Mariota

Rankings of the top 104 NFL prospects from the PAC 12
Conference.

Pac 12 Rankings
Rnd Full Name School Pos Year

1st

Marcus Mariota

Oregon

QB

4Jr

1st

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu

Oregon

CB

4Sr

1st

Leonard Williams

USC

DE

3Jr

1st

Andrus Peat

Stanford

T

3Jr

2nd

Brett Hundley

UCLA

QB

4Jr

2nd

Marcus Peters

Washington

CB

4Jr

3rd

Dres Anderson

Utah

WR

5Sr

3rd

Owamagbe Odighizuwa

UCLA

DE

5Sr

3rd

Jake Fisher

Oregon

T

4Sr

3rd

Ellis McCarthy

UCLA

DT

3Jr

3-4

Hroniss Grasu

Oregon

C

5Sr

3-4

Hayes Pullard

USC

OLB

5Sr

3-4

Ty Montgomery

Stanford

WR

4Sr

4th

Nate Orchard

Utah

OLB

4Sr

4th

Eric Rowe

Utah

S

4Sr

4th

Austin Hill

Arizona

WR

5Sr

4th

Stephane Nembot

Colorado

T

4Jr

4th

Jaelen Strong

Arizona State

WR

4Jr

4-5

Torian White

x-UCLA

T

4Jr

4-5

Danny Shelton

Washington

DT

4Sr

4-5

Shaq Thompson

Washington

S

3Jr

4-5

Jake Brendel

UCLA

C

4Jr

5th

Sean Mannion

Oregon State

QB

5Sr

5th

James Vaughters

Stanford

OLB

4Sr

5th

Henry Anderson

Stanford

DT

5Sr

5-6

Aundrey Walker

USC

T

4Sr

5-6

Eric Kendricks

UCLA

ILB

5Sr

6th

Jordan Richards

Stanford

S

4Sr

6th

Alex Carter

Stanford

CB

3Jr

6th

AJ Tarpley

Stanford

ILB

5Sr

6th

Jamil Douglas

Arizona State

G

5Sr

6th

Tony Washington

Oregon

OLB

5Sr

6th

Visesio Salt

Utah

G

5Sr

6th

Jalen Jefferson

California

ILB

4Jr

6th

Tre Madden

USC

RB

4Jr

6th

Antwaun Woods

USC

DT

4Jr

6th

DeForest Buckner

Oregon

DE

3Jr

6-7

Tyler Johnstone

Oregon

T

4Jr

6-7

Cody Kessler

USC

QB

4Jr

7th

Ryan Murphy

Oregon State

S

5Sr

7th

Joshua Shaw

USC

CB

5Sr

7th

Daniel Munyer

Colorado

C

5Sr

7th

Arik Armstead

Oregon

DE

3Jr

FA

Mickey Baucus

Arizona

T

5Sr

FA

Marcus Hardison

Arizona State

DT

4Sr

FA

De’Marieya Nelson

Arizona State

TE

5Sr

FA

Max Tuerk

USC

G

3Jr

FA

Devon Cajuste

Stanford

WR

4Jr

FA

Pharaoh Brown

Oregon

TE

3Jr

FA

Chris Harper

California

WR

3Jr

FA

Sioasi Aiono

Utah

G

4Jr

FA

Michael Lowe

California

S

5Sr

FA

Connor Hamlett

Oregon State

TE

5Sr

FA

Kalafitoni Pole

Washington St

DT

5Sr

FA

Soma Vainuku

USC

FB

5Sr

FA

Anthony Sarao

USC

OLB

4Jr

FA

John Tavai

USC

OLB

4Sr

FA

Randall Telfer

USC

TE

5Sr

FA

Byron Marshall

Oregon

RB

3Jr

FA

Bralon Addison

Oregon

WR

3Jr

FA

Wayne Lyons

Stanford

CB

4Sr

FA

Kevin Hogan

Stanford

QB

4Jr

FA

Micah Hatchie

Washington

T

5Sr

FA

Nelson Agholor

USC

WR

3Jr

FA

Storm Woods

Oregon State

RB

5Sr

FA

Fabbians Ebbele

Arizona

T

5Sr

FA

Brennan Scarlett

California

OLB

4Sr

FA

Steven Nelson

Oregon State

CB

4Sr

FA

Gegory Henderson

Colorado

CB

4Sr

FA

Kasen Williams

Washington

WR

4Sr

FA

Tyler McCulloch

Colorado

WR

4Sr

FA

Anthony Jefferson

UCLA

S

5Sr

FA

Hamani Stevens

Oregon

G

5Sr

FA

Hau’Oli Kikaha

Washington

DE

5Sr

FA

Tra’Mayne Bondurant

Arizona

S

4Sr

FA

Terron Ward

Oregon State

RB

4Sr

FA

Derrick Malone

Oregon

OLB

5Sr

FA

Joel Skotte

Oregon State

ILB

3Jr

FA

Kristoff Williams

Washington St

WR

5Sr

FA

Jacoby Hale

Utah

ILB

5Sr

FA

Donell Alexander

Oregon State

OLB

4Sr

FA

Erick Dargan

Oregon

S

5Sr

FA

David Parry

Stanford

DT

5Sr

FA

Avery Sebastian

California

S

4Sr

FA

Bryce Treggs

California

WR

3Jr

FA

Jordan Rigsbee

California

G

4Jr

FA

Vince Mayle

Washington St

WR

5Sr

FA

Rodney Hardrick

Oregon

ILB

4Jr

FA

John Timu

Washington

ILB

4Sr

FA

Lamar Dawson

USC

ILB

4Sr

FA

Mike Criste

Washington

C

5Sr

FA

Jordon James

UCLA

RB

5Sr

FA

Taylor Kelly

Arizona State

QB

5Sr

FA

Tyrequek Zimmerman

Oregon State

S

4Sr

FA

Caleb Smith

Oregon State

TE

3Jr

FA

Connor Halliday

Washington St

QB

5Sr

FA

Ben Rhyne

Stanford

P

5Sr

FA

Charles Wynn

Oregon State

DE

4Sr

FA

Jared Tevis

Arizona

S

4Sr

FA

Chris Adcock

California

G

5Sr

FA

Tevin Carter

Utah

S

4Sr

FA

Gregory Reese

Utah

DE

4Sr

FA

Westlee Tonga

Utah

TE

4Sr

FA

Nick Forbes

California

ILB

4Sr

Arizona

Scouts eagerly anticipate the return of receiver Austin Hill. They’ve stamped him as a second day draft pick based off his 2012 film, which I think is reasonable despite the fourth round grade I gave him. The health of his knee plus the speed and route running skills he displays this season will be the determining factor. An exceptional campaign could push Hill into the top 45 picks of 2015.

The same opinion is not shared over the Arizona tackles, Mickey Baucus and Fabbians Ebbele. Early in their Arizona careers I pegged both as prospects to watch yet neither seemed to develop their games. I view both as nothing more than size prospects.

Arizona State

Many were surprised by the fourth round grade I gave Jaelen Strong, with some claiming I “lost all credibility”; such is life. On film Strong presents himself as an averaged sized receiver with average speed and quickness. And while he makes a few nice receptions what’s most disconcerting is the way he often loses out in battles and does not come away with contested passes.

If there’s a sleeper prospect to be found from the Sun Devils senior class its defensive lineman Marcus Hardison. The junior college transfer comes with outstanding size/speed numbers and large degree of athleticism. He has the physical ability to line up as a three technique tackle or a two-gap end. Hardison showed brief flashes last season but must put it all together in 2015 to move up the radar.

California

Safety Michael Lowe is the only Cal senior who receives mention in scouting circles. Lowe is a legitimate NFL prospect and considering the number of late round safeties the program has put into the league, he’s one to watch.

Colorado

The Buffs continue the long road back to respectability. Two of their offensive linemen must be kept on the radar. Junior Stephane Nembot reminds me of recently drafted Billy Turner (North Dakota State) in style and substance. Senior Daniel Munyer is not spoken about by scouts but has been a productive starter at both guard and center. He has size limitations but would be a terrific fit for a zone/motion blocking scheme.

I’ll be following Tyler McCulloch closely this season. After showing flashes of NFL ability in 2012, he seemed to fall off the map last year. With Paul Richardson gone lets see if McCulloch steps up and takes on a big time role this season.

Oregon

One aspect of watching film over the summer I enjoy is affirming where I was correct on a player or witnessing what I may have missed. I can tell you after breaking down the Oregon film my feelings that Marcus Mariota would’ve been the first quarterback selected in the 2014 draft had he opted to declare were confirmed. Mariota is an exciting prospect in every way; physically, intellectually, instinctively. I’m told one of the primary reasons Maroita stayed for another college season was his age; he would’ve been a 20 year old rookie if he entered the draft and the feeling in his inner circle was that’s too young for a signal caller in the NFL.

The Ducks other top ten prospect, cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, would’ve also been the first player selected at his position had he entered the draft. After watching the film and talking to scouts the feeling is forty time/speed will be the only outstanding question on Ekpre-Olomu’s game.

Many feel center Hroniss Grasu will be downgraded because of poor measurables. A west coast scout told me its not a concern as the Ducks offensive lineman will measure over 6-feet/3-inches and right around 300-pounds.

Oregon State

There’s not a whole lot at Oregon State that excites me. I like the arm and moxy of Sean Mannion but he lacks that wow factor.

Safety Ryan Murphy is a skilled defensive back with nice size but average athleticism and range.

Stanford

There’s a good amount of NFL talent on the Stanford roster yet only a single prospect I label elite Tackle Andrus Peat has the size, athleticism and footwork to start on the left side in the NFL. I’d just wish he’d develop a nasty streak.

Scouts rate Ty Montgomery as a potential second round choice but his size and inconsistent hands worry me.

Weeks ago I wrote about James Vaughters, who draws a variety of opinion in the scouting community. When mentioning the name of Vaughters several scouts anxiously nod their heads up and down while others give a quizzical look as if to ask “who?”. Vaghters has the physical skills to play at the next level but needs to translate those talents into production.

Henry Anderson and AJ Tarpley are two Stanford seniors who will be under drafted next April (last day) then go on to have long NFL careers if placed in the right system. Neither are great athletes and both come with average size/speed numbers yet Anderson and Tarpley are tough, instinctual players with polished games.

UCLA

Two scouting friends concurred with my second round grade of Brett Hundley and one is of the opinion he’s a third round passer. Hundley most definitely has first round potential but needs to turn from thrower to passer. The information he received all last season from scouts was to return for one more year of college ball and Hundley should be applauded for heeding their recommendations.

When I watched Owamagbe Odighizuwa last summer I was blown away. Much of the talk understandably centered around Anthony Barr yet many stamped Cassius Marsh as the Bruins top defensive line prospect. Odighizuwa sat on the sidelines in 2013 with a hip injury yet scouts rightfully gave him high grades moving towards the 2014 campaign. He reminds me of former Tennessee Volunteer and New York Jet Shaun Ellis in that he plays with an explosive, strong and athletic style.

Linemate Ellis McCarthy is another who jumps off the film, though he does so sporadically. At the top of his game McCarthy is a difference maker up front but he also disappears for stretches.

It’ll be interesting to see what becomes of former Bruin Torian White. The left tackle looked good in 2012 then dominated during a brief tenure last year before his season was halted with a broken ankle. White was dismissed from the Bruins program after the school found him responsible for two instances of sexual misconduct. He offers tremendous next level potential but obviously comes with baggage.

USC

The Trojans have lost out to rival UCLA in the recruiting wars but USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams has the ability to be an early first round pick next April. Williams is a nice combination of size, growth potential, athleticism and explosion. He’s scheme diverse and can play several spots up front.

Hayes Pullard is a smallish prospect (more short than small) with growth limitations but a terrific pursuit linebacker with solid instincts.

I thought Aundrey Walker took a step back last season after moving from left tackle to guard. Based off his sophomore film of ’12, Walker looked like a potential top 100 pick.

Many disagree with my grade on receiver Nelson Agholor, with some sending me hate mail and guaranteeing Agholor is a lock 2nd round pick. I’m sure my free agent ranking was a bit low but breaking down Agholor I see a solid college receiver who lacks the size and speed to be anything other than a fifth wide out at the next level. His inability to win out for contested passes is also an issue.

Utah

I was impressed with receiver Dres Anderson after breaking down the film. I see a lot of Paul Richardson in his game, though he’s not as fast.

A second Ute I think to be underrated is safety Eric Rowe. He’s sized well and displays terrific range outside the numbers, presenting himself as a strong run defender with solid ball skills.

While I like Nate Orchard, I expected more from him in 2013 off the 2012 film. He’s a solid prospect but DeMarcus Lawrence he is not.

Washington

The strength of the Husky prospects can be found on the defensive side of the ball. I’m high on cornerback Marcus Peters and believe with a good season and solid pre-draft forty times the junior could end up in the first round (assuming he enters). He’s physical, instinctive and possesses tremendous ball skills.

Linebacker Shaq Thompson is a playmaker with great athleticism. Size, or lack thereof, is an issue. Will Thompson be selected in the draft as a linebacker ala Ryan Shazier? Or does he move to strong safety?

Scouts love Hau’Oli Kikaha and why not? His totals last season included 15.5 tackles for loss with 13 sacks. My concerns for Kikaha are measurables (average size with questionable speed) plus a pair of knee injuries suffered in 2011 and 2012.

Smith_FresnoRankings of the top NFL prospects from the Mountain West Conference. Included are 68 draft eligible players as well as notes from a number of prospects around the conference.

Boise State 

I graded running back Jay Ajayi as a fourth rounder but can tell you he’s graded much higher in the scouting community.  Several area scouts tell me they could see Ajayi landing in the second round if he has a good campaign then enters the draft.

Conversely receiver Matt Miller, who I stamped as a potential seventh round pick, does not even register on the radar for a number of scouts. 

Colorado State

I recently saw USA Today, a publication I wrote for in the not too distant past, rated Colorado State as the 73rd ranked team in the nation, which is surprising.  NFL prospects aside I’ll go on record and say the Rams will contend for the Mountain West title this year.  Scouts love the next level potential at CSU and it starts with tackle Tyler Sambrailo.  Several told be they think Sambralio is the one of the better senior tackle prospects in the nation and perhaps the tops offensive tackle on the West Coast. 

Linebackers Aaron Davis and Cory James are both undersized, chase and run defenders who could make rosters as back-ups/special teamers. 

Tight end Kivon Cartwright is another CSU prospect I rate highly.  He comes with natural pass catching skills and good length.  Speed will be the determining factor in his final draft grade as Cartwright does not present himself as a true seam stretcher. 

As posted on twitter the other day, I view quarterback Garrett Grayson as a poor man’s Blake Bortles.  He has a similar game and more than enough arm strength to play at the next level.  I would like to see Grayson be more consistent looking off the safety and not staring down primary targets but he has a great deal of upside.

Fresno State

Were it not for the amazing amount of offensive production that left for the NFL last April, Fresno State could be one of the better teams in the Mountain West.

Safety Derron Smith is the top prospect from the program in my opinion.  He’s a tough run defender with good ball skills.  Size is an issue as Smith may struggle to measure 5-feet/10-inches and 200-pounds.  That said he has a lot of Earl Thomas in his game. 

Scouts are very high on receiver Josh Harper who shows tremendous quickness and run after the catch skill.  For my money Harper is good but has no great physical characteristics which sets him apart.  Playing without Derek Carr this season will be a challenge. 

I feel linebacker Kyrie Wilson is a solid prospect with a large degree of upside and someone who will move up draft boards if he continues to improve.

Hawaii

I have a feeling its going to be another ugly campaign for Hawaii which is sad.  Its always nice to see the team from paradise be competitive.  Junior defensive tackle Calen Friel caught my eye on film.  He large, mobile and forces the action when focused on the task at hand. 

Nevada

I’m told scouts really like quarterback Cody Fajardo, who I stamped with a sixth round grade.  He’s a mobile passer with a good arm yet a signal caller who forces passes into double coverage and sprays throws. 

San Diego State

Ezell Ruffin is a solid receiver who could move up draft boards if he hits his stride.  He’s dependable, deceptively fast and wins out for contested balls.  He grades as a last day pick entering the season but could end up top 120 next April with a big year and good pre-draft workouts.

Junior Darrell Greene is a guard who really caught my eye on film. He’s big, strong and mobile.  Greene handles opponents at the point of attack while also displaying a lot of skill blocking in motion.

San Jose State

The return of linebacker Vince Buhagiar, who missed last season with a torn labrum, is something to keep your eye on.  Off the 2012 film he was a small yet intense linebacker who willingly sacrificed his body to make tackles.   At full health he projects as an eight linebacker/special teams player.

UNLV

Receiver Devante Davis is very impressive in all areas of the game.  He’s smart, tough and dependable.  Davis is a terrific third down receiver and really plays like the go-to guy opponents cannot stop.  He plays bigger and faster than his size/speed numbers and I feel he’s underrated in the scouting community.

Junior tight end Jake Phillips is one to watch.  He’s more a traditional player at the position, rather than the oversized receiver teams now want at tight end.  Phillips is a solid pass catcher that’s also dominant as a blocker.

Utah State

Last October, I informed an agent friend to keep an eye on then sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell.  After breaking Fackrell down on film I was even more impressed.  He’s big, imposing and forces the action up the field or outside the box.  I love Fackrell’s physicality as well as his instincts and discipline.  He does struggle making plays in reverse, showing stiffness and an inability to backpedal.  I presently grade Fackrell as a 2nd/3rd rounder and word as this time is he’s likely to enter the draft.

Wyoming

Walker Madden, Wyoming’s starting left tackle last season, received high praise from scouts but left the team due to personal reasons.   

Senior linebacker Mark Nzeocha reminds me a bit of Christian Kirksey, third round pick of the Cleveland Browns who played his college ball at Iowa.  While I don’t grade Nzeocha as draftable at this point, he has that same undersized yet explosive, speedy, sideline-to-sideline style of play.


Rnd

Name

School

Pos

Yr
2-3 Kyler
Fackrell
Utah State OLB 4Jr
3rd Derron Smith Fresno State S 5Sr
3rd Joshua Harper Fresno State WR 5Sr
3rd Tyler
Sambrailo
Colorado St T 5Sr
4th Jay Ajayi Boise State RB 4Jr
4th Garrett
Grayson
Colorado St QB 4Sr
4th Cory James Colorado St OLB 4Jr
5th Darrell
Greene
San Diego St G 4Jr
5th Devante Davis UNLV WR 4Sr
5-6 Donte Deayon Boise State CB 3Jr
6th Ezell Ruffin San Diego St WR 5Sr
6th Cody Fajardo Nevada QB 5Sr
6th Kivon
Cartwright
Colorado St TE 5Sr
6th Trent
Matthews
Colorado St S 4Jr
6th Jamal Ellis Fresno State CB 3Jr
6-7 Kyrie Wilson Fresno State ILB 4Jr
7th Matt Miller Boise State WR 5Sr
7th Aaron Davis Colorado St ILB 4Sr
7-FA Brett Boyko UNLV T 4Sr
FA Mark Nzeocha Wyoming OLB 4Sr
FA Armand Nance Boise State DT 3Jr
FA Tyeler
Davison
Fresno State DT 5Sr
FA Bernard Blake Colorado St CB 5Sr
FA Wes
Schweitzer
San Jose St T 4Jr
FA Eddie
Yarbrough
Wyoming DE 5Sr
FA Terry Poole San Diego St T 4Sr
FA Deandre Jones Wyoming CB 4Sr
FA Jake Phillips UNLV TE 4Jr
FA Calen Friel Hawaii DT 4Jr
FA Travis Raciti San Jose St DT 5Sr
FA Patrick
Mertens
Wyoming DT 6Sr
FA Darian
Thompson
Boise State S 4Jr
FA Cody Wichmann Fresno State G 5Sr
FA Jack Lamm New Mexico G 3So
FA Walker Madden Wyoming T 5Sr
FA Jared Roberts Colorado St K 4Sr
FA Sonny
Puletasi
Wyoming OLB 5Sr
FA Bill Vavau Utah State G 4Sr
FA Karl
Mickelsen
Fresno State ILB 4Sr
FA Jalen
Claiborne
Wyoming WR 4Sr
FA Connor Rains Wyoming T 5Sr
FA Jeremy Ioane Boise State S 5Sr
FA Alex Wheat Utah State WR 4Sr
FA Dontrell
Onuoha
San Diego St DT 5Sr
FA Dominic
Rufran
Wyoming WR 4Sr
FA Joshua
Quezada
Fresno State RB 5Sr
FA Vince
Buhagiar
San Jose St ILB 5Sr
FA Vandrell
Sullivan
UNLV WR 5Sr
FA Moses Samia Hawaii DT 5Sr
FA Kyle Roberts Nevada T 5Sr
FA Bryan Larsen Utah State DE 5Sr
FA Corey Bell Boise State OLB 4Sr
FA Curtis Riley Fresno State CB 5Sr
FA Kevin Whimpey Utah State T 5Sr
FA Jamal Price New Mexico G 4Sr
FA Beau Yap Hawaii DE 5Sr
FA Charles
Keeton
Utah State QB 4Sr
FA Joey Iosefa Hawaii FB 5Sr
FA Zachary Vigil Utah State ILB 5Sr
FA Ronald Butler Utah State WR 4Sr
FA Richard
Turner
Nevada WR 4Sr
FA Broderick
Hekking
Nevada DE 5Sr
FA Kody Afusia Hawaii G 5Sr
FA Charles
Garrett
Nevada CB 5Sr
FA Sean
Shigematsu
Hawaii T 5Sr
FA Javarie
Johnson
New Mexico OLB 5Sr
FA Crusoe
Gongbay
New Mexico RB 4Sr
FA Saqwan
Edwards
New Mexico CB 5Sr

WardThe NFC West features the top two teams in the conference, a third franchise on the rise and one that seems to continually struggle.  While the Seahawks and Niners look to sharpen their edge, the Cardinals wanted to add the final touches while the Rams moved forward with another arsenal of picks, thanks in part to the Washington Redskins.

Arizona Cardinals:   Arizona was the best team in the NFL to not make the playoffs last year and they entered the draft picking at the bottom of each round. The Cardinals raised some eyebrows by selecting Deone Buchanan in the late first round. The former Washington State standout is a physical, in-the-box-safety that most pundits expected to go on the drafts second day. Still, playing in the toughest and most physical division in football, the Cardinals upgraded their size and athleticism with this choice. Notre Dame tight end Troy Niklas was the team’s second round selection. Niklas is a huge, what you see is what you get, type of player with a very good pedigree. He won’t stretch the defense like many of the modern tight ends but his size and strength should allow him to contribute in the intermediate to short passing game as well as the running game. Kareem Martin was a good value pick near the end of the third round and gives the team some more depth along their defensive line. With San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis all having talented offensive lines the pick also fills a need for the Cardinals. Pittsburgh State receiver John Brown is an explosive receiver that is a nice fit for Bruce Arians system and Logan Thomas gives the team a developmental quarterback that has enough potential to develop into a starter down the road. Alabama defensive end Ed Stinson is a solid, if not flashy, player that should help strengthen the team’s defensive line depth, along with Martin. Receiver Walt Powell is a pass catching machine that needs to make an impact on special teams in order to make the roster.

Grade C+ The Buchanan pick in round one was a mild surprise yet Niklas and Martin were good value.  If Arians can get Logan Thomas back to his 2011 form it will be a steal for the organization.

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San Francisco 49ers:  The 49ers arguably had the league’s best roster entering the draft and shocked many by turning their eleven picks into twelve rather than trading up for a few select players. Jimmie Ward was chosen by the team to be the nickel back of the present as he grows into being the strong safety of the future. Ward is a heady player with high character and an excellent motor. He is expected to win the nickel job immediately. For the second year in a row the 49ers selected the draft’s best running back when they chose Carlos Hyde. Unlike Marcus Lattimore the year before however, Hyde is fully healthy and was taken with a premium selection. He looks to be the heir apparent to Frank Gore, who enters his final season under contract. Marcus Martin was the team’s third round selection and represents great value at a position that has some uncertainty. Martin should have every chance to win the starting job from Daniel Kilgore heading into the season. Chris Borland was a break from Trent Balke’s tradition of prioritizing length and athleticism for defensive players. Borland is a feisty, technically sound, tackling machine and might be able to bridge the gap while the team awaits the return of Navarro Bowman. Brandon Thomas, like Marcus Lattimore and Tank Carradine the year before, will get a redshirt season. He was rated as a potential second round pick and would have been among the first interior linemen off the board had he not hurt himself during a workout. Bruce Ellington is a player that impressed the team during workouts. He has a chance to win the starting punt and kickoff return jobs and find some time as a vertical threat on offense. Dontae Johnson is a tall physical specimen that the team will attempt to develop into a press corner. For his first season or two he will be expected to find a place on special teams. Aaron Lynch is a supremely talented player with some off field issues. As a fifth round pick he is well worth the risk. Florida Atlantic cornerback Keith Reaser will redshirt this season as he rehabs an injury. Kenneth Acker is a long shot to make the roster long term but is insurance for the team against Chris Culliver’s likely 2-4 game suspension. Afterwards he should wind up on the practice squad. Kaleb Ramsey will need to have a great camp in order to earn a roster spot. The Boston College defensive end has impressive size and athleticism but a long injury history and the 49ers are eight men deep with Tank Carradine (last year’s second round redshirt) also fighting for a roster spot. Trey Millard, the talented fullback from Oklahoma, will also spend this season on injured reserve. San Francisco also added Stevie Johnson and Blaine Gabbert to their receiving corps and backfield respectively through trades involving picks in this draft. Shane Skov, who was recruited to Stanford by the Harbaugh coaching staff might also find a home on the team after signing an undrafted free agent deal. The team also signed Southern Illinois quarterback Kory Faulkner whom Harbaugh is said to be high on. The 49ers used this draft to attack the bottom of their roster after filling their few roster spots with their earliest picks.

Grade A  The Niners were unable to orchestrate a trade to move into the top half of round one so they attacked the top half of the draft selecting for need then later selected value picks with upside.  The problem for San Francisco is there’s not much room on the roster for all the selections so expect a number of there players to land on the depth charts or practice squads of other teams.  

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Seattle Seahawks:  Colorado receiver Paul Richardson could turn into the steal of the second round. Richardson is a talented playmaker that shows enough speed to stretch the field. Second round pick Justin Britt was graded as a mid round selection but the Seahawks have a tendency to value offensive linemen differently than the rest of the league. The Missouri tackle is a player to watch over the next few seasons. Cassius Marsh, from UCLA, is a talented pass rusher that the defensive staff will enjoy using. In order for that to happen the former Bruin will need to stay out of trouble. Kevin Norwood is a dependable receiver that could have a long career as a possession receiver. Norwood is a hard working prospect with good size and the ability to play special teams. He should also immediately find a home in certain third down packages. According to Seattle insiders the one player that their staff really fell in love with was Kevin Pierre-Louis. The Boston College linebacker was compared by one Seahawk scout to Navarro Bowman. Pierre-Louis is an athletic player that had some great workouts during the scouting process. He needs to learn to translate those skills onto the field more but the team appears to be very excited by him. Middle Tennessee State defensive tackle Jimmy Staten was a lightly regarded prospect that will be fighting for a spot on the practice squad. Marshall offensive tackle Garrett Scott the teams sixth round pick, was recently cut after exams revealed a heart condition which will prevent him from playing. Eric Pinkins is a large bodied safety that the team can develop over time. He will likely find a home on the practice squad before having a shot to produce on special teams. Arkansas running back Kiero Small was a barely scouted full back who is an explosive, even concussive, blocker in short yardage situations. Undrafted free agent defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat is a player to keep an eye on.

Grade C Seattle used the depth in this draft to take a lot of developmental players, especially in the late rounds. While both receivers could quickly see action as rookies, its difficult to see how this draft makes them better in 2014 though it could pay huge dividends in future years.

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St. Louis Rams:  Using the second overall pick on Greg Robinson surprised no one. The Rams clearly liked the Auburn tackle for some time and felt as if they had a clear need at the position. Robinson is expected to start his career at either right tackle or guard before moving to the left side in a year or two. Wherever they put him, he’s a day one starter, as the second overall pick should be. The Rams used their second pick in the first round to select Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald giving the team the rare opportunity to select the best offensive and defensive linemen available in the draft. Donald is a disruptive one gap player that should team with Michael Brockers to give the team a very good set of defensive tackles. Florida State defensive back LaMarcus Joyner was the team’s second round pick. Joyner doesn’t have ideal size to play cornerback or safety but he has the ball skills and athleticism to be a nickel cornerback. The Rams got great value by selecting Tre Mason in the third round. The former Auburn product is a talented between the tackles runner who will push for playing time early. It’s worth noting that both Mason and Robinson were college teammates of Jeff Fisher’s son Trent while at Auburn. The Rams, like each of the other teams in the NFC West, took a physical safety prospect when they selected Maurice Alexander. Alexander is a pure strong safety with a big frame that should help immediately on special teams. Missouri cornerback EJ Gaines has only marginal size but is an effective punt return man that offers potential as a dime cornerback should he make the team. SMU quarterback Garret Gilbert was a highly recruited high school player that played most of the 2010 BCSNCG as a true freshman following an injury to Colt McCoy. Gilbert is an accurate quarterback that could develop into a long term backup for the team. Portland State tackle Mitchel Van Dyk is an immense developmental prospect that needs a season on a practice squad while he refines his game and adds mass. Ohio State safety Christian Bryant is a long shot to make the team unless he impresses on coverage units. St Louis took Michael Sam in a historic moment for reasons outside of football. Practically speaking, though, this could be a great fit for both Sam and the team. Sam is a self made player that isn’t quite big enough or fast enough but manages to produce through consistent technique, solid character, and high effort. With Robert Quinn and Chris Long entrenched as starters and William Hayes as the primary backup Sam has a chance to earn a roster spot as a fourth defensive end where his consistency and effort should be maximized. Tennessee St. center Demetrius Rhaney had a great workout on his pro day and as such was drafted as a developmental lineman. Like Van Dyk before him he is likely to see time on the team’s practice squad.

Grade A  The Rams did well on paper, as they always seem to do.  Transferring their high draft grades into football production has not been seamless.  Regardless, the talent on the roster is now much improved.

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