Every draftnik thinks they can do a better job of picking players than most real General Managers so I decided to put my expertise to the test. For the sixth year in a row I will be selecting prospects for my own hypothetical NFL team using the following guidelines:
• I will get one selection in the middle of every round of the draft. • In each round I can only select a prospect who actually went in that frame. • I can't take anyone who was selected before my mid-round slot. • I can't choose more than one prospect at each position. • I will also be allowed to sign one undrafted free agent. • I will not be selecting for any particular offensive or defensive scheme.
So without further adieu here is my sixth annual "Dream Draft":
Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia 6-2⅜ | 245 | 4.92
For two years Jones was one of the most dynamic defenders in the country, racking up 44 TFL and 28 Sacks against elite competition. However, as with Terrell Suggs many jumped off the bandwagon when Jones ran a couple tenths of a second slower than expected in workouts. I never wavered and am thrilled to land an impact pass rusher in the second half of Round 1. Florida DT Sharrif Floyd and Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert were also considered but this was a pretty easy decision.
It would have taken me all of two seconds to turn in the card with this pick. Brown might be a bit undersized but he is athletic, fast and likes to hit - a la Lavonte David who I chose last year. I was very high on Brown throughout the entire process and actually had him at #20 in my overall rankings. It wasn't particularly close but the list of primary alternatives was comprised of Southeastern Louisiana CB Robert Alford, Alabama RB Eddie Lacy and Ohio St. DT Johnathan Hankins.
Actual: Round 2 - Baltimore Ravens (#56 Overall)
Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M 6-4½ | 250 | 4.95
At one point it appeared as though Moore would be a Top 10 overall pick after posting 45 TFL and 26.5 Sacks in just three seasons. Awful workouts and maturity concerns ultimately led to Moore free-falling in the draft but I still had a late first round grade on the Aggies pass rusher. This is a very risky pick that could very well blow up in my face but I have to be faithful to my board. Georgia DT John Jenkins and L.S.U. DE Sam Montgomery were the other possibilities that I looked at.
Actual: Round 3 - New York Giants (#81 Overall)
Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina 5-11¼ | 221 | 4.60
If you look up durability concerns in the dictionary there is probably a picture of Lattimore, who would have gone much earlier if not for multiple major knee injuries. Hopefully Lattimore can kick that injury bug in the pros like Frank Gore. That may be wishful thinking but you can't help but root for the kid. I also thought about Louisiana Tech WR Quinton Patton, UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin and Ohio St. OLB John Simon. Can't believe USC QB Matt Barkley almost fell this far!
Actual: Round 4 - San Francisco 49ers (#131 Overall)
Jordan Mills, OT, Louisiana Tech 6-5 | 316 | 5.37
I first became a fan of Mills at the 2013 Senior Bowl, where I was impressed by his aggressiveness and nasty demeanor. I also got a kick out of his nickname - "Big Sexy Nasty". Mills isn't flashy but he's just a good football player. Since I took a running back earlier neither Joseph Randle of Oklahoma St. or Mike Gillislee of Florida were options so UCLA P Jeff Locke was the runner-up. I'm kind of bummed that I missed out on Western Kentucky DE Quanterus Smith earlier in the round.
Actual: Round 5 - Chicago Bears (#163 Overall)
Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia 6-0½ | 211 | 4.64
I just missed out on two personal favorites in Virginia Tech WR Corey Fuller and Colorado TE Nick Kasa as well as a couple of guys that unexpectedly slid in Clemson RB Andre Ellington and San Jose St. OL David Quessenberry. Rambo is a nice value as well though and might have been selected on Day Two if not for concerns about his intangibles. However, in Round 6 the potential rewards far outweigh those risks. Georgia DE / OLB Cornelius Washington was in the mix too.
Actual: Round 6 - Washington Redskins (#191 Overall)
Aaron Mellette, WR, Elon 6-2½ | 217 | 4.54
Ideally I would have nabbed Harding OLB Ty Powell with my final choice but that wasn't an option since I already selected a prospect at that position. Mellette isn't a bad Plan B though. A big, athletic pass catcher who was dominant against a lower lever of competition, Mellette is rough around the edges and will require some patience and development but the tools are there for him to compete for a starting job a few years down the line. Ohio St. OT Reid Fragel was also in the conversation.
Actual: Round 7 - Baltimore Ravens (#238 Overall)
Undrafted Free Agent
Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee 6-1⅜ | 248 | 4.90
It is not an exaggeration to suggest Bray may be the most physically talented signal caller in this class, which is why I had him in my Top 100 overall. In hindsight I would have been more conservative with that grade had I known the full extent of his dubious intangibles but at this point Bray is certainly worth rolling the dice on. Bray is a classic boom or bust prospect but the stakes are low and this move could pay off in a big way if he ever fulfills his undeniably vast potential.
Actual: Undrafted - Signed by the Kansas City Chiefs
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