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Stormin' Norman

2015 Draft thread

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I figure with the two collegiate all star games yesterday and Senior Bowl practices this week its a good time to start looking at the draft.

Looking at the talent crop, the perceived strengths seem to align pretty well with what we need - several explosive defensive tackles and a lot of intriguing middle round guys at depth positions like defensive end and corner.

Some guys that stood out to me yesterday (along with their Rotoworld profile because they are pretty good about linking to various practice reports for those interested):

Kentucky DE Za'Darius Smith:

He was, in my opinion, the biggest stand out of the day in both games. It seemed like he was in the backfield on every play, dominating whatever tackle they put on him. I think he only got one sack on the day (its surprisingly difficult to get stats for the game) but he disrupted the QB on almost every step back. He was the teams defensive MVP.

Miami DE Anthony Chickillo:

The Shrine Game let Chickillo open up as a 4-3 DE after he spent most of his time in college as a 3-4 defensive end. He was a top recruit going into Miami and his natural athleticism showed yesterday. With the defensive line staff we have on this team, I'd love to be able to add someone like Chickillo or Georgia defensive end Ray Drew - both have a lot of untapped talent due to college scheme fits.

Chattanooga DT Derrick Lott:

He had one of the best plays at the Shrine Game when he blew past the offensive line and almost took the handoff from the QB. I was reading reports throughout the week praising his explosiveness. He's obviously not a Suh replacement, but could be a developmental rotational guy.

Central Michigan DT Leterrius Walton:

Adding him more based on the reports I read throughout the week rather than any particularly great play from the game. He's 300 lbs and 6'5 - so he has weight to add - but he was one of those players that made every "practice standout" lists this week.

Florida Atlantic S Damian Parms:

A standout player during the game that I didn't hear a lot about during practice. He snagged two picks during the game.

Georgia CB Damian Swann

He was a practice week standout who looked good during the game. He was very inconsistent his first few years at Georgia, but came into his own last year after a change at coordinator. He'll likely measure well and is a corner I think can play both outside and in the slot - may be the highest drafted player at the Shrine game.

USC CB Josh Shaw

He's the guy who lied about saving his nephew after he broke both his ankles during last off season. He looked good in the Shrine Bowl yesterday though, grabbing himself a pick in the end zone (though he probably got points off for taking it out of the endzone and getting tackled inside the five.) He got a Senior Bowl invite after the game.

Prairie View A&M QB Jerry Lovelocke

Clearly by the way this list looks I spent more time watching the Shrine Bowl rather than the NFLPA game (why they had them on at the same exact time is beyond me) but the one player who stood out to me a bit was Jerry Lovelocke. He's a big, strong looking QB. It's a really bad QB draft class, so anyone worth drafting will probably be taken before they should be (and I am not even willing to say yet that Lovelocke is worthy of a draft pick for anyone), but he's someone who I am going to pay attention two more after yesterday.

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Za'Darius Smith really is a name I'd keep in the back of your mind though. One thing that has become clear the last few years is that Mayhew wants his defensive ends to be around the 6'5" range (which is a reason why I think we didn't resign Willie Young last year) and Smith (unlike Chickillo) checks off that box. With Ziggy and Larry Webster we have shown a willingness to "buy low" on fairly inexperienced players (Smith only played a year of high school football before going to junior college) and we usually do a good job of taking advantage of the college all-star game scouting process.

His skill set is more Jason Jones than Ziggy too, so he fits a need. Like Cauron Reid after his Senior Bowl performance, he is a player I am going to pay a lot of attention to after yesterday.

Also, for those interested, here are some links for Shrine Game standouts:

2015 NFL Draft: Smith, Chickillo, Shaw flash at East-West Shrine Game - CBSSports.com

Jeremiah: Tre McBride leads standouts from Shrine Game drills - NFL.com

(Video) Who were the biggest stars of the East-West Shrine Game? - NFL Videos

What we learned from East-West Shrine Game - NFL.com

(Video) 10 players who impressed Mayock at Shrine Game practices - NFL.com

Standouts from East-West Shrine Classic - ESPN

5 Standouts from East-West Shrine Game

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Another guy I liked was Louisville's John Miller, the guard. He plays right guard, but he was outstanding in the game. Hard to put too much emphasis on the Shrine game, because there were so many terrible players there. The QB's in particular were terrible.

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Here is a list of 20 of the top prospects at the Senior Bowl, according to Rotoworld...

Top 20 Attending

1. T La’El Collins, LSU

2. T T.J. Clemmings, Pitt

3. EDGE Hau’oli Kikaha, Washington

4. DL Preston Smith, Miss State

5. DL Henry Anderson, Stanford

6. DL Danny Shelton, Washington

7. CB Quinten Rollins, Miami (OH)

8. RB David Cobb, Minnesota

9. EDGE Owamagbe Odighizuwa, UCLA

10. CB Kevin White, TCU

11. WR Tony Lippett, Michigan State

12. WR Jamison Crowder, Duke

13. G Shaq Mason, Georgia Tech

14. G Arie Kouandjio, Alabama

15. T Ty Sambrailo, Colorado St

16. RB Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

17. DL Carl Davis, Iowa

18. CB Senquez Golson, Ole Miss

19. TE Ben Koyack, Notre Dame

20. S Jaquiski Tartt, Samford

2015 Senior Bowl Preview - All Star Circuit - Rotoworld.com

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I guess we have to wait and see who we re-sign and who we release, but initially my thoughts are that I wouldn't mind spending a high pick on the O line again. We seem short on depth of quality there whenever Waddle and/or Warford were out. Warford, Waddle, Rieff, Swanson and a new stud to add to the collection would have us looking somewhat stronger.

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That O line def still needs work. Imagine if we'd taken Martin at 10 instead of Ebron ? The Cowboys showed a good blueprint re their line. I'd go ( dependant on two of Suh, Fairley and Mosley re-signing and Swanson being fit )

OT/G unless Gurley slides to 23

S

RB

CB

DE

Or some thing along those lines.

We shouldn't pass up Gurley if he fell. Dude is a beast, if we got a feature running back we'd be potent all over the field.

Safety could do with some young blood

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Lucas finished strong' date=' and Im interested in bringing Sims back. But there is definitely a roster spot for another lineman or two.[/quote']

2 of Lucas' 3 worst PFF grades were week 17 and the WC game

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That may be true, but he filled in holes well throughout most of the second part of the season - especially when we needed him to fill in for Reiff.

I don't want to pencil him as a starter by any means, but he's going to be on the roster next year.

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Here is a list of 20 of the top prospects at the Senior Bowl, according to Rotoworld...

Top 20 Attending

1. T La’El Collins, LSU

2. T T.J. Clemmings, Pitt

3. EDGE Hau’oli Kikaha, Washington

4. DL Preston Smith, Miss State

5. DL Henry Anderson, Stanford

6. DL Danny Shelton, Washington

7. CB Quinten Rollins, Miami (OH)

8. RB David Cobb, Minnesota

9. EDGE Owamagbe Odighizuwa, UCLA

10. CB Kevin White, TCU

11. WR Tony Lippett, Michigan State

12. WR Jamison Crowder, Duke

13. G Shaq Mason, Georgia Tech

14. G Arie Kouandjio, Alabama

15. T Ty Sambrailo, Colorado St

16. RB Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

17. DL Carl Davis, Iowa

18. CB Senquez Golson, Ole Miss

19. TE Ben Koyack, Notre Dame

20. S Jaquiski Tartt, Samford

2015 Senior Bowl Preview - All Star Circuit - Rotoworld.com

Hearing good stuff about Carl Davis from Iowa right now. He's a guy I could see being available at our second round spot.

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That may be true' date=' but he filled in holes well throughout most of the second part of the season - especially when we needed him to fill in for Reiff.

I don't want to pencil him as a starter by any means, but he's going to be on the roster next year.[/quote']

On the roster is fine, good enough to the 3rd OT is the question though.

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I think he is - especially since he showed he can play left tackle.

Also - going back to my original post - Za'Darius Smith is officially my first man crush of draft season. He got a Senior Bowl invite and is having a great week of practice - got in trouble today for cutting in line for extra reps during defensive line drills. Really excited to watch him in the game - see if he can dominate as much as he did last week. Mayhew has a defined trend of drafting linemen in the 4th round - could be a good spot for him.

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I figure we need at least one, especially if we drop Jason Jones.

I'm really intrigued by several late round defensive line prospects - particularly Georgia' Ray Drew - so I'd love to see Darryl Tapp's roster spot being used by another DE prospect.

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I think you mentioned in one of these threads Collins as a good first round pick - I'm really starting to come around to that position if the Lions think he can kick out to left tackle later on.

A player who can start out at left guard and then potentially replace Reiff should we need to stay cheap at the tackle position after signing Suh is an ideal situation.

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Wasn't there talk that Reiff can play guard as well when he was drafted (I believe he was a guard and a tackle in college)? If it meant a big upgrade on the line I wouldn't mind getting a top flight OT and kicking Reiff to guard if both players can be above average to studs at those positions.

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Cedric Ogbuehi is someone who's stock fell this year, and is coming off a bowl game injury, who could possibly be had much later than most expected him last year. Not someone you want to count on year one though.

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Wasn't there talk that Reiff can play guard as well when he was drafted (I believe he was a guard and a tackle in college)? If it meant a big upgrade on the line I wouldn't mind getting a top flight OT and kicking Reiff to guard if both players can be above average to studs at those positions.

This is exactly what I would like us to do, if the correct OT is there at 23

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This is exactly what I would like us to do, if the correct OT is there at 23

Let's say Suh decides he doesn't want to be in Detroit and the Lions let him walk, would you be happy if Bryan Bulaga signed with Detroit?

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Bulaga is somewhat interesting, but I wouldn't pay a lot. I'd rather have Iupati. Him and Revis would be my top 2 targets if we didn't sign Suh, plus Fairley.

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