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My glance around the 2015 NFL Draft continues with a glimpse into the heart and soul of defenses everywhere aka the linebackers.  Unlike the offensive skill players, some defenders rise and fall benardrickmdepending on the scheme that they play in.  Their athletic skill is important, but so is the role they will get featured in. Here are my thoughts:

1) Eric Kendricks, Minnesota

Although he is a little short for an inside backer, Kendricks is ultra-athletic and will get to play along his college linebacker.  It looks like he will play MLB and should be able to flow freely to the ball carrier. Read More »



This year’s draft is full of pass rushers.  Outside of the top six of Vic Beasley, Shane Ray, Dante Fowler, Bud Dupree, Randy Gregory, and Leonard Williams, there is a lot of debate who should be eliharoldnext.  One of the names that get mentioned is Virginia’s Eli Harold.  He is a bit undersized for a typical defensive end role, but has some good tape out there.  I reviewed five of his games against UCLA, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Miami, and Maryland to get a better idea of what he can bring to the NFL.  Here is what I saw:

OLB/DE Eli Harold, Virginia 6’ 3” 248 lbs.

Cons: The defender does not have any specialized skills in trying to get to the quarterback.  Most pass rushers use spins, swim moves, dips, and bull rushers in some sort of concert to create separation between themselves and their blockers, not him.  Harold shoves and pushes with only a glimpse of a spin or swim move, despite having quick hands.  He tends to lunge and get off-balance, which makes it easier to get him on the ground or out of the way.  Too many times the defender let the offensive lineman into his body which makes him easy to pass or run block against.  Harold needs to use his punch more often and anchor himself forcing the ball back inside.  He also fell for a few too many fake handoffs from UCLA’s Brent Hundley; the first time understandable, but to fall for it multiple times… Read More »

In a draft full of pass rushers, Missouri’s Shane Ray did not participate at the NFL Combine setting him back in some draftniks’ eyes.  He was active in the Missouri pro day, but did not stand out shanerayaccording to reports of people in attendance.  I decided to let his college film do the talking as I reviewed his games against UCF, South Carolina, Florida (2014 and 2013), and Kentucky.  This is what I noticed:

OLB/DE Shane Ray, Missouri 6’ 3” 245 lbs.

Cons: The first thing I noticed is that he is a bit awkward moving laterally, not smooth. Ray has a bad habit of letting blockers into body, but has a powerful enough torso to move them around to where he wants.  The defender needs to be more proactive and attack instead of letting the offense come to him.  There are times he gets too aggressive though and works himself out of the play.  His instincts are good, but he needs to understand better what the offense is trying to carry out.  Ray needs to get stronger against the run, stepping up and filling the gap.  I thought he looked a little stiff dropping back into pass coverage and might be more of a pass rushing specialist. Read More »

Now is the time  in dynasty leagues when the good owners are trying to find ways to fortify their teams by looking towards the 2015 NFL Draft with prospects like Shaq Thompson and Maxx Williams.  One of the best ways to do that is by looking to the college players that maxxwmight make the move to the NFL this spring.  Here are more of the players that stood out with their bowl game play.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, rather a starting point for the 2015 NFL Draft and your own rookie fantasy draft!  I listed these players alphabetically:

RB-David Cobb, Minnesota

The young back has good vision, quick feet, and seemed very comfortable running pass patterns for a Big ten back.  He catches the ball well in stride with soft hands, looking very impressive on a wheel route when he caught the ball with a defender draped all over him. Cobb unfortunately did not get his feet down on that play, but his athleticism shined thru. The runner is not a strapping 30+ carries half back, instead he has a skill set similar to the Patriots Shane Vereen.  He needs space to run, has a little wiggle, but takes what the defense gives him.  There were a few times Cobb got strung out running east and west showing more hesitation than explosion.  The back is decent in pass protection, stepping up to attack defenders, but doesn’t hold up for terribly long.  If you want a back that can perform on trick plays, Cobb could be your man as he caught a backwards lateral and then threw it back to his quarterback for a completion.  Read More »