the guys I look at," Shepard said. I look at his game every week, and I try to pattern my game after him. I was excited to be able to get drafted by the New York Giants and be able to play alongside him. As well as Victor Cruz. Another guy that I look at, too. I’m excited." He will fit in all over the place to help Beckham, and take advantage of the coverages shifted to stop Odell.

The Player: 3/15 Player Pats Need Part II: Sterling Shepherd.

The Reason: "You’d like to have all of them 6-5 that run 4.4 and all that," GM Jerry Reese said, "but it’s just not the way it is all the time. I think that there’s a lot of tall receivers in the Hall of Fame that probably never even played in a Super Bowl, if you look at that history. We think he’s plenty tall enough, and we think he’s a terrific young receiver. “He plays in the slot. He’s just crafty and knows how to get open in his routes. He has the quickness, the explosion in his route, the run after the catch, and the toughness to go over the middle, those kinds of things. Good bloodline, too; he’s been around football all his life."

41.

from

49.

Bills

Defense: 4-3

Reggie Ragland

ILB Alabama

6-2, 259, #19

 

Shaq Lawson

DE Clemson

ORT, DE, WR(FA), DB, DL, LB, WR,  OG, KR, CB. 

2016 Picks:

1 (19) Shaq Lawson DE Clemson

2 (41) Reggie Ragland LB Alabama

3 (80) Washington DT Ohio St.

4 (139) Cardale Jones QB Ohio St.

5  Jonathan Williams RB Arkansas

6 (192) Kolby Listenbee WR TCU

6 (218) Kevon Seymour CB USC

Key Free Agents Signed:

Leonard Hankerson WR

Cordy Glenn OT (tagged)

Richie Incognito Turnstile

Zach Brown LB

Robert Blanton S 

Key Free Agents:
Josh Johnson, QB 
Jordan Mills, OT 
Alex Carrington, DL 
Key Free Agents Lost:

Kraig Urbik OG

Anthony Dixon RB

Chris Hogan WR

Mario Williams DE

Stefan Charles DL

Nigel Bradham LB 

Leodis McKelvin CB

Ron Brooks CB

The Player: 5/10 The Alabama Four: Reggie Ragland: Part I. N/A

The Reason: "I am not going to get into that," Sexy said about drafting too many defenders. "I am not, there is ownership that was part of me. That was part us, my defense, my offense, my everything. That is a song I think. That has got my stamp on it. So I’ll get that, but so do the other 15 years where I have been a nothing but a top 10 defenses. I think we forget that. But we will see what this one looks like. I am excited about it, I know you are going to see a very physical group, and that usually is a great thing. When you are physical and you play as one I think that is a great sign for us. I am not saying we didn’t. But I am saying this group will be physical. I don’t think there is any doubt about that and they are passionate. They already, I see the closeness, I think also, I got a guy on our football team and said ‘Hey Rex I think we need to run the blitz this way. If we put the nose on this side I think it will be a more effective blitz.’ And I looked at him and said, ‘Man he is right.’ I am like that is pretty good. That is it, it is ownership. It is our defense. Not just mine it is our defense. But ultimately I will stand by the results, I am excited about the results and I think we are going to be in great shape as a football team. Not just on defense or whatever, I think I am excited where our offense is and how we can grow offensively. You know having a starting quarterback going into training camp, now this an ideal situation. Last year we admitted having three guys compete for the job probably wasn’t ideal. But it is this year and we all know who the quarterback is. Is there competition, yeah at a lot of spots but not for that spot."

42.

from

36.

Ravens

Defense: 3-4

 

 

 

 

*Kamalei Correa

OLB Boise ST

6-2, 252, (O) 4.69,

31.5" Arm, 21 Reps, 

33" Vert, 9' Broad,

 

*Ronnie Stanley

OT Fighting Irish

CB, OLT, OLB, WR, CB, LB, OL, NT, RB, WR, QB, 

2016 Picks:

1 (6) Ronnie Stanley OT ND

2 (42) Kamalei Correa LB Boise St.

3 (70) Bronson Kaufusi DE BYU

4 (104) Tavon Young CB Temple

4 (107) Chris Moore WR Cincinnati

4 (130) Alex Lewis OT Nebraska

4 (132) Willie Henry DT Michigan

4 Kenneth Dixon RB Louisiana T.

5 Matt Judon DE Grand Valley ST

6 (182) Keenan Reynolds WR Navy

6 (209) Maurice Canady CB Virginia

Key Free Agents Signed:

Mike Wallace WR

Benjamin Watson TE 

Chris Ivory RB 

Albert McClellan LB

Nigel Bradham LB

Eric Weddle FS

Justin Tucker K

Key F.A.:
Jimmy Clausen QB  
Chris Givens WR  
Allen Reisner TE 

Richard Gordon TE  

Chris Carter LB 
Shareece Wright CB 

Morgan Cox LS 

Key F.A.Lost:

Matt Schaub QB

Kelechi Osemele OT

Daryl Smith LB

Courtney Upshaw LB

Chris Canty DL

Will Hill S

The Team: I had the right position wrong player.

Correa is a pure OLB who can blitz and is great in coverage. "Interesting day," Ozzie said. "We started out with eight picks in the rounds that we had left for the remainder of the draft. [We] got the opportunity to make some trades and were able to acquire two more picks. [We] can have a lot of fun in the fourth round tomorrow, as we have five picks. I don’t know if any team, I guess some of you historians can check, has any team ever had that many picks in one round? If not, we’re going to try to deal with that. It was exciting to do that, and it was even more exciting when we drafted K.C. [Kamalei Correa]. I’m not going to butcher the name. These other guys have been practicing, but when we interviewed him at the Combine, he said, ‘Just call me KC.’ And that’s what I’m going to call him. With he and Bronson [Kaufusi] both, we have some guys with big-time motors that play the game the way we like for it to be played on the defensive side of the ball. K.C. is a guy that can hold the edge but also can give us some pass rush. Also, as our defense evolves this year, he’s also a guy that can stack without having to run from one side to the other, as John and Dean [Pees] are changing the defense. Kaufusi is a guy [whose a little undersized]. We don't know how big he's going to get at this point. He can play two or three different spots for us also. We think we really helped the defense and we really helped our football team by making all of the trades." He will be an OLB in their 3-4. But he can also play ILB, like Jamie Collins, in sub packages. And play some DE with they go into four man line in sub packages as well.

They traded down twice to get the guy the wanted, and ended up with five 4th Round picks. "We had some opportunities, but it was nothing enticing," DeCosta said. "Where we had a chance to go back was a little bit further than where we really wanted to go. We were just moving back in small increments, I guess you could say. That last offer was a little bit further than we wanted. But, once we made the pick with [Kamalei Correa] and accumulated all of those picks, we did try to come back into the bottom of the second round." They are going to have to jettison some of the big name underachievers, and when that happens they better have some backups.

They have added some speed to their defense. "We targeted big, smart, tough, physical and versatile guys this year on defense, and guys that can do a lot of different things," DeCosta said. "We think both K.C. and Bronson can line up at multiple spots. They have multiple skill sets; they do a lot of different things pretty well. Both guys are very, very smart and they’re great kids. We’re 3-for-3 right now, in that we’ve drafted three ‘red star’ players. It’s not by design. We’ve never done that before, but it just fell that way. We got players that our coaches and scouts like. It’s a great start to our big day tomorrow." This is a pick that will probably make more sense in 2017, as Correa has some toughen up to do in the Run game.

He just runs around the corner with more consistency than any other rusher in this Draft. "When you meet him, you’ll see it," Harbaugh said. "We didn’t need to talk too much. He was clean, physically. We knew what his character was. We had 15 minutes; that was all we needed to know. He was on the edge of his seat, looking you right in the eye and answering every question directly." He is a 1st Round talent against the pass, and one of the worst run defenders I have ever seen play OLB and ILB.

He has an elite dip, and can grab the arm and wrist of the OLT to help pull him to the QB. "Absolutely," Harbaugh said when asked if Correa and Kaufusi could rush. "Two major things that these two guys bring to the table, what you just mentioned, they both have pass rush ability. They both get sacks. They are both high-motor players and high-energy pass rushers. These two guys are going to run to the ball. These two guys are going to run to the ball 100 miles an hour every single play. That’s really important on defense." That was more than two things.

The Player: 4/16 Designated Rusher: Kamalei Correa.

The Reason: "I can see why there is a lot of talk, because there is a lot off versatility with those guys," DeCosta said. "We’re a multiple defense. We play what we call ‘under,’ we play ‘over,’ we play a form off ‘odd,’ and we play various nickel fronts. We’ve got two really versatile players. Kamalei [Correa] can play both outside ’backer positions. He can also line up on the edge and rush. We can also move him around in our odd package, what we call the ‘X position,’ a little bit of what Courtney [Upshaw] did rushing inside, and what Pernell [McPhee] did. What’s interesting about Bronson [Kaufusi] is that you can do the same things with him, except he moves as a defensive end in the five-technique position in base. He can still stand up and move around and he can rush off the edge, too. And he has drop ability. He’s an outside ’backer that moves to five-technique and plays ‘X.’ Kamalei is an outside ’backer that can move back off the ball and play linebacker, and rush as an ‘X.’ [We have] lots of versatility with those two guys.”

12.

43.

Titans

Defense: 3-4

Austin Johnson

NT/DT/5-T Penn ST

6-4 1/2, 310, (O) 5.32, Split-1.86, 

7.84 3-Cone, 4.75 SS, 

32 3/4" Arms, 25 Reps.

26" Vert, 8'1" Broad,

 

Jack Conklin-

OLT Michigan ST

 

Noah Spence

OLB Ohio ST

OT, FS, CB, OLB, RB, DT(FA), WR5-T, OL,  TE, WR, CB, ILB, DB, TE(FA), 

2016 Picks:

1 (8) Jack Conklin OT Michigan St.

2 (33) Kevin Dodd DE Clemson

2 (43) Austin Johnson DT/5T Penn St

2 (45) Derrick Henry RB Alabama

3 (64) Kevin Byard S Middle Tenn.

5 (140) Tarjae Sharpe WR UMass

5 (157) LeShaun Sims CB S. Utah

6 (193) Sebastian Tretola G Arkansas

7 (222) Aaron Wallace LB UCLA

7 (253) Kalan Reed DB S. Miss

Key F.A. Signed:

Matt Cassel QB

DeMarco Murray RB

Rishard Matthews WR 

Craig Stevens TE 

Byron Bell OT  

Ben Jones OC

Sean Spence LB 

Coty Sensabaugh CB 

Antwon Blake CB 

Michael Griffin S

Rashad Johnson S 

Key F.A.:
Dorin Dickerson TE   
Jamon Meredith G 

Mike Martin DE 
Al Woods DT 

Sammie Lee Hill DT

Brandon Harris CB 

Key F.A. Lost:

Matt Cassel QB 

Logan Mankins (R)

Joe Looney G

Zach Brown LB

Steven Johnson LB

The Team: Like an idiot, I listened to the "experts" and moved Johnson into the 3rd Round. "We've targeted Austin for a while there," Jon Robinson said. "He can play nose, he can play five technique, he can play three technique. There is a lot of versatility along the defensive line with him. He’s got some quickness. He's actually got some ability to shoot gaps and win on third down situations too as a sub rush." This was a great pick. He reminds me a ton of Malcolm Brown.

It was for him to fall this far. "Being a competitor, all of us want to go first round and stuff like that," Johnson said. "You hear stuff, but those things never really end up going like they’re supposed to. I’m a guy who is going to grind, going to work hard and do whatever he can to get on the field and make an impact as quick as I can and help the team to get some wins." You get labeled an NT and teams get scared to draft you. But this kid, like Brown, can get up field and disrupt the quarterback as well as be a force against the run.
He played in a 4-3 last season, but he will be playing in an Odd front for the Titans. "We’ve targeted Austin for a while there," Robinson said. "He can play nose. He can play five technique. He can play three technique. There is a lot of versatility along the defensive line with him. He’s got some quickness. He’s actually got some ability to shoot gaps and win on third down situations too as a sub rush." That is why I don't want to call him a NT. He is so much more.
Already knowing a DL in the Titans will help him. "I get to play with my teammate DaQuan and just being in Tennessee," Johnson said. "I visited there and absolutely loved it and I’m just happy I’m able to be a Titan." So he will have a leg up transitioning to the NFL.

The Player: 3/24 The Penn State Three Part III: Anthony Zettel.

The Reason: It is all about transitioning to the NFL for them. "When we scout players and evaluate players, we really talk about, 'What are they going to be in their second year?'" Robinson said. "It's such a big transition for college players to make that transition from the college game to the pro game. So that’s really how we evaluate." It will take a while to develop most of these guys into starters. 
They will use him in multiple ways. "They’re trying to learn a new city, they’re trying to learn a new offense or defense, they’re learning new teammates," Robinson said. "It's important to give those guys some time. And if [they develop into starters] at some point in their first year that's great. But I think by their second season we would expect those guys, if we've evaluated them as starting-level players, to reach that level." He could start at nose tackle, but also play DT and 5-tech when needed.

They will bring this giant crop of rookies along slowly. "We've got some good football players on the team already," Robinson said. "So I don’t know how many of them are going to go pencil in and be 'the guy,' but I could see them moving ahead of players on our football team if they come in and do what they’re supposed to do and compete and win those jobs. I think we got five eventual starters." But when you have that many high picks on your roster, some of them are gong to have start some games.

13.

44.

Raiders

Defense: 4-3

Jihad Ward

DL Illinois

6-5.1, 298, (U) 5.11 

(PD) 5.07, Split-1.77, 

33.7" Arms, 22 Reps, 

25" Vert, 9'3" Broad,

7.3 3-Cone, 4.63 SS,

 

 

Karl Joseph-

SS WVU

S, CB, WR, OL(FA), DL, DT, S, CB, 

2016 Picks:

1 (14) Karl Joseph S West Virginia

2 (44) Jihad Ward DE Illinois

3 (75) Shilique Calhoun DE Mich ST

4 (100) Connor Cook QB Michigan St.

5 DeAndre Washington RB Texas T.

6 (194) Cory James LB Colorado St.

7 (234) Vadal Alexander G LSU

Key F.A. Signed:

Andre Holmes WR 

Donald Penn OT

Kelechi Osemele OT

Bruce Irvin LB 

Aldon Smith LB 

Daren Bates LB

Sean Smith CB 

Reggie Nelson S 

Key F.A.: 

Khalif Barnes OT   
Justin Tuck DE  

Thomas Gafford LS 
Marquette King  P 

Key F.A. Lost:

Rod Streater WR

Jeremy Ross WR  

Tony Bergstrom OC

J'Marcus Webb OG

Taylor Mays DB

The Team: The Raiders needed to get a DT to play with their two veterans inside. I like him more as 3-4 as a 5-tech stack and shed DL. "Well, start with J-Dub, with Ward," del Rio said. "I think we think he has a great upside. We think he's a big, athletic defensive lineman that can play multiple positions. He can play a 5-technique, defensive-ended five technique. Move inside and play a 3-technique. The reason I speak to the upside, he’s relatively young at the position. He was more of an athlete-type guy that is fairly young at that position, at the defensive line position. So he has a chance to really grow as he learns technique. On film, he’s a guy that stays on his feet, chases the ball, plays hard and does a great job finishing, getting off blocks and making plays in the run game in particular right now. We’ll need to develop him as a pass rusher. He’s more of an interior defensive lineman, will play some defensive tackle and possibly some closed end. [Ward is a] good, big, active guy." He displays some great athleticism on the field, but is not the sum of his parts yet.

He had a tough story, and took a long road to take to get to Illinois. "I think when you get a chance to talk with him, you’ll find that he's probably closest to Amari," Del Rio said. "He's going to choose his words carefully, very serious young man. He’s come through quite a bit to make it where he is now, having an opportunity to join the Oakland Raiders. It’s a special story. Clearly, those kinds of stories are a lot better than some of the others that you hear. It’s all part of it. We’re not just looking for good stories, we’re looking for good football players. When you have a good player who has talent, who has upside, who has athleticism and has shown the desire and the traits that you’re looking for, you know that he’s going to come in and be a good teammate and work his butt off. That’s a positive for sure." He ended up in JuCo, and then Illinois. 

They think he can come right in and have an impact. "He should," Del Rio said. "He will have a chance to. He’ll have to earn that through his effort on the field but we are going to give him an opportunity to come in and join this football team, be himself, and find his place on the team. As we do with all of our guys, we ask them to be great teammates first, to come in here, work with respect, come to work every day ready to give everything you have and to compete and earn your way. We will let him do that, as we will all of the young men that we’re drafting this weekend. We select these guys, they’re prospects with the opportunity. We will sign some after the draft and have some undrafted [players] come in and really give them the same opportunity in terms of… We’ll do it on the field. We’ll figure it out on the field." He has the physical traits needed to start right away, but still has some learning to do.

The Player: He has some quickness moving in space. Good feet in bag drill. Nice hands in bag drills. Showed a little heaviness. "6-foot-5 1/4, 298 pounds ran the 40-yard dash in 5.07 and 5.1 seconds," Gil Brandt said about his Proday. "He had a 28-inch vertical jump and 9-foot-2 broad jump. He did the 20-yard short shuttle in 4.86 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.3 seconds. He performed 22 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. Ward had a good pro day workout, moving very well in the position drills. He is just learning to play football. Ward was a wide receiver and safety in high school, then played two years at Globe Institute of Technology in Manhattan, before playing his final two seasons of college ball at Illinois. Ward has a fascinating back story, and is very raw as a football player and has room to grow (for a sense of his athleticism, check out this Instagram post of him dunking)." He has some explosion in his hips that he can use to give a heavy hit. Rare athlete for a guy his size. Explosive fighter inside. Didn't create the stats you would want for a player with his physical traits. I question his instincts. Great heavy hands. Great feet and power. He has some great feet and can move around in space with some surprising quickness.
He has so much potential, and just needs a little coaching and put in the right positions to become a dominate player. "There is a lot of upside and growth potential there because of some of the technique stuff that he will learn," Del Rio said. "He is not a raw player. He played against Big Ten linemen and he has moved along the line. He has played all the way out as a nine technique all the way down to into a three technique. He has been exposed to a lot of football. And, defensive line is not as complex as playing quarterback. We think we can help him grow as a player and we like what we are starting with." If they can get him to see things quicker he could be a great one.

He plays so hard and with such heart that you can see he clearly loves the game. But he needs to get to the ball more. "He's not a big stats guy, if that’s what you’re talking about," Del Rio said. "We thought he played very well in some of the games that he played throughout the season. The whole body work is what we look at. It’s not any one exposure. He’s going to be a good football player." He has the hands, strength and fight, and quickness to get to the QB and RB a lot more.

2015: All-Big Ten honorable mention by the coaches and media. Ted Hendricks Award Midseason Watch List (best defensive end). Started all 12 games on the defensive line, playing both defensive end and defensive tackle. 53 tackles, 3.5 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, two PBUs, two QB hurries one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Career-high 11 tackles, including nine solo, at Iowa. 1.0 TFL, 0.5 sack at Purdue. Sack for an 8-yard loss at Penn State. Fumble recovery and nine tackles vs. Middle Tennessee. Forced fumble vs. Wisconsin. Seven tackles vs. Ohio State.

Iowa: He will play blindside D-end in Even sub packages. He can use his burst to get the OLT off balance, and then break inside. They will shift him to the strongside as well. Doesn't look as explosive on strongside. He is better in Odd fronts, grabbing shirt to control the blocker, and then grabbing the RB. He can play too high sometimes. He can get to the outside shoulder of the ORT, but has trouble turning the corner on the edge. He needs to be inside. He can use his hands to win on his second move after the blast off. I love how he can use his hands and feet to flash past the OLT, and go and get the RB from the side. When he is at D-end, he just destroys RBs from the side. He can push the OLT up, and slide to the middle of the field and catch the RB on the goal line. He can run around the ORT sometimes. 

Penn State: He is a crushing run defender inside. He can burst up field and rip down the little RB trying to get outside on the sweep. Swoops in from the side to take the RB down. Likes to leap on top of the RB, so his legs collapse, and crush him to the ground. He flashed past the OLT and dived on top of Hackenberg for a nice Sack. Falls for play action a little too much. He is clearly a run first defender. He should play in a 3-4 as he is one of the best stack and shed players in this Draft. He is such a great read and react player. He can hold up the OLT on the edge, as the RB runs towards him, and the push him off and make the tackle. He needs a little time to read the play.
Senior Bowl: He can put the OG on skates right off the snap. He will be a 3-Tech on passing downs, and collapse the pocket. Once he gets comfortable, OGs will hate to see him on passing downs. He looks like an NFL 5-Tech to me. Great quick hands, that he flashes in circles to chop off the OL's hands. When he wins early, he can really control the blocker. 

14.

45.

Titans

Defense: 3-4

*Derrick Henry

RB Alabama

6-2 5/8, 247! (O) 4.54, 
(U) 4.52, 11.5 60-yard!
10'10"! 37" Vert! 
33" Arms, 22 Reps,
7.2 3-C, 4.38 SS,

 

Jack Conklin-

OLT Michigan ST

 

Noah Spence

OLB Ohio ST

 

Austin Johnson

NT/DT/5-T Penn ST

OT, FS, CB, OLB, RB, DT(FA), WR5-T, OL,  TE, WR, CB, ILB, DB, TE(FA), 

2016 Picks:

1 (8) Jack Conklin OT Michigan St.

2 (33) Kevin Dodd DE Clemson

2 (43) Austin Johnson DT/5T Penn St

2 (45) Derrick Henry RB Alabama

3 (64) Kevin Byard S Middle Tenn.

5 (140) Tarjae Sharpe WR UMass

5 (157) LeShaun Sims CB S. Utah

6 (193) Sebastian Tretola G Arkansas

7 (222) Aaron Wallace LB UCLA

7 (253) Kalan Reed DB S. Miss

Key F.A. Signed:

Matt Cassel QB

DeMarco Murray RB

Rishard Matthews WR 

Craig Stevens TE 

Byron Bell OT  

Ben Jones OC

Sean Spence LB 

Coty Sensabaugh CB 

Antwon Blake CB 

Michael Griffin S

Rashad Johnson S 

Key F.A.:
Dorin Dickerson TE   
Jamon Meredith G 

Mike Martin DE 
Al Woods DT 

Sammie Lee Hill DT

Brandon Harris CB 

Key F.A. Lost:

Matt Cassel QB 

Logan Mankins (R)

Joe Looney G

Zach Brown LB

Steven Johnson LB

The Team: I had the right position, but the wrong player.

Henry is the steal of the Draft in the 2nd Round. "He is an imposing figure. He rushed for 2,000 yards in the SEC, and that’s phenomenal," George said of Henry. "I think he is going to be successful in the NFL. Let’s not kid ourselves here: He is not a guy who is going to come in and be a bust. I think he has the physical stature to be as great as he wants to be. It’s just a question of: Can he be more than just a bruiser? If he can prove he can pick up the blitzes and so forth, and he can catch the ball out of the backfield and be an asset in the passing game, he can really be special. I am not concerned about his running style at all. I think he can be a dominant back in this league." He is better than DeMarco Murray already.
He is so reminiscent of Eddie George. "His strength and his size," Eddie George said. "He has exceptional breakaway speed. I think Henry is an A, A-plus guy. The guy rushed for 2,000 yards last year. He can take over a game when he gets going. I like his style." He has his size and strength, but Henry is faster in the open field.
It seems that everyone forgot that he won the Heisman and rushed for over 2,000-yards last season. "He's a good football player, and I think that was evident in winning the Heisman Trophy," Titan's GM Jon Robinson said. "He is big. He is physical. He is fast, and plays the kind of football we want to play. He is tough. He is accountable, and he is going to embody everything we are about as a Titan." I got sick when I heard some so called expert say he isn't fast. No one catches Henry from behind!
While they over ran him last season, he was a back up for two years and still has fresh legs. "I think we have a good group of backs," Mularkey said. "Now we have a very competitive position, maybe one of the more competitive positions on the field. There will be a rhyme and reason why we are doing things with both of them at times. It is a really nice thing to have." So if they go with Murray to start the season, Henry has experience as a backup. 

Plus, he is great 3rd down back. "I told DeMarco, look, nothing has changed since we made the trade for you," Mularkey said with some malarkey. "You’re still the guy that's going to carry the load for us. When you need to take a break and come off the field there will be no letdown from the next one that comes in, whoever that is. So, that’s our mindset, and I told him that directly not soon after we made that pick so that he was clear on the direction that we were going to go with it." So if he is serious about Murray starting, Henry has great hands out of the backfield, and gives a great hit in pass pro. He doesn't sustain blocks well enough sometimes, but he knocks blitzers down with hits in pass pro in the backfield.
There is nothing that helps a young QB more than a power run game. "You have to be able to run the football to win games," Mularkey said. "You have to be able to establish the run. And as you watch the playoffs each year, the teams that are running the football and are having the most success running the football are the teams that are winning." Henry is now one of the biggest power backs in the NFL with freakish long speed.
I thought it was surprise that they took Henry. "When they got DeMarco, I didn't think they would choose me," Henry said. "Which I am glad they did. After the Combine, we didn’t get to talk much." But it makes perfect sense in retrospect. Henry was the most difficult player to classify. So him going to the Titans, the home of Eddie George, makes sense. Since George is one of the few RBs that you can realistically compare him too.

The Player: 4/07 The Alabama Three Part I: Derrick Henry.

The Reason: He should come right in and start competing with Murray right away. "I'm not worried about it at all," Henry said about Murray. "I'm just going to come in and compete and get better every day. DeMarco is a great back and had great success. So I'm just going to learn from him, compete every day and try get better." The best news is that they can take carries off each others knees, and hopefully add a few years to each others careers.
They both can run inside and catch the ball out of the backfield. "There'll be a rhyme and reason we're doing things with both of them at times," Mularkey said. "Third down will be a big factor in protections. Both of them are very good in protections. Talking about every down we've got a fresh, physical, player running the football or blocking for us. So it's a really nice thing to have." Murray is better running outside, while Henry is a more powerful blocker in pass pro.
They both should compliment each other wonderfully, to the benefit of Mariota. "I'm not worried about it at all," Henry said. "I'm just going to come in and compete and get better every day. DeMarco is a great back and had great success. So I'm just going to learn from him, compete every day and try get better." The Titans just got a lot better.

Second Choice: Alex Collins RB

15.

46.

Lions

Defense: 4-3

A-Shawn Robinson-

DT Alabama 

6-5, 237, (O) 4.57, PD-4.55,

32.1" Arm, 18 Reps,

6.8 3-C! (O) 4.13,

10'6" Broad! 35" Vert, 

 

Taylor Decker

OT Ohio State

DE/PR, WR, S, DL(FA), OT, RB, DL, OL, S, LB, DL, WR, OL,

2016 Picks:

1 (16) Taylor Decker OT Ohio St.

2-46 A’Shawn Robinson DT Alabama

3 (95) Graham Glasgow C Michigan

4 (111) Miles Killebrew SS, S. Utah

5 (151) Joe Dahl G Washington St.

5 (169) Antwione Williams LB Georgia Southern

6 (191) Jake Rudock QB Michigan

6 (202) Anthony Zettel DT Penn St.

6 (210) Jimmy Landes LS Baylor

7 (236) Dwayne Washington RB Washington

Key F.A. Signed:

Dan Orlovsky QB

Stevan Ridley RB

Marvin Jones WR

Tim Wright TE

Geoff Schwartz OL

Haloti Ngata DT 

Tyrunn Walker DT 

Stefan Charles DL

Tahir Whitehead LB

Crezdon Butler CB

Johnson Bademosi CB

Darrin Walls CB

Rafael Bush S

Tavon Wilson S

Key F.A.:

Lance Moore WR  
Bear Pascoe TE 
Corey Wootton DE

 Darryl Tapp DE 

Jason Jones DE/DT
Jermelle Cudjo DT  

Josh Wilson CB  

James Ihedigbo S 

Don Muhlbach LS 

Key F.A. Lost:

Calvin Johnson WR (R)

Manny Ramirez OG 

Travis Lewis LB 

Isa Abdul-Quddus S

The Team: You win football games with your lines. "That's where I believe you win football games," Quinn said. "You win football games in the trenches and you’ve got to have big, strong, tough, durable, versatile guys in there. You know, I think both of the picks today kind of show what the scouting process is all about, about guys that might be big-school guys, but have different backgrounds. When you do all the research and all the work on all the players and you sit there and talk about these players, you want to say, 'Do you want these guys to be Lions?' I can say unequivocally, ‘Yes’ on both these guys." Robinson has more upside than a lot of the big DTs in this Draft.
He was a basketball player in high school, and is still learning the game. "I think talking to our coaches and the way that they want to run our defensive line, you know, we have I think eight or nine guys active every week on the defensive line," Quinn said. "You know, Coach Kocurek and Coach Austin and Coach Caldwell, you know, they want to use multiple guys and keep guys fresh. So, I think that’s important for any scheme, but definitely what we’re doing." He will come off the bench to start and help keep the veterans fresh.
He offers a lot of versatility on the line. "When we do the evaluation process it's important to not only look at the player and what position they play in college," Quinn said, "but have they played a position previously in their sophomore, their freshman year. And when you're projecting to the NFL, can they play a different position? As we know, we can only dress 46 players, so every roster spot that we bring to the game is vitally important. So, if a guy can play more than one spot it adds to his value." He has played: nose tackle, 5-Tech, 3-tech, and DT in sub packages at Alabama.

The Player: 5/10 The Alabama Four: A'Shawn Robinson: Part II. N/A

The Reason: Robinson offers some terrific size and strength benefits to the Lions D-line. He is already big, and will only get bigger and stronger once he is in the Lions weight room program. "Absolutely," Quinn said about him wanting to get bigger and strong upfront. "That was one of my goals going into the draft and I felt like there was a lot of players at different levels of the draft that we could do that. So, it was a goal of mine, it was a goal of Coach Caldwell’s and I think we followed through on that." They made both of their lines bigger and stronger with their first two picks.

16.

47.

Saints

Defense: 4-3

Michael Thomas

WR Ohio State 

6-5, 237, (O) 4.57, PD-4.55,

32.1" Arm, 18 Reps,

6.8 3-C! (O) 4.13,

10'6" Broad! 35" Vert, 

 

Shaq Lawson

DE Clemson

Defense,

2016 Picks: 

1 (12) Sheldon Rankins DT Louisville

2 (47) Michael Thomas WR Ohio St.

2 (61) Vonn Bell S Ohio St.

4 (120) David Onyemata DT Manitoba

7 (237) Daniel Lasco RB California

Key F.A. Signed: 

Luke McCown QB

Coby Fleener TE

Michael Hoomanawanui TE

Tim Hightower RB

Travaris Cadet RB 

Nick Fairley DL 

James Laurinaitis LB

Craig Robertson LB

Jamarca Sanford S

Kai Forbath K

Key F.A.:  
Matt Flynn QB 
Kendall Hunter RB  
Tony Hills OT 

Mike McGlynn OT  
Kevin Williams DT 

Anthony Spencer LB 
James Anderson LB

Chris Owens CB 
Kyle Wilson CB    

Key Free Agents Lost:

Benjamin Watson TE 

Khiry Robinson RB

The Team: This has to be the worst pick in the NFL Draft (besides trading up for a kicker), for the worst defense in the NFL. "They're similar type players that way," Sean Payton said about Brandon Coleman. "They’re large and will compete. They’re big players with strong hands. It’s in no way a reflection on how we feel about Brandon. It was just a graded player that we just saw who had a skill set that we felt real strong about. Again, I would tell you that with that player we had him graded really high in that position group." Don't get me wrong, I like Thomas as a prospect.

But they needed to vastly improve their defense to be legit defenders. "He's big, competitive," Payton said. "I love his hands in traffic and I think he has a very unique skillset. He has real strong hands and has some good runs after the catch. You watch him workout and you watch him compete and you see game film after game film and at times it’s hard based on what they do [at Ohio State] offensively, but I love his size and his competitive nature and his makeup is outstanding." He is a big strong guy who has some nice suddenness in his shoulder running patterns. 
He bursts open in patterns with great burst out of breaks, but can be inconsistent doing it. "You have to really dig on tape," Payton said. "Really spend time on finding his touches and attempts. He was someone that when the process was over with we had at the receiver position real high on that list. We love his skillset." His lack of production was a result of all the weapons their QBs had to throw to, and not always using his elite burst out of breaks.

Plus, it never hurts when you know these guys coaches. "I think it matters some," Payton understates. "David (Shaw Stanford HC) and I worked together for a period of time at the Eagles. Urban (Meyer) and I came up out of the Midwest at the same time. He was at Colorado State as an assistant and I was at San Diego State recruiting the same areas and over the years (we) have just always kind of stayed in touch. Todd (Grantham) is someone I probably knew a little later in my career. I think it varies but I think that is just another part of the process, additional information that is helpful. It is how Zach (Strief) got drafted really. Randy Walker, a guy that I worked for back in college at Miami University in Ohio was someone where it was rare to get a compliment or a strong endorsement from. I think that is part of the evaluation process. Not the only part but they can help when you are trying to decide from two different players. You have less and less of them as you get older at the college level. Early on, there a lot of peers that you worked with while you were in college. The longer you are at this level, a lot of your contacts are at the NFL level or may not be coaching anymore. It is good to see some of those guys doing well." You can bet your bottom dollar he had all the inside scoops on Thomas: his work ethic, his work in the weight room, working with teammates, working with coaches, etc. 

The Player: 4/20 Michael Thomas: He Checks All the Boxes: Part II. 

The Reason: He reminds me more of Colston than Coleman "He is a big and physical receiver, just how I would consider myself," Thomas said. "Colston had a tremendous career there. When they let him go, someone has to fill that role. It’s football. It’s a game of chess and everyone has to make those moves. He was a tremendous part of their success. I remember watching Monday Night Football and (seeing) him make a ton of plays with Drew Brees. It is still just shocking to me to be in this situation. I am just ready to get to work." He was taken to replace Coleman.
Thomas is a big WR, who is going to run similar patterns as Coleman ran. "My competitiveness, my routes, my hands, my ability to high point the ball and just my passion for the game and it’s where I have the most fun and I love to compete," Thomas said. "They were real honest at my pro day. I saw he (Johnny Morton) had his eyes on me the whole time and he watched me real hard and we had real honest conversations and he told me just finish my routes and work on pumping my arms all the way through my routes and finish them. But he was being real honest with the stuff he was telling me and I just went and added it to my game and I just loved it. I loved the way he coached me in the small amount of time at my pro day." It might not be this season, but he will be starting in 2017 in Colston's old role.