A little different mock draft, in each round I've identified prospects who I feel are either undervalued or a player that could slide due to either some type of red flag (Keenan Allen/Tyrann Mathieu type situation) or public/media perception of a prospect's value not aligning with the NFL's.
Kyle Van Noy OLB - Instinctive player, always seems to be where the ball is. Nothing splashy about him, but can come in and instantly contribute as a starter.
Article with tons of clips:
Doug Farrar's take:
Video (Van Noy makes something happen on nearly every play in this clip):
Kyle Fuller CB - Extremely versatile. Makes some amazing plays. It would be a lot of fun to see him paired up with Tyrann in the backfield.
Some "WOW" plays in this clip:
This game is interesting, he was basically a LB on every play:
Fuller's metrics in comparison to other CBs in this year's draft:
Doug Farrar's take:
Johnny Manziel QB - I think Manziel is both undervalued and has the potential to slide. There are rumblings that the NFL's view of Manziel isn't overly positive. I think it's a combination of the "Johnny Football" persona and a highlight reel that spotlights his propensity to scramble and ability to make insane outlier plays (the Alabama throw) that could never happen on an NFL field.
Personally, the Johnny Football stuff doesn't bother me. Most of it is just a college kid having fun/being young and dumb. I could also care less about the "autograph scandal". There are less talented QBs that have done worse things in this draft.
With regards to playing style, not only do I believe Manziel will be successful in the NFL (coaching/organization dependent), I believe he is a perfect fit for our team and the kind of offense that BA wants to run. The scrambling/making plays is certainly an aspect of his game, but not the only facet, and certainly not the dominant one. BA has had a history with tall, strong armed QBs (Roethlisberger, Luck). Because of this, the thought of Manziel playing under his system has been viewed as a non-starter. But if size and arm strength were the only requirements to be a BA QB, John Skelton would still be on the roster. More important for BA is mobility and accuracy on deep passes, traits that Manziel excels at. As far as the outlier plays goes, there were plenty of times last years that Russel Wilson was basically Houdini against NFL defenses, and I don't see why Manziel can't take some of what makes him special at the college level to the League.
In addition, there seems to be the perception that what Manziel is now is all he will ever be. He was a better player in 2013 than he was in 2012. With proper coaching (something BA excels at), there's no reason to think he can't continue to improve.
Our team, coaching and front office is talented enough that I don't see us drafting in the top ten anytime soon, despite playing in an absolutely BRUTAL division. That being the case, if Manziel drops, it's an opportunity to grab one of the last pieces we need to push us over the top. Palmer got things done in 2013, but he also had some absolutely dreadful games (4 INTs against the Seahawks is... not good). He's not the future. Manziel can be.
Manziel as a pocket QB/deep ball thrower:
And a well reasoned contrarian view of Manziel (though I don't agree with the implied assertion that QBs of a certain height HAVE to play at Drew Brees' level or they're not worth taking):
Kareem Martin DE - All the tools to be a monster and metrics hint at the potential for future dominance.
Telvin Smith OLB - Long, fast, violent. I think Telvin is what Keim wants when he references "throwing gas" on the defense. Great in coverage.
CJ Fiedorowicz TE - Fiedorowicz is what BA wants out of a TE (blocker first, catcher second). Large catch radius and very efficient in the red zone (along with our other two huge red zone threats).
Will Sutton DT - Weight and 2013 performance issues are having him drop. I think both are overblown and Sutton would be an incredible value grab here.
Michael Campanaro WR - There are so many talented WRs available in this year's draft, Campanaro has a great chance to be one of the later round guys that shines. When you watch his games he's always open, he's fast, and he was THE GUY on his Wake Forest team. Maybe he can be what we wanted Ryan Swope to be. The Patriots will probably draft him.
Kevin Norwood WR - He is sneakily good. Not the flashiest, most explosive guy but can be a smart, solid starter that'll make your team better.
Colt Lyerla TE - He did some really stupid stuff (drug use, nothing violent) in 2013, you just hope he was a dumb kid, learned from his mistakes and matured. We took a chance on a player in a similar situation last year (Mathieu) and that has turned out great so far. I'd take a chance on his skills this late in the draft. Not exactly what BA wants out of a TE, hopefully he'll change scheme to fit the player and exploit Lyerla's dynamic skill set.
Marion Grice RB - Not trying to sound like an ASU homer, but Grice is a top five RB in this year's class. He broke USC in their 2013 game. There is nothing special about Grice athletically, but he does everything extremely well. He takes 100% of what his teammates and the defense will give him and makes yards happen. In addition to his skills as a runner he has the ability to routinely make very difficult catches.
Aaron Lynch DE - Played like a psychopath in 2011. Looked almost disinterested at times in 2013. At this point there are real reasons for a prospect to slide, so I guess hope for the best and that BA's "coach them hard, hug them after" approach can light a fire.
How I Hope It Shakes Out:
Round 1 - Johnny Manziel QB (if Manziel doesn't fall I'd have Fuller as the priority over Van Noy, but just barely)
Round 2 - Paul Richardson WR
Round 3 - Will Sutton DT
Round 4 - Michael Campanaro WR
Round 5 - Colt Lyerla TE
Round 6 - Marion Grice RB