Tag Archives: NFL

NFL Mock Draft

R1 Pick 1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Marcus Mariota-QB Oregon
The Bucs have a legit option at WR and now need someone to get Mike Evans the ball. Josh McCown is not the answer and we saw what Evans can do in the scramble drill at A & M. With Mariota’s ability to extend plays when he has to, Evans could flourish next year.  When your picking number one in the draft you have to take a QB if there is one that COULD be a franchise changer like Mariota.

R1 Pick 2 Tennessee Titans
Leonard Williams-DE/DT USC
This is a tricky spot here, I think Winston could be the pick but I’m not sure that the Titans are ready to give up on Mettenburger and he might stay in school. If one the two QB prospects don’t sell themselves as the answer they will go with a pass rusher. Williams is my top DE/DT and can play the run as well as the pass. He is also a tough gritty player who has shown he can play through pain and injuries. He translates well to a 4-3 DE and can slide into the middle for 4-3 teams with their speed packages.

R1 Pick 3 Jacksonville Jaguars
Randy Gregory-DE Nebraska
The Jags could maybe go with a guy like Cooper here to get a stud for Bortles, but it’s a little early and any of the OTs.  The Jags will continue to build on the defense and take an edge rusher that can get after the QB. In a division that only has one franchise QB, getting pressure can win you games. Gregory is the perfect fit for Gus Bradley’s defense as the LEO* position.
*LEO position splits speed rusher at the 5 or 7 technique, need speedy player for this i.e. Gregory, Mingo, Dion Jordan types

R1 Pick 4 Oakland Raiders
Amari Cooper-WR Alabama
The Raiders need help with interior pass rush badly, but they can’t take one this high it would be foolish from a value standpoint. David Carr has looked good this year, so getting him a weapon is their next biggest need. Amari Cooper is a stud, and a near can’t miss prospect from the WR position. They can address the pass rush with their next pick, this class is deep.

R1 Pick 5 Washington Redskins
Brandon Scherff-OT Iowa
The Redskins could go with Winston here if Jay Gruden gets his way, but I think RG3 will get one more year. They gave up so much to get him they almost have too. They need to protect RG3 to really see what he can do, Scherff is good in the run and passing game and can play Guard right now if they need him too.  He steamrolls people in the Run game and is an above average pass protector.  That’s what the Redskins need, give the ball to Alfred Morris and let RG3 benefit from some play-action passes.

R1 Pick 6 New York Jets
Jameis Winston-QB FSU
Geno Smith is not the answer at QB and if Marrone left Buffalo because they didn’t have a QB, he’s going to want one (I think he lands the coachig gig here). If one of the two top QBs is staring him in the face at 5 he’ll run to the podium.
Jameis no doubt can play the position on the field and has the killer instinct. Can he handle the distractions off the field of the NFL? That’s the real question, his INTs have been way up this year but I see that as him pressing. Winston to the big apple, there will be fireworks one way or another.  He has all the tools to be an NFL QB, but is he willing to put in the work to become great? That’s where the real questions lie, windows get smaller in the NFL so your reads have to be second nature and instinct.

R1 Pick 7 Chicago Bears
Shane Ray-DE/OLB Missouri
The Bears defense has more holes in it then your grandma’s pin cushion. They will take the BPA on defense for sure this year again. Ray can get after the passer and in a division with Rodgers, Stafford, and now Teddy B they will need to do that to win. He’s an ideal fit for a 4-3 DE and edge rusher.  He has violent hands and attempts to play the run. He is a special prospect, but he has some boom or bust potential.

R1 Pick 8 Atlanta Falcons
Vic Beasley-DE Clemson
The Atlanta pass rush is so bad they need all the help they can get. They couldn’t get to the QB at all this year, Beasley will help with that.
Beasley will need to add some weight to help in the run game he’s not that strong at the point of attack (POA). He can use his speed and be an edge rusher for them and as he adds weight he can turn into a 3 down player. His first step is great so he can turn the corner on the best of OT. He can play OLB or DE for the Falcons.

R1 Pick 9 New York Giants
La’el Collins-OT LSU
When Eli has time to throw he has shown he can win a Super Bowl. When he doesn’t have time he leads the league in INTs. The Giants need to go back to winning in the trenches.
Collins is my top run blocking prospect; he is a road grater. He has gotten much better in the passing game this year and could end up the best OT that comes out of this class. He can slide in to a Guard spot if Beatty and Pugh hold the tackle spots. Pugh has struggled at RT so whoever wins that spot the other can ply Guard until Beatty moves on. La’el Collins will need to work on staying back on his feet a bit, he can get on his toes and overextend at times.

R1 Pick 10 St. Louis Rams
Ronnie Stanley-OT Notre Dame
How many times did Rams QBs get hurt this year, for that matter how many injuries has Bradford had in his career? The Rams need to get better up front for whoever is the QB next year.  With both of the potential franchise QBs off the board they go with someone to protect the QB.
Stanley will shoot up board this year much like Zack Martin did last year. He is a smart player who uses his hands well to pass protect and is versatile to play multiple spots.

R1 Pick 11 Minnesota Vikings
Shaq Thompson-OLB Washington
If I know Mike Zimmer I know he’s going to follow the same strategy that they used with the Bengals to build that roster. Take BPA every time no matter what. My feeling is that he goes with Thomson because of that.
Thompson is a true 3 down LB that can cover, blitz and is a sure tackler. Zimmer will get the most out of him as well.

R1 Pick 12 Cleveland Browns
Devante Parker-WR Louisville
The Browns need a WR badly and after seeing how Josh Gordon has become friends with JFF who knows if he will be back next year either.
Parker is a special talent and has just begun his assent. He has good hands and great size and is one of the best at the stutter step toe drag. It’s a deceptive move that causes many missed tackles over the middle.  He also has great waste bend to allow him to locate the ball easily on downfield route, improving his catch radius.  Below is an example of the toe drag, notice the black pieces of turf that fly up.


R1 Pick 13 New Orleans Saints
Trae Waynes-CB Michigan State
The Saints will likely make their first three picks on the defensive side of the field. They need pass rushers, but that group is deep, so they may wait for later value. They also need CBs badly, especially ones that can tackle and play the run. Waynes can do that and would be an instant starter for them. He’s very similar to Darquese Dennard that came out last year but he’s better at staying in the hip pocket “in phase” defending and less handsy/grabby. He will be a solid starter and will bring some toughness to that squad.

R1 Pick 14 Miami Dolphins
Kevin White-WR West Virginia
The Dolphins need to add some help and a red zone option for Tannehill. Mike Wallace has been a disappointment and quit on the team, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is cut.
Kevin White isn’t fastest guy in the world, but he is definitely fast enough to get behind defenders and let Tannehill sling it deep. He is a great red zone option and win a lot of 50/50 balls with his good combination of size and leaping ability.

R1 Pick 15 San Fransisco 49ers
Marcus Peters-CB Washington
The niners were an incredible disappointment this year, they need major help in the secondary and to replace some of the aging defensive front. Peters is the best CB in the class from a talent perspective, but his issues with the Washington coaching staff will have him slide a bit. There are lots of rumors on what did and did not happen and I’m sure teams will dig around and make their judgement. The niners are not too big on character concerns as you can see with their recent issues, so I think this could be a landing spot.

R1 Pick 16 Houston Texans
Landon Collins-S Alabama
The Texans could go CB or WR here but the best value is at Safety. They have Daniel Manning at safety and DJ Swearinger is cheap shot away from missing time every season.
Collins is good in coverage for a strong safety, that really will help them in the running game too. If his shoulder checks out and he doesn’t have major damage after the game vs OSU he’s a great value here. Teams will reall have trouble with this Houston defense with there strong pass rush and Collins protecting the middle.

R1 Pick 17 San Diego Chargers
TJ Clemmings-OT Pittsburgh
The Chargers really need help on he offensive line it’s the worst position group on the team according to PFF rankings. Both of their guards are horrid and they could use a Tackle as well. Good thing for them is that Clemmings can play both of those positions. He’s versatile and is great in the run game. The Chargers second round pick should be for a RB and they will need someone to pave the way for that back. With Clemmings clearing the way for a new running back this team will be much improved next year.

R1 Pick 18 Kansas City Chiefs
Erik Kendriks-ILB UCLA
The Chiefs can use some help in the middle of their defense. The need someone to help cover the middle with teams like San Diego and Denver that spread them out. Hendricks is not your conventual size for an ILB, but his speed, blitzing ability, tackling, and coverage ability will make him a force in the middle. If you want to see him fly all over the field watch his game vs. Virginia and your see why he will be a hug pick. There is not a WR that is a good value here so they will take the best ILB fit for them in the draft. McKinney is a great player but they need Kendricks speed to handle teams like Denver and San Diego.

R1 Pick 19 Cleveland Browns (via Buffalo)
Alvin “Bud” Dupree-DE/OLB Kentucky
The Browns couldn’t stop anyone on the ground this year and Mingo has been very inconsistent. Bud is the perfect fit for a 3-4 DE and will be able to play OLB too. He is going to crush the combine and race up boards as the draft approaches. I can see him creeping into the top 15. He’s very athletic and that will make him the perfect tweener in the NFL for a 3-4 team.

R1 Pick 20 Philadelphia Eagles
Ronald Darby-CB Florida State
The Eagles need help at secondary badly (see Brandon Fletcher vs Dez Bryant this year). The Eagles will see Dez and now OBJ twice a year now, they need someone to slow them down. Darby has had a really good year and is a physical corner that can play against bigger WR with his strength.

R1 Pick 21 Cincinnati Bengals
Dante Fowler Jr.-DE Florida
The Bengals have had zero pass rush this year and need to improve that area badly. Fowler is a stellar Edge rusher that fits the Bengals 4-3 system perfectly. He will come in and start opposite fellow Gator day 1 and begin to make the Bengals pass rush formidable again.  He will have to work on his play vs the Run but he can come in an be a pass rushing DE and also plat SLB.

R1 Pick 22 Pittsburgh Steelers
Alex Carter-CB Stanford
The Steelers need to add some youth to that secondary with guys like Ike Taylor aging and declining. Carter doesn’t have elite speed but the AFC North is more about how well you can play the run and hold your own at the LOS where he should be fine. None of the AFC North teams real spread it out use tons of speed so he will slide right in to the slot or outside for the Steelers.

R1 Pick 23 Detroit Lions
Malcolm Brown-DT Texas
The Lions won’t even try to retain Nick Fairley and Suh is also a free agent. That vaunted front 7 could have a huge hole up the middle and will need to fill it. Brown is a massive man that can not only get after the passer he can stop the run at 320lbs.  He will not be Suh right away but he definitely has big upside.  He was productive with only average players around him on the defensive line.

R1 Pick 24 Arizona Cardinals
Can Erving-OT/C Florida State
The Cardinals need to give Palmer as much time as possible until they find a long term answer. They also need an edge rusher but no value here and it’s a deep class so they can wait.  Cam was once regarded as one of the top OT prospect coming into this season.  His footwork is subpar so FSU moved him inside and it was a great move for him.  He is a powerful run blocker, he can push the pocket forward, and his footwork is not as crucial “in a phone booth.”  Since he is so versatile, the Cardinals could move him around if injuries strike, or as other players age and his footwork improves.

R1 Pick 25 Carolina Panthers
Ereck Flowers-OT Miami
The Pantheer are much better when they are able to run the ball. This allows Cam to use his big arm in the play action passing game.  Their running back situation is a mess, but lucky for them this class is loaded.  I see them taking a running back in round two like many other teams.  They also need an edge rusher, but there was not really good value here and it’s a deep class so they can wait.  Flowers is a big strong prospect that is elite in the run game now and will continue to improve in the passing game. He has experience at not LT and RT

R1 Pick 26 Baltimore Ravens
Jalen Collins-CB LSU
The Ravens have a major need at CB because Webb has not been able to stay healthy at all. The need someone reliable opposite Jimmy Smith. After how well all the LSU rookies did this year don’t be surprised if players get a boost this year. He is strong and physical so he will fit right in, in the AFC North.

R1 Pick 27 Indianapolis Colts
Eddie Goldman-DT Florida State
The Colts need to get some additional pass rush but there’s no value at that position right now due to the early run. Goldman can help with some interior pass rush and defend the run. Devin Funchess could be an option here but they have two good TEs and he is TE/WR hybrid so might not be what they want.  Goldman will have to work on his consistency at the NFL level because it looks as he can take plays off.  When he is playing well he is a force right in the QBs face.

R1 Pick 28 Dallas Cowboys
Eli Harold-DE/OLB Virginia
The Cowboys defense was surprisingly good this season but they still need to get some help on the edge. Harold is a great pass rusher that will need to work on his ability to get off blocks to help in the run game. For now he can be a strict pass rusher for the Cowboys.  He is very fast and turns the corner with the best of them.  He has a great swim move and waste bend to get under the pads of OT and through them.

R1 Pick 29 Green Bay Packers
Danny Shelton-NT Washington
Ok here’s two picks that they could make and it depends on if BJ Raji leaves. If he does I think this is the pick, since I think he leaves that’s why Shelton. If BJ stays I think they go with a bigger guy like Jordan Phillips to beef up the line. They may also consider an ILB here in Perryman or McKinney.
Shelton is a disruptive guy that’s a great fit for a 3-4 NT that can stuff the run and collapse the pocket.

R1 Pick 30 Denver Broncos
Devin Funchess-WR/TE Michigan
The Broncos have some big weapons that will be FA this offseason. I don’t think they will be able to keep both Demaryous and Julius, so how do you fix that…draft a guy like Funchess and get their replacement. Manning only has a few years left so they have to keep going all in for him with weapons.  Funchess has never had a good QB during his college career so he has some big upside with Manning.  Guarding Denver in the Red Zone will be very difficult with the likes of Thomas, Laitmer, and Funchess.

R1 Pick 31 New England Patriots
Jalen Strong-WR Arizona State
Tom Brady needs some options to throw too besides Gronk. The perfect option is a big physical receiver like Strong. Tom doesn’t have the cannon he used to but he can still get it down the field. The combo of Strong, Gronk, and Wright would be a nightmare in the red zone.  Edelman and Lafell have been ok this year, but having someone to force teams to not double team Gronk will only make him more deadly and protect him from some hits.

R1 Pick 32 Seattle Seahawks
Todd Gurley-RB Georgia
Lynch will be in the last year of his deal and approaching the edge of the cliff soon. They will have the luxury of being able to red shirt Gurley most of the season and use him just for KR to fill the hole Harvin left. Then hand him the keys at the end of the year, or in 2016 depending on Lynch’s performance and attitude.  Gurley has the ideal build for an every down NFL back, he has power, speed, patience, and he hits the hole hard.  Once he’s fully recovered from his ACL injury he will be a real threat.

Make sure you  to for constant updates on NFL Draft prospects and scouting reports.  I try to respond to all resonable questions about prospects and I always enjoy a good debate on prospects or Mock Drafts.  If you don’t have twitter, you should get it, or you can email me at nfldraftlab@gmail.com

I also would like to thank the following people for their incite to specific teams and their overall needs for this and future multi round mocks.  They are great Twitter Draft follows, as well.

Packers: Justin Musqueda 
Jaguars: Blake Grittles 
Titans: Paul Kuharsky 
Bears: Tyler Gross 
Chiefs: Sully 
Jets: Jeff LJ Lloyd 
Raiders: David 
Tampa Bay: Luke Easterling 
Cowboys: John Owning 
Vikings: Arif Hasan 
Steelers: Curt Popejoy 
Dolphins: Ian Wharton 
Cardinals: Shaun Church 


NFL Season Preview

As the new NFL season approaches, it’s time to put your name on the line and make predictions. The NFC is the stronger conference top to bottom this year, but the cream of the AFC is just as good as the top NFC teams. Some teams will actually approach the 13-14 win mark in the AFC, the weak East and South. The NFC West is still the top conference in football, but with all the issues with the 49ers, the Bradford injury, and the injuries/suspensions on the Cardinals defense, it might not be the case by seasons end.

x – Division winner & First round bye
y – Wild Card
z – Division winner
* – Homefield Advantage throughout

AFC North
X-Bengals 11-5 (4-2)
Y-Steelers 9-7 (3-3)
Ravens 9-7 (3-3)
Browns 5-11 (2-4)

AFC East
*X*-Patriots 12-4 (4-2)
Dolphins 6-10 (3-3)
Bills 5-11 (2-4)
NY Jets 3-13 (3-3)

AFC South
Z-Colts 10-6 (4-2)
Texans 7-9 (4-2)
Titans 5-11 (2-4)
Jaguars7-9 (2-4)

AFC West
Z-Broncos 11-5 (4-2)
Chargers 7-9 (2-4)
Y-Chiefs 9-7 (4-2)
Raiders 5-11 (2-4)

NFC North
Bears 9-7 (2-4)
Vikings 5-11 (1-5)
Y-Lions 10-6 (3-3)
Z-Packers 11-5 (5-1)

NFC East
NY Giants 7-9 (3-3)
Cowboys 5-11 (2-4)
Z-Eagles 10-6 (4-2)
Redskins 7-9 (3-3)

NFC South
Buccaneers 7-9 (3-3)
*X*-Saints 12-4 (5-1)
Panthers 6-10 (2-4)
Falcons 6-10 (2-4)

NFC West
49ers 9-7 (3-3)
X-Seahawks 12-4 (5-1)
Y-Cardinals 10-6 (2-4)
Rams 8-8 (2-4)

If you want to see the game by game picks for the season they are linked here.

Wild Card Round
6) Cardinals @ 3) Packers
5) Lions @ 4) Eagles

6) Steelers @ 3) Broncos
5) Chiefs @ 4) Colts

Divisional Round
5) Lions @ 1) Saints
3) Packers @ 2) Seahawks
3) Broncos @ 2) Bengals
4) Colts @ 1) Patriots

AFC/NFC Championship
Bengals @ Patriots
Seahawks @ Saints

Super Bowl 50
Patriots vs. Saints

World Champion

Cincinnati Bengals Player Preview: Linebacker Vontaze Burfict

Vontaze Burfict

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 248 lbs

Age: 23

College: Arizona State University

Hometown: Corona, CA

Experience: 3 Years

If you have turned on a Bengals game the last two years, you know who Vontaze Burfict is. He led the team in tackles for the last 2 years. In 2013 he lead the team by nearly 100 tackles, and more importantly, led the team by 62 solo tackles. He doesn’t miss in the open field, and that is extremely clutch.

Burfict finished the year with 174 tackles, 114 solo, 3 sacks and a forced fumble. He is the most important guy on the defensive side of the ball.  He is in charge of calling all the plays and getting people lined up correctly, something Maualuga struggled with.

Most astonishing with Burfict is where he was drafted, or for that matter, that he was not drafted.  He was a 5-star recruit coming out of high school on both Rival and ESPN’s rankings, and was the No.1 MLB recruit in the country.  His attitude, penalties, weight gain, poor pro day, and terrible combine left a sour taste in many teams’ mouths.

This year, we can expect that Vontaze will be back at his WLB spot barring a major plague of injuries at LB before the season.  So what can the else can King Tez do to make himself better in 2014?  It will be hard for him to add much more to his 174 tackles from 2013, but he could improve a bit in his pass coverage.

His biggest issue is still penalties, and by that I mean he needs to work on eliminating them. I do think that referees target him and he gets a few cheap ones each year that totally bogus, but some he definitely deserves. Having James Harrison to learn from last year really helped him to walk that fine line between being intimidating and being penalized.

As his linebacker coach Paul knew how to get the most out of Vontaze, this year will be no different. Paul will lean on Vontaze to be his eyes and ears on the field, consulting with him for in game adjustments.

When Thomas Howard went down with a torn ACL in Week 2 of 2013, 3 days before the next game, Guenther had to scramble. Take your best athlete and teach him a new position, how he did that is just remarkable. He took to the gym at Paul Brown Stadium with chairs to teach Tez the basics of playing WLB.

Guenther is reportedly the one that was the mastermind of most of the exotic blitzes that Zimmer ran, so expect to see Tez blitzing more this year. His instincts make him great and it is the reason that opposing offenses fear him, he finds the ball and often.

He is so important to this teams success because he makes plays that swing the momentum of the game, like the forced fumble TD versus the Browns.  That game had a chance of going sour fast with the early INTs by Dalton, but the defense quickly took the wind right out of the Browns’ sails.

Marvin Lewis has made many references to Vontaze being “special” and that he looks a lot like “another guy he has coached in the past,” referring to Ray Lewis.

My prediction 160 tackles, 105 solo, 4.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions.


AFC/NFC North chat, would you swap Josh Gordon for Andre Johnson if you were Ray Farmer

What to do with Josh Gordon? Will he get his life straight? Is he the next Odell Thurman?

What teams in the NFC and AFC North are the best fits for Andre Johnson?

We discuss all of that, so just tune in below!


Victor Hampton can he shed his past for his Bengals future?

Victor Hampton, CB, South Carolina

Height: 5’9″

Weight: 197 lbs

Bench press reps: 20 (top marks for CB)

40 yard Dash: 4.51

Vertical leap: 33.5″

Initial Thoughts: Hampton is a talented player, but after watching the tape I can see why teams passed on him.  He had off the field issues and struggles to support the run.  When the ball is in the air he is one of the best players that I have watched at competing for the ball.  He can let his attitude effect his play.  He was benched before a game and then was not active in run support for most of the game.

He will need to work on his run support and man coverage.  In the slot he will mostly be in on passing plays, where he excels.  With the additions of Dennard and Westbrooks this year I only give Hampton a 5% chance to make the 53 man this year. I think the Bengals will want him to prove he can stay out of trouble for a year and stash him on the Practice Squad.

I give him a 100% chance to make the PS as long as he stays out of trouble. If he doesn’t clear waivers and a team scoops him up, it’s not really a loss since he was a UDFA.  He could take Terence Newman or Adam Jones’ role in 2015 if he is still with the Bengals.


  • Has great instincts and breaks on the ball well.
  • Is exceptional at tracking and contesting balls in the air.
  • Lives in the big moment and plays with swagger
  • Plays well in zone coverage and has good hands for deflecting passes and INTs.
  • Has lots of talent and physical ability.  Has experience in the slot and on the outside so he is versatile.
  • Has good quickness and fluidity of his hips; Had one of the fastest 3-cone times.


  • Lacks the size to effectively contribute in run support, and rarely finishes a tackle.
  • His aggressive approach to going to make tackles causes him to miss a lot of them and take bad angles.  He tries to push guys out of bounds or wait for help from his teammates.
  • Character concerns go all the way back to high school with him; he will need to keep himself out of trouble to have a shot.
  • The first sniff of a problem, and he will be sent packing instantly.
  • He is very chirpy on the field; will need to walk the line with this to avoid penalties.
  • Really needs to work on his man to man coverage, he lacks ideal top end speed.
  • His small stature makes if difficult for him to play bump and run coverage successfully, and can get caught up in blocks.

Key Plays vs Arkansas: (note: lost his starting job before this game)

1) Dances around the running back on the play, allows his teammate to make the hit and tackle (0:24)
2) Reads the QBs eyes and breaks on the pass for the INT.  Has a decent runback on after the catch as well. (0:33)
3) Working out of the slot he flies up to make the tackle and whiffs. (1:35)
4) Fails to breakdown on the play and the RB shakes him with a stutter step.  He flails at the RB to make the tackle and falls on his back unsuccessfully. (2:00)
5) He is responsible for holding the backside edge.  The runner cuts back he breaks down and just throws his pads at him and doesn’t wrap up (2:14)
6) He has a chance to stop a big play with an open field tackle, he dives at his feet and whiffs completely.  The runner gets an extra 25 yards.

2) Interception Play

Key Plays vs Mississippi State:
1) He does a great job of sitting in his zone coverage and breaking up the throw as it arrives.  As a result his teammate is able to make an INT. (0:39)
2) The smoke screen is thrown to the WR inside of him.  He sheds the blocker and comes up to make the tackle, unfortunately he misses the tackle. (1:13)
3) He waits for the WR to make is move and makes a big hit on him over the middle. (1:53)
4) He is the deep shell in the zone coverage; he is on the seam route but sees the throw and breaks on the ball.  His quick hips allow him to make up ground and he deflects the pass before it can get to the intended WR. (2:00)
5) There is a miscommunication on the play he thinks he has the flat 1/3 but he is supposed to be deeper.  He realizes the hole in the coverage and makes an acrobatic pass breakup.  After the play he talks to his teammate and realizes it is his mistake.  He takes ownership with the coaches for the error. (3:51)
6) He works against the WR on the fade route to the corner.  He keeps within arms reach of the WR and tips the ball away. (5:45)
7) He is guarding the blocking WR on the screen play.  He sheds the block then strips the WR of the ball as he makes the tackle.  It shows his great awareness and instinct to go for the knockout blow.






Final Thoughts:
If you just looked at the tape of Hampton, he would have been drafted.  It was his off the field antics that cost him hearing his name called.  Hampton got some bad advise from his agent.  He should have gone back to school for one more year.  That would have improved is stock in two ways.  He could have stayed out of trouble to build trust with teams, and added more quality game tape.

Regardless Hampton is in a good spot with the Bengals. He can get leadership from the likes of Newman, learn how to change his ways from Jones, and how he can dedicate to run support from Hall and Dennard. The problem with the Bengals is that they have five former 1st round picks in front of him.

If they only keep five CBs this year, which is very possibly, he has zero shot at the 53-man roster.  However, after 2015 one or more of those spots could open up.  If he is able to stay on the practice squad (PS) here, that might be the best thing for his NFL career.  He can practice and learn from some of the best at the position in the NFL.

My prediction: Hampton makes it to the final cutdown day and is offered a spot on the PS.  I’m not 100% convinced that he will clear waivers.  If he makes it to late September and has not gotten in trouble, a team with injuries at the position may claim him. 

James Wilder Jr. UDFA to Final 53?

James Wilder-RB (FSU)
Height: 6’3” Weight: 232 lbs
40 yard dash: 4.86 Vertical Leap: 32”

Initial Thoughts: He definitely has the talent to be on an NFL roster as the short yardage guy.  The problem is for him they have a vet in BJGE they can keep in that roll with added character and leadership, even if Hill would go down.  He has the look and the NFL bloodline with his dad being a former pro bowl RB with the Bucs.  I see him as an insurance policy in case they lose BGJE, Hill or both in training camp or the pre-season.  He will get his fair share of touches in the pre-season though. I assume the Bengals will have their mind made up on BGJE at that point and will be protecting Hill for the long haul by limiting his workload.  His combine measureables are not great, but are what were expected.  Chances to make the team barring no injuries in 2014 about 5%, chances for the practice squad are 100%; unless he gets arrested.  Even if they let BJGE go they will likely go with Burkhead and Peerman.  I think they see if he can keep his nose out of trouble while learning the offense in 2014.  He will be the short yardage backup to hill in 2015 and I give him a 75% of making the final 53 next year.

Strengths: He has the NFL back and looks the part. He has a strong build, and was used sparingly at FSU (only about 225 carries all time).  Possesses a great stiff arm and well balanced for a guy his size.  Stays behind his pads and absorbs contact well, does well at breaking tackles and getting YAC.  High upside possibility and low risk for the Bengals, could be a good battering ram in the future.  He does well at pushing the pile with his leg strength and drive.  With his body type and attributes he is a perfect between the trees type of runner, when he stays north/south he excels.  Averaged 7 YPC in 2013, but was stuck behind Freeman on the depth chart, who was drafted in the 4th round.

Weaknesses: Not very elusive, doesn’t really have the foot speed to string moves together.  This causes him to have to slow down to make his cuts, which allows him to get caught from behind at times.  Not a shake you guy has to use the stiff arm or absort the hit and keep his feet moving to break tackles.  Character concerns are obvious; he was arrested multiple times at FSU.  Lets his pad level get to high, running upright will cause him to get stood up in the NFL and increase his risk of injury when taking big shots to the midsection.  He has had durability issues and this is the main reason.  He didn’t get a pass thrown to him in the limited tape I had access too.  In his combine tape he chest catches almost all of the passes, when he has pads on this will certainly lead to drops.

Key plays vs Miami:
1) Sees opening in the B gap early on and disregards his lead blockers to the A and C gap shoots the gap.  The hole quickly closes in front of him since he has no blocker so eat up the LB approaching.  He lowers his pads and absorbs the contact, keeps his balance, and keep his feet churning for the TD. (0:18)
2) Good read of the play, correctly follows his blocker and has a huge opening.  Unfortunately he gets his foot tripped up by the LT and falls for a short gain.  (0:52)
3) Great sweep run, uses a stiff arm to stop the would be tackler.  He keeps his feet and dives for the pylon to get the TD. (1:15)
4) Winston fumbles the snap and he alertly notices this and runs back over to place a block for Winston and buy him some time.  (2:08)












Bengals Buzz 2 Round Mock Draft

1) Atlanta-Jadeveon Clowney (DE) South Carolina
Atlanta makes a move for the best 4-3 DE that we have seen in a decade. It will cost them the swapping 1st rounders, the 37th pick this year, and next years 1st rounder. No need for description on Clowney, if you have turned on a TV the last 6 months you know all about him. Atlanta does not have to give up as many picks as St Louis did because the Texans want to move down more.

2) St Louis-Khalil Mack (LB) Buffalo
Ferocious pass rusher that could be a dominate guy off the edge for years to come. He is fast, instinctive, and is a hitting machine.

3) Jacksonville-Blake Bortles (QB) UCF
Jacksonville could go OL or QB here. They take a prototypical QB he is tall and has a strong arm. He will sit behind whatever old washed up QB wins the gig to start the year there and take over by week 8 when they are 1-7.

4) Cleveland-Sammy Watkins (WR) Clemson
The Browns go with BPA at a skill position here. Watkins is the best WR to come out since AJ Green, and Cleveland knows all to well what he has done. Watkins and Gordon will be a deadly combo if they can find a QB to throw to them.

5) Oakland -Greg Robinson (OT) Auburn
The Raiders OL was terrible last year. They have filled some holes in FA but still need lots of help. This is not a flashy pick but it is the right one. They need to win now and keeping their QB upright will help do just that.

6) Houston-Johnny Manziel (QB) Texas A&M
The storybook ending to Houston’s pick. They trade down, get some extra picks, and still get to take the Texas kid after all. They also won’t get criticized for hitting or missing on Clowney now that one of these picks is likely to pan out.

7) Tampa Bay-Mike Evans (WR) Texas A&M
Here is a big, strong WR for The Bucs and they need a WR to put opposite Vincent Jackson. With Mike Williams stabbed then traded and I think they will jump to replace him.

8) Minnesota-Aaron Donald (DT) Pittsburgh
Mike Zimmer loved Geno Atkins, so he drafted his clone from 2014. If he turns out to play like Geno this will make Zimmer a happy man.

9) Buffalo-Jake Matthews (OT) Texas A&M
So the 3rd of the Texas trio goes here. All end up going in the top ten. Just remember when the college football season ended everyone had Matthews right after Clowney. The Bills need a RT and Matthews fits the bill. He can play RT and shift over to LT later on if they need him too.

10) Detroit-Justin Gilbert (CB) OK State
Detriot has a big need at corner so he fills that void. They get a speedy guy that can help them in the return game as well. This division has Rodgers and Cutler slinging it all over each week having a good secondary is imperative.

11) Tennessee-Derek Carr (QB) Fresno St
The Titans will definitely be trying to trade back here and don’t be surprised if the 49ers try to come up here to get the WR they want. The Jets are also rumored to be looking to come up to get Odell Beckum Jr. This might be where they try it. In my mock I only wanted to project the Trade with the top pick. They need a QB so they get one.

12) New York Giants-Zach Martin (OT/G) Notre Dame
The Giants have a need at G and he can move over to Tackle later on in his career, as his skills progress. If Beaty can’t go at the start of camp he can fill in at tackle right away.

13) St Louis-Taylor Lewan (OT) Michigan
The Rams have the Luxury of two 1st rounders in the top 13 picks thanks to the Redskins trading the farm for RG3, then stinking up the join. They need to see if Bradford deserves an extension or to let him walk. They can’t cut him this year because of his salary. If you can’t cut him you might as well protect him.

14) Chicago- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (S) Alabama
The Bears biggest need is a safety and think about the offenses in their division. The get Megaton and Aaron Rodgers & Co twice a year. They need a playmaker on the back end.

15) Pittsburgh-Darqueze Dennard (CB) Mich St
The Steelers have a need at CB with the age of the players they have currently. They currently have the “all geriatric” defensive backfield. I mean Ike Taylor seemingly can only guard AJ Green, everyone else roasts him. Dennard is big and physical like the Steelers prefer. He will help them in the run game and play well in man press. He is a extra grabby CB when playing the ball down field, so he will fit right in with the Steelturds.

16) Dallas-Anthony Barr (LB) UCLA
They have a lot of needs on defense so they will go with BPA. He can play OLB and offer some pass rush to make up for the departing Demarcus Ware.

17) Baltimore-Calvin Pryor (S) Louisville
They have no one to play opposite of Matt Elam so they will go safety in the first. He is the best safety left and the position is thin so they can’t wait. I did his full breakdown last week.

18) New York Jets-Odell Beckum Jr. (WR) LSU
Well the crowd at radio music hall will still boo, I mean they always do. This is the best case scenario for the Jets they don’t trade up and still get one of the Top 3 WR. I don’t know if he will make it this far rumors are swirling around him from multiple teams. Decker can’t do it all alone and I think it’s starting to be confirmed Stephen Hill is a big bust-a-rooski.

19) Miami-Xavier Su’a Filo (OG) UCLA
From best case to worst case scenario. Miami wants to get a OT in the first but all of the top tackles are gone. There line needs help everywhere since the whole Martin TattleGate stripped them of a OT and OG. They take the best OL on their board. I considered Morgan Moses here but since their whole line needs help they will go with the more versatile guy.

20) Arizona-Ra’shede Hageman (DT) Minnesota
He is probably the biggest boom or bust guy thus far in the mock. He has some tendency to take plays off, but he is 6’6″ and 320 pounds but still moves well. He can play the NT in the 3-4 which is a spot AZ can use help at. He will start week 1.

21) Green Bay-Eric Ebron (TE) UNC
Bye bye Jermichael Finley hello Eric Ebron, this would fill a major need and TEs tend to slide a bit on draft day just ask Tyler Eifert.

22) Philadelphia-Brandon Cooks (WR) Oregon St
Another fill the void pick. The Eagles don’t have anyone at WR that played serious snaps except Riley Cooper. Maclin has to prove he is back from the ACL tear so chip Kelly beefs up his arsenal of weapons and replaces Desean Jackson.

23) Kansas City-Jimmy Ward-(S) NIU
Here is the dilemma for the Chiefs getting Alex Smith cost them their 2nd round pick. This means they might have to reach a bit on a safety. I personally think Ward is the best tackler in the draft and would be ahead of the others if he didn’t go to NIU. He is projected in the late 20s so it’s not a huge reach here, but after Ward there are no other top safety’s. They will snag him up and put him next to Eric Berry to have a solid tandem.

24) Cincinnati-Kyle Fuller (CB) Virginia Tech
The Bengals roster is deep and talented but their biggest need is corner. They have capable players but they are all getting a little long in the tooth. They need to get younger at corner we all know that, Fuller is the most versatile of the corners. He can play man, man press, and zone. He fits the Bengals scheme and he is a thumper who will knock your block off given the chance. He is my top corner, the Bengals will be lucky to have him still available at 24.

25) San Diego-Louis Nix III (DT) Notre Dame
The Chargers could go with DL or CB here but I think they will wait on a CB since the class is deep and Nix would have been a Top 10 pick had he came out last year. Once he is fully healthy expect him to return to his beastly form. Flashes of him returning to form were present at his pro day. He looked strong. He can play NT for them in the 3-4.

26) Cleveland (from Indy)-Teddy Bridgewater (QB) Louisville
The Browns need a QB to compete in one of the toughest divisions in football. Browns fans might think the Hoyer is the answer, but I suspect he would be like Derek Anderson was a few years back. He would be a world burner for about 6 games then once teams have tape of him he would be exposed. There is a reason he was a backup for years before starting in Cleveland. Bridgewater has lots of great tape (trust me I watched it) so this is a great value. Ian Rapport has confirmed Cleveland’s scouts like him as well. His pro day is what has caused his stock to fall. I still think he could be gone earlier and a lot of this is smokescreens. Don’t be surprised if a team jumps back into the first round if he makes it to the teens. He is Matt Miller’s number 1 prospect.

27) New Orleans-Jason Varrett (CB) TCU
Position of need and BPA on the board. Varrett is a junkyard dog he knows he is the smallest dog in the fight so he makes sure you feel his bit early. He is a competitor and a tough guy something the Saints defense could use.

28) Carolina-Kelvin Benjamin (WR) FSU
The Panthers will need to replace Steve Smith and get Cam some other weapons. There defense is stout but they have to score some points to win. Kelvin was all the rage after the national title game but he is a little raw still. He slides the back of the 1st.

29) New England-CJ Mosley (ILB) Alabama
The Patriots will probably try to trade out of the first round all together, hey always do. Good OL’ Bill likes to think he is the master of the draft. Recently he hasn’t been doing so hot. Mosley is a solid player and will replace Spikes in the middle.

30) San Francisco-Marqise Lee (WR) USC
The Niners need some help at WR for the future. If Kaep gets the contract that he wants, that likely means they will have to let Crabtree walk. Boldin is getting old old old so they need some young talent.

31) Denver-Ryan Shazier (LB) OSU
The Broncos need some help on defense, just in case you missed te Super Bowl and didn’t already know that. Shazier is a safe pick he has a high floor but not as high of a ceiling. He will be a solid NFL player for many years. He is a solid tackler that can cover the TEs and slot receivers because of his speed. The reason that he is not being drooled over is because he doesn’t rush the passer.

32) Seattle-Stephon Tuitt (DE) Notre Dame
The Seahawks will be happy to get Tuitt here, they lost some players on the DL this offseason. They will be looking to add to the trenches with there limited picks. They will add a pass rusher they can develop on their great defense. Look for Tuitt to be a monster on that defense in 2 years.

Round 2

33) Houston-Dee Ford (OLB) Auburn
He is a better fit for their system then Clowney was. He can rush off the edge for them opposite JJ Watt.

34) Washington-Morgan Moses (OT) Virginia
The Redskins need someone to help protect RG3 and more importantly his knee. Moses stock is rising he is a great value here. He could go as high as the teens if there is a run on OT on Thursday.

35) Cleveland-Carlos Hyde (RB) OSU
Everyone thought the Browns were nuts when they traded Trent Richardson. As of now they looked pretty smart, but this season will tell the whole story about Richardson. They still need to replace him and Hyde does just that.

36) Oakland-Kony Ealy (DE) Mizzou
Oakland needs help in a lot of places, one of them being the defensive line. Ealy will help them with providing some pass rush off the edge.

37) Houston-(Clowney trade) Chris Borland (ILB) Wisconsin
The Texans need an inside backer and Borland is a sure tackler that well help solidify the LB corp. They can put him next to Cushing and let him learn from one of the best.

38) Tampa Bay-Joel Bitonio (OT/G) Nevada
The Bucs line was bad bad bad last year. Mike Glennon was running for his life all season. Joel is a guy that can play tackle and if he struggles he will at least be a good guard at the next level. He is a monster run blocking which will be something Lovie will want to do.

39) Jacksonville-Kyle Van Noy (OLB/DE) BYU
What do the Jags need? Good football players. They get one here that can cover and provide some pass rush.

40) Minnesota- Tom Savage (QB) Pittsburgh
Mike Zimmer needs a QB for the long haul. He gets a big, tough, strong armed QB that he can groom for the future. I still wake up and wish he was still our Defensive Coordinator every day, no offense to Gunther.

41) Buffalo-Jordan Matthews (WR) Vanderbilt
EJ Manuel needs some options to throw to. He gets a tall fast WR that can still get open when everyone knows the ball is coming to him…..I mean he did it at Vandy his entire college career. The Bills will hope pairing him with Robert Woods will play out nicely.

42) Tennessee- Bradley Roby (CB) OSU
This is a need position for the Titans. With his bad tape, and questionable decisions in 2013 his stock plummeted. Similar to Janoris Jenkins in 2012. Good value here and it is worth the risk, with a clean record he would go top 10

43) N.Y. Giants-Dominic Easley (DT) Florida
The Giants need to fill holes on the defensive line to get back to the way they won titles. Pass rush and running the ball. Easley when healthy is a top 15 pick so they get him here at a good value.

44) St. Louis-Lamarcus Joyner (CB/S) FSU
The Rams need help at safety and at corner. He is the perfect guy to play a little of both and settle in where he is best. He is not afraid to play in the box and hit you.

45) Detroit-Cody Latimer (WR) Indiana
As much as we think he can, Megatron cannot do it all every week. With Latimer and Tate added across from him this offense will be in better shape.

46) Pittsburgh-Austin Seferian-Jenkins, (TE) Washington
Heath Miller is getting old and Big Ben needs some more targets. This will help with both.

47) Dallas-Timmy Jernigan (DT) FSU
If any owner will overlook the fact that he failed his combine drug test, it’s Jerry Jones. I mean it takes a special kind of stupid to fail a drug test that you are told what day it will be months ahead of time. It also takes a special kind of stupid to make some of the picks and do some of the things Jerry does; they are a perfect match.

48) Baltimore-Allen Robinson (WR) Penn State
The Ravens signed Steve Smith but he only has a few years left. He can help groom Robinson to take over.

49) N.Y. Jets- Deone Bucannon (S) Washington State
The Jets need safety help, like a lot of teams, and there aren’t that many in this draft. They reach a bit to fill a need.

50) Miami- Cyrus Kouandajio (OT) Alabama
The Dolphins line was a mess last year. Cyrus will be a steal here if he can get and stay healthy.

51) Chicago-Stanley Jean-Baptiste (CB) Nebraska
He is rangy and tall to help cover the big receivers in the NFC north.

52) Arizona-Ja’Wuan James (OT) Tennessee
The Cardinals need to get the line stabilized because Carson is not mobile at all. He can be effective in a clean pocket. This will also help with a young QB that they will have to start grooming for the future.

53) Green Bay-Terrance Brooks (S) FSU
Forced to reach here based on their extreme need and the thin safety position. The next safety might not be picked until the late 3rd round. The Packers are contenders and can’t risk a project starting at safety.

54) Philadelphia- Demarcus Lawrence (OLB) Boise State
The Eagles will have a pass rusher off the edge that they can develop to takeover for Trent Cole if he struggles coming off his injury.

55) Cincinnati- Trai Turner (OG/C) LSU
The Bengals lost their backup do it all lineman Anthony Collins. They like to take guys in the trenches in the middles rounds and they like them versatile. Here is a guy that can help at G/C and fill in for Boling if he is not ready at the start of the season. He is a mauler in the running game so Hue will want him. He doesn’t have the ideal length for a OT but could eventually take over for Whitworth at covering the blind side if he progresses. I know its not a flashy pick but based on whats available they will go here. Had Lawrence not gone a pick before he would have been the guy.

56) San Francisco (Alex Smith trade)-Pierre Desire (CB) Lindenwood
The Niners lost a lot at the CB position this offseason. They will look to add a couple of corners this is the first.

57) San Diego-Marcus Martin (C) USC
The Chargers need to upgrade their interior line. They will ask Marcus to make the quick drive south from LA to San Diego and do just that.

58) New Orleans-Davante Adams (WR) Fresno State
We all know how NOLA likes there weapons, they lost Sproles so they will look to add a WR to pair across from Colston for Brees.

59) Indianapolis-Jeremiah Attacochu (OLB) Georgia Tech
The Colts just go with BPA on defense and get a pass rusher to put pressure on the young QBs in the division.

60) Carolina-Antonio Richardson (OT) Tennessee
The Panthers have an excellent defense and need to be able to protect Cam and run the ball. Richardson is another guy that would have gone in the late first early second with a clean bill of health. Instead he is a high upside value pick here.

61) San Francisco-Weston Richburg (C) Colorado State
The Niners will likely package their abundant picks and go up and get a few people they really want. Since trades are too hard to predict they stay put here and get a guy that will challenge to start day 1. He is also retirement insurance in case Goodwin decides to hang up the cleats.

62) New England-Jace Amaro (TE) Arizona
The Pats love running two TE sets. Problem is one of there TEs is a murderer and the other is only worried about murdering shots all night at the club. He will be alongside Gronk and will give them a decent option if Gronk gets hurt again.

63) Denver-Jarvis Landry (WR) LSU
All the chips are in the center of the table for the Broncos this year. Why not get Peyton more weapons. I mean he did lost Eric Decker right?

64) Seattle- Martavis Bryant (WR) Clemson
The Seahawks defense is solid and they reinforced the D-line with pick 32. Here they look to get Russell a weapon and replace Golden Tate departure.

Cody Tewmey
Draftnik CincyJungle
Follow @codiki