Round 1: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
STRENGTHS: Light on his feet, flexible, has broad shoulders and his arms are both long and strong. His weight is evenly distributed over his frame and he reportedly has just 16 percent body fat, an impressive number for any offensive lineman.
Quick off the snap and has the lateral agility to slide left to right. Kouandjio uses his athleticism in pass protection well but he's even more impressive as a run blocker, consistently out-quicking defenders to create lanes. Kouandjio relies on good placement, strong hands and an explosive jolt to turn and sustain defenders.
Perhaps most impressive is that Kouandjio plays at different speeds well. He shows very good patience in pass protection but can fire off the ball when needed. He possesses exciting quickness and mobility when blocking on the move, traits Coach Nick Saban and his staff took advantage of by asking the LT to pull and lead RBs, on occasion.
WEAKNESSES: Choppy sliding into pass protection and has a tendency to drop his head upon contact, although he was significantly improved as his second season as a starter progressed in 2013. Excellent run blocker, although not a true mauler.
COMPARES TO: Tyron Smith, OT, Dallas Cowboys - Kouandjio's lean, muscular frame and superb athleticism will remind scouts of the former USC Trojan and now-Cowboys starting left tackle, and he has at least as impressive a skill-set as his former linemate D.J. Fluker, who the Chargers took 11th overall in 2013.
I have a feeling we will go OT in the first round and Cyrus would be the best option available.
Round 2: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
STRENGTHS: Chiseled frame that was more impressive than higher-profile names also at the Senior Bowl. Size/speed combination along with his hand/eye coordination and body control makes him an attractive prospect, showing the ability to make plays at all levels of the field and do damage after the catch.
Balanced route-runner with a sizeable catching radius. Size allowed him to be moved inside and out in Vandy's offense, allowing the team to find him favorable matchups. Detailed and reliable route-runner. Very good hand-eye coordination to haul in tough passes, including one-handed catches.
WEAKNESSES: Good, but not great build-up speed and may lack an elite second gear to gain separation. Lean-muscled and needs to do more in contested situations.
Compares To: Earl Bennett, Bears ? Matthews joins Bennett as potentially the best receivers Vanderbilt has produced to the NFL in years. Matthews is two inches taller than Bennett, but share a similar concern about whether he lacks the straight-line speed to consistently beat NFL cornerbacks.
2013: 112 rec, 1477 yards, 7 TDs
2012: 94 rec, 1323 yards, 8 TDs
2011: 41 rec, 778 yards, 5 TDs
2010: 15 rec, 181 yards, 4 TDs
Round 3: Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood
STRENGTHS: Sports a lean, athletic build with excellent height for the position. Fluid athlete with light feet, flexibility and balance. Has a low backpedal, controlled transition and is a smooth accelerator with good top-end speed. Trusts his athleticism, showing the patience to allow receivers to get close before opening his hips to turn and run downfield.
Aggressively closes on underneath routes. Locates the ball well, showing good hand-eye coordination and body control to adjust to make the tough grab. Has dominated lower-level competition based largely on his natural gifts.
With refining, Desir could emerge as an NFL starter.
WEAKNESSES: Overly reliant on his athleticism and may need significant development from a technical standpoint before competing for playing time in the NFL. Dominated lower level of competition and rarely had to extend his arm to jam receivers when in press coverage, which led to struggles with quicker receivers during the all-star game circuit.
Plays with cover corner mentality against the run, making the tackle when necessary but showing less-than-ideal physicality when attempting to fight through blocks and when making tackles.
COMPARES TO: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Denver Broncos - Like DRC, Desir possesses intriguing size, athleticism and ball-skills. With improved physicality -- especially in run support -- Desir could emerge as a legitimate NFL starter.
2013: 9 GP, 4 INT
2012: 12 GP, 9 INT
Round 4: Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers
STRENGTHS: Looks the part of an NFL split end, possessing broad shoulders, long arms and great height. Towers over cornerbacks, showing the ability to reach over them and pluck the ball. Possesses a deceptive gait and surprising straight-line speed which helps him sneak over the top for big plays. Can stick his foot in the ground and create space for himself, especially on slants, where he can use his size to shield defenders from the ball. Tracks the ball well over his shoulder. Extends his arms to latch and control defenders as a run blocker, though too often he'll stop moving his feet on contact and fail to sustain.
WEAKNESSES: Doesn't play with the toughness and physicality one might expect given his stature. Is a long-strider with build-up rather than explosive straight-line speed. Struggles to sink his hips and explode back towards the ball, making him a tough target on routes in which he turns back towards the quarterback. Relies on his size to box-out defenders and is too easily knocked off balance.
COMPARES TO: Jon Baldwin, San Francisco 49ers - Few receives with Coleman's size have found success in the NFL. Vincent Jackson is an exception and the team that selects Coleman will be hoping that he'll prove the same. Given Coleman's lack of development of his natural tools to this point, Baldwin is a more realistic comparison.
2013: 34 rec, 538 yards, 4 TDs
2012: 43, 718 yards, 10 TDs
2011: 17 rec, 552 yards, 6 TDs (32.5 ypc!!)
Round 5: Anthony Steen, OG, Alabama
STRENGTHS: Possesses a thick, compact frame ideal for winning leverage battles in the trenches. Surprisingly quick, both when asked to slide laterally in pass protection, as well as when coming off the line downhill in second-level pursuit.
Fundamentally and technically solid in pass protection exhibiting patience to sit, punch and slide with good pad. Maximizes arm extension without over-extending despite lacking ideal length. Keeps his head on a swivel and displays good awareness, and has the poise and vision to pick-up multiple rushers in a given area, without panicking or abandoning his post.
Sustains blocks to the whistle and possesses enough power to drive bigger defenders into the ground. Adequate bend in his lower half allows him to get under his opponent and absorb the bull-rush without losing significant ground. Stronger than his size would indicate. Quick to pull and get out in front of the run, and does a good job of positioning his feet to seal the edge.
WEAKNESSES: Doesn't have as great an impact blocking downfield as he does within the box, appearing at times indecisive and late to recognize defenders approaching from an angle other than head-on. Despite having a strong anchor against the bull rush, Steen is susceptible to being beat with a swim or swat as he struggles to anchor once the duel goes lateral.
Lack of height and length may lead some teams to classify him as a center.
COMPARES TO: J.R. Sweezy, Guard, Seattle Seahawks - Sweezy is a bit longer and more athletic than Steen, but one might project Steen to a similar type of NFL career as a tough, durable grinder who plays bigger and more powerful than his size would indicate, and is solid enough in both facets of the game to become a starter at the next level.
...........................................................................................................................Steen hasn't been as hyped or publicly lauded as many of his Alabama teammates, but on tape there's no denying he's one of the team's better NFL prospects for 2014.
Despite lacking the elite size/athleticism combination that we're growing accustomed to seeing come out of Tuscaloosa, Steen's technical consistency, toughness and instincts are exactly what NFL teams look for in the ideal guard prospect.
Round 6: Seantrel Henderson, OT, Miami
STRENGTHS: A similarly jaw-dropping combination of size and power as San Diego Chargers 2013 first round pick D.J. Fluker, Henderson relies on his length and underrated lateral quickness to protect the edge against speed rushers. Typically, his long arms keep pass-rushers at bay and he plays with good patience, keeping his knees bent and his butt low to stop bull-rushers in their tracks.
Henderson is even more impressive in the running game, where he can surprise defenders with his ability to reach them and his strength to latch on and control is impressive.
WEAKNESSES: Like Fluker, Henderson is so large that he struggles, at times, with leverage. He comes off the snap a bit high and when he lunges at defenders, he can get top-heavy and nearly fall flat on his face. Struggled to stay on the field at Miami due to a concerning combination of injuries and off-field issues.
Compares To: D.J. Fluker, San Diego Chargers.
...............................................................................................................................One of the largest human beings in the game of football (college or professional), Henderson is another Hurricane who arrived in to Coral Gables with much fanfare. But so far, and for various reasons, he has mostly been a disappointment.
Henderson is a tough prospect to project right now because he is extremely talented for a player of his size and strength, but the potential hasn't necessarily translated to the field. He was a five-star high school recruit and widely believed to be one of the best offensive linemen to enter the college ranks in recent years. Henderson chose to play at Southern Cal, but changed his mind once the Trojans were slapped with a two-year postseason ban, deciding instead to enroll at Miami.
He started nine games as a true freshman at right tackle for the Hurricanes, earning Freshman All-American honors. Henderson was suspended for the season opener in 2011 for violation of team rules and missed several other games because of offseason back surgery. He started only a pair of games in '11, both at right tackle, but enjoyed a solid 2012 with seven starts and All-ACC honorable mention honors from league coaches.
Henderson is a mountain of a man and has enough foot quickness to hold his own on the edge, but must become much more football-focused before NFL scouts will consider him to be a first-round player. That cause wasn't helped when he was suspended yet again for a violation of team rules, missing the Georgia Tech game on Oct. 5.
I understand he is a big risk but his ceiling his worth he risk in the 6th round. He may not fall quite this far but it's not too unrealistic that he does.
Round 7: Bene Benwikere, CB, San Jose State
STRENGTHS: Adequate size and build for the position with average length. Smooth hips and movement skills, making easy body adjustments on the ball. Heady player with quick reaction skills and anticipation. Soft, reliable hands with the locating skills and ballskills to ****** interceptions. Nice job setting the edge and fighting for body positioning. Physical in run support. Competes every snap with the same aggressive temperament. Displays desirable football intangibles and NFL pedigree. Versatile experience in the secondary, seeing snaps at cornerback, nickelback, strong safety and on special teams. Productive resume despite only one season as the full-time starter, leaving the college ranks with 14 interceptions.
WEAKNESSES: Needs to spend more time in the weight room and develop his strength. Struggles in press to reroute and hang with WRs vertically. Below average straight-line speed and explosiveness. Too easily beat down the seam when lined up in the slot. Opens his hips off the snap and not well-versed in his backpedal. Too easily turned around in coverage and needs to stay balanced and alert. Attacks the run, but needs to wrap consistently instead of just throwing his body around with his head and eyes down. Poor tackling technique and hesitant in space with too many whiffs. Will get visibly frustrated on the field and allow mistakes to carry over or lead to penalties. Minor durability concerns after a concussion in Sept. 2013, missing one game.
Benwikere played on the same high school team as Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, but was overlooked as a three-star recruit, committing to San Jose State over San Diego State, UNLV and Iowa State. He was forced into the starting line-up as a true freshman safety when Duke Ihenacho went down with an injury, but returned to a reserve role as a sophomore in 2011. Benwikere started his junior year as a nickelback before becoming a starting cornerback, finishing tied for second in the country with seven interceptions. He recorded a personal-best 16 passes defended as a senior in 2013, adding a team-best five pick-offs and earning First Team All-conference honors for the second straight season. Benwikere lacks elite size, speed and strength for the position, but is a cerebral football player with reliable ballskills and a knack for putting himself in proper position to make plays on the ball. He needs to be more consistent in run support to see snaps at the NFL level, but his competitive nature and versatility will give him a fighting chance.