Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Derek's Final Mock Draft

1) Cleveland Browns select Myles Garret, Defensive End, Texas A&M Aggies
I'm curious to see how the Browns are able to fuck this up. I don't think that Garrett is head and shoulders the best player in the draft, but he is the prototypical edge rusher that teams crave and that you simply cannot afford to pass up on. He has tremendous length, speed, and power and can beat offensive tackles with any one of his tools. He has been criticized as being a bit lazy against the run, but from what I saw he is able to set the edge adequately. The Browns simply need all the help that they can get on their defense. They don't have anyone who can get after the quarterback consistently, although they have some nice pieces already there in Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Nassib. Adding Myles Garrett to that line gives them a difference maker and someone with double digit sack potential from day one.

2) San Francisco 49ers select Jamal Adams, Safety, LSU Tigers
This is actually a pretty hard pick to mock here as I want to give them a top lineman like Allen or Thomas, but with the Niners going defensive line the last two drafts it seems a bit redundant to add another here. Thus, they should look to improve their atrocious secondary and it just so happens that Adams is an elite player who fills a big need. The Niners have lost a lot of guys in the past couple of years who once made up an incredibly feared secondary. Taking Adams would get them closer to having that again. He is a do it all safety who can play both down in the box as a strong safety and can also be a center fielder. He loves to lay guys out for coming into his territory and is a capable playmaker on the ball. Teams love guys who bring versatility to the field and Adams is probably the most versatile secondary player in this draft. This would be my pick, but don't be surprised if the Niners end up trading down in the actual draft from here.

3) Chicago Bears select Jonathan Allen, Defensive End, Alabama Crimson Tide
I said it in my defensive tackle rankings, but I wouldn't be surprised if Allen ended up having a better career than Garrett does as he is a plug and play type of guy who is ready to contribute right away. He played both edge rusher and defensive tackle in Alabama's 4-3 defense, but he would probably play edge rusher in the Bears' 3-4 defense. Allen is a tremendous prospect who has dominated the SEC over the last two seasons. He shows an excellent combination of size, power and speed and made a lot of offensive tackles look like fools when he went up against them. The Bears' defense has really gone downhill over the last few years and they do not have a feared pass rusher like they once did. The path to their division runs through Green Bay and they need to get guys who can close in on the quarterback quickly. Allen brings that and should be a staple on this defensive line for the next decade.

4) Jacksonville Jaguars select Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU Tigers
I'm sure Justin is screaming at me that this isn't Solomon Thomas, but the fact of the matter is that the Jags have gone defense in the past few drafts and heavily in free agency and should look to add to their offense now. It is unclear if Bortles is going to be in their plans moving forward as he has severely regressed, but he has never had much of a run game. Fournette changes that almost instantaneously. He is a dominant running back who is capable of carrying the ball around 25 times a game and can be the focal point of an offense. His ability to run over or around guys makes him incredibly dynamic and the comparisons to Adrian Peterson really are not all that far off. He isn't a guy who will catch a lot of balls out of the backfield and there is no doubt that he needs some improvement in his pass protection, but if Zeke Elliott can go this high then Fournette certainly can too. He won't have nearly the same caliber offensive line, but his ability to create yards will help to mitigate that.

5) Tennessee Titans select Marshon Lattimore, Corner Back, Ohio State Buckeyes
Thanks to the Rams' stupidity, the Titans are in an excellent position to add an elite player to their team and help make them a consistent playoff threat. They have a hole at corner which works out well as the top player on the board is also a corner. While there are legit questions about his durability, but there are no questions about what he brings to the table as a player. His numbers at the Combine were simply off the charts and his tape doesn't lie either. He has the length and athleticism needed to be a shutdown corner back in the NFL. He plays great coverage and doesn't let up a lot of separation and showed excellent ability to track the ball and make a play on it. The AFC South has some excellent receivers in it which necessitates having a lockdown corner. I'd love to see how Lattimore is playing in a few years in a Dick Lebeau coached defense.

6) New York Jets select Mike Williams, Wide Receiver, Clemson Tigers
This is the first real spot that I could see a quarterback being drafted, but I think it would be a bit more wise to see what they have in Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg (not a lot) and put themselves in a position to draft high in next year's star studded quarterback class. If the Jets do decide to roll with those two quarterbacks, it would behoove them to get some playmakers to help in the transition. The Jets lost Brandon Marshall to the Giants and they need to replace him as soon as possible. Williams looks to be a good replacement as he is another big body receiver with solid size who is a redzone threat. Williams is 6'4 and has a tremendous vertical which helps him win a lot of contested balls. He simply rips the ball away from anyone who is guarding him which makes him a great target over the middle of the field and in the endzone. Some of expressed concerns about his ability to separate from NFL corners, but I think that Williams should be fine at that and his ability to win 50/50 balls also mitigates that issue.

7) L.A. Chargers select Malik Hooker, Safety, Ohio State Buckeyes
The Chargers struck gold by picking an elite talent from Ohio State last year, so why not go back and do the same thing this year? The Chargers have had a hole in their secondary since they left Eric Weddle walk and their defense has suffered as a result of that. Fortunately, Hooker is a tremendous prospect who could go even higher than this but is coming off of off-season hip surgery which could push him down into double digits. However, he has quite possibly the most impressive sideline to sideline range and ball skills I've seen out of a college safety prospect. His ability to track the ball and come down with it could end up making him a perennial All Pro player. There isn't a whole lot of good quarterback play going down in the AFC West, but having a guy like Hooker will make anyone thing twice about going deep with him roaming back in the centerfield.

8) Carolina Panthers select Solomon Thomas, Defensive End, Stanford Cardinal
In most of my recent mocks, I had the Panthers reaching for an offensive tackle since Cam Newton was pulverized last year. However, they could probably find some value later int he draft while they have a top defensive lineman falling to them in this scenario. Thomas has been knocked a little bit as a tweener, but his athletic potential is off the charts and some think he can go as high as second overall. He has the ability to bend around the edge and uses his hands well to keep offensive lineman off balance. The Panthers once had a frightening defensive line but inexplicably traded away promising pass rusher Kony Ealy to the Patriots and saw some regression last season out of the unit as a whole. There is always the chance that they could end up going with a corner back here if they fall in love with one, but Thomas is just too intriguing and too valuable to pass up.

9) Cincinnati Bengals select Derek Barnett, Defensive End, Tennessee Volunteers
Despite their record and where they are picking in this year's draft, I honestly do believe that the Bengals have one of the most well constructed roster in the league. One area that they are lacking in though is at defensive end. Outside of Carlos Dunlap, this team struggles to get pressure from the edges. I will be the first to admit that this is probably a bit too high for Barnett to go, but pass rushers are always getting bumped up in the draft as they have the ability to impact a game on every single defensive snap. Barnett has rare ability to bend and get around an offensive tackle and when combined with his ridiculous burst off of the line of scrimmage, he can be a nightmare to handle. The biggest criticism of him is that he seems to lack power and can get bullied around by faster offensive lineman who are able to get a hand on him. Since this is a team without a lot of holes, they could be a candidate to trade down and try and find better value on a pass rusher.

10) Buffalo Bills select Corey Davis, Wide Receiver, Western Michigan Broncos
The Bills did the right thing in getting Tyrod Taylor a contact extension and now they have to go out and get him playmakers so as to not passively sabotage his career. The Bills have a major need at receiver as they lost Robert Woods in the offseason and Sammy Watkins has been hurt and hasn't lived up to the billing of his draft spot. There have even been rumblings that Watkins could end up not being retained by the Bills after next season. Even if he is, another receiver is needed on this roster to take the focus away form him. Justin sent me some clips of Davis and when I watched him, I saw a bit of a mix of Julio Jones and AJ Green. Davis a big receiver who runs silky smooth routes and is a dynamic player when he gets the ball in his hands. He simply dominated his competition and performed well against Power 5 teams despite them all knowing he was going to get the ball. The Bills can take him this high and not expect him to produce right away as they already have a veteran in Watkins and are a run first team behind Shady McCoy. Davis would be a great pickup here at 10.

11) New Orleans Saints select Reuben Foster, Linebacker, Alabama Crimson Tide
Even with the recent diluted drug test, I still think Foster has a chance to go this high and it makes a ton of sense for a team like the Saints to take him. Stephone Anthony hasn't produced to his first round selection and I couldn't even tell you who the other starting inside linebacker is. Foster is an absolute beast at linebacker and showed the ability to do everything that was asked of him. He only started one year but that isn't surprising since he sat behind so much other talent at Alabama. He has the speed to chase plays down sideline to sideline and can match up with tight ends and running backs out of the backfield. He has good instincts and plugs up running lanes quickly. The Saints have one of the worst linebacking corps in the league. so adding a player who could step in right away and contribute should be a no brainer for them.

12) Cleveland Browns select OJ Howard, Tight End, Alabama Crimson Tide
If the Browns are able to draft both Myles Garrett and OJ Howard, they may want to just go home after this selection so not to ruin the rest of it. Some believe that Howard could go top five, but I have a hard time seeing a tight end go that high. But this is about the right range for him and would be a huge asset to a underwhelming offense. The Browns have almost no offensive weapons and would be smart to take a mismatch nightmare like Howard. He has the ability to stretch the field from inside and split out wide and can look borderline uncoverable at times. Defenders really struggle to contain his size and speed combination. Whether the Browns decided to take a quarterback in a later round or just stick with what they got in Cody Kessler, having a weapon like Howard will make anyone's life and job just a bit easier.

13) Arizona Cardinals select Pat Mahomes, Quarterback, Texas Tech Red Raiders
I wouldn't be surprised to see the Cardinals go for their quarterback of the future as I believe that their championship window is just about closed right now. They struggled pretty mightily last year and it might be high time for this team to start thinking about life after Carson Palmer. Mahomes has been rising up big boards recently and while he isn't my top quarterback, I think he is more along the lines of what Bruce Arians wants in a quarterback. He has the best arm in the draft and has shown the ability to connect on some stunning passes. He is far from a finished project, but that is totally fine as I think Palmer has another year or two left in him. Mahomes would be able to fine tune himself while waiting in the wings for his chance to start. It doesn't always work out, but sometimes you need to think about five years down the road instead of next year. If that is how the Cardinals' front office wants to approach this draft, then Mahomes makes all the sense in the world.

14) Philadelphia Eagles select Marlon Humphrey, Corner Back, Alabama Crimson Tide
The Eagles defense started out hot last year before cooling off and a big part of that was that their secondary play dropped dramatically. This problem has been exacerbated by Nolan Carroll not being retained as he played 16 games last season. The big knock on Humphrey has been that he has a tendency to rely too much on his pure athleticism than letting his technique play for him. But he is a big corner back who is immensely physical and showed a great ability to reel in interceptions over his three seasons at Alabama. I think that he could really work out well learning the nuances of the game under Jim Schwartz. The Eagles are pretty pressed to get help in the secondary as well as they have to deal with OBJ and Dez Bryant twice a year each. You need a guy that can go toe to toe with either of them for a full sixty minutes.

15) Indianapolis Colts select Forrest Lamp, Guard, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Now that the Colts have dumped Ryan Grigson, maybe they have a chance at getting the most out of Andrew Luck. The Colts have made some attempts to help out Luck, and while defense will need to be addressed heavily in this draft, Lamp is too good to pass up here. Luck was still constantly under siege last year and a lot of that pressure came from up the middle. Lamp is a phenom of a guard who is sturdy and tough to move around. He gets good movement in the ground game, but most importantly for the Colts, he is rock steady as a pass protector. I didn't scout, but after Justin watched him he raved about his game for weeks. Against Alabama's ridiculous array of pass rushers, he did not allow a single pressure on his quarterback. That is the kind of lineman that has teams salivating and the Colts should waste no time getting their draft card in if Lamp is on the board.

16) Baltimore Ravens select Charles Harris, Outside Linebacker, Missouri Tigers
Harris has been a bit of an enigma as he was viewed as a top ten pick prior to the season, seemed to fall into second round consideration, and is now moving back up the boards. He played as a defensive end at Mizzou, but because he is only about 6'3 I think that he makes a great candidate as an outside linebacker who blitzes off the edge. He has a lightening first step and showed the ability to bend and close on the quarterback. The Ravens lost Elvis Dumervil this offseason and have the come to terms with the fact that Terrell Suggs is another year older and will not be around forever. It is time for the Ravens to start grooming a new crop of pass rushers. Todd McShay recently said that Harris is a guy who could play for all 31 teams, plus the Browns, a testament to his athleticism and overall talent. If Harris lives up to his potential, this could be one of the better picks in the first round.

17) Washington Redskins select Dalvin Cook, Running Back, Florida State Seminoles
I wouldn't be surprised if the Redskins picked a quarterback here as Dan Snyder's final middle finger to Kirk Cousins. But since I'm GM here, Cook is the pick. This may seem a bit odd as the team recently lost Pierre Garcon and Desean Jackson, but I'm higher on Cook than I am on John Ross. Plus, the Redskins running backs weren't exactly inspiring a lot of hope last year. Cook is a dynamic running back who I think will end up being drafted in the second round as teams question what his upside is and begin to drag up some issues he had at FSU. But I really enjoyed scouting Cook as he was a slashing runner who doesn't need a huge hole to get through the line of scrimmage and hit the second level. He can run inside and out and is a capable pass catcher out of the backfield. I think he is more of a complete running back than Fournette is at this stage although he is not the same caliber of "pure runner". But he is a guy who should be able to handle a load of 25 or so touches a game.

18) Tennessee Titans select John Ross, Wide Receiver, Washington Huskies
I love what Mike Mularkey has done with this team. He was committed to "exotic, smash mouth football" and stuck with that by investing heavily in the offensive line and grabbing Demarco Murray and Derrick Henry. Now, it is time to draft a receiver who can help take advantage of Mariota's abilities. The Titans weren't able to keep Kendall Wright around and now lack both a number one receiver and a deep threat. Ross can be both of those. While he is most well known for his blazing, record setting 40 yard dash, he is not afraid to do the gritty work of going over the middle and making the tough catches. With the Titans' desire to run the football, Ross should expect several deep plays a game as safeties move closer and closer to the line to stop the run. He is just a big play waiting to happen and could soon be leading the league in explosive plays (plays of 20+ yards).

19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Taco Charlton, Defensive End, Michigan Wolverines
The Bucs said that they wanted to get as many weapons for Jameis this offseason as they could and did a good job in grabbing Desean Jackson. I think that they can afford to focus on defense with this pick and try to look for more play makers later in the draft. Pass rush has been a bit of an issue with this team as they have swung on and missed with guys like Adrian Clayborn and Daquan Bowers. Right now they really just have Gerald McCoy in the middle applying pressure. Charlton's biggest critique is that he is still a bit raw, but he has all the physical tools to become a good pass rusher in the NFL. He has a relentless attitude and motor, good length, and bend. He will need to develop some more pass rushing skills to fully succeed at the next level but he has a good base right now to be able to make an impact as a rookie. Again, in this division pass rushers are needed and are prone to be over drafted, but sometimes it is a necessity.

20) Denver Broncos select Caleb Brantley, Defensive Tackle, Florida Gators
The Broncos suffered typical post Super Bowl attrition and were most drastically affected at defensive tackle and linebacker. The biggest loss in my opinion was losing Malik Jefferson to the Jaguars last year. As a result of this, their ability to stop the run really went downhill last year. Linebacker could be in play here, but I like what Brantley brings to the table as an interior pass rusher. He is the kind of guy who will not light up the start sheet but guys like the writers at PFF will absolutely love. He is a disruptive pass rusher who forces quarterbacks out of the pocket and allows the edge rushers to mop up. He's shown the ability to get after the quarterback on his own, but can be a bit inconsistent in finishing those plays. He is also a very skilled run defender as he stands up guards and sheds blocks and make the tackle. If the Broncos don't take a defensive tackle, don't be surprised if they end up taking the next guy below.

21) Detroit Lions select Haasan Reddick, Linebacker, Temple Owls
Reddick is another name that has been flying up draft boards after a strong Combine workout and after teams have delved into the tape from this small school prospect. In today's NFL, you need a linebacker who can go sideline to sideline and take away the mismatches that offensive coordinators try to create with tight ends and running backs. The Lions do not have that at this point, but a selection like this would get them the guy that they need. Reddick has exceptional quickness and instincts that helped him become one of the most feared linebackers in the country. You can use him to cover tight ends or you can ask him to come off of a blitz and he will be equally effective. Mel Kiper recently said that he is a player who could play any linebacker position in any scheme. He would like play outside linebacker for the Lions and would be a welcome sight on a defense that was very inconsistent last year.

22) Miami Dolphins select Jabrill Peppers, Safety / Linebacker, Michigan Wolverines
Jabrill the enigma. I cannot remember the last time there was a more highly debated prospect than him. Some see him as a guy who was not properly utilized at Michigan and who has the talent to become an All Pro player while others see him as an athlete who just happens to play football. The truth is much more complex in that he lies somewhere in between and he could end up falling to either end of the spectrum. I think that the Dolphins are actually a very good fit for Peppers as they have questions at linebacker and safety, both of which are roles that Peppers could end up playing in. If he does end up at safety, it would have to be at strong safety as he has shown that he can get lost in pass coverage and doesn't have the ball skills to be a free safety. But if you allow him to cover tight ends and chase down plays behind the line of scrimmage, you have a dynamic player who will do that job well. He is the guy that we could be looking back at in ten years asking why he fell so far.

23) New York Giants select David Njoku, Tight End, Miami Hurricanes
The Giants have a championship caliber defense, but their offense was hot fucking garbage last year and cost them a lot of games, including their playoff game against the Packers. Much of this has to do with the fact that they ran an 11 Personnel package on 90% of their plays and that gave no variety to their play selection. Manning has always been at this most comfortable when he has a good, reliable tight end to work the middle of the field. Just think back to when he had Jeremy Shockey. Njoku is a big, physical tight end who loves to make plays over the middle of the field and fights with everything he has for extra yards. Not only that, he is a good blocker which is needed as the Giants' offensive line was pretty terrible last year. Adding some height to this team to help out their woeful redzone production also wouldn't be a bad idea. If he is selected by the Giants, I see him as a day one starter who catches about 65 passes and 7 touchdowns as a rookie, which might just be good enough to get the Giants deep into the playoffs.

24) Oakland Raiders select Adoree Jackson, Corner Back, USC Trojans
Out of all of the players that I scouted this year, Jackson was my absolute favorite to watch. This kid is such a dynamic athlete that it wouldn't surprise me if he ended up like Chris Gamble and played both offense and defense. But at the moment, I have him projected as a corner in the NFL. Jackson has great ball skills, the athleticism to turn and run with a lot of receivers, and the vertical to make up for his small size. He has a tendency to play a little loose, but with a good secondary coach he will learn to trust his technique more and could become an interception machine. The Raiders would gladly take that as they have struggled with their secondary for several years now. They just let go of first round bust D.J. Hayden and Sean Smith didn't play as well as expected last year after coming off a strong few seasons in Kansas City. Jackson may not play right away on the outside, but he could see some early time as a nickel corner. Add in what he could bring to this offense and on returns, and Jackson makes an excellent fit in Silver and Black.

25) Houston Texans select Mitchell Trubisky, Quarterback, UNC Tar Heels
The second quarterback to come off the board is all the way in the mid twenties, and it is the guy most people will be taken ahead of Mahomes. I do like Trubisky, but I still would be hesitant about taking him in the first. He has little experience, didn't ever have to operate an NFL offense at UNC, and was unable to beat out a quarterback who wasn't even drafted during his 3 years in Chapel Hill. But there is solid upside to him and frankly, what else are the Texans going to do? They really don't have any major holes on their team other than quarterback and are really just wasting the primes of some of their stars. I doubt that Trubisky can start right away and find success, especially in O'Brien's complex offense, but if he is able to sit for a year or two and learn then maybe he could have more of a chance than starting right out of the gate. At this point, I think the Texans could be willing to take the gamble.

26) Seattle Seahawks select Ryan Ramczyk, Offensive Tackle, Wisconsin Badgers
The Seahawks offensive line is BAD. I mean, they are seriously terrible. PFF released their season grades for all positions, and every member of this line ranked in the bottom 5 of their position. It is seriously a miracle that this team made it to the playoffs. They drafted an offensive tackle last year, but he was so bad that they moved him inside to guard in favor of an undrafted player. They absolutely have to do something about that or they are going to get Russell Wilson killed. I believe that Ramczyk could be a starter somewhere along this line as a rookie and be an instant upgrade. He isn't as physical as some reason Wisconsin linemen, but he is very quick and light on his feet and can mirror the edge rushers which is becoming so much more valuable in today's game. The Seahawks still managed to run the ball well last year, so they do not have to focus on run blocking. Just keep your franchise quarterback in one piece.

27) Kansas City Chiefs select Malik McDowell, Defensive End, Michigan State Spartans
Another year, another crushing playoff loss for the Chiefs. Like a few other teams, the Chiefs have to feel disappointed that they let down such a good season with an awful game in the playoffs. The biggest loss may be that their talented defense just got another year older too and cannot seem to stay healthy. Andy Reid has shown a penchant for drafting lineman early as his style is to really control the trenches. McDowll is an incredibly talented kid who has not lived up to his potential thus far. His desire to improve his game and apparent lack of motor has made some question just how good he can really be. That is obviously hard to say, but Reid has shown to be able to work well with defensive lines. With his potential, this could be an important piece to add to a defense that showed they can get after the quarterback as well as anyone else when they are on.

28) Dallas Cowboys select Gareon Conley, Corner Back, Ohio State Buckeyes
I had this whole thing completely written before the allegations against him surfaced, so I'm just going to try and give the benefit of the doubt and keep this selection. Conley could well be worth it as he is still developing but has shown a lot of promise so far. He showed continuous improvement as his two years as a starter and has the potential to be a very good man to man corner. In terms of needs, the Cowboys may as well just go for one of the top defensive players on the board. Their defense played better than expected last year but they lost some key pieces and can't count on guys like Randy Gregory. They were hit the hardest in their secondary where Mo Claiborne opted for a contract elsewhere after finally having a breakout season. They need both pass rushers and corner help, so if Conley is available he could be in consideration. However, with the allegations against him, whether true or not, might cause him to slide pretty significantly.

29) Green Bay Packers select Kevin King, Corner Back, Washington Huskies
If it weren't for an injury to his team mate, King might not be selected in the first round instead of his teammate Sidney Jones. But King was overlooked at Washington due to guys like Jones and Buddha Baker being the starts of the secondary. Yet he was turning heads after showing great athleticism for a guy who stands about 6'3. His length and athleticism has coaches wondering what they can have on their hands if they can refine him a bit. The Packers were hit hard last year by injury in their secondary, but it wouldn't hurt for them to get more talent either. They nearly missed the playoffs because their defense, and secondary primarily, was a sieve that just gave up huge chunk plays. And when it came time for their game against the Falcons, well, they just never had a chance against Julio Jones. Not saying that King will automatically fix that, but it would at least be a good start to overhaul a defense in dire need of that.

30) Pittsburgh Steelers select Takk McKinley, Outside Linebacker, UCLA Bruins
Pittsburgh continues to overhaul their defense and more specifically their pass rush. Jarvis Jones didn't pan out as planned and was released this offseason. The Steelers still managed to rack up 38 sacks year which is a pretty good total, but James Harrison lead the way with 5 sacks and is another year older. They cannot continue to rely on him going forward and could use an injection of youth for their pass rush. McKinley has been projected all over the first round, but I think that snagging him at the end of the first round is pretty appropriate range. McKinley has good burst off of the edge and has the ability to bend and close on the quarterback. He has been knocked for his size which could end up being a concern as lineman with longer arms can knock him off his course before he makes first contact. But with this being such a big need, I wouldn't be surprised if the Steelers took a flyer on him at this juncture.

31) Atlanta Falcons select Jarrad Davis, Linebacker, Florida Gators
The Falcons are in need of a pass rusher off the edge or possibly a defensive tackle, but there isn't someone who really fits the value range with who is currently on the board. That isn't too big of a problem as they could also use help at linebacker and this could is a good range for Davis as well. He played a lot faster than his numbers at the Combine would indicate and is someone who can cover up tight ends and running backs. He also has great instincts which translates to him playing well against the run. But more importantly, he showed to be an above average blitzer when he was asked to. Atlanta can really use whatever they can get on defense. As the end of the Super Bowl showed, the defense is still a work in progress before this team is a consistent Super Bowl contender. They should take whoever they think can be a plug and play guy.

32) New Orleans Saints select Christian McCaffrey, Running Back, Stanford Cardinal
I considered dropping him out of the first after the news of Adrian Peterson signing came bout, but this pick actually does make a lot of sense. Sean Payton has never been afraid to use his entire stable of backs during a game. Simply put, McCaffrey is a play maker who is likely to go MUCH higher than this in the actual draft. He has exceptional speed and lateral quickness that freezes defenders in place. I can't tell you how many times I saw this kid get a linebacker going one way only to put him on skates and go the other direction. But while he will certainly be playing a role at running back, it wouldn't surprise me if Payton began to run a significant amount of plays with McCaffrey in the slot. David Shaw did this a lot with McCaffrey and it is not an exaggeration to say that he can run the full route tree better than a most college receivers. Payton is all about getting guys into space and once he comes into the league, McCaffrey may already be one of the top playmakers.

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