A Scouts Take: 15 Thoughts on the NFL Draft

The Patriots won’t get Mark Barron unless they trade up for him.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

With the NFL Draft only 21 days away, my 15 thoughts return to take a look at all topics draft related. Who is rising, who is falling and what can we expect to see happen early in the draft. All that and much more in this week’s installment.

1. One player who has been rising up draft boards throughout the draft process and continues to rise today is Boise State DE/OLB Shea McClellin. I became a big fan of McClellin after watching him work out with the linebackers in Mobile, and it seems NFL scouts really liked what they saw from him there as well.  

When the NFL Draft process began in January, McClellin was thought of as a mid round pick, perhaps a late 3rd round grade. After the Senior Bowl, where he showed how versatile he could be, and a terrific combine performance where he showed he was one of the most athletic linebackers in the draft, his stock began to soar. 

McClellin is still generating a lot of positive buzz. Over the course of the last week McClellin has routinely been mocked in the late first round to teams such as the Patriots and Packers. While I still think the first might be a little rich for McClellin, he won’t be on the board after pick 45. If a team in the late first covets him, they will have to take him there.

2. Another player who is quickly rising up the boards is Arkansas receiver Greg Childs. Childs is attempting to comeback from a devestating patella tendon injury.

Prior to the knee injury in 2010 he was considered one of the top receiver prospects in the entire country and a possible first round pick. His patella tendon injury destroyed any chance of that happening as it essentially ruined his final two seasons in Fayetteville.

However, Childs showed up at the NFL combine in February looking fully healed. He looked great going through drills and put up a very good 40 time of 4.55, which started to turn his draft stock. A few days after the combine Childs wowed scouts in attendance at the Arkansas pro day, running as fast as 4.45 and looking like his old self.

When fully healthy Childs boasts a combination of size, speed and ability to get open that only a few other receivers have in this years draft. Childs won’t go in the first round, that ship has sailed, but has improved his stock dramatically.

When the Razorbacks’ season ended, it appeared Childs would be a late round pick after a very unproductive year. He now looks like he could see himself come off the board somewhere on day two of the draft, which is remarakable considering what he’s come back from.

When we look back on this draft in five years, I wouldn’t be surprised if Childs ends up having the best career out of the three Razorback wide receivers projected to be drafted.

3.  Now that the free agent signing period has slowed down and the QB musical chairs has ended, it’s much easier to project the landing spot for some of the draft’s top quarterbacks.

We all know that Andrew Luck and RGIII are going to be the top two picks, so that leaves Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill as the only elite QB left between the draft and free agency.

With a number of teams filling their QB needs, there are only a couple remaining that could really afford to spend a top pick on a QB. One of those teams is the Cleveland Browns who pick at #4. Many analysts project Tannehill to be the pick at four because he would be a natual fit for Mike Holmgren’s west coast offense.

While the fit may make sense, I just can’t see the Browns spending a top five pick on Tannehill. The Browns have big needs all over that roster and own another pick in the middle of the first round.

Assuming the Browns pass on Tannehill, that leaves only one landing spot for Tannehill and that is with the Miami Dolphins with the #8 selection. Nobody has any clue what the Dolphins have been up to this off-season, but one thing is still certain, they need a long term solution at QB.

Mike Sherman, who was Tannehill’s coach at TAMU is now the Dolphins offensive coordinator, so the fit is natural. I don’t see anyway the Dolphins can afford to pass on Tannehill, who I actually project to be better than a lot of the QBs (Locker, Gabbert, Ponder) who went in the same range last year. If the Dolphins do pass on Tannehill, it’s tough to figure out where he would land, as there aren’t too many teams that make sense.

4. The one player who most draft analysts consider a top 20 player in this draft that I’m just not a huge fan of is South Carolina DE/OLB Melvin Ingram. I really want to like Ingram but when I watch him on film I just have too many questions.

First of all, Ingram has a unique build for both the DE and OLB position. He has some of the shortest arms of any defender in the draft, which does raise a red flag for some teams.

Finding a natural position for Ingram is going to be challenging. When I watch him on film, I see a player who doesn’t make nearly as many plays as he should. He flashes at times, but gets blocked and taken out of the play too easy for me. I think with his size he is going to be too small to play 4-3 DE, at least for most teams, meaning he is going to have to play standing up.

He’s not someone who is very explosive off the snap and instead relies on strength and effort to create pressure. I do think Ingram could have some success in certain situations and in the right scheme, but if I’m going to use a top 20 pick on Ingram, I want him to provide constant pass rush and I am not sure that he can.

5. Mark Barron has been consistently linked to and mocked to the Patriots for the last few months. As the draft draws closer it looks like the possibility of it actually happening is slim.

Barron’s stock has been climbing for the past month despite the fact that he hasn’t been 100% for the entire draft process. He has drawn interest from a number of teams, all of whom pick well before the Patriots in round one.

Barron is the best safety in the draft by a large margin and a number of teams are in need of a starting safety. It now looks as if Barron’s range will be between pick #12 which the Seattle Seahawks own and pick #20 with Tennessee. The Jets who pick at number 16 also are rumored to have interest.

While the fit for the Patriots makes sense, the only way they are going to get him is if they trade up and I don’t think it’s likely Bill Belichick will trade up for a safety.

Continue to Page: 1 2 3

Tags: , , , , ,

13 Responses to “A Scouts Take: 15 Thoughts on the NFL Draft”

  1. Bob Shannon says:

    Trading Both 27 & 31 to get more picks is where my interests lie….Would St Louis make a trade for their 33 & 39 picks,or a 3rd & 5th with the 33rd???? Six picks is not accomplishing what I want out of the draft if I’m BB….

  2. qwerty says:

    >The Patriots linebackers were awful in coverage last year. They were routinely picked on in coverage and struggled to cover receivers, ends and backs.

    Sure they were awful with so many starting LB’s on injury list. Guyton played a major role in the awfulness.

    Once Mayo and Spikes for healthy, patriots coverage defense over middle really tightened up. I saw nothing much to complain about after that.

    >The need for a coverge linebacker is perhaps the most pressing need remaining on the team.

    it is definitely not a pressing need and certainly not anything major

    What the patriots need at LB is replacement for guyton and that is all

    Patriots need to grab a CB and WR since the draft seems to be more loaded at those positions. The draft next year will be loaded with Safety’s so that is time to draft. With added depth at CB, they can move McCourty to safety if push comes to shove.

    • qwerty says:

      Also Fletcher went down also.

    • Mark says:

      Where does Ryan Mallet valuate against this crop of QBs?

      • Ken W says:

        I would say if Mallett was in this draft, ranking them on talent and ability then he would be in the 3rd spot behind Luck and RG3. What caused him to drop last year was off the field issues and people questioned his maturity.

        • qwerty says:

          In this draft, 3rd spot would be an easy lock for mallet and maybe even vie for number 2.

          I suspect that Mallet may go down in history as one of the best QB bargains like Brady did with so many teams bypassing him.

  3. George R says:

    When i see McClellin, I see Vrabel….Size, speed a little taller than Mike. He’s a rare athlete that can do a loy of things. I think he projects better than Mercilus, IMO is an edge rusher. McClellin is a 3 down player. Ergo a 1st rounder. BB could finally replace Vrabel. Ninkovich is playing better, still not as good as Vrabel. I think this kid could rotate in day 1 and by the end of the Season should be a full time starter. The goal of taking a guy in the 1st.
    Barron seems unlikely, unless BB is all in and get’s in front of the Jets @ 16. Can BB find a trade partner in the early to mid-teens?

    • Jim R says:

      I think if they are going to get McClellin he will not last until 48. He could be thier first round pick. I would be very suprised if they selected at 27 and 31.

  4. BILL says:

    I think bengals just cut one of their safeties, so there’s another in the market, at 17 or 21. Barron will surely be gone by 27.

    I completely agree that Pats need a coverage LB, and their appears to be a few very fast guys aavailable 2nd round. Bobby Wagner is one, but Mychal Kendricks, demario Davis, and Nigel Bradham are all fast and pretty fluid guys that are in the 6′-6’2 area. I’d love to see one of these guys at #62. I’d like to get Childs or Quick at 62 also.

    With all the value in that 40-70 area of the draft, It wouldn’t surprise me to see 27 or 31 moving down 10-15 spots to get an extra 3-4th rd pick. Somebody gonna want to get The TE Fleener before the Giants pick him or to grab QB before the 2nd day

    • Jim R says:

      Bill, I agree with your views. Recent history has shown us that BB has a field day moving around in rounds 2-5. This year will be no different. It would not shock me if he picks a fatty (OL) in round 1. If he does I think that means both Light and waters will retire.

  5. Dan says:

    Sorry to day that I agree that Barron will never make it to them; that’s been my opinion the last month, and was only confirmed with his work out.
    The only hope is these other teams with interest (and need) will see a bigger need elsewhere…a more sexy pick for the fans, for their jobs being on the line, to sell tickets, or just to fill a bigger need. Philly was said to have interest and need at safety, but they lost Peters at LT and now that could push them to draft there…for example (even though they signed the dude from Buffalo).
    Let’s hope the Jets take Upshaw and he slips down to 19 or 20, or so, then maybe we’ll move up to grab him.

    • Dan says:

      My hunch is he won’t, or can’t (we’ll never know) move up, and he will reach for Harrison Smith, but only at 31. We need that player at safety and I think Smith has the measurables and the smarts to build on. I’m not in love with his game like some (mayock), but he does look like he could be an upgrade…and a fill for major hole.
      I feel Gregory was just insurance and wishful thinking…he could be a special teamer only, back up, and then cut next year. But, he’ll get a shot and they gave him some money to see…I like the move…the admission of the need.

  • Categories

  • Search NEPD Archives

  • Archives