The NFL Depot
by Dave Mest
NFC North Draft Grade
Welcome all to the NFL Depot! I’m Dave Mest your host! Like always, let get to it!
I’m back in black, with the black and blue division. That’s right, the NFC North. Let’s take an inside look at the Bears, Packers, Lions and Vikings. With a full blown “Rant” to send you all home happy. So, I say enough of the small talk and on with the show.
Chicago Bears: 1st round: Shea McClellin DE, Bosie St Grade:B+
2nd round: Alshon Jeffery WR, South Carolina Grade: A
3rd round: Brandon Hardin S, Oregon St Grade: B-
4th round: Evan Rodriguez FB, Temple Grade: B
6th round: Isaiah Frey CB, Nevada Grade: C+
7th round: Greg McCoy CB, TCU Grade: C
Dave’s Take: I’ve seen a lot of Shea McClellin, I’m a huge Bosie St fan. This kid has the ability to be a game changer, all he needs is some polishing. He has the speed and size at 6″3 but at 260 could use some extra beef at the next level. The Bears could also stand him up at OLB, that case he could bump down a few pounds. He uses his leverage well against the bigger lineman, he does have the ability to turn and run and cover a TE, or RB out of the backfield if moved to OLB.
I love the Jeffery pick at this spot of the draft(2nd round 13th pick). This kid ,could and should, be a big time player for the Bears, the size is there at 6″4 229 good hands and has breakaway speed. The thing that concerns me most with him, is his temper and lack of focus at times. He’s going have to learn at the NFL level, to use his size and speed more than what he did in college. With the help of Marshall(all on field, keep the kid away from his of field stuff),and the support of the coaching staff, he should be a steal.
Brandon Hardin was a reach here. I think they could have gotten him latter, maybe 4th or 5th round. Hardin missed his Sr. year with a shoulder injury. He has a great upside, can close a gap quick, hits like a truck. Look for him to play special teams, in his first few years. Great size for a safety at 6″3, 217 and decent speed. Should be a starter in a few years. The Bears did get value with Hardin, but it will be waiting game.
I like what Rodriguez brings to the table. He’s more of an H-back then a full back. He has the speed to be a match up problem, out of the back field. With a 4.5 40 time and at 6″2 239 he could be a faster Tom Rathman. He has great hands and can block well down field, as well as point of impact. All of those things point to why, he was the first full back off the boards. The down side is his past, arrested in 07 for assault and disorderly conduct in 09,hes going to have to show the Bears, all that’s in his past.
The next two picks of Frey and McCoy run together. Frey has a good skill set but is out of position a lot. He relies on his speed a little too much, he’s not a hard hitter but will get the job done. Look for Frey as a special team’s guy, if he makes the team, but should be kept as a practice squad player. McCoy was drafted as a pure return guy, to maybe take some of the load of Hester.
Detroit Lions: 1st round:Riley Reiff OT, Iowa Grade:B+
2nd round:Ryan Broyles WR, Oklahoma Grade:B
3rd round: Dwight Bentley CB, La-Lafayette Grade:A
4th round: Ronnell Lewis DE, Oklahoma Grade:C+
5th round: A: Tahir Whiehead OLB, Temple Grade: C+
B: Chris Greenwood CB, Albion Grade: C-
6th round: Jonte Green CB, New Mexico St Grade: C
7th round: Travis Lewis OLB, Oklahoma Grade: C
Dave’s Take: I like the Reiff pick, at this spot in the draft(23 overall). The Lions had to upgrade the O-line, I think they did just that. The only question will be what side he will play. I don’t see him as a left tackle, not right away. If I had to guess, I see him as a right tackle or a guard at this point. He does have a good skill set quick feet, good reaction and knows how to stay with blocks. The bad, has a hard time with a speed rusher, sometimes out of position for blocks and unpolished footwork.
I question the Broyles pick. I think the Lions should have gone CB here. Instead, they chose to bring in another weapon for Stafford. Look for Broyles to be a Wes Welker Type player, but faster. He has good hands and runs smooth routs, is a very good return man. The down side, he already tore up his knee. Look for the Lions to use him in the slot as well as boosting their return game.
The Bentley pick could be a huge one. He seems to have a good work ethic, as well as the skill set to be an NFL corner. He will need to beef up a bit(only182), another 10 pounds should do wonders. With a little NFL seasoning he should be a starter in this league. For now, look for him to play special teams and be the teams nickel back.
The next five picks Scream special teams players. I really see nothing that stands out to me. Lewis’s nick-name was “the hammer”, due to his hard hits on special teams. He’s what you call a “twine”, someone not big enough to play DE, or fast enough to play OLB. Look for him to be a pass rush guy and a special team’s ace. Whitehead brings the same skill set as Lewis. It’s hit or miss with whitehead, another special team’s guy. The Lion’s did take a step out, with drafting Greenwood. A division III player(the first since 1967). Greenwood does have a great skill set. But the question is, will his skill set transfer over to the NFL? As for Green and Lewis, look for both to be backs up if they make the team. I have a feeling the practice squad, will be in many of these guys’ futures.
Total Grade: C+
Green Bay Packers: 1st round: Nick Perry DE, USC Grade: B+
2nd round: A: Jerel Worthy DT, Michigan St Grade:A
B: Casey Hayward CB, Vanderbilt Grade:B+
4th round: A: Mike Daniels DT, Iowa Grade:B-
B: Jerron McMillian SS, Maine Grade:C
5th round: Terrell Manning OLB, NC State Grade:C+
7th round: A: Andrew Datko OT, FSU Grade:C
B: BJ Coleman, QB, And Tennessee-Chattanooga Grade:D+
Dave’s Take: Nick Perry was an OK pick here. Look for the Packers, to move him to the OLB position. Perry has good speed and good flow to the ball, should be a great edge rusher. Perry, is going to have to work on his cover skills. He should be fine, once he picks up the flow, of the NFL game.
Jerel Worthy, in my opinion, is going to be one heck of a player. He should team up well with BJ Raji,to be the bookends, of their 3-4 line for the next few years. He has that important first step needed, as well as great ball flow, but does get out of position easy. Does have the size and arm reach for good leverage, should be able to fight off blockers and clog holes.
I like the Hayward pick. He’s an aggressive player with good skill. He does have some problem with man coverage, but with the Packers Zone coverage he should be fine. Look for him to play right away in the nickle. He should be able to push for the starting job, against the ageing Charles Woodson. That would let them push Woodson to safety, after the release of Collins.
Daniels should be able to slid around the D-Line and play all 3 spots. Look for him to push for playing time and be a primary back up. He has a solid skill set that needs to be refined. A bit lazy at times and plays out of position, the Packers should be able to fix these problems.
Look for Mcmillian to play special teams this year, maybe come in as a dime back. Maybe if lucky he could push for a starting job in a few years.
I don’t see Manning anything more than depth at OLB with a solid special teams play. To be anything more, he’s going to have to step up his game.
I see Datko as a practice squad guy, or someone that makes the 53 man roster, but doesn’t dress much. He should be just added Dept.
I don’t see Coleman making the team. If he’s lucky he will get a practice squad invite.
Minnesota Vikings: 1st round: A: Matt Kalil OT, USC Grade: A+
B: Harrison Smith FS, Grade: B
3rd round: Josh Robinson CB, UCF Grade: A
4th round: A: Jarius Wright WR, Arkansas Grade: B
B: Rhett Ellison TE, USC Grade: C+
C: Greg Childs WR, Arkansas Grade: B
5th round: Robert Blanton S, Noter Dame Grade: C
6th round: Blair Walsh K, Georgia Grade: C
7th round: A: Audie Cole ILB, NC State Grade: C+
B: Trevor Guyton DE, Cal Grade: C
Dave’s Take: Matt Kalil will be a stud! He has great footwork, good arm reach and great pulling ability. He’s very athletic, can recover well when makes mistakes. He does have some down side. Lacks power at impact, USC played a lot of zone blocking, might have problems with speed rush in the NFL. At 6″7,306, should be able to anchor the Vikings O-Line for many years.
Smith, has great size and speed 6″2,213,4.5,40. A former linebacker turned safety can play well in the box, has the speed to cover down field, as well as backs and tight ends. He does need to tighten up coverage, Smith should be able to come in and contribute right away. Look for him to battle for a staring gig, but will be a great special teams guy.
The Vikings drafted the fastest player in the draft, in the form of Josh Robinson(4.28,40). He’s a great wrap tackler, finishes well, can play man or zone. He’s only average size(5″10),doesn’t play up to his speed, squats on routes and gambles a little too much. Will fit well in a cover 2. Should be a great number 2 corner. Look for him to play nickel and special teams this year.
The Vikings came back with 3 new weapons, in the 4th round, Jarius Wright, Rhett Ellison and Greg Childs. Wright is a little small at 5″10,182,but has great speed, should help out in the slot. Ellison, at 6″5,251 is nicknamed “The Machine” for good reason. He has great work ethic and leadership skills. He’s a tight end turned fullback, could be a Jim Kleinsasser type player. Childs,6″3,219,4.4,40,caught only 21 passes after tearing a tendon in his knee. This was a risk that could pay off well. He has good upside, with soft hands, speed and size.
The next four picks where about value. Blanton, should bring value in special teams and bring dept. Walsh, as of now, is the Vikings kicker. The Vikings, most likely will bring in competition for Walsh. Cole and Guyton Should bring Depth to the Vikings D, if they make the team.
Draft Grade: B
Dave’s Rant: It’s a short one this week. I’ve been down and out with a sinus infection. With that said, I’m shooting close to the heart today. I’m just a little sick and tired of the Mike Wallace contract dispute. Not one single NFL team made an of season offer to the RFA. That being said, not one team thought he was worth the 1st round draft pick, they would have to give up to get him.
The Steelers have told Wallace to sign the, $2.7 million dollar offer and they would talk a new contract with him. It seems that’s not good enough for Mr. Wallace. He wants Top 5 WR money.
This is where I bring my two cents to the whole thing. As a Steelers fan, I’ve watched every Steelers game last year. What I saw, from Wallace was anything but top 5 WR. Sure, he started off like a house on fire, but went out with a bit of sizzle. What I do see, is a guy with great speed and ok route running. He’s what a lot of people are calling a, “one trick pony”. If he wants the big money, he should go back and watch some old Steelers tapes and see what Hines Ward did for this team. With Wallace’s speed, all he has to do is clean up his routes, learn to go over the middle and block better. He should sign the deal, come in and learn Todd Haliey’s new playbook. I don’t see it happening. I think he’s going to hold out till camp and it’s going to hurt him.
If I where in the Steelers shoes, I would let Wallace walk next year. I would take that money and sign Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders longer term. I think Brown will be the all-around player, they were looking for out of Wallace. Sanders, if stays healthy, should be a great second to Brown. They should then use the draft to fill the hole left by the departing Wallace.
That’s it for this week as I craw over the finish line. Till next week when I dig a bit more into the draft, with the NFC South, see ya.