2017 NFL Draft Day 3

2017 NFL Draft Day 3: Future Stars

The first two days and three rounds of the NFL draft have finished. The third day of the draft is rounds four through seven. These players drafted on day three sometimes do not even make the roster. So what players remaining, after day two, have a chance to become stars in the NFL? Here are some who may answer that question.

Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss

2017 NFL Draft Day 3

(Photo Credit: Chuck Cook, USA TODAY Sports)

Chad Kelly is flying high under the radar. Kelly is the nephew of Buffalo Bills legend Jim Kelly. Chad Kelly had a pretty solid career while at Ole Miss. Going 14-8 as a starter and even notched a win against Alabama. Kelly threw for 6,858 yards, 50 touchdowns, and just 21 interceptions. He also added 958 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground in his career.

Kelly had a lot of problems off the field that have derailed his career. He was kicked off the team at Clemson for actions against the coaching staff. Once he left Clemson he landed at East Mississippi Community College, more commonly known as Last Chance U. There Kelly led EMCC to a 12-0 season and an NJCAA National Football Championship.

If Kelly has learned from his past mistakes and can be a model citizen off the field then there is a chance he can become a star in the NFL. He has great arm strength and can make NFL throws. Kelly has played primarily in the shotgun and will need to work on his under center mechanics. Also he has great touch passing skills and is much better when moving outside the pocket and throwing. If a team takes a risk in the sixth or seventh round there is a good chance Kelly becomes an NFL starter one day.

Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma

Dede Westbrook was one of the top five receivers in all of college football last season. Some would argue he was the best. Last season he had 80 receptions, 1,524 yards, and 17 touchdowns. Westbrook is an excellent route runner with big play capability. In the open field, Westbrook is explosive and turns a lot of good plays into big plays. Some say his size is an issue but make no mistake, Westbrook could be a scary playmaker in the NFL.

 

Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego St.

Donnel Pumphrey is only still available because of his size, 5-foot-8 and 176 pounds.. The Las Vegas product is the all-time leading rusher in NCAA history. NFL tacklers will be able to arm tackling him but that is only if they can catch him. He is so quick and fast that when he sees a hole he hits it without a second thought.  Pumphrey may not become an every-down back in the NFL but he can create momentum-changing plays. One NFL team will be very happy one day because of the risk they took on him.

 

Malachi Dupre, WR, LSU

Malachi Dupre has fallen mostly because LSU has not had a quarterback capable of helping any receiver. LSU has had some of the worst quarterback play in the country which is why Dupre only put up 98 receptions, 1,609 yards, and 14 touchdowns in his three years at LSU. If you throw the ball in Dupre’s direction there is a good chance he will catch it. He has one of the best catch radii of all the prospects. He will have to work on his route running but with a solid quarterback Dupre could break out as the next great LSU wideout to turn pro.

Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina

2017 NFL Draft Day 3

(Photo Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OC3Yp4T7KI)

Ryan Switzer may be the most underrated, underappreciated player in this draft. Similar to Dede Westbrook and Donnel Pumphrey, size is the only reason for that. In his senior season at North Carolina, Switzer snagged 96 receptions for 1,112 yards, and six touchdowns. He has also proven to be a great return man who returned seven punts for touchdowns in his collegiate career. Switzer can be a Wes Welker or Julian Edelman type playmaker in the NFL and that is a reason teams should draft him as soon as possible.

Connor Harris, LB, Lindenwood

Connor Harris could have been a first round pick. He has it all, the size, the speed, and the intangibles. Teams seem to be holding it against him that he played in division II but Harris is a tackling machine. Harris holds the record at 633 career tackles. He has the ability to drop in coverage and has shown impressive ball-hawking skills as well. Any team that drafts him is getting a player who doesn’t have to come off the field and is a prototypical, old-school linebacker.

Jake Butt, TE, Michigan

Jake Butt is the victim of a bad injury at the worst time. Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffery got a lot of heat for skipping their bowl games but had Jake Butt done the same then he wouldn’t have torn his ACL for the second time in his career. Butt would have been a second round pick without the injury but now teams are scared. He averaged 11.9 yards per reception for his career and is a guaranteed first down waiting to happen. Every team in the NFL needs a tight end that can get them out of a jam like that. If Butt can become healthy and get a shot, he has a great chance of being a top 10 tight end in the league.

 

You can “Like” The Game Haus on Facebook and “Follow” us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles written by other great TGH writers along with Matthew!

“From Our Haus to Yours”

Tennessee Titans 2017 NFL Draft

Tennessee Titans 2017 NFL Draft Profile

Welcome to day five of TGH Draftmas. Coming up today we have the Tennessee Titans.

Titans Summary

2016 was a year of nearly’s for the team out of Tennessee. Missing out on the playoffs because of a poor divisional record will have left a sour taste in the mouths of Titans fans. Tennessee ranked 30th in pass defense last year, which is simply not good enough for a team with playoff aspirations.

Logan Ryan Tennessee Titans

Logan Ryan during his time at the Patriots. Courtesy of the bostonherald.com

As a result, the Titans have begun to strengthen the defensive backfield during the free agency period. Adding cornerback Logan Ryan from the Patriots and safety Johnathan Cyprien from the Jaguars, have shown an intent to rectify the defensive issues. However, it is still a need that will likely be addressed in the draft.

In addition to Ryan and Cyprien, the Titans have brought in another five players so far during free agency. Other notable pickups include Super Bowl winner Sylvester Williams at nose tackle. The Titans have put a lot of emphasis on defensive and special teams pickups, which could lead to them addressing some of the more pressing offensive needs over the course of the draft.

 

 

Titans Picks and Needs

Tennessee has eight picks in this draft, including two in the first round. This is a perfect chance for them to pick two solid starters that can push them into the playoffs in 2017.

 

First Round:(2) No.5, No.18

Second Round: No picks.

Third Round:(2) No.83, No.100

Fourth Round:(1) No.124

Fifth Round:(1) No.164

Sixth Round:(1) No.214

Seventh Round:(1) No.236

With four picks in the first three rounds, the Titans have an excellent opportunity to add some much-needed depth all over the field. Tennessee’s activity throughout free agency leans towards an offense-minded draft.

With this in mind, these are some of the biggest needs in no particular are.

Offense

Wide Receiver – A No.1 receiver to pair with Marcus Mariota is a must in this draft.

Interior Offensive Lineman

Defense

Safety

Cornerback

Defensive Tackle

Titans Targets and Thoughts

As with all the other Draftmas profiles, we will take a look at the first three rounds and there will be no trades.

First Round:

Pick #5: Marhson Lattimore CB, Ohio State

Mashon Lattimore Tennessee Titans Draft

Image courtesy of bleacherreport.com

If Lattimore is still available, Tennessee will surely take him. In a stacked class for cornerbacks, Lattimore is certainly one of the best. Last year he recorded 41 tackles, four interceptions and nine passes broken up. With these figures, Lattimore would be a welcome addition to a defense that struggled against the passing game in 2016. If Lattimore goes early, as some predict, Tennessee will likely look to secure either Jamal Adams or Marlon Humphrey.

Pick #18: John Ross WR, Washington

Tennessee have two major needs early in the draft one is depth in the backfield, the other is a strong No.1 receiver and John Ross will provide that. In Marcus Mariota, Tennessee have a strong quarterback who managed to rack up over 3000 passing yards without a standout receiver. Ross has blistering pace, which he showed off at the combine, he is agile and will be perfect as a mismatch receiver.

Third Round:

Pick #83: Adam Shaheen TE, Ashland

Tennessee ran more two tight end sets than anyone in the league during 2016, however they have lost Anthony Fasano in free agency. At 6-6, 278 pounds Shaheen is a freakish athlete. Combine him with Delanie Walker and they could be a pair to be reckoned with. Also with just sheer size, he will likely create mismatches with most defenses.

Pick #100: Duke Riley LB, LSU

At linebacker the Titans have two strong starters, beyond that they do not have much else. Riley will provide them with the depth they require. Finishing 2016 with 93 tackles, 9 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in 12 games, Riley looks to be a good option to give the Titans some much needed depth in the linebacker position.

Conclusion

The 2017 draft will be a chance for the Titans to pick up some real talent with four picks in the first three rounds. Falling short in 2017 will not be an option and some strong draft picks will show a signal of intent to the rest of the league.

Thank you for joining us on our fifth day of TGH Draftmas! Check back tomorrow where we will be bringing you the Draft Profile of the New York Jets

You can read all of the previous days of Draftmas below!

Draftmas Day 3: Chicago Bears

Draftmas Day 4: Jacksonville Jaguars

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Joe!

“From Our Haus to Yours”

 

 

Franchise Analysis – Kansas City Chiefs

Since 2014, the Kansas City Chiefs have consistently gotten better. After recording nine wins in 2014, 11 wins in 2015, and 12 wins in 2016, what more could a fan base ask for? The answer is simple, win in the playoffs. The Chiefs have not won a home playoff game since 1993 and haven’t won the conference championship since 1969. So the question remains, what must happen to snap the Chiefs championship drought?

2016 Evaluation – Offense

This offense, like those in previous seasons, was predicated on not making mistakes. Kansas City finished in the top 10 in terms of giveaways by only committing 17 on the season. Given they had 15 giveaways in 2015 and 17 in 2014, it’s clear that their number one priority is taking care of the football.

Just because a team doesn’t accumulate turnovers doesn’t mean they are a great offense. The Chiefs finished 13th in points and 20th in yards, according to Pro Football Reference. I often talk about how an offense can skew a defenses ranking in points allowed; however, the Chiefs benefited from the opposite. Their defense was able to put them in great field position by creating a league high 33 turnovers.

Chiefs Championship Drought

Alex Smith became the first quarterback in NFL history to lose a playoff game when scoring two or more touchdowns than their opponent. (Courtesy of; Kansas City Star)

With any NFL offense, the focus is on the signal caller. One stat most people don’t know about Smith is that since 2011, only Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have won more games. However, despite what most people think, winning isn’t everything. At this point how Alex Smith performs in the regular season is irrelevant to Chiefs’ fans, as long as he plays well enough to get them to the postseason.

Since 2013, his adjusted yards per attempt in his postseason campaigns has declined from 10 yards, to 4.3 yards. This was never more apparent than against the Steelers. Smith failed to connect with Tyreke Hill on two occasions, one of which was a guaranteed touchdown.

At this point in his career, it would be unfair to ask Alex Smith to start attacking downfield. His style of play is one that you either take or leave, and in all fairness, is one the Chiefs should leave by 2018 at the latest. You won’t lose a Super Bowl with a quarterback who doesn’t take chances, but you can’t end the Chiefs’ championship drought with one either.

2016 Evaluation – Defense

2016 was great for this defense. With four Pro-Bowlers, two of which earned All-Pro honors, this defense was electrifying. While they may have had lapses against the oppositions running attack, there was one constant that remained. Turnovers. As stated earlier, the Chiefs were first in creating turnovers, with 33. This defense was also tied for the most interceptions caused with 18 and were first in fumbles with 15.

There’s no doubt that this team’s strength lies in the secondary. With All-Pro safety, Eric Berry, and corner, Marcus Peters, teams struggled to find favorable match ups in the passing game. Berry was the single best pass defender in terms of covering tight ends and no one has more interceptions than Peters since he entered the league.

Sadly, this team did struggle when trying to stop the run. The Chiefs finished the season as the 26th ranked run defense, something they have to improve on for next year. In a 3-4 defense, the nose tackle is the most important player in terms of defending the run. The nose tackle has to occupy double teams and not give up ground.

Chiefs Championship Drought

Dontari Poe has unique pass rushing skills as a 3-4 nose tackle, but will Chiefs wind up making him one of the most overpaid free agents of 2017? (Courtesy of; Arrowhead Addict)

Who plays nose tackle for the Chiefs? None other than, Dontari Poe. Yes, Poe has a lot of notoriety for what he does in goal line formations. However, Pro Football Focus rated Poe as the 90th best interior defender against the run. On the other hand, Poe has an uncanny ability to rush the passer from the nose tackle position, making him a unique player at that position.

It’s not entirely Poe’s fault. Other players who were liabilities against the run included defensive end Rakeem Nunez-Roches and linebacker Terrence Smith, who filled in the for the injured Derrick Johnson. This triangle of ineptitude made one side of the defense especially susceptible to the run.

If this defense plans to be the one to end the Chiefs championship drought in 2017, they must become at least an average rush defense.

Divisional Analysis

Clearly, Kansas City has everything they need to win the AFC West. However, this team is far from perfect. The Chiefs have a large decision looming this offseason, as both Eric Berry and Dontari Poe become free agents. I think the choice is simple. Let Poe walk and resign Berry.

In this situation, the Chiefs have to address their run defense by finding a new nose tackle. Brandon Williams and Kawann Short, while he played in a 4-3 scheme in Carolina, could be suitable replacements. On the other hand, it’s likely they’ll want to address such a pivotal position in the 2017 NFL Draft.

As of January 24th, our own Joe DiTullio has the Chiefs selecting Corey Davis, the wide receiver from Western Michigan. I’m not so sure. Davis would be a good fit on an offense that wants to attack down the field, but we’ve clearly outlined that isn’t what Alex Smith does.

Instead, they would likely replace Dontari Poe with Caleb Brantley, a top nose tackle prospect from Florida. They could however wait to fill this need by selecting Carlos Watkins from Clemson, or Elijah Qualls from Washington in the later rounds.

Offensively, the Chiefs don’t have a glaring need. They could bolster their receiving core, or, they could look to upgrade their running game. Jamaal Charles’ health will be questioned for the rest of his career and Spencer Ware proved he can handle a starters workload. However, Christian McCaffery would be a great addition for Alex Smith and this conservative passing attack.

Postseason Prospects

The Chiefs not only won the AFC West, but were also able to claim a first round bye. So clearly, they must be doing something right. Here are the following relevant offensive and defensive statistics that serve as good predictors for postseason success.

Chiefs Championship Drought

A good barometer for postseason teams is to have two or more categories inside the top 15 and usually one or two inside the top ten. For the Chiefs, they are top 15 in both points scored and sacks allowed. However, they are largely mediocre in the other metrics. Remember, mediocre isn’t terrible, but it isn’t good enough to win multiple playoff games.

Of these statistics, the two most telling is 3rd down conversion rate. Why? Because it gives you an idea about how effective this team is on first and second down. Teams with a high 3rd down conversion rate are successful early on first and second down, making their third down attempts less difficult.

 

Chiefs Championship Drought

The Chiefs defense suffers from an all or nothing problem. They finished top ten in points allowed and number one in turnovers. But, they were bottom third in the other defensive metrics. When Justin Houston is able to play a full season, their sack numbers will no doubt improve.

We outlined the Chiefs’ struggles against the run earlier and those struggles led to a poor production on third down. The Chiefs have to improve against the run in 2017 in order to record more sacks and get offenses off the field.

2017 Prediction

The Kansas City Chiefs are in a great position to end their championship drought in 2017. Unless Andy Reid is able to transform Alex Smith in the offseason, this team has reached their ceiling. The Chiefs will take a step back next year and will miss the playoffs after finishing 9-7.

 

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Braxton!

“From Our Haus to Yours”

The Hypocrisy of College Football

Eric Gay/ AP

Eric Gay/ AP

College football is my favorite sport and there is probably nothing that can change it, but the hypocrisy of college football is getting out of hand. I fully understand coaches breaking those hundreds of promises they make to players every year, like Ed Oliver, and leave “small” schools and go to “big” schools. They are chasing money and accomplishments. Nothing wrong with that. Everyone person in America has their right to pursue prosperity, except college football players.

It seems silly to me when coaches can go and get a future job, when he already has a preexisting job at school.

*cough Lane Kiffin cough*

He still has a possibility to coach two more games. But when Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffery decide not to play in a meaningless bowl game, everyone wants to “protect the intergrity of the game.” That’s a bunch of bologna.

Courtesy of USATSI

Courtesy of USATSI

Think about last year’s Fiesta Bowl game, when Ohio State played Norte Dame. Former standout linebacker Jaylon Smith completely obliterated his knee playing in a big time bowl. Now look at him.

Was he drafted? Yes. Did Notre Dame do right by Smith? Yes, Notre Dame did properly compensate the former linebacker.

But, that $900,000 will never compare to the money a healthy Smith would have made in the NFL. He has even said himself that if he could go back to January 1, 2016, he would play again. Even though Smith feels that way about his and his former teammates, he still forwent his senior year and entered the draft.

But of course, he would play the game again. It was the Fiesta Bowl against Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Thomas, Braxton Miller, and other prime offensive players from The Ohio State University in a New Year’s Six Bowl. It was a huge stage to play on. That game was a barometer test for him. NFL scouts wanted to see if he could tackle and cover a great running back like Elliott. He needed that game.

Fournette and McCaffrey do not need to play in their bowl games to show their worth. Fournette has been a top five pick since last year. And after McCaffrey’s last year Rose Bowl 368 all-purpose yard performance, he needs to show nothing else.

If NFL GMs don’t want to pick them just because they skipped one game, that’s their prerogative. But I would ask them this question: What if they both played their bowl game and entered the draft, as juniors, wouldn’t they still be “quitting” on their team?

Bill Feig/ Advocate.com

Bill Feig/ Advocate.com

Cary Edmondson/ USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson/ USA TODAY Sports

I love College Football but I am not blind to the hypocrisy of college football. They let coaches leave schools under contract and coach the next year, but if Ed Oliver wanted to leave Houston he would have to wait a year to play college football again. That’s not fair. And neither is frowning upon players who want to not harm their NFL draft stock. If these players want to finally pursue a purse, what’s so wrong with that?

2017 NFL Mock Draft October 3

The draft order of this mock draft is decided by using current NFL standings and predictions on where teams will finish.

1. Cleveland Browns- DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

Kizer has flown up draft boards since the season began due to his great play. He has the size, arm strength and accuracy to make all throws required of an NFL quarterback. His athleticism is also a huge plus and he doesn’t run recklessly, which will make Browns fans happy after the RGIII injury. Hue Jackson likes Cody Kessler, but Kizer fits more of what he had at quarterback before being successful with Andy Dalton in Cincinnati.

2. Chicago Bears- Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami

Could there be two straight years of quarterbacks going number one and number two in the draft? The Bears need to move on from Jay Cutler. John Fox has said Cutler isn’t guaranteed the starting job back after he returns from injury, which means he is most likely on his way out after the season. Kaaya isn’t as athletic or big as Kizer, but he is great at knowing how much heat, or lack thereof, to get the ball to his receivers and is very accurate at making throws down field.

3. New Orleans Saints- Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

New Orleans has a chance to be the worst defense in the history of football…again. If they draft this high they need to take a guy who can be an elite player for years. Garrett is one of the best pass rushers to come into the league in the past few years. He has great speed and power, but more impressively he is able to set up his opponent to get where he wants to and make a play. He needs to work on his run defense, but the Saints can’t pass up on his pass-rushing abilities.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars- Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

The Jags aren’t thrilled with T.J. Yeldon’s production and Chris Ivory certainly isn’t a long term solution. Blake Bortles is accused of being a garbage-time quarterback, because he and his talented receivers are putting up numbers when the game is already lost. One way to help fix this problem is to run the ball early to open things up. Fournette is a physical freak and can do just about anything asked of him. With Fournette, Jacksonville could have one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL.

5. San Francisco 49ers- Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

Watson hasn’t played great this season, but last year more than makes up for his slow start this year, so far. Watson can run the ball, but hasn’t done so  effectively this year. His passing has been off and he locks on his best receiver Mike Williams a lot. If Chip Kelly is still with the 49ers next year, Watson would be a good fit for his system and would give the 49ers more help on offense.

6. Miami Dolphins- Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

If Ryan Tannehill doesn’t start playing well, the Dolphins could go after a quarterback. For now they can get a talented running back, which fills a need. Cook is elusive as a runner and is a great receiver out of the backfield. He is not great as a pass protector, but could improve in time.

7. San Diego Chargers- Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama

The left side of the Chargers’ offensive line hasn’t played well. Phillip Rivers can play for several more years if he has the proper protection. Robinson is the best offensive tackle in the class by far, making this an easy pick for the Chargers.

8. Tennessee Titans- Adoree Jackson, CB, USC

Jackson is one of the best athletes in this draft class and can do a little bit of everything. The Titans will need him at corner, but he will also help in the return game and could also help out on offense as a receiver. The defense has been awful for the Titans and Jackson can start immediately in their secondary.

9. Detroit Lions- Malik McDowell, DT, MSU

The Lions don’t have great players on the interior of their defensive line. McDowell has great size and athleticism and uses his talents to get through blockers to make plays in the running game. He won’t put up huge numbers as a pass rusher, but he does take on double teams to free up other players on defense to get to the quarterback.

10. Buffalo Bills- Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama

Rex Ryan is a defensive guru, but his players can’t get to the quarterback. The Bills offense may never be too dynamic, so they need to get to the opponent’s quarterback to help keep their team in the game. Allen had 12 sacks last year and already has three this season.

11. Washington Redskins- Jabril Peppers, LB/S, Michigan

Josh Norman is the only player on the Redskins’ defense who has played great this season. If they want to continue being competitive they need to upgrade a lot of positions, because their offense won’t win them too many games. Peppers may be the best all-around defender in this class. He has the versatility to play linebacker or safety in the NFL. He is a sure tackler who is always in great position. One knock on him is that he doesn’t have an interception in his college career, so he needs to show the ability capitalize when quarterbacks throw his way. His ability to return kicks will be highly coveted.

12. Indianapolis Colts- Charles Harris, DE/OLB, Missouri

Indianapolis has two options in the draft: 1. help protect Andrew Luck or 2. improve the defense. There aren’t many great offensive lineman in this draft, so the selection should be easy. Harris is a great pass rusher, with three sacks on the season for the Tigers. He can also help stop the run behind the line of scrimmage, he totaled 18.5 tackles for loss last season.

13. New York Jets- Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

Darrelle Revis hasn’t played well all season. The Jets’ other corners haven’t been the greatest either. Jets’ fans may not like taking another corner from Alabama (they just cut Dee Milliner, a former Alabama player), but Humphrey is certainly talented enough to be selected in the first half of the first round. Humphrey is young, but has already made a lot of great plays for the Crimson Tide. He should continue to grow and get better as this season goes on.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

Barnett is a great pass rusher, who is overshadowed by Myles Garrett. His 21 career sacks are amazing for playing on an SEC team, but he needs to stop the run better to be an elite prospect. The Bucs need better defensive line play to help Jameis Winston take this team where they want to go.

15. Carolina Panthers- Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

Another team that could use offensive linemen, but there isn’t one worthy of being picked. The Panthers can upgrade over Kurt Coleman, who has been a below average player so far this season. Hooker has been a ball hawk this season and has great size and speed.

16. Arizona Cardinals- Caleb Brantley, DE, Florida

The Cardinals have had a need on defensive line for a long time, but it has been better recently. Calais Campbell can’t play forever though. Brantley is one of the best players on a great collegiate defense at Florida.

17. Cincinnati Bengals- Micke McGlinchy, OT, Notre Dame

Before week four of the NFL season the Bengals had given up the most sacks in the NFL. Right tackle and center need to be upgraded so Cincinnati can fill one of those void here. McGlinchey plays left tackle at Notre Dame now, but has extensive experience at right tackle in previous seasons.

18. Tennessee Titans- Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

Williams is a tall lanky receiver who is capable of making plays. He isn’t the fastest guy, but uses his size to make grabs over defenders. The Titans’ best receiver is Tajee Sharpe, who has potential, but another good receiver is needed for Mariota’s development.

19. Houston Texans- Jalen Tabor, CB, Florida

Jonathan Joseph has played horrible this year. The Texans look to have a decent offense now, but upgrading the secondary can make their defense elite.

20. Oakland Raiders- Tim Williams, LB, Alabama

Oakland has a terrible defense and needs upgrades everywhere. Even Khalil Mack hasn’t played well this season. Williams has impressed as a pass rusher who has athletic ability this season.

21. Atlanta Falcons- Desmond King, CB, Iowa

The Falcons also has an awful defense and need help just about everywhere. King is a ball-hawk who can turn an interception into a touchdown quickly. He is also a sure tackler who can help in the running game.

22. Dallas Cowboys- Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU

White is not only an athletic corner who makes plays, but is also a team leader. He has worn the number 18 at LSU for two years now, which symbolizes that leadership. The Cowboys still need pass rushers, but taking a corner here would fill a need as well.

23. New York Giants- Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford

McCaffrey may be the most complete back in this class. He can return kicks, catch passes and run the ball inside the tackles. He would bring a whole new dimension to the Giants offense and make it better.

24. Kansas City Chiefs- JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC

Kansas City really only has Jeremy Maclin as a viable receiver. Smith-Schuster has disappointed scouts this season, but still has the necessary size and speed to be molded into a good NFL pass-catcher.

25. Green Bay Packers- Jamal Adams, S, LSU

The Packers have a talented roster as always, so they can take the best player available. Adams is the most accomplished safety in the class as he has started at LSU for multiple years now.

26. Pittsburgh Steelers- O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

Jesse James hasn’t played great yet and Ladarius Green isn’t reliable. Howard can make the Steelers’ offense even more dynamic. He is very talented, but is underutilized at Alabama.

27. Seattle Seahawks- Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State

Russell Wilson needs to be protected and he hasn’t been for the last two years. Johnson has fallen in most mock drafts, but should produce good value at the end of the first round, while also filling the Seahawks’ biggest need.

28. Cleveland Browns- Dawaune Smoot, DE, Illinois

Smoot is an underrated player because he goes to Illinois, but he can get after the quarterback. The Browns need help across the board to help their young team. They picked Kizer with the first pick and can now address the pass rush.

29. Baltimore Ravens- Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennesse

Sutton has been hampered by injury this season, but is still a great shut down corner. The Ravens upgraded their safety position by adding Eric Weddle, but can now get some corners to go with him.

30. Philadelphia Eagles- Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia

Carson Wentz has looked great despite not having a great running game. If Chubb can overcome his injuries, he can be a workhorse back in the NFL.

31. Denver Broncos- Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State

The Broncos lost a few linebackers from their Super Bowl winning team last year and can now get some young guys to help out at that spot. McMillan will fit nicely next to Brandon Marshall, if he is still with Denver next season.

32. New England Patriots- Devonte Fields, DE/OLB, Louisville

Fields won the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year when playing at TCU. There are some concerns about his character, as he was kicked out of TCU, but his on-field play has been great. The Patriots have taken players with questionable backgrounds before and made them into stars.

 

 

For more NFL Mocks: http://dcprosportsreport.com/MockDraft.htm

Talk to me in the forums or tweet at me (@ditulliojoe) about who your team is taking. Also make sure to follow The Game Haus on Twitter and Facebook.

Top 5 College Running Backs

Right now in college football there are many great talents across the nation, but it seems like in 2016 the college running back is coming back on the scene. They can run through the tackle, they can break the run for a long gain, and they can even catch the ball out of the backfield. This year there are premiere running backs everywhere, but I will only focus on my top 5 running backs.

Adam Lau/ News Sentinel

Adam Lau/ News Sentinel

#5 University of Tennessee’s Jalen Hurd

Jalen Hurd has been the centerfold for the Vols since his freshman year. Throughout Tennessee’s struggle to find a consistent quarterback in Joshua Dobbs, Jalen Hurd has always had constant play. In his sophomore season in 2015, he rushed for 1,288 yards and scored 12 rushing touchdowns. And he is also a great option out of the backfield for the Vols. He had 190 receiving yards on 22 catches. Hurd has been great for Tennessee’s offense and I expect him to have another great season. I would love to see him have a little more yards as a receiver. He sometimes gets lost in the running back discussion, but really is one of the standout backs in the college game. Hurd is essential to Tennessee’s offense and will be a key element to the Vols’ success this season.

 

Richard Shiro/ AP

Richard Shiro/ AP

#4 Clemson University’s Wayne Gallman

Right now in Clemson there has to be something in the water. They have one of the best quarterbacks, some of the best receivers in the nation, and one of the best backs in college football. Wayne Gallman really came to the national scene late in the 2015 season, but he was one of the Tigers’ best offensive weapons. He rushed for over 100 yards nine times in his 14 games in 2015. Gallman rushed for 1,527 yards and had 13 touchdowns on the ground. He also added 213 receiving yards on 21 catches averaging over 10 yards per catch. A key to Clemson offense is that they keep the opponent on its toes and without production from Gallman the Tigers will not have that balance. In Gallman’s worst rushing performance last year, the Tigers survived their only loss of the year. Clemson has high hopes this year and talents like Wayne Gallman are one of the big reasons why.

 

Courtesy of AP

Courtesy of AP

#3 Florida State University’s Dalvin Cook

Solely on the offensive side, Cook could be the best back in this draft class, if he choose to forgo his senior season. He is a master of back, but can also turn the jets on and take it to the house. Last year in FSU’s first season without Heisman winner Jameis Winston, the offense seemed to run through Cook and he did a great job. He rushed for over 1,600 yards and ran the ball into the end zone 19 times. In 2015, Cook only failed to rush for 100 yards in four games. And one of the those four games was a two carry, 94 yard game against Wake Forest, a game in which Cook did not finish. He also only had one game under 50 yards last year. Cook is great running the ball and is also a great option for his quarterback. He had 244 yards receiving on 10.2 yards per catch. Dalvin Cook has never rushed for under 1,000 yards in his collegiate career and the Seminoles would love for him to make it a third season over 1,000. The fans might even want 2,000 yards and Cook is a good enough back that it is very possible.

Cary Edmondson/ USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson/ USA TODAY Sports

#2 Stanford University’s Christian McCaffrey

Christian McCaffrey is the most electrifying back in the nation. In 2015, he only failed to rush for 100 yards in three games but he never rushed for under 50. Three is the also the number of 200 yard games he had in 2015. He was a Heisman finalist last year and surprisingly enough he finished third. But another special number for McCaffrey is the number 5. It is not just his jersey number but it is the number for how many kinds of touchdowns he can get. In 2015, McCaffrey rushed for eight touchdowns, five receiving touchdowns, two return touchdowns (one for both kick and punt return), and two passing touchdowns. But when I see McCaffrey wear the number five and I see the way he can affect the game, I can not help but think of a former Heisman winning Pac 12 running back that played for USC and also wore 5, Reggie Bush. Stanford would definitely love for McCaffrey to have another Heisman-winning worthy season.

#1 LSU’s Leonard Fournette

Bill Feig/ Advocate.com

Bill Feig/ Advocate.com

He is the most complete running back I have seen in a while. He could definitely be one of the best backs in college football. In my mind he was the best running back in the nation and definitely better than Derrik Henry. He has the power of Herschel Walker, but still has great breakaway speed. He has been a monster of running back since his days in St. Augustine High School, but we all waited to see how he would do in the college rank and he has not missed a beat. In 2015, it was a simple equation to see if LSU won the game. If Fournette had more than 108 rushing yards, LSU won the game. Fournette had more games over 200 yards rushing (4) than games under 100 rushing yards (2). Last year he rushed for over 100 yards 10 times in 13 games. He also added over 250 receiving yards. Leonard Fournette has never rushed for under 1,000 years at LSU and next year he and the LSU faithful expect nothing more than that from him.

Now what do all of these teams have in common? They all have real aspirations to win their conference and get to the College Football Playoff and it is in large part because of their great running backs.

2016 Heisman Watch List

I just finished my Top Quarterback list and now it’s time for my Heisman Watch List. Some of the quarterbacks I listed before might appear here. When I rank these players, I take into account how far I think the team will go and how important that player is to that team’s success.

Christian Petersen/ Getty Images

Christian Petersen/ Getty Images

#5- Ohio State’s Quarterback J.T. Barrett

He is finally going to get his shot to really be the man at Ohio State. Every year he has had another great quarterback on the roster. He played behind Cardale Jones for bits of last season due to his ankle injury to end his 2014 season.

But now for the 2016 Buckeyes he has his chance to do what he could not do in the 2014 season. He has a chance to start the whole season, go to NYC for a chance to lift up the 25-pound bronze trophy named Heisman.

He has put up big numbers almost every time he’s touched the field. Even as a redshirt freshman in 2014 before his season-ending injury, he threw for over 2,800 yards, 34 touchdowns, and only 10 interceptions. Barrett also rushed for almost 1,000 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. In the limited time as a starter in 2015 he put up decent numbers coming in for an ineffective Cardale Jones. I believe with a full season of football at Ohio State with Urban Meyer’s offensive genius, he could get some Heisman votes.

AP Photo/ Thomas Graning

AP Photo/ Thomas Graning

#4-Ole Miss’ Quarterback Chad Kelly

On this list, he has what every player he wants on his resume, and a win against football royalty, the Crimson Tide of Alabama.

Kelly is also coming of a year where he and the Rebels only lost three games and won a New Year’s Eve bowl game. And individually he had a great season. He threw for 4,024 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions, while also rushing for 500 yards and had 10 touchdowns on the ground.

This was his first season as a starting quarterback. In my opinion his resume is already quite impressive. The 2016 Rebels will be looking for Kelly to take them to Atlanta for an automatic bid in the College Football Playoff, sorry, I mean a SEC Championship.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

#3-Louisiana State University’s Running Back Leonard Fournette

I will say it now: Leonard Fournette was robbed of his chance to go to New York because he was up against Derrick Henry from Alabama that had 95 more rushes than him but only 266 more yards rushing than him.

If you give Fournette the same amount of touches as Alabama’s running back plus Fournette’s 6.5 rush average, Fournette finishes with 2,571 rushing yards. That same running back also had three more games than Fournette and Fournette had 162 more receiving yards than the Alabama running back.

Leonard Fournette was the best running back in the SEC last year and the second best running back in the nation. Therefore I believe he just got overshadowed by the Alabama Crimson Tide name. In 2016, Fournette and the LSU Tigers have a great chance to run the table and get to the Playoffs. Leonard Fournette will be almost everything for this LSU offense. If he does not get over 2,000 yards rushing I will be surprised. Fournette will be in New York this year for the Heisman Ceremony.

Harry How/ Getty Images

Harry How/ Getty Images

#2-Stanford Cardinals’ Running Back Christian McCaffery

McCaffery was the best running back in the nation in 2015 and possibly the best one coming into this season. He should have won the Heisman, but he is another running back overshadowed by a running back from Alabama.

In 2015, he rushed for 2,019 yards and eight touchdowns. He also was great at catching the ball; he had 645 receiving yards and 5 receiving touchdowns.

Also do not forget that he was also dangerous in the return game. As a kick returner, he averaged 28.9 yards per return, 1,070 kick return yards, and one touchdown. In the punt return game, he had 130 punt return yards on 15 attempts and had one touchdown.

McCaffery broke Barry Sanders’ all-purpose record. That should equal a Heisman Trophy. He is the closest thing we have to a Reggie Bush today, he even wears #5. If he breaks his all-purpose record this year and does not get the Heisman it will be a crying shame. It will almost be as bad as Ohio State winning the National Championship game over Miami because of a phantom pass inference call.

Courtesy of The Sports Bank

Courtesy of The Sports Bank

#1-Clemson’s Quarterback Deshaun Watson

He is the best player right now in College Football. If he goes into the draft after this year, he will most likely be the number one pick.

Deshaun has only lost to teams that have been featured in the College Football Playoff (2014 FSU and 2015 Alabama). In addition, both of those squad had Heisman winners.

Watson is the ultimate leader. He will torch any defense with his feet or his arm strength. His resume speaks for itself. He threw for 4,104 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions last season.

On the ground, he ran for 1,105 yards and scored 12 times. He was in New York last year and coming into this season he has the best chance to win the Heisman. I think he and his team are favorites to win the National Championship.