NFP's 2015 DRAFT BOARD


Greg Gabriel
The Director's Report


Eddie Goldman – DT – Florida State

6036 – 335 – 5.27

Eddie is a third year junior and two year starter for Florida State. The former 5-star recruit came in and played in 10 games as a true freshman and started the last two years.

Strong Points –

He is big, strong, and powerful. He shows good instincts and reactions and is consistently around the ball. He has excellent size and is light on his feet. He plays like he is an athlete, has very good hand use, and knows how to play with leverage. He has been a consistently good inside pass rusher while at FSU and has six sacks the last two seasons from inside.

Weak Points –

He did not workout at the Combine and had just an average workout at the Florida State pro day. He ran 5.27.had a 4.87 20 yard shuttle and a 7.62 3-cone. Some say he has inconsistent tape. I did not see that in the game viewed.

Summation –

Goldman is a big, tough, and versatile defensive lineman. He has the skill set that allows him to play in either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. In a 3-4, he can play all three down positions. He is a solid three down lineman who will come in, play, and contribute right away as a rookie. I see him as a solid choice in the second half of the first round.

Arik Armstead – DE – Oregon

6070 – 292 – 5.10

Arik was a highly recruited two sport star (basketball) in high school. He was rated as a 4-star football prospect and chose Oregon over some of the top programs in the country. He came in and played as a backup his true freshman year, was a part time starter in 2013, and started all 13 games in 2014.

Strong Points –

He has great size and length. He is light on his feet and can change direction. He is more of a finesse type player but can play with power. He is a solid pass rush talent who is scheme versatile. His best football should be in front of him.

Weak Points –

He is still very raw and learning the game. He really doesn’t know how good he can be. He needs to be tougher and play a more physical game as well as some work on hand use.

Summation –

Teams are all over the board with this guy. His tape doesn’t match his talent. He is still very young and won’t turn 22 until mid-November. He showed much improvement from the beginning of the 2014 season until the end. He has just scratched the surface of how good he can be. He has Pro Bowl type natural talent, but he needs to put in the time and effort to improve. This is a higher risk/reward pick.

Benardrick McKinney – LB – Mississippi State

6040 – 246 – 4.66

McKinney is a fourth year junior who entered the draft as an underclassman. He redshirted in 2011 and was a vital part of the Mississippi State defense the last three seasons. He led the team in tackles in each of the last two years.

Strong Points –

He has ideal inside linebacker size, strength, speed and athleticism. He was highly productive versus the run and good in pass coverage. He is aggressive at the point of attack, can shed blocks, can tackle, and is a big hitter. He is quick reacting, plays with top instincts, is around the ball, and makes plays.

Weak Points –

He shows just average ability as a pass rusher when used as a blitzer. While he gets and keeps good position in pass coverage, he has no career interceptions.

Summation –

He has an outstanding combination of size, speed and athleticism. He is an instinctive play maker and big hitter. He can control the middle of the field. He is alert and makes the defensive calls. He should be able to play in any scheme and come in and start right away as a rookie.

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Greg Gabriel
The Director's Report


Andy Gallik– CenterBoston College

Strong Points

Andy is a three year starter who makes all the line calls. He is tough and tenacious and an aggressive run blocker. He is good at making combo blocks and can get to the second level. BC often uses him to pull, and he is effective getting out in front of a back. He shows good hand use in pass protection and should also be able to swing over to guard.

Weak Points

He can get tall at times and needs to play with a bit more bend. he looks to have short arms, and that can hurt in the leverage game. He doesn’t seem to have much growth potential.

Summation

Gallik may not look the best when he walks across the stage, but he is a tough, aggressive, and competitive player with no glaring weaknesses. He is smart, can play guard and can be the eventual leader of the O-Line. He will be a starter by his second year.

 

B.J. Finney – CenterKansas State

Strong Points

Finney has been a consistent four year starter for the Wildcats. He is tough, can use his hands, and knows how to play with leverage. He shows good mirror skills in pass protection and knows how to get and keep good position in the run game.

Weak Points

He is an average athlete who does not play with good bend. Without the bend, he doesn’t always play as big as he measures. You don’t see much snap in his hips on contact, and he doesn’t consistently generate power. Because he has some athletic limitations and short arms,  I see him as a center only.

Summation

Others like this player way more than I do. I see a finesse center who doesn’t play as big as he measures and a limited athlete who struggles in space. He is smart, makes calls and can use his hands. He isn’t playing with bend and that will hurt him vs NFL D-Linemen.

 

Jeremy Langford -RB – Michigan State

5115 – 211 (Senior Bowl)

Strong Points

Jeremy has adequate running back size and excellent timed speed. With the ball in his hand, he shows good vision and instincts. He is a reliable receiver with good hands and also shows he can pass block.

Weak Points

He shows only average initial quickness, he is not overly creative and does not play to timed speed. He has a tendency of running tall and he isn’t an overly creative runner. He lacks good elusiveness, and I don’t see a special trait.

Summation

He is a productive college back who lacks a special trait to carry him to the next level. he is a one cut north/south runner who gets what’s there but not much more. He’ll pass block and is a reliable receiver. He is more of a backup who can play in a rotation but never a starter. He should have good special teams potential.

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Tony Villiotti
Draftmetrics


With the NFL draft commencing on April 30, looked at recent draft trends. Several different aspects of the draft were examined ranging from the number of players drafted by playing position to reviewing players drafted by state.

By Playing Position

 If you are a close follower of the draft, you will be sitting down in front of your television set with at least one draft guide in front of you to facilitate an instant evaluation of your favorite team’s selections. How far down the listings by position do you have to go before you reach players that are unlikely to be drafted? The following lists the number of players drafted by position in the past five drafts along with the average and range.

The most noteworthy takeaway from this table is that some positions have relatively tight ranges (indicating not much variance by year) and others do not. The positions with the tightest ranges are wide receivers, offensive line, defensive tackles and corners.

First Round

Following the overall look at the draft, we did the same analysis for the first round only. Here are the results.

It is no surprise that offensive linemen are the most frequently drafted position in the first round. Running backs have been shut out in the first round in 2013 and 2014. If you believe the experts, though, that is likely to end in 2015.

By Conference

The one constant in an analysis by conference is that the Southeastern Conference is the leader in four of the five years. This is certainly not a surprise. It is also noteworthy that the Power Five conferences account for about 71% of all draft selections.

The Big 12 and Big 10 have both shown declines in players selected from 2010 to 2014. The Mountain West Conference along with minor conferences and colleges picked up most of those declines.

By Home State

 Players enter the NFL from all over the country. In this section we considered the home state of the player, not where they played college football. The constant in this analysis is that three states (Florida, California and Texas) are the principal producers, though the order may vary by year. The states listed in the following table account for about 60% of all players drafted, with the remainder coming from the remaining 41 states, Canada and other countries.

Rookie Starters

 There has not been a discernible increase in the number of rookies who achieve starter status (i.e., start eight or more games). In 2005, 47 rookies achieved that status. The number of over the past five years is higher but there is not a continuing trend upwards. In fact, there was a 10% drop in 2014 over 2013. Here are the number of rookie starters in each of the past five draft classes.

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Greg Gabriel
The Director's Report


Corey Robinson – Tackle – South Carolina

Strong points

Robinson is tall, long and huge. He is a good athlete for his size and has better than adequate knee bend. He possesses good feet and balance and is seldom on the ground. With his size and length, he can be almost impossible to get around. He has good strength and is able to generate some movement with his run blocks with his size, bulk and power.

Weak Points

Robinson can get lazy with his hands, dropping them down, causing unnecessary movement on his part. While he shows he can bend, he will get tall at times and overextend. He is not the quickest guy and can be a little slow getting to the second level. While he looks very good at times, he doesn’t consistently finish. With his size, he is naturally strong but he is not the most explosive guy.

Summation

I didn’t like this guy a year ago but he has come on and played much better in 2014. Plays left tackle at South Carolina and will be a right tackle in the NFL. He’s a massive sized man with fairly good athleticism. Most of his short comings are correctable with coaching. Has a chance to be an eventual starter if he keeps improving.

 

Rob CrispTackleNorth Carolina St.

Strong Points

He is a tall guy with length. He shows quick lateral movement and slide ability, can shift his weight, recover and come back the other way. He has good feet and shows he can play with bend. His overall athleticism is good for a tall guy.

Weak Points

Crisp has a bit of a narrow frame. Ne needs to add bulk and strength. he should be able to eventually get to about 310 pounds. His narrow frame prevents him from being real explosive and he can have some trouble with bull pass rushers. He has had a problem with durability and has missed time in each of the last two seasons.

Summation

He has the desired height and length but not the bulk and power. He’s hard working and fairly athletic and shows he can mirror in pass protection. Durability is a concern and he must get by the medical exam. I see him as a backup left tackle and guard, but he has marginal starter traits.

 

Eric LefeldTackleCincinnati

Strong Points

Eric has played a lot of football for Cincinnati, starting 42 games over the last four seasons. He is tall with good length to go along with the athleticism to mirror in pass protection and get to the second level with run blocks. He is a physical guy who goes all out on every play. His overall competitive nature is very good.

Weak Points

While he is tall and long, he has a narrow frame and lacks much growth potential. He tests well in the weight room and is strong but on the field you don’t see top functional strength. This causes him to get stalemated too often. He can also have some trouble anchoring versus strong bull rushers.

Summation

Eric is a durable, tough competitor with limited natural traits. He just isn’t that big or powerful. Still, he is technically sound and has excellent football character. He’s draftable on his intangibles. I see him as a backup type who has to try and get bigger and stronger.

 

Chaz GreenTackle – Florida

Strong Points

Chaz is a big, tall guy with excellent length. Has played an adequate amount of football for Florida with 18 total career starts at both left and right tackle. He has shown improvement over his career and still has upside.

Weak Points

Durability has been an issue and he has missed games in three different seasons because of injury. He is not the most explosive guy and I don’t see a lot of snap in his hips. His overall play strength and power is average, and I don’t see him getting a lot of movement with his block.

Summation

He has the required height and length but needs to get bigger and stronger. He isn’t explosive or powerful. He is alert and has position flexibility. Durability is an issue. He looks like a late pick and may need a year on the practice squad while he develops his strength.

 

Robert Myers – Tackle – Tennessee St

6050 – 329 (Senior Bowl)

Strong Points

Robert has the desired height and length for an NFL tackle. He has played well versus a lower level of competition. He shows adequate feet and short area quickness.

Weak Points

He plays at a lower level of competition and hasn’t faced NFL caliber defensive linemen. That said, he struggled at the Senior Bowl against good players. He is too heavy and has a bit of a soft frame. He has the natural size but needs to get stronger and more explosive.

Summation

Productive at a lower level of competition but struggled when he got to the Senior Bowl and had to play against better competition. He is more of a developmental type who will need to restructure his body. He is heavy and loose now and needs to build up his strength. He will most likely play right tackle or guard.

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Greg Gabriel
The Director's Report


There has been a lot written about Georgia running back Todd Gurley. When healthy, he is one of the most talented running backs in this draft. He has all the tools to be a top NFL back: size, speed, power. He is a very good receiver out of the backfield. But durability will be a question. Before we talk about the injury, let’s break down his strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths

A 6’1 – 222, he has great size. He is well built with a thick and well-muscled upper and lower body. He shows an excellent burst and has very good play speed (was a top sprinter and hurdler in high school). He’s a quick starter with no false step. Has good, not great, vision but can find the cutback lanes. He is very powerful in the open field and extremely hard to tackle. He is a physical runner who punishes tacklers. He consistently gets yards after contact. He has very good balance and shows the ability to stop and start. He can make a cut in the hole to find daylight.

He is best as an off tackle and outside runner, showing patience to set up and follow blocks and has the speed to go the distance. He has very good hands, runs good pass routes, and can adjust to the ball. He gets up field quickly after a reception and shows good ability to make people miss in the open field with his quick-cutting ability. He has been an excellent kickoff returner his entire college career. He shows a willingness to pass block.

Weaknesses

He has a tendency to run tall, and that hurts his power in short yardage situations. In a game in the 2013 season, he was given the ball three times in a row in a 2nd, 3rd and 4th and 1 situation and failed to get the first down. He needs to work on his pass protection technique and also needs to be more aware in blitz pickup.

Durability is an obvious concern. He suffered an ankle injury in 2013 and missed three games, and he suffered an ACL injury late in the 2014 season and had surgery. His physical running style makes him prone to injury. He takes a lot of big hits.

He showed poor decision making by accepting money from a memorabilia agent for signing jersey’s helmets, pictures etc. That led to a four game NCAA suspension. He injured his knee right after he came back from the suspension.

Summation

Before the knee injury, Gurley was the odds on favorite to be the first running back taken in the draft. Though he runs tall, his style of play projects very favorably to having a good NFL career. Like most college running backs, he needs work on pass blocking, but that will come with coaching. He has the traits to step in and be very productive right from the get go. He can also be most clubs’ number one kickoff returner. When healthy, he is probably the most physical runner to come out since Adrian Peterson. The key phrase is “when healthy”.

While Gurley’s knee was shown to be stable at the medical rechecks last week, he is still far from stepping on the field. He won’t be nine months out from his surgery until opening weekend in September. What that means is that during OTA’s and training camp he won’t be 100% and will need to be monitored. He won’t be ready for full practices until late in training camp, if at all.

Once he is deemed “100%”, will he be the same back we saw last fall? No one knows the answer to that question. He could lose some speed or lateral movement or he could be better than he was before the injury. With the unknowns, does a team take a chance using a first round pick on him?

One draft analyst recently had Gurley going as high as 6th overall in a mock draft. I find that absurd with all the unanswered questions. Personally, I see Gurley as a wild card. While he could go in the first round, I feel it is much more likely that he will go in the second. The reason for that is we might not see the real Todd Gurley until 2016 if at all. No matter where he gets drafted, there will be an element of risk with him playing the running back position.

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