A little more than three weeks away from the 2015 NFL Draft! What’s the latest scuttlebutt and rumors floating around? Today we take a look at a few defensive backs soaring up draft boards and a late round surprise.
Quite possibly no defensive back is moving up draft boards faster than Eric Rowe of Utah.
As first reported two weeks ago, there’s a feeling Rowe will end up in the second half of round one and won’t get past the 40th pick. The teams I’m hearing highest on Rowe in round one include the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have doubled up on Rowe, that is worked him out and will bring him in for an official visit, as have the Detroit Lions, who believe Rowe can start at either safety or cornerback.
Teams who like Rowe but select late in the rounds face a dilemma as most realize if they don’t draft him with their initial selection he won’t be on the board when they’re called on the clock in round two. Teams love Rowe’s size, athleticism and versatility but also feel he’s a smart, coachable player. The New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Bucs and Oakland Raiders are also bringing Rowe in for a visit. The Atlanta Falcons are working him out in a few weeks.
The Atlanta Falcons as well as the Detroit Lions will also be bringing in Arizona State safety Damarious Randall for a visit. Randall is another defensive back making a fast move up draft boards, so much so he could slide into the late part of round one. Teams love Randall’s film and understandably so. His cover skills are such that several defensive back coaches feel Randall could line-up at cornerback on Sunday’s. The Arizona Cardinals are another franchise very high on Randall.
Byron Jones, who was in Arizona visiting with the Cardinals today, is another zipping up draft boards. Jones is the bigger corner teams want and offers versatility as a number of coaches feel he could slide inside to safety. To date he has seven official visits on his calendar.
Getting back to the Green Bay Packers, immediately after the the combine I was told by several sources cornerback Kevin Johnson of Wake Forest is a player that have been targeting in round one.
One final defensive back who will be drafted much higher than people expect is safety James Sample of Louisville. Sample, who had 23 team interviews at the combine and presently has four official visits scheduled, is projected as a potential second round pick on some boards. Teams feel he’s a coachable prospect with a next level body.
Looking for a late round sleeper?? Turn towards Texas Southern cornerback Tray Walker, a player that was not on scouting sheets entering the season.
Watching the film Walker is an explosive, sudden player who loves to mix it up with opponents. He’s physical and fast but still a bit rough around the edges. Walker needs work on his backpedal but could easily line up as a nickel/dime back in zone packages. Walker measured a shade under 6-feet/3-inches and 190lbs on pro-day, averaging 4.47s in the forty and timing 6.7s in the 3-cone.
How busy is Walker? His visits list includes the Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, Seattle Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons, who’ll also be working him out.