6’1” – 238 lbs. – 4.65e
Has been starting for the past two seasons and was a valuable rotational player and special teams contributor before that. A smaller Mike linebacker, albeit with a thick build; could potentially get some looks as a weakside linebacker as well. Aggressive player who likes to play downhill and is around the ball very often; has good instincts but might benefit from being a little bit more patient. Plays the game with a physical temperament, bringing energy and toughness to the defense. Has a good motor in pursuit, with the speed to make tackles in backside pursuit. Flows well to the ball in the run game; despite being a smaller linebacker, is willing to take on and play off of blocks. Has a pretty good anchor to handle blockers at the point of attack on inside runs. Able to make tackles while engaged; has a strong grip and is reliable within his radius. That said, sometimes gets preoccupied with taking on blocks and neutralizes himself. Stout, with solid stopping power; breaks down pretty well, looking better in close quarters than when roaming sideline-to-sideline, where he slipped off of a few tackles during the games reviewed. Fluid mover who was asked to make some drops into zones and looks good when flipping his hips. Has plus balance in coverage and the ability to pick up targets when pattern-matching. Good feel for sniffing out screens and misdirection when playing zone; doesn’t make too many false steps. Does a pretty good job of keeping his man in front of him. Fat enough to carry tight ends down the seam but is smaller than you’d like for a player with that type of role. Has a good physical/athletic profile for work on running backs in man coverage but that wasn’t a major part of his responsibilities in college. Man work against opposing receivers was also limited. Able to time blitzes, with good acceleration through the A-gap; however, his role as a blitzer is minor compared to the amount of snaps on which he’s asked to work in coverage. Can close out when he finds an open lane to the quarterback, forcing them to throw the ball away. Had two seasons (his sophomore and senior) cut short by injury and will face medical concerns which could affect his draft stock, but ultimately looks like he’s going to go in the second half of the first round, as he offers an excellent combination of physicality, aggressiveness, athleticism, and versatility which should allow him to become a starter at the pro level.
6’6” – 322 lbs. – 5.15
Has spent the past three years manning the blindside for the Crimson Tide. Very tall, thick left tackle who looks the part of a pro lineman for an inline/power scheme; has a great build, carrying his weight well and even potentially with the frame to add more weight if needed. Arms measured a whopping 35.5” and hands measured 10.5” at the Combine. Polished, competitive, and physical offensive lineman who plays with a desirable temperament; works through the whistle on a consistent basis. Was asked to execute a lot of different types of blocking assignments. More of a gritty/workmanlike wall-off blocker than a true mauler in the run game. Plays with good leverage and burst when drive-blocking in a phone booth. Drives his legs after contact but can play a little bit high due to his height. Able to down-block and seal opponents inside or drive them off the ball. Very good double-team blocker who can clear out holes with a teammate. Exhibits a good work rate to get out in front of rushing attempts, with some straight-line speed. Short-area quickness is good enough to threaten and occasionally even secure second-level blocks against linebackers. Capable of chipping one defender and getting in position to threaten a second opponent. Might be stronger than he is effective at sustaining with his grip. Anchors very well against power, with good extension and what look like sound pass protection sets. Doesn’t always make it look pretty but is actually pretty assignment-sound when protecting the quarterback. Has good width and length but isn’t the most laterally agile prospect; looks like his kickslide is a little bit stiff and struggles to get a ton of depth when trying to protect the edge. At times, can be relegated to attempting to steer speed rushers wide of the pocket instead of mirroring them. Has some trouble with explosive spins and inside moves. Occasionally a lunger or waist-bender despite his length and size. May be susceptible to false-starts in order to compensate for his average athleticism. Got arrested for possession of marijuana and a handgun in the past which may have created character concerns for some teams. That said, those inline/power teams who are willing to look past that incident should feel comfortable drafting Robinson in the first round, especially to play right tackle; in this weak offensive line class, he is the safest selection, offering plenty of experience at the nation’s premier college football program and boasting the size, bulk, and length to succeed at the pro level.
5’11” – 202 lbs. – 4.48
Highly productive runner who played in a pro-style offense; was a workhorse over the past two seasons. Carries the ball from different formations, such as the I, out of the shotgun, and from the wildcat. Capable between the tackles but might be at his best when he can stretch a run horizontally and make a cut. Patient runner who will wait for the hole to present itself, then burst through it with some explosiveness. Does a good job of taking what the defense gives him; a reliable gainer who doesn’t try to do too much. Able to set up blocks and follow his blockers, has great vision to break big runs once he gets to the second level. Has very quick feet and good balance, with the ability to navigate through traffic and find open lanes. Has enough speed to hit home runs when he is able to find daylight. Makes impressive cuts and can make defenders miss or break tackles with his jump-cut; will also work in a stiff-arm. Not overwhelmingly powerful but will lower the shoulder; may need to be rotated out in some short-yardage situations, as he doesn’t really have incredible leg drive when defenders square him up. Fundamentals with regard to ball security look sound. Dangerous receiver out of the backfield – can get open down the field on wheel routes and track the ball over his shoulder. Will go in motion pre-snap and catch passes in the flats. Sells double-moves as a receiver; can run stop-and-go patterns to get open deep. That said, might be more of a running back with value as a receiver than a multipurpose player who’s going to regularly take snaps from the slot or split out wide. Wasn’t asked to stay back in blitz pickup very often but looked willing to step in and hold his ground when asked to do so. Has some technical weaknesses which are perhaps typical for a back who was used so extensively as a receiving option. Also worked as both a kick returner and a punt returner. Had an excellent Combine both in terms of his athletic testing and in terms of his interviews, and looks like he’s going to be one of the top ten picks in the draft. Father is former pro receiver Ed McCaffrey. Looks like a future starter and is one of the most versatile weapons in this year’s class, although it may be difficult for him to continue touching the ball over three hundred times per season, as he started to battle nagging injuries last year. A relatively safe pick with pretty high upside as well.
6’4” – 246 lbs. – 4.64
Started just nine games at the college level over the past two seasons, then decided to forego his final two seasons of eligibility in order to declare for the draft; although he didn’t have a regular starting role, his receiving production last season was commensurate with a starter. Has solid height and outstanding length, which arms which measured 35.25” at the Combine to go along with 10” hands. Looks like he could add more weight to his frame depending on what role teams envision for him. Predominantly a receiving option, although he had regular blocking duties at the college level as well. Lines up as an inline tight end often, with some snaps as an H-Back and from the slot as well; runs a lot of intermediate/vertical routes. The team often tried to get him the ball with space to run, whether on short outs, tunnel screens, and other patterns of that variety. Fast enough to threaten defenses down the seam and should be a difficult matchup for opposing linebackers and defensive backs. Able to get separation against man coverage, either during his routes or by improvising when the play breaks down. Also projects as a weapon against zone coverages. Does a good job of tracking and adjusting to throws downfield. Is a big target with soft hands, although he made the occasional concentration drop during the games reviewed. Size and length allow him to box out defenders in the red zone. Hard runner after the catch who will lower his shoulder and fight for extra yardage after contact. Capable of navigating tight spaces with the ball and exhibited the ability to shrug off minor hits or leap over defenders. Willing to get pretty physical as a blocker; gets good extension with his arms but is a little bit thin. More competitive than dominant; tends to wall off opponents rather than drive them off the line. Quickness is a potentially significant asset in the blocking game but seems to have some trouble with his positioning and is often left attacking an opponent’s outside shoulder instead of getting between them and the ballcarrier. Ability to sustain his blocks is just average. Retained at times as a pass protector but will also leak out and make himself available as a target. Could potentially help protect the passer at the pro level, but it seems like a waste of his talents as a receiver. The type of tight end that teams covet because of how difficult it is to find a player who can match their size and athleticism; stands a chance to go in the first round.
My final mock draft of 2017. Click on a prospect’s name to read my notes on them. Picks projected to be traded are in bold.
- Cleveland Browns – DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
- San Francisco 49ers – DB Jamal Adams, Louisiana St.
- Chicago Bears – DE Solomon Thomas, Stanford
- Jacksonville Jaguars – RB Leonard Fournette, Louisiana St.
- Tennessee Titans – CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio St.
- New York Jets – TE O.J. Howard, Alabama
- Los Angeles Chargers – DB Malik Hooker, Ohio St.
- Carolina Panthers – RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
- Cincinnati Bengals – DE Jonathan Allen, Alabama
- Buffalo Bills – LB Haason Reddick, Temple
- New Orleans Saints – DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee
- Cleveland Browns – QB Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina
- Arizona Cardinals – CB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
- Philadelphia Eagles – WR John Ross, Washington
- Indianapolis Colts – LB Reuben Foster, Alabama
- Baltimore Ravens – WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan
- Washington Redskins – LB Takkarist McKinley, UCLA
- Tennessee Titans – WR Mike Williams, Clemson
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – RB Dalvin Cook, Florida St.
- Denver Broncos – OT Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin
- Detroit Lions – DE Taco Charlton, Michigan
- Miami Dolphins – OG Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky
- New York Giants – OT Garett Bolles, Utah
- Oakland Raiders – LB Jarrad Davis, Florida
- Houston Texans – QB Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
- Seattle Seahawks – DB Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut
- Kansas City Chiefs – QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson
- Dallas Cowboys – CB Adoree’ Jackson, Southern California
- Green Bay Packers – CB Kevin King, Washington
- Miami Dolphins – DE Charles Harris, Missouri
- Atlanta Falcons – DE Jordan Willis, Kansas St.
- Baltimore Ravens – OT Cam Robinson, Alabama
Also considered: David Njoku, Zach Cunningham, T.J. Watt, Chidobe Awuzie, Tre’Davious White
Sorted alphabetically by position.
- QB DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
- QB Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
- QB Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh
- QB Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina
- QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson
- QB Davis Webb, California
- RB Dalvin Cook, Florida St.
- RB D’Onta Foreman, Texas
- RB Leonard Fournette, Louisiana St.
- RB Kareem Hunt, Toledo
- RB Alvin Kamara, Tennessee
- RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
- RB Joe Mixon, Oklahoma
- RB Curtis Samuel, Ohio St.
- WR Amara Darboh, Michigan
- WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan
- WR Chris Godwin, Penn St.
- WR Chad Hansen, California
- WR Zay Jones, East Carolina
- WR Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington
- WR Josh Reynolds, Texas A&M
- WR John Ross, Washington
- WR ArDarius Stewart, Alabama
- WR Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky
- WR Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma
- WR Mike Williams, Clemson
- TE Evan Engram, Mississippi
- TE Gerald Everett, South Alabama
- TE Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech
- TE O.J. Howard, Alabama
- TE George Kittle, Iowa
- TE Jordan Leggett, Clemson
- TE David Njoku, Miami (FL)
- TE Adam Shaheen, Ashland
- OT Garett Bolles, Utah
- OT Antonio Garcia, Troy
- OT Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin
- OT Cam Robinson, Alabama
- OG Isaac Asiata, Utah
- OG Dion Dawkins, Temple
- OG Dan Feeney, Indiana
- OG Dorian Johnson, Pittsburgh
- OG Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky
- OG Taylor Moton, Western Michigan
- OC Pat Elflein, Ohio St.
- OC Ethan Pocic, Louisiana St.
- DT Jonathan Allen, Alabama
- DT Jaleel Johnson, Iowa
- DT Malik McDowell, Michigan St.
- DT Larry Ogunjobi, Charlotte
- DT Elijah Qualls, Washington
- DT Dalvin Tomlinson, Alabama
- DT Chris Wormley, Michigan
- DE Ryan Anderson, Alabama
- DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee
- DE Tarell Basham, Ohio
- DE Taco Charlton, Michigan
- DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
- DE Charles Harris, Missouri
- DE Tanoh Kpassagnon, Villanova
- DE Carl Lawson, Auburn
- DE Takkarist McKinley, UCLA
- DE Derek Rivers, Youngstown St.
- DE Solomon Thomas, Stanford
- DE Demarcus Walker, Florida St.
- DE Jordan Willis, Kansas St.
- LB Tyus Bowser, Houston
- LB Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt
- LB Jarrad Davis, Florida
- LB Reuben Foster, Alabama
- LB Raekwon McMillan, Ohio St.
- LB Haason Reddick, Temple
- LB T.J. Watt, Wisconsin
- LB Tim Williams, Alabama
- CB Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado
- CB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
- CB Adoree’ Jackson, Southern California
- CB Sidney Jones, Washington
- CB Kevin King, Washington
- CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio St.
- CB Jourdan Lewis, Michigan
- CB Fabian Moreau, UCLA
- CB Cameron Sutton, Tennessee
- CB Teez Tabor, Florida
- CB Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson
- CB Tre’Davious White, Louisiana St.
- CB Howard Wilson, Houston
- CB Quincy Wilson, Florida
- CB Ahkello Witherspoon, Colorado
- DB Jamal Adams, Louisiana St.
- DB Budda Baker, Washington
- DB Justin Evans, Texas A&M
- DB Malik Hooker, Ohio St.
- DB Josh Jones, North Carolina St.
- DB Desmond King, Iowa
- DB Marcus Maye, Florida
- DB Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut
- DB Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
- DB Tedric Thompson, Colorado
- DB Marcus Williams, Utah
6’0” – 204 lbs. – 4.60
Played wide receiver in high school. Was a three-game starter who rotated into the defense as a freshman, then started eight games the following season before sustaining a season-ending concussion. Spent the past two years as a full-time starter. Has pro bloodlines; brother Cedric was a fifth-round draft pick in 2015. Has a tall, long frame with what looks like a very thin build on tape, although his Combine measurements were commensurate with pro requirements; will probably be asked to add bulk and functional strength at the next level. Slightly aggressive safety who typically lines up well off the line as more of a traditional center-fielder or high-zone free safety. Fluid and plays fast on tape. Seems to have a pretty good feel for anticipating routes, driving on a spot, and undercutting passes to break them up or intercept them. Able to run a receiver’s routes for them at times. Has excellent ball skills, having intercepted seven passes and sixteen passes defensed this past season. Uses his length to his advantage when in-phase. More often in zone than man but has the physical tools to potentially cover receivers out of the slot; was capable of carrying slot receivers down the seams in the games reviewed. Has the range to patrol deep but can sometimes be baited into hesitating off of play action or being pulled down by high-low route combinations in an attempt to jump underneath throws. Had a poor combine which may have cast some doubt about his range and man-coverage skills. Willing to come up and support the run and will take some snaps close to the line of scrimmage, but doesn’t really have the strength or anchor to be a major factory in that capacity; takes circuitous routes to the ball and, while he uses wrap tackling technique and is a willing hitter, doesn’t have the bulk or power to serve as an enforcer or tone-setter defensively. Will fall off of some one-on-one attempts, or drag down others only after allowing a generous amount of yards after contact. Takes on blockers but can be washed past the spot because of his lack of strength. A relatively pro-ready free safety with an impressive combination of length, athleticism, anticipation, and ball skills, but who probably won’t be able to contribute much as a run defender and whose athletic testing may have hurt his stock. Nonetheless, has starting traits, which should cause him to come off the board in the third or fourth round.
6’2” – 222 lbs. – 4.55e
Began his career as a reserve receiver and H-Back, then redshirted the following season after breaking his leg. Enjoyed a somewhat productive season as a starter this past year, then declared for the draft, foregoing his final two seasons of eligibility. Tall, thickly-built receiver who typically lines up on the outside, but with some different splits; will come into the slot on occasion. One of the most vicious blockers in this year’s class; often used to crack down on a linebacker or slot defender on sweeps and outside attempts, blocking with aggression and power. Can lay out opponents or engage them and drive them off of spots. Very effective at pulling opposing defensive backs away from the attempt and then sealing them out. Runs a lot of his patterns over the middle of the field, usually at the short or intermediate level, but works down the sidelines at times as well; may not really have the speed to challenge pro defenders deep, though. Physical enough to release at the line of scrimmage. Route tree will need more development; doesn’t appear to run a full complement of patterns at this point. Flashes some ability to improvise and uncover when the play breaks down, but could be more consistent about getting open against zone coverage; settles into coverage more often than he should. Can track the ball over his shoulder when working down the sidelines. Good awareness, body control, and footwork near the boundaries. Physical and competitive at the catch point, with the ability to climb the ladder and come down with 50-50 throws; has been a weapon in the red zone at the college level. Adjusts well to back-shoulder throws. Able to make tough catches in traffic, which may be important, as he doesn’t get consistent separation from opposing defensive backs and may need to play with a quarterback who is willing to trust his ability to make those catches. Wasn’t really a high-percentage option at the college level. Probably a late second-day or early third-day pick, albeit something of a boom-or-bust prospect whose size, strength, and blocking ability are very impressive but who had limited responsibilities at the college level and who didn’t really have the route-running polish or explosiveness to get much separation even at the college level. Will need some time to develop, but could potentially contribute on either the inside or the outside.
5’9” – 214 lbs. – 4.49
Got some offensive snaps and returned kicks in 2014, then became a major contributor for the next two seasons once Jay Ajayi went pro; declared for the draft rather than return for his senior season. Relatively short running back with a somewhat thick build; has proved that he’s able to handle a big workload over the past two seasons. Takes handoffs from both the shotgun and more pro-style formations, with a lot of his attempts coming between the tackles. Runs with a low center of gravity. Not a particularly explosive or powerful runner, but does a good job of finding lanes and navigating through tight spaces; more of a chunk runner than a home-run hitter. Lets blocks develop. Can recognize and hit cutback lanes and get upfield; limits short-yardage runs. Doesn’t bounce runs outside unnecessarily. Has some shake at the second level to make defenders miss. Able to squirt through holes and fall forward for extra yardage. Will deliver some shoulders to tacklers to finish runs, although he may need to work in a committee with more of a traditional power back; leg drive is just average and doesn’t break a lot of tackles or push the pile. Averaged four fumbles per year as a starter. A little bit limited in that he doesn’t create a ton of yardage for himself on the ground, but does a good job of consistently getting the most of what his blocking provides for him and his athleticism allows. Very versatile passing-game contributor; early-career snaps may very well come on third downs, especially as a receiver. Runs passing routes from all over the formation: will split out wide, will go in motion from the backfield, will line up as more of an H-Back, or will run routes from the backfield. Has soft, reliable hands and can pluck the ball away from his frame. Not just a short-area target; also runs wheel routes, seam patterns, and others further downfield. Fast enough to beat linebackers down the seams. Often retained as a blocker and does a good job of identifying his assignments and engaging opponents. Able to cut rushers or stand in the pocket and block them high. Some production as a block-and-release receiver. Also has experience as a kick returner. May never be a lead back, but is a well-rounded runner who combines vision and quickness as an inside runner with exceptional receiving ability and adequate blocking; consequently, could work his way into a running back rotation as a predominantly passing-game back who can also pick up some yardage between the tackles.
6’2” – 209 lbs. – 4.59
Originally attended community college, playing two seasons at that level before transferring to West Virginia; was a reserve in 2015, then stepped into the starting lineup this past season and intercepted eight passes. Tall, long-limbed cornerback who looks a little bit thinner than his Combine weigh-in would suggest. Was asked to play a lot of different techniques in college; backpedaled, played press-man and off-man, and worked in zone coverage. Can use his long arms to press at the line of scrimmage and disrupt routes and timing. Has a decent backpedal for a player of his size, and was asked to use it more often than usual for a college cornerback. Not really a quick-twitch corner, but does a good job of maximizing his length in coverage; has good timing and reach when attempting to make plays on the ball when targeted. Has soft hands and intercepted a ton of throws this past year. Some ability to use his frame to pin receivers against the sidelines. Looks better when he’s able to keep the play in front of him than when he needs to turn and run with opponents or stick with them in man coverage. Flashes the awareness to break off of his man and drive on another spot in zone. May not have the speed to stick with receivers on crossing patterns or down the field and could probably play in a pattern-matching zone scheme where he was able to disrupt a receiver within a limited area before passing them off to a safety playing over the top. Athletic testing was on the borderline of what’s acceptable in a cornerback prospect, and may not be quite a good enough tackler to transition to safety. Not as physical as his size would indicate; able to anchor against blockers in the run game, but doesn’t do a great job of using his hands to disengage from opponents and punish ballcarriers. Not a consistent form tackler and doesn’t bring the power expected, but offers good effort in backside pursuit, with an above-average tackling radius. Probably a third-day pick in this year’s class; has the size, length, ball skills, and awareness to warrant a mid-round selection for a team which predominantly plays zone coverage, but leaves a little bit to be desired as a tackler and has athletic limitations which may cause him to struggle in man coverage against opposing receivers.