The Scouting Trail: 2015 NFL Draft insights on Gurley, Cooper

Melvin Gordon has made everyone in the scouting business takes notice. He has had a monster season, putting up video game numbers on a weekly basis.

Duke Johnson’s speed and explosion will make many teams fall in love.

Montgomery looks more like an NFL wide receiver than quarterback. Look for this player to rise after the season.

RBs

Todd Gurley

Georgia

Despite the ACL tear, I am told to not expect the Georgia RB to fall out of the first round. He’s an elite running back prospect, and the NFL people I have talked with don’t think the ACL is a big deal. He would have gone in the Top 15 pre-tear, and he should be ready by late-August, early-September. Not only is he a dominate RB, his return skills separate him from the pack. Could be a big-time value pick for a team at the end of round one like Denver or New England.

Melvin Gordon

Wisconsin

A player who has made everyone in the scouting business takes notice. He has had a monster season, putting up video game numbers on a weekly basis. Some scouts I have talked with think he could sneak into round one but feel he has solidified himself as a high second round pick. Gordon can really make a lot of money with a monster combine/pro day performance.

Duke Johnson

Miami

Another game changer who has solidified himself as arguably the second best RB in the country. He can absolutely fly and should dazzle scouts in the offseason workout circuit. He has also shown the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield this season, and it should only increase his value as the process plays out. His speed and explosion will make many teams fall in love.

Davonte Booker

Utah

Junior college transfer who is in his first year of Division-1 ball. A sleeper to start the year, but everyone out west knows exactly who he is now. He has excellent feet & catches the ball out of the backfield very well. Scouts expect him to declare and I know some who have late 3rd round grades on him. I’m told his body’s a little underdeveloped, but a player with a lot of room for growth because his limited experience. Teams will do their homework on this back and Booker is name we should get used to hearing during the draft process.

WRs

Amari Cooper

Alabama

Not everyone I have talked believes he is the no brainer first WR off the board. Some scouts I know believe West Virginia Kevin White might be the best WR prospect in the country. Most people I talk with liked last years top guys ( Sammy Watkins and Odell Beckham Jr) more as a prospects. His 40 time will obviously be big. His tape speaks for itself, but he doesn’t return and his body type/frame will be important when picked apart. Media may like this guy more than the NFL right now. Top 15 pick, just not sure about top 5.

Ty Montgomery

Stanford

A player who struggled with consistency, some bad drops and just up-and-down play. His QB play has been hit or miss, but his head coach absolutely loves him. He’s a very physical WR who can make a lot of money when he goes to the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. His return ability will only increase his value. When GMs and coaches get to look at his body, they will be very excited; he looks like an NFL WR. Look for this player to rise after the season.

Jaelen Strong

Arizona State

Scouts are buzzing over this player. Strong is a big outside WR, who can make tough catches, and projects to be an excellent red zone target at the next level. He has first round tape, but some question his top end speed. His 40 time will go a long way to determine his draft status. Most I have talked with expect him to run in the mid 4.5s. If he could run 4.4s – he could hear his name called on day one.

Kaepernick vs Carr

I reached out to several NFL execs and multiple QB coaches asking them what Bay Area QB they would rather have moving forward. The answers were a unanimous (5-0) for Carr. It seems crazy because Kaepernick has won big games (4-2 in the playoffs) and has all the physical attributes you could want. But the consistent sentiment was he may just be what he is and some of his fundamental flaws will not change (accuracy/touch) over time. Kaps frenetic play is just something his coach and skill guys will have to learn to live with, it may not be something that changed.  He will always be a guy that forces you to live with the bad because the good is so special. Carrs pocket presence and natural development over the ‘14 season has caught the eye of many around the NFL. His arm strength was never the question and he has quieted the “he may not be tough enough” crowd quickly. Everyone I spoke with was very bullish on his potential and what he will become once Oakland surrounds him with talent. Carr has definitely made the scouting/coaching community take notice early in his career.

From The Sideline View Scouting Department

sort icon Name Position Height Weight School
1 Johnny Manziel QB 6’1″ 200lbs. Texas A&M
2 Greg Robinson OT 6’5″ 320lbs. Auburn
3 Jadeveon Clowney DE 6’6″ 270lbs. South Carolina
4 Teddy Bridgewater QB 6’3″ 206lbs. Louisville
5 Sammy Watkins WR 6’1″ 200lbs. Clemson
6 Jake Matthews OT 6’5″ 305lbs. Texas A&M
7 Mike Evans WR 6’5″ 218lbs. Texas A&M
8 Anthony Barr OLB/DE 6’4″ 235lbs. UCLA
9 Khalil Mack OLB/DE 6’3″ 244lbs. Buffalo
10 Blake Bortles QB 6’3″ 227lbs. Central Florida
11 Taylor Lewan OT 6’8″ 315lbs. Michigan
12 Cyrus Kouandjio OT 6’6″ 311lbs. Alabama
13 CJ Mosley ILB/OLB 6’2″ 232lbs. Alabama
14 Darqueze Dennard CB 5’11” 197lbs. Michigan State
15 Kyle Van Noy OLB/DE 6’3 1/6″ 244lbs. Brigham Young
16 Ryan Shazier ILB/OLB 6’2″ 226lbs. Ohio State
17 Marqise Lee WR 6’0″ 195lbs. Southern California
18 Eric Ebron TE 6’4″ 245lbs. North Carolina
19 Dee Ford OLB/DE 6’2″ 246lbs. Auburn
20 Jace Amaro TE 6’5″ 257lbs. Texas Tech
21 Kony Ealy DE 6’5″ 275lbs. Missouri
22 Lamarcus Joyner S, CB 5’8″ 195lbs. Florida State
23 Derek Carr QB 6’2″ 215lbs. Fresno State
24 Christian Jones ILB/OLB 6’3 1/4″ 234lbs. Florida State
25 Trent Murphy OLB/DE 6’5 1/4″ 252lbs. Stanford
26 Justin Gilbert CB 6’0″ 200lbs. Oklahoma State
27 Calvin Pryor S 6’2″ 208lbs. Louisville
28 Kelvin Benjamin WR 6’5″ 234lbs. Florida State
29 Jason Verrett CB 5’10” 178lbs. Texas Christian
30 Louis Nix III DT 6’3″ 326lbs. Notre Dame
31 Jarvis Landry WR 6’0″ 195lbs. Louisiana State
32 Ha Ha Clinton Dix S 6’1″ 209lbs. Alabama
33 Bradley Roby CB 5’11” 193lbs. Ohio State
34 Timmy Jernigan DT 6’2″ 298lbs. Florida State
35 Davante Adams WR 6’2″ 200lbs. Fresno State
36 Jordan Matthews WR 6’2 1/2″ 209lbs. Vanderbilt
37 Allen Robinson WR 6’3″ 205lbs. Penn State
38 Antonio Richardson OT 6’6″ 332lbs. Tennessee
39 Ra’Shede Hageman DE, DT 6’6″ 318lbs. Minnesota
40 Odell Beckham Jr WR 6′ 193lbs. Louisiana State
41 Aaron Donald DE, DT 6’0 1/2″ 288lbs. Pittsburgh
42 Dominique Easley DE 6’2″ 280lbs. Florida
43 Xavier Su’a Filo G 6’3″ 304lbs. UCLA
44 Scott Crichton DE 6’3″ 260lbs. Oregon State
45 Trevor Reilly OLB/DE 6’5″ 255lbs. Utah
46 Zack Martin OT, G 6’4″ 305lbs. Notre Dame
47 Tre Mason RB 5’10” 205lbs. Auburn
48 Stephon Tuitt DE 6’6″ 318lbs. Notre Dame
49 Will Sutton DT 6’0 1/2″ 315lbs. Arizona State
50 Brandin Cooks WR 5’10” 180lbs. Oregon State
51 Brandon Thomas OT, G 6’3 1/3″ 316lbs. Clemson
52 AJ McCarron QB 6’4″ 210lbs. Alabama
53 Paul Richardson WR 6’1″ 176lbs. Colorado
54 David Yankey OT, G 6’5″ 301lbs. Stanford
55 Bishop Sankey RB 5’10” 200lbs. Washington
56 Gabe Jackson G 6’3 1/4″ 339lbs. Mississippi State
57 EJ Gaines CB 5’10” 195lbs. Missouri
58 Carl Bradford OLB/DE 6’1″ 241lbs. Arizona State
59 Shayne Skov ILB/OLB 6’2″ 245lbs. Stanford
60 James Hurst OT 6’7″ 290lbs. North Carolina
61 Cyril Richardson G 6’4 1/3″ 343lbs. Baylor
62 Anthony Steen G 6’2″ 310lbs. Alabama
63 Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE 6’6″ 276lbs. Washington
64 Lache Seastrunk RB 5’10” 205lbs. Baylor
65 Kelcy Quarles DT 6’4″ 298lbs. South Carolina
66 Jack Mewhort OT, G 6’5 1/2″ 306lbs. Ohio State
67 Chris Smith OLB/DE 6’1″ 266lbs. Arkansas
68 Ego Ferguson DT 6’3″ 309lbs. Louisiana State
69 Troy Niklas TE 6’5″ 270lbs. Notre Dame
70 Carlos Hyde RB 6’1″ 235lbs. Ohio State
71 Michael Sam OLB/DE 6’1 1/2″ 260lbs. Missouri
72 Zach Mettenberger QB 6’5″ 230lbs. Louisiana State
73 Donte Moncrief WR 6’3″ 228lbs. Mississippi
74 Chris Boyd WR 6’4″ 205lbs. Vanderbilt
75 Kyle Fuller CB 6’0″ 193lbs. Virginia Tech
76 Marcus Smith OLB/DE 6’3 1/3″ 258lbs. Louisville
77 Anthony Johnson DT 6’3″ 304lbs. Louisiana State
78 Jeremy Hill RB 6’2″ 235lbs. Louisiana State
79 Wesley Johnson OT, G, C 6’5 1/6″ 290lbs. Vanderbilt
80 Demarcus Lawrence OLB/DE 6’3″ 244lbs. Boise State
81 Louchiez Purifoy CB 6’0″ 190lbs. Florida
82 Jackson Jeffcoat DE 6’4″ 252lbs. Texas
83 Martavis Bryant WR 6’5″ 200lbs. Clemson
84 Charles Sims RB, WR 5’11 1/2″ 214lbs. West Virginia
85 Deone Bucannon S 6’0 1/2″ 216lbs. Washington State
86 Morgan Breslin OLB/DE 6’2″ 250lbs. Southern California
87 Antone Exum S, CB 5’11” 220lbs. Virginia Tech
88 Jeremiah Attaochu OLB/DE 6’3 1/8″ 252lbs. Georgia Tech
89 Jared Abbrederis WR 6’1″ 189lbs. Wisconsin
90 Andre Hal CB 5’11” 186lbs. Vanderbilt
91 Brett Smith QB 6’3″ 205lbs. Wyoming
92 Ka’Deem Carey RB 5’10” 196lbs. Arizona
93 Ryan Grant WR 6’0 1/6″ 197lbs. Tulane
94 Jimmie Ward S 5’10 1/4″ 191lbs. Northern Illinois
95 Ed Reynolds S 6’2″ 206lbs. Stanford
96 Marcus Roberson CB 6’0″ 195lbs. Florida
97 C.J Fiedorowicz TE 6’5 1/2″ 262lbs. Iowa
98 Cody Latimer WR 6’3″ 215lbs. Indiana
99 Telvin Smith OLB/DE 6’2 1/2″ 218lbs. Florida State
100 Jaylen Watkins S, CB 5’11 1/4″ 194lbs. Florida
101 Aaron Murray QB 6’0 1/4″ 201lbs. Georgia
102 Terrance West RB 5’11” 223lbs. Towson
103 Marcus Martin C 6’3″ 310lbs. Southern California
104 Jimmy Garoppolo QB 6’2 1/3″ 219lbs. Eastern Illinois
105 Kenny Ladler S 6’0″ 200lbs. Vanderbilt
106 Bruce Ellington WR 5’9″ 196lbs. South Carolina
107 Justin Britt OT 6’6″ 315lbs. Missouri
108 Aaron Colvin CB 5’11 1/4″ 186lbs. Oklahoma
109 DaQuan Jones DT 6’3 1/3″ 323lbs. Penn State
110 Dion Bailey ILB/OLB 6’0″ 210lbs. Southern California
111 Andre Williams RB 6′ 227lbs. Boston College
112 Chris Borland ILB/OLB 5’11 1/4″ 245lbs. Wisconsin
113 Devon Kennard DE 6’3″ 255lbs. Southern California
114 Victor Hampton CB 5’10 202lbs. South Carolina
115 Billy Turner OT 6’5″ 315lbs. North Dakota State
116 Storm Johnson RB 6’1″ 215lbs. Central Florida
117 Ryan Groy OT, G 6’5″ 318lbs. Wisconsin
118 De’Anthony Thomas RB 5’9″ 173lbs. Oregon
119 Taylor Hart DE, DT 6’6″ 292lbs. Oregon
120 Adrian Hubbard OLB/DE 6’5 7/12″ 255lbs. Alabama
121 Christian Kirksey ILB/OLB 6’1 1/2″ 234lbs. Iowa
122 Keith Wenning QB 6’3″ 220lbs. Ball State
123 Yawin Smallwood ILB/OLB 6’2″ 244lbs. Connecticut
124 Jordan Zumwalt ILB/OLB 6’4″ 231lbs. UCLA
125 Morgan Moses OT 6’6″ 325lbs. Virginia
126 Jordan Najvar TE 6’6″ 265lbs. Baylor
127 David Fales QB 6’1 1/4″ 220lbs. San Jose State
128 Travis Swanson C 6’5″ 310lbs. Arkansas
129 Craig Loston S 6’0 1/4″ 214lbs. Louisiana State
130 Kareem Martin DE 6’5 7/12″ 272lbs. North Carolina
131 Devonta Freeman RB 5’9″ 203lbs. Florida State
132 Cameron Fleming OT 6’6″ 314lbs. Stanford
133 Vinnie Sunseri S 6′ 210lbs. Alabama
134 Brent Urban DE 6’6 1/2″ 298lbs. Virginia
135 Seantrel Henderson OT 6’6 7/12″ 331lbs. Miami (FL)
136 Justin Ellis DT 6’2″ 342lbs. Louisiana Tech
137 Tevin Reese WR 5’10” 172lbs. Baylor
138 Ben Gardner DE 6’4″ 275lbs. Stanford
139 Willie Snead WR 5’11” 193lbs. Ball State
140 Arthur Lynch TE 6’4 1/3″ 258lbs. Georgia
141 Josh Huff WR 5’11” 201lbs. Oregon
142 Joel Bitonio OT, G 6’4″ 307lbs. Nevada
143 Isaiah Crowell RB 5’11” 210lbs. Alabama State
144 Weston Richburg C 6’3 1/3″ 300lbs. Colorado State
145 Marion Grice RB 6’0″ 204lbs. Arizona State
146 Tyler Larsen C 6’3 1/3″ 314lbs. Utah State
147 Pierre Desir CB 6’1″ 195lbs. Lindenwood
148 Ronald Powell OLB/DE 6’4″ 248lbs. Florida
149 Jordan Tripp ILB/OLB 6’2 1/2″ 237lbs. Montana
150 Terrence Brooks S 5’11” 197lbs. Florida State
151 Tre Boston S 6’0″ 205lbs. North Carolina
152 Ross Cockrell CB 6’0″ 182lbs. Duke
153 Trai Turner G 6’3″ 316lbs. Louisiana State
154 Keith McGill S, CB 6’3″ 214lbs. Utah
155 Kadeem Edwards G 6’4″ 309lbs. Tennessee State
156 Daniel McCullers DT 6’6 7/12″ 348lbs. Tennessee
157 Ed Stinson DE 6’3″ 292lbs. Alabama
158 Max Bullough ILB/OLB 6’3″ 252lbs. Michigan State
159 Kevin Norwood WR 6’2″ 197lbs. Alabama
160 Jay Bromley DT 6’4″ 285lbs. Syracuse
161 Kain Colter WR 6’0″ 195lbs. Northwestern
162 Logan Thomas QB 6’5 1/2″ 250lbs. Virginia Tech
163 Robert Herron WR 5’10” 187lbs. Wyoming
164 Ahmad Dixon S 5’11 1/3″ 205lbs. Baylor
165 TJ Jones WR 6′ 195lbs. Notre Dame
166 Chaz Sutton DE 6’5″ 263lbs. South Carolina
167 Anthony Hitchens ILB/OLB 6’1″ 233lbs. Iowa
168 Kevin Danser G 6’6″ 301lbs. Stanford
169 Mike Davis WR 6’0 1/6″ 193lbs. Texas
170 Tim Cornett RB 6′ 210lbs. Nevada-Las Vegas
171 Dontae Johnson S, CB 6’2″ 199lbs. North Carolina State
172 Shaquelle Evans WR 6’0 1/2″ 210lbs. UCLA
173 Marcus Williams CB 5’11” 192lbs. North Dakota State
174 Jeff Mathews QB 6’4″ 229lbs. Cornell
175 Stephen Morris QB 6’1 1/2″ 208lbs. Miami (FL)
176 Marqueston Huff S, CB 5’11” 198lbs. Wyoming
177 Walt Aikens CB 6’0 1/2″ 205lbs.
178 Xzavier Dickson OLB/DE 6’3″ 265lbs. Alabama
179 Rashaad Reynolds CB 5’10” 195lbs. Oregon State
180 Jeoffrey Pagan DT 6’4″ 290lbs. Alabama
181 Dri Archer RB, WR 5’8″ 178lbs. Kent State
182 Ryan Carrethers DT 6’2″ 330lbs. Arkansas State
183 Hakeem Smith S 6’1″ 190lbs. Louisville
184 Phillip Gaines CB 5’9″ 185lbs. Rice
185 Bryan Stork C 6’3 1/3″ 306lbs. Florida State
186 Brandon Linder G 6’5 1/4″ 316lbs. Miami (FL)
187 Aaron Lynch DE 6’5″ 248lbs. South Florida
188 James Gayle DE 6’3 1/2″ 255lbs. Virginia Tech
189 Marcel Jensen TE 6’6″ 270lbs. Fresno State
190 Deion Belue CB 5’11” 183lbs. Alabama
191 Denicos Allen ILB/OLB 5’11” 218lbs. Michigan State
192 Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB 6’2 1/4″ 215lbs. Nebraska
193 Antonio Andrews RB 5’10” 225lbs. Western Kentucky
194 James Wilder RB 6’2″ 233lbs. Florida State
195 Chris Davis S, CB 5’9 1/2″ 201lbs. Auburn
196 Ja’Wuan James OT 6’6″ 315lbs. Tennessee
197 Trey Burton RB 6’3″ 223lbs. Florida
198 A.C. Leonard TE 6’4″ 245lbs. Tennessee State
199 Eric Ward WR 5’11” 206lbs. Texas Tech
200 Spencer Long G 6’4″ 305lbs. Nebraska
201 Josh Stewart WR 5’10” 178lbs. Oklahoma State
202 Richard Rodgers WR, TE 6’4 275lbs. California
203 Michael Schofield OT 6’6 1/2″ 303lbs. Michigan
204 Russell Bodine C 6’4″ 310lbs. North Carolina
205 Lamin Barrow ILB/OLB 6’1 1/6″ 229lbs. Louisiana State
206 George Uko DE 6’3″ 275lbs. Southern California
207 Jeremy Gallon WR 5’8″ 184lbs. Michigan
208 Calvin Barnett DT 6’2″ 300lbs. Oklahoma State
209 Cody Hoffman WR 6’3 7/12″ 218lbs. Brigham Young
210 Trey Hopkins G 6’4″ 300lbs. Texas
211 Jalen Saunders WR 5’8 1/2″ 164lbs. Oklahoma
212 Kapri Bibbs RB 5’11” 203lbs. Colorado State
213 Steven Nelson CB 5’11” 192lbs. Oregon State
214 Silas Redd RB 5’10” 200lbs. Southern California
215 Bene Benwikere CB 5’11” 192lbs. San Jose State
216 Prince Shembo OLB/DE 6’2″ 250lbs. Notre Dame
217 Isaiah Lewis S 5’10” 205lbs. Michigan State
218 Brandon Coleman WR 6’6″ 217lbs. Rutgers
219 Jerick McKinnon RB 5’9″ 209lbs. Georgia Southern
220 Xavier Grimble TE 6’5″ 250lbs. Southern California
221 L’Damian Washington WR 6’4″ 205lbs. Missouri
222 Will Clarke DE 6’7″ 273lbs. West Virginia
223 Lorenzo Taliaferro RB 6’0 1/4″ 231lbs. Coastal Carolina
224 Alden Darby S 5’11” 192lbs. Arizona State
225 LaDarius Perkins RB 5’10” 195lbs. Mississippi State
226 Bashaud Breeland CB 6′ 185lbs. Clemson
227 Corey “Philly” Brown WR 6′ 190lbs. Ohio State
228 Deandre Coleman DT 6’5″ 315lbs. California
229 Matt Hazel WR 6’3″ 190lbs. Coastal Carolina
230 Devin Street WR 6’4″ 190lbs. Pittsburgh
231 Jonathan Dowling S 6’3″ 198lbs. Western Kentucky
232 Bennett Jackson CB 6’0″ 185lbs. Notre Dame
233 Shamar Stephen DT 6’4 1/2″ 308lbs. Connecticut
234 Lavelle Westbrooks S, CB 5’11 1/4″ 195lbs. Georgia Southern
235 Michael Campanaro WR 5’9 1/4″ 191lbs. Wake Forest
236 Ricardo Allen CB 5’9″ 186lbs. Purdue
237 James White RB 5’9″ 206lbs. Wisconsin
238 Sean Parker S 5’10” 195lbs. Washington
239 Denico Autry DE 6’6″ 265lbs. Mississippi State
240 Terrance Mitchell S 6′ 189lbs. Oregon
241 Carrington Byndom CB 6’0″ 180lbs. Texas
242 Jonathan Brown ILB/OLB 6’0 1/3″ 224lbs. Illinois
243 James Sims RB 6’0″ 202lbs. Kansas
244 Charles Leno OT 6’4″ 295lbs. Boise State
245 Noel Grigsby WR 5’11” 175lbs. San Jose State
246 Jemea Thomas S, CB 5’9 1/3″ 190lbs. Georgia Tech
247 Connor Shaw QB 6’1″ 209lbs. South Carolina
248 Henry Josey RB 5’10” 190lbs. Missouri
249 Xavius Boyd ILB/OLB 6’2″ 243lbs. Western Kentucky
250 Derrick Hopkins DT 6′ 311lbs. Virginia Tech
251 David Fluellen RB 5’11 1/6″ 226lbs. Toledo
252 Chris Burnette G 6’2″ 322lbs. Georgia
253 Keith Price QB 6’1″ 202lbs. Washington
254 I.K Enemkpali OLB/DE 6’1″ 260lbs. Louisiana Tech
255 Gator Hoskins TE 6’1″ 244lbs. Marshall
256 Khalil Wilkes C 6’3″ 288lbs. Stanford
257 Branden Oliver RB 5’9″ 209lbs. Buffalo
258 Jay Prosch FB 6’0 1/2″ 256lbs. Auburn
259 Solomon Patton WR 5’8 1/3″ 179lbs. Florida
260 Caraun Reid DT 6’2″ 301lbs. Princeton
261 Jacob Pedersen TE 6’3″ 242lbs. Wisconsin
262 John Urschel G 6’4″ 301lbs. Penn State
263 Crockett Gilmore TE 6’5″ 255lbs. Colorado State
264 Cassius Marsh DE 6’4″ 262lbs. UCLA
265 Jon Halapio G 6’3 1/3″ 320lbs. Florida
266 Chris Watt G 6’3″ 321lbs. Notre Dame
267 Andrew Jackson ILB/OLB 6’1″ 257lbs. Western Kentucky
268 Tyler Gaffney RB 6’1″ 226lbs. Stanford
269 JC Copeland FB 6’1″ 270lbs. Louisiana State
270 Jerome Smith RB 6′ 226lbs. Syracuse
271 Jack Tyler ILB/OLB 6’1″ 230lbs. Virginia Tech
272 Kenny Guiton QB 6’3″ 208lbs. Ohio State
273 Gabe Ikard G, C 6’3 1/3″ 302lbs. Oklahoma
274 Jake Murphy TE 6’4″ 252lbs. Utah
275 C.J Barnett S 6’1″ 204lbs. Ohio State
276 Walker May OLB/DE 6’5″ 250lbs. Vanderbilt
277 Corey Nelson OLB/DE 6’1″ 215lbs. Oklahoma
278 Jon Harrison C 6’4″ 299lbs. Florida
279 Trey Millard RB, FB 6’2″ 259lbs. Oklahoma
280 Evan Finkenberg OT, G 6’4″ 293lbs. Arizona State
281 Adam Muema RB 5’10” 205lbs. San Diego State
282 Bryn Renner QB 6’3″ 225lbs. North Carolina
283 Shaun Lewis OLB/DE 5’11” 225lbs. Oklahoma State
284 Parker Graham OT 6’7″ 315lbs. Oklahoma State
285 Raijon Neal RB 5’11” 212lbs. Tennessee
286 Chris Coyle TE 6’3″ 240lbs. Arizona State
287 Dez Southward S, CB 6′ 206lbs. Wisconsin
288 Josh Mauro DE 6’6″ 288lbs. Stanford
289 Shamiel Gary S 6′ 210lbs. Oklahoma State
290 Beau Allen DT 6’3″ 325lbs. Wisconsin
291 Kasey Carrier RB 5’9″ 185lbs. New Mexico
292 Cornelius Lucas OT 6’9″ 328lbs. Kansas State
293 Ben Malena RB 5’9″ 195lbs. Texas A&M
294 Derrell Johnson OLB/DE 6’2″ 264lbs. East Carolina
295 Alex Amidon WR 6′ 182lbs. Boston College
296 Zach Orr ILB/OLB 6’1″ 240lbs. North Texas
297 Nevin Lawson CB 5’9 1/2″ 184lbs. Utah State
298 Rod McDowell RB 5’10” 200lbs. Clemson
299 Kenny Shaw WR 6′ 170lbs. Florida State
300 Jeremy Johnson WR 6′ 180lbs. Southern Methodist
301 Allen Hurns WR 6’3″ 195lbs. Miami (FL)
302 Ryan Hewitt FB, TE 6’4″ 246lbs. Stanford
303 Keith Smith ILB/OLB 6’1″ 229lbs. San Jose State
304 Garrison Smith DT 6’3″ 299lbs. Georgia
305 Ty Zimmerman S 6’1″ 203lbs. Kansas State
306 Nikita Whitlock OLB/DE 5’11” 250lbs. Wake Forest
307 Kerry Hyder DE 6’2″ 280lbs. Texas Tech
308 Dayonne Nunley CB 5’8″ 184lbs. Miami (OH)
309 Brelan Chancellor WR 5’9″ 186lbs. North Texas
310 Khairi Fortt ILB/OLB 6’2″ 240lbs. California
311 Tim Flanders RB 5’9″ 210lbs. Sam Houston State
312 Orleans Darkwa RB 6′ 210lbs. Tulane
313 Jordan Lynch QB 6′ 216lbs. Northern Illinois
314 Kevin Pierre-Louis ILB/OLB 6’1″ 228lbs. Boston College
315 Caleb Lavey ILB/OLB 6’3″ 235lbs. Oklahoma State
316 Cam Brate TE 6’5″ 245lbs. Harvard
317 Dustin Vaughan QB 6’5″ 220lbs. West Texas A&M
318 Charles Ross RB 6’1″ 235lbs. Rice
319 Casey Pachall QB 6’5″ 230lbs. Texas Christian
320 Terrance Lloyd OLB/DE 6’3″ 245lbs. Baylor
321 Nickoe Whitley S 6’1″ 205lbs. Mississippi State
322 Darryl Cato-Bishop DE 6’3″ 266lbs. North Carolina State
323 Brendan Bigelow RB 5’10” 180lbs. California
324 Ryne Giddins OLB/DE 6’3″ 253lbs. South Florida
325 Will Smith ILB/OLB 6’3″ 220lbs. Texas Tech
326 Alfred Blue RB 6’2″ 220lbs. Louisiana State
327 Jalston Fowler FB 6’1″ 250lbs. Alabama
328 Damien Williams RB 5’11” 214lbs. Oklahoma
329 David Parry DT 6’2″ 303lbs. Stanford
330 Vintavious Cooper RB 5’9″ 200lbs. East Carolina
331 Colt Lyerla TE 6’5″ 238lbs. Oregon
332 Corey Linsley C 6’3″ 297lbs. Ohio State
333 Boseko Lokombo ILB/OLB 6’3″ 233lbs. Oregon
334 Chandler Jones WR 5’11” 174lbs. San Jose State
335 Jeff Janis WR 6’2 1/6″ 212lbs. Saginaw Valley State
336 Andrew Norwell OT, G 6’6″ 316lbs. Ohio State
337 Jeremiah Sirles OT 6’6″ 310lbs. Nebraska
338 Viliami Moala DT 6’2″ 340lbs. California
339 George Atkinson III RB 6’1″ 220lbs. Notre Dame
340 Kameron Jackson CB 5’9″ 175lbs. California
341 Pierre Warren S 6’2″ 200lbs. Jacksonville State
342 Darrin Reaves RB 5’10” 210lbs. Alabama-Birmingham
343 Austin Franklin WR 6′ 184lbs. New Mexico State

A Metrics Study of 2014 Draft Prospects

My goal was to deviate from the traditional model of identifying talent for next year’s draft so I turned to STATS Sports Solutions Group GM, John Pollard to help with the data.

“We have the most comprehensive performance metric library for next years class, many of these players had significant playing time during the 2012 season”, said Pollard.  “We can help our team partners get a head start on their 2013 evaluations and performance benchmarks”.

With this database of information, I was able to avoid just looking at oft cited names within the draft community.  I combed through the statistics in the STATS ICE database and picked out players that had similar metrics to those who were drafted high this year. The result is some players that are already familiar names and others that are a bit unknown. It should be noted that not all of these players will succeed, but they have a higher likelihood to do so based on their past metrics.

QUARTERBACKS

  • Teddy Bridgewater – Much has been and will be written about Teddy Bridgewater, but I have to note that his metrics from the past season are extremely impressive. Most QBs in this class averaged about 50-60% completion rate in the intermediate zone of 6-15 yards. Bridgewater threw 71% in this zone and had a better deep completion percentage than any QB in this past draft class. When you break down his incompletions, he threw into coverage less than any QB in the past draft class and flat out missed his receivers less as well. Nearly all of his metrics are impressive, at some point I’ll examine them in detail.

WIDE RECEIVERS

  • Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma – Saunders is one of the more safe prospects statistically at this stage. Last season he only dropped 3.1% of the passes thrown to him, lower than nearly any top prospect in the past draft. He also gained 7.1 yards after the catch when Kenny Stills only averaged 3.1 yards after the catch in the same offense.
  • Tevin Reese, Baylor–Reese is well recognized as a top prospect and his yards after the catch certainly reflect that status as he gained roughly 9 yards after each catch (higher than Tavon Austin). However, he dropped 13.1% of his targets, higher than Justin Hunter who was widely panned for his inconsistent hands.
  • Brandin Cooks, Oregon State–While teammate Markus Wheaton had trouble gaining yards after the catch (3.9 yards), Cooks didn’t have the same dilemma averaging 8.1 yards after the catch. Cooks dropped only 4.2% of passes and had 12 plays over twenty yards.
  • Anthony McClung–McClung is more of a projection than anything. He had 539 yards in his junior season at Cincinnati. Excellent yards after the catch and only dropped two passes. With Kenbrell Thompkins and Travis Kelce graduating, McClung has a chance to emerge as a number one in the Cincinnati offense.

RUNNING BACKS

  • Tre Mason, Auburn–Graded out as the best running back  at gaining extra yardage among 53 RBs for this past draft and next year’s crop. He broke 13 tackles last year and 51% of his yardage was after contact. At 5’10” and 196. his size and statistics are really similar to Gio Bernard.
  • Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona–Already a widely acknowledged back – Carey generated 2.92 yards after contact per carry, higher than Eddie Lacy. Carey averaged nearly 5.8 yards in 3rd and short situations, meaning he moved the chains for Arizona when the opponents knew they were going to run the ball.
  • Fitzgerald Toussaint, Michigan–I’m not sure how Toussaint projects. On one hand his statistics indicate that he’s one of the most elusive backs in the draft. On the other hand, he seems like a boom or bust type player. Toussaint was stopped at the LOS on 29% of his runs (the average is about 12%). In 2011 he had 17 plays of more than 20 yards, but only 4 in 2012. It’ll be worth keeping an eye on him to see his progress in 2013.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN

  • Will Sutton, Arizona State–As a defensive tackle Sutton had a snaps per pressure rate of 6.6 last year. That’s roughly equal to how often noted pass rushers Jarvis Jones and Alex Okafor got to the quarterback. That type of SPP would have made Sutton the best pass rusher of the entire draft, despite playing at defensive tackle.
  • Morgan Breslin, USC–Similar to Sutton, Breslin would have had an SPP of 7.17 or roughly akin to Dion Jordan and Tank Carradine. He had 25 tackles near or behind the LOS (impact tackles), which is as high as any LB in this past draft.
  • Anthony Barr, UCLA–Barr had a great amount of pressures last year, now I don’t know how often he dropped into coverage so I won’t post his SPP. However, he had 26 tackles near or behind the LOS and 40 pressures, the ultimate combination of a non-pass rushing LB and a pure pass rusher. He had some troubles missing tackles, so that’ll be something to keep an eye on.
  • Jadaveon Clowney, South Carolina: Snaps Per Pressure of 7.2 as a sophomore. Not much more needs to be said.

LINEBACKERS

  • Eddie Lackey, Baylor–Small at 6’0″, 220, so I’m not sure that he’ll ever be projected highly into the NFL. He still had a amazingly high amount of impact tackles (around 40). It’s hard to tell if that’s because he flows to the ball fast or no one else on the Baylor D is tackling. It could be a bit of both, but still he’s one to watch.
  • Chris Borland, Wisconsin–Again a superb amount of impact tackles. Ridiculously good in coverage. The average drop back linebacker gets beat around 55% of the time. The top tier CBs get beat around 42% of the time. Chris Borland was beat on only 32% of 25 targets and had 6 passes defensed.
  • Chris Young, Arizona State–A transfer from JUCO and played at 6’0″ 233 at a hybrid Safety/LB position they call the Spur at ASU. He had as many impact tackles as Alec Ogletree/ Kevin Minter with the coverage skills of an excellent safety (34.5% burn rate on 29 targets). It seems like he could bulk up and be a smaller LB like a Mychal Kendricks who flows to the ball really well, but has solid coverage skills. That type of player would be an asset to cover big TEs, but also stop the run.

CORNERBACKS

  • Antone Exum, Virginia Tech–Burn percentage of 36%, which would be better than any CB this year. Was targeted quite a bit, so his 20 passes defensed are nice but are a product of being targeted so much. In 2011, his burn percentage was 39%, so he’s been consistent over the past two years. If he can keep his burn percentage consistent over three years, he’ll have to be recognized as a top prospect.
  • Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State–Burn rate of 40.5%. He had 10 passes defensed and you would likely want to see some more ball skills, but Xavier Rhodes only had 10 as well.
  • Victor Hampton–Only a junior in 2013 at South Carolina, but had a burn percentage of 39% and 7 passes defensed. A 43% burn rate is the cut off for an elite corner, so if he can stay under 43% this year and improve his ball skills (both passes defensed and interceptions), he could come out early and make an impact.

SAFETIES

  • Jordan Richards, Stanford–Richards is an interesting prospect to look at. When you watch him, you see a thick safety built like Matt Elam. However, his statistics indicate a player who couldn’t be different than Elam. Richards had a burn rate of 36.2% or around what Mark Barron had coming out of Alabama. However, Richards missed 15 tackles last year and only made 5 tackles at the LOS. If his run stopping ability catches up to his coverage, he could be a top pick.
  • Erick Dargan, Oregon–A ballhawk in the true sense of the word, Dargan had 5 interceptions as just a Sophomore. On 18 targets, he defensed 7 passes which is a ratio of targets to passes defensed you rarely see. On top of that, his 18 targets on 300 pass snaps makes him one of the least targeted safeties in the NCAA.
  • Ibraheim Campbell, Northwestern–2As a player at Northwestern, Campbell won’t receive much general acclaim, but he certainly deserves it. As a true freshman he was beat on 53% of his passes, which would put him in the middle of this safety class. As a sophomore he was beat on only 27.9% of 43 targets, one of the lowest in the NCAA on a significant number of targets. If he can keep that around 40%, he’ll be in Mark Barron/Harrison Smith territory. He’s a big hitter and a solid tackler. In two seasons he’s had 4 interceptions. I’m not sure if he’d leave early- typically Northwestern players stay all 4 years, but his metrics could put him in 1st round territory if he keeps it up.

The NFL Owner’s Manual on What Not to Do

There is no growth without a little confrontation, especially in the NFL.

Tension is good. Animosity is not just warranted; it’s usually a daily occurrence. The weight can crush a lot of people, but most high-level coaches thrive in this environment. It is high stakes poker with a football, helmets and millions — even billions — of dollars on the line.

In the last seven days we have seen Jim Harbaugh mutually part ways with San Francisco (aka: lose his job), and Chip Kelly become the most powerful man in the NFL not named Belichick.

Harbaugh’s 49ers beat Chip Kelly’s up-tempo Eagles earlier in the year. Harbaugh had his worst year as a pro coach (8-8) and only had two less wins than Kelly. Kelly has never won a playoff game; Harbaugh won five (three on the road). Harbaugh also has one more division title than the king of the no huddle. But still, Harbaugh was essentially shown the door. The irony is Harbaugh didn’t even want the personnel power Chip clearly coveted.

Making it Work

The reality with guys like Harbaugh and Kelly, regardless of their personalities, the owners job is to make sure it works. Your coach is the cash cow.

The major difference in Philly and SF was ownership. One values the head coach as the most valuable individual in the building (which he is), while the other thinks he can replace him like a backup offensive lineman. Let’s take a look at the two situations starting with Philly.

Philadelphia Eagles

Rumors had been flying in league circles for months that the Eagles were every bit as dysfunctional as the 49ers. It was a ticking time bomb, sure to blow up — except it never did. Ownership refused to let it happen.

Jeffrey Lurie‘s team was knocked out of the playoff picture by a division rival led by his former star WR that his coach had WANTED to cut. He didn’t tweet his embarrassment post game, mainly because he is not stupid enough to have a public twitter account. What can be gained from that as an owner? Simple answer – nothing.

What if he had tweeted, “Sorry Eagles fans! We should have done a lot better against Washington.” What does everyone in Philly say the next day? Is Lurie turning on Kelly? Did Lurie wish he still had Desean Jackson? Why even go down that road as owner? Instead, after the season when turmoil broke out in the building between his coach and general manager, it took him less than 48 hours to create and execute a solution. Was this an ideal scenario for Lurie? No, but that’s part of the job. He handled it like he knew what he was doing.

Lurie values a coach more than anyone else. Why? Because it’s the tried and true formula that works in the NFL.

He proved with Andy Reid, who lasted 14 years and was the most successful coach in the history of the franchise that he would stick through the good times and the bad. Like Harbaugh, Coach Reid never won the big one. But also like Harbaugh, he helped a franchise return to their winning ways, helped build a new stadium, made his team nationally relevant all while making his owner a stupid amount of cash. Business was good for everyone.

Reid didn’t talk to the media the day he was fired, but he did speak to the Eagles business employees with Lurie at his side in the cafeteria. There is a level of respect the Eagles’ owner commands through his actions; he doesn’t talk a big game, he just operates one. That’s why since firing Andy Reid, Lurie’s organization has had back-to-back winning seasons and hasn’t skipped a beat. Even when waters got a little rough, he quickly navigated them to quieter seas.

San Francisco

When Eddy Debartolo was forced to give the team to his sister, the York family steered the worst stretch of Niner football in their history owning the team. It wasn’t until her son Jed took over, promoted Trent Baalke and hired the coach from up the road that got them back on track.

Four years later, after two division titles, three NFC championships, a Super Bowl appearance and five playoffs wins – the 34-year-old owner could not get rid of Harbaugh fast enough. Most around the business knew for a long time that York and his right hand man President Paraag Marathe did not get along with Jim. Emotion overruled the bottom line — winning.

This started back in January 2014 when word around the league spread that Harbaugh could be had (traded for). That forced the Browns to make inquiries about a trade. (Anyone call the Seahawks or the Packers about trading for their coach lately? Probably not.) Rumors and leaks continued to undercut the coach — who, for all intents and purposes, is the voice of the organization — yet ownership did nothing to squash the flow of information. Many believe the leak to was the man who signs everyone’s checks, not a great look.

Resolve to Win

The 49er vibe is the opposite you get in Philly where the owner has coaches back 100 percent of the time. The coach is ultimately responsible for putting hundreds of millions in the owners pocket.

I thought the low point of the season was a tweet Jed York sent out Thanksgiving night saying the teams performance was unacceptable. Even a rival, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll came to Harbaugh’s defense. Carroll said his owner in Seattle would never do that. Once the firing (mutual separation) became inevitable after a loss to San Diego in the regular season, many assumed the team would quit on the coach.

They didn’t. They won the last week, gave Harbaugh the game ball and dumped Gatorade on him. Pretty typical when the players hate the coach.

The next day, York gave a press conference which did not go well. He came off as defensive, like he was talking down to his fan base, the essential part of the historic brand that Harbaugh helped to restore. He referenced Bill Walsh countless times, a man who was hired before Jed was even conceived. He acted like he had strong football philosophies that didn’t mesh with Harbaugh’s. He didn’t come off like a leader; more like a guy who did not belong in the seat.

Does York know something we don’t? Did he study under Parcells? Belichick? Hell even Eric Mangini? No. He worked on Wall St. before coming over to work for his parents.

On local radio the next day, it got worse. York was all emotion, coming off as Joe fanboy instead of the leader of the 49ers. While Jeffrey Lurie made swift decisions empowering the most important figure in any NFL organization, York complained to media members about his twitter mentions.

The head coach is not the most important guy in the building. The owner is. In Philadelphia the owner proved why coaches want to work for him, while in San Francisco, the owner gave his two cents on why 28 power may not be the right play for SF moving forward.

Who would you want to coach for?