Well as the bubble came crashing back to earth, my thoughts were as follows, chances are we aren’t making the playoffs, and while I think the single biggest area of improvement we could make (if money, salary cap and contracts were not an issue) would be an upgrade at QB, we are all going to have to figure that is not going to happen next season, so with that and knowing our contract situations at another sore point (RT) I went with how do I help this team, and that is on defense. Picking at 15, lets go.
Pick 15 – Jared Verse, Edge, FSU – If anything was clear this past Sunday is we lack a true game wrecker on the edge, Browning, Cooper, and Bonito are decent rotational pieces, but none scare an offensive line and the pressure we generate is mainly off blitzes. Ideally, I would go more interior with this pick, but Verse potentially dropping to here I could not pass the opportunity. Now I don’t think Verse is remotely on the same level as Anderson or some of the other top Edge players, his game is somewhat reminiscent of Bradley Chubb coming out of school in a guy who has a wide variety of pass rushing moves, good get off and is an athletic freak as far as strength, power and speed combo, he has an excellent motor, what he lacks is that elite quickness and bend of say a Von Miller or Will Anderson, but I do think he can translate into someone that you have to account for every down and should be able to beat most one on one blockers, hopefully limiting the need to bring blitz packages as much.
Pick 75 – Brandon Dorlus, DL Oregon – He’s a technician with a high motor, seasoned player who has a dominant lower body strength, good core strength and has the ability to stand up blockers and disengage quickly. He’s a little short and he does not have the speed to be lined up outside consistently so he will have to be an interior player. But does have the potential to provide for a more consistent interior pass rush while being stout against the run.
Pick 131 – Jordan Travis, QB FSU – I know, he may not be here at this point, but this mock he is. Travis fits more of the ideal of what Peyton wants in a QB, where he excels over Wilson is processing ability and ability to manipulate coverages with his eyes. I see a lot of Dree Brees in his ability to distribute the ball quickly and accurately, a good running threat as well, he does a very good job outside the pocket forcing the defense to commit one way or another and punishing them for choosing the wrong choice. The injury will likely drop him in the draft, his arm strength isn’t elite and he can have some tendency to wait too long on players to uncover rather than throwing on anticipation, on the shorter side, but does have a good frame. But considering Wilson will be here and starting next season, Travis is a player that can develop on the bench and see what you have in two years if you are ready to move on from Wilson at that point.
Pick 141 – Malik Washington WR Virginia – He led D1 in receptions and was 2nd in total yards with 1426 yards, he’s smaller guy but an ideal slot WR who is extremely good in short to intermediate routes and generating yards after the catch buy getting guys to miss, despite smaller frame he is well built and has that quick twitch ability to create separation quickly and he does an outstanding job adjusting to poorly thrown balls. At 5’ 8" he presents a limited catch radius and isn’t going to be ideal on the outside with contested catches, with Wilson I would say this isn’t an ideal WR, however, this is building for the next QB1 and someone who can utilize inside guys more effectively.
Pick 150 – Jack Nelson OT Wisconsin – I generally trust Wisconsin lineman, Nelson, has excellent size an length standing at 6’ 7" and going about 310 pounds. He’s played G and tackle although his natural fit is likely tackle. Right now he is much better at pass blocking than run blocking, which is weird coming out of Wisconsin; but he has shown to be very good pass protector, his main issue has been his hand placement and staying engaged in run blocking at the second level, which I think can be coached up. Will likely need to add a little bit of bulk at the next level, but has the frame where that should not limit his movement skills. Should be a guy who can work as a swing tackle and hopefully get groomed as a replacement for either tackle spot.
Pick 234 – Marcellas Dial CB South Carolina – This season, teams seemed to shy away from him so his numbers don’t look as good as last season, but he’s a very sticky man to man guy, solidly built CB that probably can play some safety, very good in man coverage, willing tackler, but not someone who consistently delivers the blow, more of a wrap up guy and hold on. Can get a little handsy in coverage which he will need to clean up and show better recognition of route combos in zone. Shows good ball skills.