Players are listed in order of how I expect them to get drafted.
Taco Charlton – DE
Charlton didn’t particularly enjoy playing a 3-4 defensive end role in 2015 under defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin, and he was more productive as a weakside end in 2016’s version of the 4-3. He’s projected by NFL scouts as a 4-3 end, and mostly I’ve seen him pegged as going in the last third of the first round, though he has moved up to the middle third of the first round in some mock drafts over the last week or two.
Teams to watch: Saints, Bears, Dolphins, Falcons
Hit the jump for the rest of the draft preview.
Jabrill Peppers – S/LB
Peppers measured in at about 5’11” and 213 lbs. at the NFL Combine, and he was slightly disappointed in his numbers, since he claimed to have put on about 13 lbs. to work out with the linebackers. He ran a 4.46 forty and thought he could have got it down to the 4.3s if he had been lighter. The number that might hurt him a bit more, though, is his diluted urine sample at the Combine. Excuses have been made by his agent, but diluting your urine sample is considered to be an attempt to mask use of illicit substances, and now Peppers will enter the NFL under stricter drug testing guidelines. Some teams view him as a running back or linebacker, but he’s more likely to be a nickel defensive back.
Teams to watch: Cowboys, Falcons, Redskins, Steelers, Rams
Chris Wormley – DT
Wormley is a tweener. Is he fast enough to be a defensive end, and is he powerful enough to be a defensive tackle? He played both at Michigan, and while he was consistently good, he was rarely outstanding. A leg injury prevented him from testing in some speed/agility drills at the Combine, but he put up a solid 23 reps on the bench press. Somebody will probably take a shot at him in the 3rd or 4th round.
Teams to watch: Redskins, Texans
Jake Butt – TE
Butt suffered a second major knee injury when he tore his ACL in the bowl game loss to Florida State – a good piece of evidence for the likes of Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey not to play in those games. But before that, he won the Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end, even though his senior year numbers (46 catches, 546 yards, 4 TDs) weren’t stellar. He’s a solid all-around player without being a standout in any particular phase, except maybe as a route runner. It’s hard to tell where he’ll go, since tearing an ACL for a second time is obviously a red flag.
Teams to watch: Bengals, Cowboys, Saints, Texans
Jourdan Lewis – CB
Lewis – whether he’s guilty or innocent – is suffering from a damaged reputation due to a domestic violence issue that took place this offseason. Generally considered to be one of the top few cover corners in the country, he was thought to be a second rounder until these charges. Some teams may have taken him off their board, and even teams still high on him are probably looking at him sidewas. He put up decent numbers at the Combine and pro day, but I’m guessing he’ll drop down to the 3rd or 4th round.
Teams to watch: Bears, Buccaneers, Dolphins
Amara Darboh – WR
Darboh tested better than many expected (4.45 forty, 36″ vertical) and has a solid frame at 6’2″, 214 lbs. He wasn’t greatly productive in college, which could be a concern, and the thing that got him early praise in his career (his hands) have turned out to be questionable at times. He’s probably not in any danger of become a star at the next level, but he’s someone who might be referred to as a “savvy veteran” in a few years.
Teams to watch: Bills, Colts
Ryan Glasgow – DT
Glasgow didn’t wow anyone with his testing numbers, and he was even slightly disappointing with 24 reps on the bench press. Knows for his leverage and technique, he doesn’t have the long arms that might make benching difficult, but regardless, he’s going to get drafted for his production and performance on the field, not because he’s a great athlete. Glasgow is a player who can eat up some double-teams and is probably an undersized nose tackle in a 4-3 at the next level.
Teams to watch: 49ers, Lions
Delano Hill – S
At 6’1″ and 216 lbs., Hill ran a 4.47 forty and did 16 reps on the bench press at the NFL Combine. He’s a physical player who probably needs to play in the box, which is why it might make sense for a team like the Seahawks to take him, where he can play a lot of Cover 3 and be protected in coverage.
Teams to watch: Falcons, Patriots, Seahawks
Channing Stribling – CB
Stribling measured in at 6’1″, 188 lbs. – 12 lbs. bigger than his college playing weight – but did just 5 reps on the bench press and registered a 40 time that was in the 4.6-4.7 range. However, he’s a long corner who had a good senior season and made some plays on the ball. He’s not a top-flight corner because of that lack of strength and athleticism, but some team will likely look at him that likes length from corners.
Teams to watch: Broncos, Panthers, Seahawks
Ben Braden – OG
At 6’6″ and 329 lbs., Braden ran a 5.04 forty, showed off a 28″ vertical, and had a 4.90 twenty-yard shuttle at the NFL Combine. Additionally, he showed some versatility in college by playing right tackle, left guard, and left tackle throughout his career. Perhaps the opposite of Glasgow, Braden might get drafted by a team enamored with his athleticism, but not so much his excellence on the field.
Teams to watch: Raiders, Texans
Erik Magnuson – OG
Magnuson didn’t have a great pro day with a 5.4 forty and 21 reps on the bench press. He seemed to max out his athletic potential at Michigan, and while he played offensive tackle most of his time in college, most teams are looking at him as a guard or even a center.
Teams to watch: Browns, Rams
Jehu Chesson – WR
Chesson has a few things going for him: decent height, good speed (4.41-4.47 forty), and good explosiveness (35.5″-39.5″ vertical), plus a willingness to block. The thing he lacked in college was great production. Can he be the guy who looked like a first or second day pick during the second half of the 2015 season? Or is he the player who was pretty quiet for the other 4.5 years in college? I think someone will take a late shot at him because of his raw skills.
Teams to watch: Raiders, Texans
Kenny Allen – P
Punters rarely get drafted, but Allen has a good leg for punts and kickoffs, and he might earn a shot with a team as an undrafted free agent.
Jeremy Clark – CB
Clark measured in at 6’3″, 220 lbs. at the NFL Combine and did 20 reps on the bench press. He couldn’t do much more besides interview with teams, since he’s still recovering from a torn ACL. Unable – for some reason – to get a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA, he probably has to hope to make a team as an undrafted guy. He could end up playing cornerback, safety, or even possibly outside linebacker at the next level.
Ben Gedeon – LB
Gedeon ran a 4.75 forty, showed off a 34.5″ vertical, and broad jumped 9’9″. I’m very close to projecting him to get drafted, but he’s limited to inside linebacker (6’2″, 244 lbs.) and isn’t known for his pass coverage. He’s a good run stopper and blitzer. Some team will like him as an undrafted free agent if he doesn’t get picked.
Matt Godin – DT
Godin measured in at 6’6″, 294 lbs. and did 26 reps on the bench while broad jumping 9’0″ and running a 5.13 forty at the pro day. He never established himself as a standout, but he was a solid player for the Wolverines. He won’t get drafted, but he should get a look somewhere.
Kyle Kalis – OG
Kalis was a 5-star recruit, but that didn’t translate to his play in college. He put up some solid testing numbers at Michigan’s pro day (30 reps on the bench), but most were just so-so (5.47 forty). That probably won’t be enough to get him drafted, especially considering the whiffs that scouts and general managers have seen on film.
De’Veon Smith – RB
Smith was a so-so back in college who made a living running between the tackles – and through tackles. He looks like a third down back (short yardage ability, good pass blocking), but with a 4.83 forty time at his pro day and mediocre production, he’s probably looking at being an undrafted free agent.
Dymonte Thomas – S
Thomas is another guy who could get drafted very easily. With a 4.5 forty and a 9’10” broad jump, Thomas is an explosive athlete. He didn’t show a ton of ball skills in college, but the athleticism is there. I’ve seen him coming off the board in the seventh round in some mock drafts.
OTHER DRAFT ELIGIBLE FORMER PLAYERS/COMMITS TO WATCH FOR:
OG Kyle Bosch (West Virginia), TE Pharaoh Brown (Oregon), CB Gareon Conley (Ohio State), RB Derrick Green (TCU), LB Kaleb Ringer (Georgia State), DE Tom Strobel (Ohio)
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