Ruff's Pre-Combine Mock Draft
1st Round, Johnathon Banks, CB - Mississippi StateBanks is the all-around style cornerback that this team most certainly needs. He can play physical, up in the face of the receiver, he can tackle (has accumulated forced fumbles over his career), can play in the return game, and most importantly, can be a ball hawk. I think Banks is one of the best cornerbacks in the draft because of his size, as well as his all-around talent. The other cornerbacks have something that they are decent at, but come with concerns (Rhodes with injuries, Trufant with physical play, etc). Banks has none of those concerns. He's just shown that as time progresses, he can just get better and better.
2nd Round, Dallas Thomas, LT/G - TennesseeDallas Thomas is an interesting prospect. After dominating much of his college career at LT, he was suddenly asked to move to LG his Senior year. The transition was expected to be a rough one, but Thomas not only did a good job with the transition, but he excelled there. He's a big, physical lineman (6'5 / 305 lbs), with the ability to move out in space (hence the transition to G). With our need at both Tackle and Guard, it makes sense to take a player like Thomas, who can give us versatility along the offensive line, while contributing immediately. But, out of all of the things I like the most of Dallas Thomas, is the reports that the guy is a hard worker, which is something that cannot be overstated enough for offensive linemen.
4th Round, Tavarres King, WR - GeorgiaWe have been looking for the heir apparent to Steve Smith for years, and I think we've found the draft class to get him out of. Sure, there are big name receivers that could garner 1st and 2nd round looks, but there are guys out there who are going to be great, and could be had later in the draft. King is one of those guys. King is known as a down the field threat, being able to make plays with his vertical route running as well as his quickness. King has the ability to streak down the field, past defenders, and into the end zone, becoming our home run threat immediately. The player King reminds me most of is Davone Bess.
5th Round, JC Tretter - CornellIf you don't know the name yet, trust me, you're going to be hearing all about him by the time the combine rolls around. The guy is a hidden gem, trust me. Sadly, we didn't get to see Tretter play at the Senior Bowl since he broke his nose in practice, but he's going to burst onto the scene in the next month. Tretter is basically a small school version of Lane Johnson. Played QB in high school (was also a basketball star), signed on at Cornell (shows his smarts) to play TE, but ends up moving inside to play LT, but most people believe he's suited to playing inside at Guard. He's not ready to start just yet, but after a year or so, he could immediately come in and provide depth and potentially take a starting Guard position.
6th Round, TJ Barnes, NT - Georgia TechTJ Barnes could be the perfect addition to a team that as a glaring need for a true NT. Barnes has played as a NT in the Georgia Tech 34 his entire college career, giving us options whenever we choose to move into our 34 looks. But, on top of that, Barnes just gives us a massive run stopper that can be used to plug into a gap and demand two or more blockers. TJ Barnes is still raw, and could use a year to learn the NFL game, but I think he could quickly transition into a Teddy Washington type player.
7th Round (Compensatory Pick), Taimi Tutogi, FB - ArizonaA FB?! Say whaaat? Yes, I know. But, Tutogi isn't necessarily you're prototypical FB. He has shown that can do it all at Arizona. He's been a blocking FB (which will most likely be utilized in Shula's offense), he has played some TE, and he's shown that he can be a special teams monster. He also could be used similarly as John Harbaugh uses FBs, in the DE/LB positions, he is that versatile.