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Five lists every NFL team should have

INSIDE THE DRAFT ROOM

Mon, May 05, 2014

By Phil Savage

 Two-Position Offensive Linemen                                                                                                                       

With roster sizes limited to 53 players and only 46 of those designated “active” on game day, the offensive lineman that can play two or more positions generally sees a big boost in his draft stock across the league. Here are five Reese’s Senior Bowl linemen ranked below the top three tackles that bring position flexibility to the table.

1. Zack Martin Notre Dame LT/OG
2. Joel Bitonio Nevada LT/OG
3. Jack Mewhort Ohio State RT/OG
4. Mike Schofiled Michigan RT/OG
5. Wesley Johnson Vanderbilt OT/OG/OC

 

 Evolution of the Slot Receiver                                                                                                                            

Wayne Chrebet (Hofstra) and Wes Welker (Texas Tech) went undrafted out of their respective colleges, but both found roles at the NFL level by excelling as “slot” receivers. Now, the position has evolved into its own entity with prospects being drafted specifically for this purpose. With all the attention on the 1st round, here are five WR’s that will go later, but still make an impact as “slots” in the future.

1. Josh Huff Oregon  
2. Bruce Ellington South Carolina (Jr.)  
3.  Robert Herron Wyoming  
4. Ryan Grant Tulane  
5. Mike Campanaro Wake Forest  

 

 Rush/Coverage Hybrid Defenders                                                                                                                         

Regardless of 3-4 or 4-3 as their base defensive scheme, NFL coordinators love the idea of having prospects that can rush the passer or drop into coverage equally well. These “hybrid” defenders can stay on the field in all situations and help disguise the defense’s intent. These five Reese’s Senior Bowlers offer the perfect combination of rush and pass.

1. Dee Ford Auburn  
2. Kyle Van Noy BYU  
3. Marcus Smith Louisville  
4. Jeremiah Attaochu Georgia Tech  
5. Trent Murphy Stanford  

 

 Value in Versatility                                                                                                                                                      

As NFL offensive coordinators use more and more 3- and 4- wide receiver personnel groupings, the ability to Man cover at cornerback, safety and both Sub positions (Nickel and Dime) has risen dramatically in the last five seasons. With that said, cornerbacks that can play over a slot and safeties that can drop down and play Man-to-Man are at a premium. Here are five defensive backs that can get on the field as rookies due to their versatile abilities.

1. Lamarcus Joyner Florida St. CB/FS/Nickel
2. Jimmie Ward Northern Illinois CB/Nickel/Dime
3. Jason Verrett TCU CB/Nickel/Dime
4. Jaylen Watkins Florida CB/FS/Nickel
5. Nevin Lawson Utah State CB/Nickel/Dime

 

 Medical Downgrades/Future Starters                                                                                                               

Every year, certain prospects slip in the NFL Draft due to a medical issue or current injury. Here are five players in that category with a chance to become starters by 2015:

1.  Brent Urban Virginia DE (high ankle sprain)
2. Aaron Colvin Oklahoma CB (knee/ACL)
3. Trey Millard Oklahoma H/FB (knee/ACL)
4.  Brandon Thomas Clemson OT/OG (knee/ACL)
5. Dominique Easley Florida DT (knee/ACL)



Phil Savage Phil Savage is the Executive Director of the Senior Bowl. He worked 20 years in the NFL as a coach, scout and executive, including two years as the Director of Player Personnel for the Baltimore Ravens and four years as the general manager of the Cleveland Browns.