Thu, May 04, 2017
By Patrick Woo
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Tyus Bowser (LB, Houston), Chris Wormley (DL, Michigan), Nico Siragusa (OG, San Diego State)
The Ravens selected a Reese’s Senior Bowl player in rounds two, three and four adding potential starters on defense and quality depth on the offensive line. The Ravens want to be physical in the running game and Siragusa is a specialist in the power run-blocking game. Bowser will have an opportunity to compete for the starting SAM linebacker spot according to coach Jim Harbaugh and will be utilized as a pass rusher. Wormley is a great value pick that provides versatility and strength up front and also has a history of blocking kicks.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Jordan Willis (DE, Kansas State), Ryan Glasgow (DT, Michigan), Jake Elliott (PK, Memphis)
Willis falling to the third round was a surprise but the Bengals get an immediate impact player in the defensive end who could also stand up and play linebacker. He should emerge as a starter at defensive end in his first three years. Glasgow is a nice depth piece on the defensive line that will provide value as a rotational run-stuffer while Elliott despite his diminutive stature has a big leg and will compete with Randy Bullock.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Larry Ogunjobi (DT, Charlotte), Zane Gonzalez (PK, Arizona State), Matt Dayes (RB, North Carolina State)
The Browns are switching to a 4-3 defense under Gregg Williams and did not have a quality 3-technique on the roster. Ogunjobi provides that as a potential starter at the 3-technique but he’ll compete with the talented Caleb Brantley, who was drafted in the 6th round, if the Browns keep the troubled Brantley. Ogunjobi was one of my personal favorites in Mobile. Gonzalez is the NCAA’s all-time leader in field goals and will compete with former Senior Bowl player Cody Parkey. Matt Dayes was the second-to-last pick in the draft but provides value in that backfield with his abilities in the passing game and should make the 53-man roster.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Cameron Sutton (CB, Tennessee), Josh Dobbs (QB, Tennessee), Colin Holba (LS, Louisville)
Sutton doesn’t have all the measurables but has good feet and instincts. He can provide an upgrade in the Steelers secondary and slide inside to the nickel spot. Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said Dobbs checks all the boxes. He is phenomenal above-the-shoulders, in the locker room and has play-making ability. Dobbs was the 135th overall pick, like Dak Prescott last year. Holba was the only long snapper drafted and could be the successor to 36-year-old Steelers snapper Greg Warren.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Julién Davenport (OT, Bucknell), Carlos Watkins (DT, Clemson), Kyle Fuller (OC, Baylor)
Despite 44 starts at Bucknell, Davenport is going to be a developmental player but a good traits-based pick for the Texans who need help up front. With proper weight-training and coaching, Davenport could emerge as a starter in year two or three. Watkins provides the Texans with a rotational interior pass rusher while Fuller has coveted size but his limited athleticism may make it hard for him to make the team if he doesn’t provide value outside of center but the Texans take a 7th round flier on the local prospect.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Tarell Basham (LB, Ohio), Zach Banner (OT, USC)
The Colts get their pass rusher in Basham, who should compete for a starting spot at either 3-4 outside linebacker spot. His relentless play-style fits what the Colts want. Banner becomes the third Reese’s Senior Bowl offensive lineman drafted by Indy in the last two years (Joe Haeg and Le’Raven Clark in 2016) as the Colts continue to address that spot. If Trent Brown can start in the NFL, there’s upside for Banner to become an eventual starter at right tackle.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Dawuane Smoot (DE, Illinois)
Smoot didn’t have the big senior year many thought would come but was still a day two pick with scheme versatility. His physical nature makes him a solid backup behind the Jaguars Calais Campbell.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Taywan Taylor (WR, Western Kentucky), Jonnu Smith (TE, FIU), Josh Carraway (LB, TCU)
Over the summer, one NFL coach told me that Jonnu Smith would be the type of player that NFL tight end coaches would bang the table for. Smith compares to Delanie Walker and ended up going in the third round in the top 100 to the team that has Walker. He will be more of a move H-back but he is also an effective blocker. Taylor was a nice pickup for a team looking to add more weapons for Marcus Mariota. With the versatility that Taylor and Titans first-round pick Corey Davis provide, the Titans offense just got better. Carraway will make a living on special teams early and could contribute as a sub-package pass rusher.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Tre’Davious White (CB, LSU), Zay Jones (WR, East Carolina), Dion Dawkins (OL, Temple), Nathan Peterman (QB, Pittsburgh)
The Bills selected Reese’s Senior Bowl players with its first three picks, including trading up in the second round for both Jones and Dawkins. All three – Jones, Dawkins and White – could start as rookies in Buffalo. Then in the 5th round, the Bills ended the slide for Peterman, who could be a steal and a great addition to that quarterback room and should compete with Cardale Jones for the backup spot as a rookie and could see snaps this season.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Isaac Asiata (OG, Utah)
What Asiata lacks in athleticism, he makes up for it in power. He’s a strong, tough run-blocker that could become an eventual starter but provides quality depth for the Dolphins. He could even become the backup at center behind Mike Pouncey as a rookie.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Derek Rivers (LB, Youngstown State), Antonio Garcia (OT, Troy), Conor McDermott (OT, UCLA)
On the hoof, you might not be impressed with the Patriots draft but then consider they got Brandin Cooks and Kony Ealy with draft picks. New England’s first selection at 83rd overall was a good one in Rivers. He’s exactly what Bill Belichick wants in a versatile defensive player. Expect Rivers to contribute as a rookie as a pass rusher and off-the-ball. Garcia are McDermott are both development offensive tackles but expect good things to happen with them when Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia gets his hands on them.
NEW YORK JETS
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: None
The Jets were the only team to not select a Reese’s Senior Bowl player in the draft this year but selected Jordan Jenkins and Charone Peake in 2016. The Jets have also signed long snapper Cole Mazza and linebacker Connor Harris as undrafted free agents from the 2017 roster.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Brendan Langley (CB, Lamar)
Langley went a little earlier (3rd round) than most predicted but he has the height-weight-speed combination that teams want. Langley is still learning to play the position after being a receiver and should considerably into a role in Denver and can contribute right away as a return specialist.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Tanoh Kpassagnon (DE, Villanova), Kareem Hunt (RB, Toledo), Ukeme Eligwe (LB, Georgia Southern)
Kpassagnon was among the prospects I thought would get picked higher than expected but the second round, 59th overall, was a pleasant surprise. He’s a genetic freak that’s still very raw as a football player but once he gets stronger in his lower body, he could be an imposing part of a defensive line. Hunt lands in a great spot where he should immediately be the No. 2 back and help in the passing game. Eligwe will make his early living on special teams but provides depth as a specialized pass-rusher, who could also move inside.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Forrest Lamp (OL, Western Kentucky), Dan Feeney (OG, Indiana), Rayshawn Jenkins (S, Miami), Desmond King (DB, Iowa), Isaac Rochell (DL, Notre Dame)
You could see the combination of Lamp at left guard and Feeney at right guard starting by mid-season as rookies. Jenkins and King both provide competitive fire and skills in the backend. It’s likely King will see more time at safety or nickel than on the outside while Jenkins will have to contribute on special teams early but could find himself as a favorite of Gus Bradley’s in the future as a rangy enforcer on the backend. Rochell will be a versatile player against the run up front.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Obi Melifonwu (S, UConn), Eddie Vanderdoes (DL, UCLA)
The Raiders collected two of the best defensive players in Mobile with its second and third round selections. Melifonwu will be a matchup safety from day one while Vanderdoes has starting potential at the 3-technique spot and should compete for playing time right away as long as he maintains his weight in the 300-305 range. He played his senior season at UCLA overweight and came to Mobile at 320 before slimming down to 305 for the NFL Combine.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Jordan Morgan (OG, Kutztown)
The big coup of the Bears draft was quarterback Mitch Trubisky before adding Morgan, whom they coached in Mobile, in the 5th round. Chicago currently has a solid and stable interior offensive line and Morgan will likely slide in to guard after being a four-year starter at left tackle at the division II level. Morgan shouldn’t be asked to play right away but provides depth and could be an eventual starter at the position.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Michael Roberts (TE, Toledo)
Expect to see Roberts making plays on the field as a rookie. After leading all tight ends with 16 touchdown receptions, Roberts gives the Lions another big red-zone target along with Eric Ebron and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter can go back to using two-tight end sets. Roberts also provides enough as a blocker and can both flex out or let Ebron flex out and stay in-line.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Montravius Adams (DT, Auburn), Vince Biegel (LB, Wisconsin), Jamaal Williams (RB, BYU)
The backfield was a priority for the Packers adding three running backs – Williams, Devante Mays (Utah State) and Aaron Jones (UTEP). Former Senior Bowler Ty Montgomery is the starter in Green Bay but Williams’ size and running style should make him the No. 2 back as a rookie. Adams could compete with Christian Ringo for the starting nose tackle spot but also has the athleticism to be an end in the 3-man front. Friday night was a good time for Adams welcoming Montravius Adams Jr. into the world and getting the call from the Packers. Biegel has the motor and instincts to become an eventual starter and will be a solid rotational linebacker as a rookie.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Jaleel Johnson (DT, Iowa), Ben Gedeon (LB, Michigan), Danny Isidora (OG, Miami)
Johnson should see the rotation as a rookie as a run-stuffer with some penetrating ability. Gedeon went a little higher than expected in the fourth round but his intelligence and toughness will make him a solid backup middle linebacker and if Jake Ryan can start in the NFL, Gedeon can too but he will contribute right away as a mean special teams player. Isidora should provide some competition at right guard with Willie Beavers but needs to get stronger.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Duke Riley (LB, LSU), Damontae Kazee (CB, San Diego State), Eric Saubert (TE, Drake)
Riley has had quite the rise from special teams player in his first three seasons to LSU’s leader on defense a senior. Much like Deion Jones a year ago, Riley wanted to wear jersey number 0 in Mobile and now he ends up on the same NFL team as Jones, who led the Falcons in tackles as a rookie. Riley provides the speed and run-and-hit mentality that Dan Quinn covets from his linebackers, running sub-4.6 and is a great special teams player. Kazee could emerge as the starter at nickel supplanting second-year pro Brian Poole, who was exposed in the Super Bowl. Kazee has more short-area quickness and great ball skills. Saubert is an interesting addition to the tight end room that already has Austin Hooper and Levine Toilolo but Saubert could find himself on the field as a pass-catching tight end.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Taylor Moton (OL, Western Michigan), Daeshon Hall (DE, Texas A&M), Corn Elder (CB, Miami)
Along with drafting two offensive weapons in Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel, the Panthers selected a solid trio of Reese’s Senior Bowl players. Taylor Moton provides immediate starter potential on the offensive line either at right guard or right tackle and I think he can be a 10-year starter along the front. Hall’s experience and length will make him a factor on the edge right away behind Julius Peppers but he needs to bulk up more. Elder plays much bigger than he is and is a tough, physical nickel defender that will be a good chess piece as a rookie.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Alex Anzalone (LB, Florida)
The Saints missed out on Reuben Foster at pick No. 32 but made up for with the third round selection of Anzalone, one of the best athletes in this year’s linebacker class. As long as he can stay healthy on the field, he is going to be a very productive starter and is an ideal Will backer.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: O.J. Howard (TE, Alabama), Justin Evans (S, Texas A&M), Stevie Tu’ikolovatu (NT, USC)
The Buccaneers got a huge gift at pick number 19 when Howard was still on the board. He will provide an immediate game-changing impact for Jameis Winston. Evans had first-round hype early in the season and is a great pick in the third round and could emerge as a rookie starter at safety but has to improve his consistency in tackling but has range, great ball skills and physical nature. Tu’ikolovatu in the seventh round provides some help on the defensive front.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Jourdan Lewis (CB, Michigan), Ryan Switzer (WR, North Carolina), Marquez White (CB, Florida State)
The Cowboys addressed needs in boosting the secondary with two Reese’s Senior Bowl selections in Lewis and White and two other senior defensive backs in Chidobe Awuzie (missed Senior Bowl with turf toe) and Xavier Woods. Lewis could challenge for nickel duties as a rookie while White will provide depth and develop into a role as a cover corner. Switzer says he watches a lot of Cole Beasley and now he will serve as Beasley’s understudy but will immediately help as the punt returner.
NEW YORK GIANTS
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Evan Engram (TE, Ole Miss), Dalvin Tomlinson (DT, Alabama), Davis Webb (QB, California), Adam Bisnowaty (OT, Pittsburgh)
Engram and Tomlinson were the first two picks for the G-men and both could turn into early starters as rookies. Engram provides an immediate upgrade in the passing game to what could be a potent passing offense. Engram’s athleticism and better-than-expected blocking prowess during the Reese’s Senior Bowl week turned him into the 23rd overall pick in the draft. Tomlinson can add some interior pass rush and collapse the pocket along with being stout against the run, one of the most consistent players in the class. Webb falling to the third round was a surprise but he may be the heir apparent to Eli Manning when it’s all said and done. You combine Webb’s knowledge and son-of-a-coach background with the Manning pedigree and that’s a really good quarterback room. The Giants expect to be better at the two tackle spots this year and Bisnowaty should be a backup on both sides as a rookie with upside.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Rasul Douglas (CB, West Virginia), Donnel Pumphrey (RB, San Diego State), Nate Gerry (S, Nebraska)
One scout called Pumphrey “pound-for-pound, the best football player in this draft.” Lofty praise for someone who plays much bigger than he is and will be behind Darren Sproles, who is entering a contract year. Gerry is a solid football player and will help on special teams but also one of the more complete safeties in terms of being able to operate in coverage and play down in the box equally as well. Douglas was the Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Player of the Week at his position and is the type of long corner that Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz can use. Philly also added a great special teams player and receiver with a lot of upside as a deep threat in Mack Hollins, who was unable to participate in the Senior Bowl while recovering from his season-ending collarbone injury.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Ryan Anderson (LB, Alabama), Jeremy Sprinkle (TE, Arkansas)
Anderson is one of the most solid players in this year’s draft and provides an immediate impact with his Alabama teammate, Jonathan Allen, in Washington’s front seven. Anderson can set the edge with physicality and leverage rushing the passer. Sprinkle provides some insurance if Jordan Reed suffers another injury but can also be a part of two tight-end sets as the in-line guy and is a better blocker than given credit for.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Haason Reddick (LB, Temple), Chad Williams (WR, Grambling), Will Holden (OL, Vanderbilt), Rudy Ford (S, Auburn)
The Cardinals got a lot faster by adding Williams and Ford along with running back T.J. Logan, who all ran in the 4.3s. Ford will be a special teamer with a chance to compete for a role in the subpackages. Holden will be a backup swing tackle that can also play some guard to provide depth. Reddick is the headliner and should push Karlos Dansby for early playing time and can also slide outside to rush the passer in key situations. With Reddick, Chandler Jones and Markus Golden all rushing, the Cardinals can get after the quarterback.
LOS ANGELES RAMS
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Gerald Everett (TE, South Alabama), Cooper Kupp (WR, Eastern Washington), John Johnson (DB, Boston College), Josh Reynolds (WR, Texas A&M), Tanzel Smart (DT, Tulane), Sam Rogers (FB, Virginia Tech)
The first four picks for the Rams were all out of the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Everett, Kupp, Johnson and Reynolds. Everett became the first South Alabama player drafted and propelled himself into the second round where he should fit in immediately as the “F” tight end in new coach Sean McVay’s offense that will also utilize Tyler Higbee. Kupp is the NCAA’s all-time leading receiver and should challenge the current receivers for snaps as a rookie and grow into a reliable target for Jared Goff. Johnson was one of my favorites in Mobile with versatility to play safety and corner and should get a look at free safety early in LA. Reynolds provides a big target that can get vertical that the Rams have lacked while Smart adds some interior pass rush and depth. Rogers is simply a football player and could be utilized as the fullback but will be a gamer on special teams that will earn his way. Six of the Rams eight selections came from the Reese’s Senior Bowl.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: C.J. Beathard (QB, Iowa), Trent Taylor (WR, Louisiana Tech)
Taylor will have to initially cut his teeth on special teams but he is a high volume receiver with short-area quickness and will compete with the other slot receivers for snaps. Beathard has drawn a lot of Kirk Cousins comparisons and is reportedly the guy that new coach Kyle Shanahan wanted. Expect Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley to be the top guys at quarterback to start but Beathard could make his way into that competition and be this year’s Cody Kessler out of Mobile.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Draftees: Ethan Pocic (OL, LSU), Amara Darboh (WR, Michigan), Justin Senior (OL, Mississippi State)
Pocic is a perfect fit for the Seahawks scheme and provides versatility with his ability to play both guard spots, center and right tackle if needed. He could make his way into the starting lineup by midseason if the Seahawks continue to struggle up front. Senior provides some depth on the right side as well and could see some time to use his length but he needs to improve his game all-around. Darboh joins a productive receiving corps and will make his way as a cover man on special teams while he gets stronger to fend off physical NFL corners but could be a solid No. 4 receiver early with room to grow.