Posts Tagged ‘Vic Beasley’

Dan Hope’s Final 2015 NFL Mock Draft

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015
Barring a stunning turn of events, Jameis Winston is set to be the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft. (Photo: Phil Sears — USA Today Sports)

Barring a stunning turn of events, Jameis Winston is set to be the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft. (Photo: Phil Sears — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The wait is finally over. After months of speculation about how the 2015 NFL draft will play out, the pieces will begin falling into place Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, when the first round begins.

If the pre-draft rumor mill is any indication, we are in for another draft full of surprises and unpredictability (per usual). While Jameis Winston is widely presumed to be the player the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will draft at No. 1 overall on Thursday night, the Tennessee Titans’ intentions for the No. 2 overall pick—perhaps selecting Marcus Mariota, perhaps selecting a non-quarterback or possibly trading down—remain unclear.

Ultimately, we will find out what happens at No. 2, and what other moves shake up the first round, in less than 24 hours from the time of this post’s publication. Nonetheless, I have taken my final shot at projecting how the top picks in the draft will play out.

These projections are a reflection of what I think will happen in the draft, and not necessarily a reflection of what players I would select at each respective pick. To see which players I would take first in this year’s draft, check out my Top 100 Prospects board.

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Dan Hope’s Top 100 Prospects for the 2015 NFL Draft

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015
Leonard Williams is the No. 1 prospect in the 2014 NFL draft class. (Photo: Kirby Lee — USA Today Sports)

Leonard Williams is the No. 1 prospect in the 2014 NFL draft class. (Photo: Kirby Lee — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Although some consider the 2015 NFL draft class to be weak, there are still plenty of talented players to be had. While the critics are right to some extent—the top prospects in last year’s draft were superior to the top players this year, and the overall depth of the class does not offer as much NFL-ready talent—there are still plenty of prospective draft picks with the skills to immediately make NFL teams better and/or the potential to develop into future stars.

In the following “big board”—my final rankings for the 2015 draft—I take a look at who I consider to be the best of the best available for selection in this year’s draft, which begins Thursday.

The following rankings do not ultimately reflect the order in which each player to be drafted; there are multiple players likely to be top-100 picks who did not make the cut for my list, and vice versa. That said, if I were calling the shots in an NFL draft room, the following rankings are the order in which I would seek to target prospects for my team, depending on how each prospect fit that team’s needs, schemes and philosophies.

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Brian Krosky’s 2015 NFL Draft Positional Rankings (Defense)

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015
Vic Beasley is one of the top defensive prospects for the 2015 NFL Draft. (Photo: Joshua S. Kelly — USA Today Sports)

Vic Beasley is one of the top defensive prospects for the 2015 NFL Draft. (Photo: Joshua S. Kelly — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Brian Krosky

The 2015 NFL Draft begins Thursday, and teams are finalizing their respective boards to determine which players can help them most going forward.

The following rankings, broken up by positions, project how well the skills of each defensive player (See also: Offensive player rankings) in this year’s class will translate to the next level. These rankings reflect my opinions on who the best players are at each position in the draft, and do not intend to be predictive of where each player will be drafted.

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28 Prospects Set to Attend the 2015 NFL Draft

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015
Duke guard Laken Tomlinson, who is set to attend the 2015 NFL draft, could be a target for the Buffalo Bills' second-round pick. (Photo: Brian Spurlock — USA Today Sports)

Duke guard Laken Tomlinson, who is set to attend the 2015 NFL draft, could be a target for the Buffalo Bills’ second-round pick. (Photo: Brian Spurlock — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The official list of prospective picks attending the 2015 NFL draft has been announced. 28 players will be in attendance at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago, where this year’s event will be held April 30-May 2.

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2015 NFL Combine Notebook, Day 5: Vic Beasley and Bud Dupree Steal the Show

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015
No player has done more to help himself at this year's NFL Scouting Combine than Vic Beasley. (Photo: Brian Spurlock — USA Today Sports)

No player has done more to help himself at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine than Vic Beasley. (Photo: Brian Spurlock — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

It was known coming into the day that Sunday’s workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine would play a significant role in determining which edge defenders would be the first off the board in the 2015 NFL Draft.

With chart-topping performances, Clemson’s Vic Beasley and Kentucky’s Alvin “Bud” Dupree made sure that they will be well within the conversation to be the first players drafted from the edge group come April.

Overall, it was a day in which the top defensive ends and outside linebackers proved themselves to be worthy of first-round consideration, while the off-ball linebackers had disappointing performances, excepting one of Beasley’s teammates.

Freakishly athletic pass-rushers live up to the hype

Even before Sunday’s on-field work began, Vic Beasley was already a winner of this year’s combine. He measured in at 6’3” and 246 pounds—11 pounds larger than his listed weight at Clemson—and tied for the lead among all defensive front seven players with 35 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press.

As size and strength were the biggest questions about Beasley’s game coming in, he had already done enough to establish himself as a top-10 pick. He made himself a strong candidate to go top-5 on Sunday. He ran the fastest 40-yard dash of the day, with an official time of 4.53 seconds, while he also topped the defensive line group in the vertical jump (41 inches), broad jump (10’10”) and three-cone drill (6.93 seconds), and finished second in the 20-yard shuttle (4.15 seconds).

In addition to be the star of his position group on paper, Beasley also showed terrific fluidity in the on-field workouts. All in all, everything went well for Beasley at this year’s combine, and it is very possible he could be the top edge defender drafted as a result.

Not to be outdone, Bud Dupree posted even more impressive numbers than Beasley on Sunday. At 6’4” and 269 pounds, Dupree ran a 4.56-second 40-yard dash—the third-fastest time of the day—while his 11’6” broad jump and 42” vertical jump both rank within the top five among all players at the combine.

Although Dupree was grouped with the linebackers, he belongs in the same group with Beasley as an edge defender. The largest player in the linebacker group, Dupree has tremendous versatility but should primarily function as a pass-rusher and edge player in the NFL.

Dupree did not participate in the on-field drills with the linebacker group, but nonetheless did enough to likely solidify himself as a top-10 selection in this year’s draft.

As good as Beasley and Dupree were, the other top edge defenders also performed well.

Florida’s Dante Fowler, who is ranked as the No. 1 pass-rusher on my board, ran a 4.61-second 40-yard dash at 6’3” and 261 pounds. He showed some hip tightness in the on-field drills, and did not post great numbers in the other measurable drill, but nonetheless established as a top-tier athlete in this year’s draft.

Nebraska’s Randy Gregory, a 6’5” edge rusher who alarmingly weighed in at just 235 pounds, ran a 4.64-second 40-yard dash and showed great fluidity in defensive line drills. Gregory’s draft stock has fallen behind that of Fowler, Beasley and Dupree as a result of his poor weigh-in, and he is more of a project at this point than those three players, but he still offers huge upside as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

Another edge defender who proved he belongs in the first-round conversation is UCLA’s Owamagbe Odighizuwa. The 6’3”, 267-pound edge defender, who shows strength and violent hands on tape, posted a 4.62-second 40-yard dash, 39” vertical jump, 10’7” broad jump, 7.36-second three-cone drill and 4.19-second 20-yard shuttle.

Additional standouts from the edge group Saturday included Virginia’s Eli Harold, who moved with ease in on-field drills and ran a 4.60-second 40-yard dash, 7.07-second three-cone drill and 4.16-second 20-yard shuttle. LSU’s Danielle Hunter ran a 4.57-second 40-yard dash at 6’5” and 252 pounds, but did not participate in any on-field drills. Tennessee-Chattanooga’s Davis Tull did not participate in the 40-yard dash or on-field drills due to a hamstring injury, according to Rotoworld’s Josh Norris, but had the day’s best vertical jump at 42.5 inches and the second-best broad jump at 11 feet.

The only projected first-round edge defender to not run Sunday was Missouri’s Shane Ray, who told NFL.com that he was not medically cleared due to a foot injury that he suffered in Missouri’s bowl game.

Xavier Cooper stands out among defensive tackles

Among the players who project as interior defensive linemen in the NFL, Washington State’s Xavier Cooper ran the fastest 40-yard dash time Sunday, at 4.86 seconds. A 6’3”, 293-pound defensive tackle who projects as a 3-technique in a four-man front, Cooper showed outstanding movement skills in on-field drills while he also had a 7.23-second three-cone drill and 4.37-second 20-yard shuttle.

Leonard Williams remains the favorite to be the first non-quarterback drafted after his NFL Scouting Combine workout Sunday. (Photo: Brian Spurlock — USA Today Sports)

Leonard Williams remains the favorite to be the first non-quarterback drafted after his NFL Scouting Combine workout Sunday. (Photo: Brian Spurlock — USA Today Sports)

USC’s Leonard Williams, who projects as the No. 1 overall prospect in this year’s draft class, was also impressive as expected. He completed the 40 in 4.97 seconds—a good time at 6’5” and 302 pounds—while he also posted a 4.53-second 20-yard shuttle and 7.59-second three-cone drill. Most importantly, he showed natural movement skills in the on-field drills.

The only other two interior defensive linemen to run sub-5-second 40-yard dash times were Iowa’s Louis Trinca-Pasat, who ran a 4.96 at 6’1” and 290 pounds, and Tennessee-Chattanooga’s Derrick Lott, who ran a 4.99 at 6’4” and 314 pounds.

On the other end of the spectrum, projected first-round pick Danny Shelton of Washington ran the slowest 40-yard dash of the day—and the second-slowest of the entire combine—at 5.64 seconds. That might not be of great concern for Shelton, a 6’2”, 339-pound nose tackle, but was still disappointing, especially considering his 10-yard split was also the slowest of the day, at 1.88 seconds. To his credit, Shelton looked much better in the on-field drills, but his poor time will still make evaluators go back to the tape and question his explosiveness.

Stephone Anthony shines in otherwise underwhelming linebacker group

Typically, one would expect there to be faster players in the linebacker group than the defensive line group, but that was not the case in Sunday’s combine workout. Beasley’s 4.53-second 40 ended up holding up as the fastest time of the day because not one player in the linebacker group was able to run faster than 4.55 seconds.

That 4.55 was run by LSU’s Kwon Alexander, who showed impressive athleticism at 6’1” and 227 pounds.

The most impressive off-ball linebacker of the day, however, was Clemson’s Stephone Anthony. Best known for being a downhill, between-the-hashes run-stopper at 6’3” and 243 pounds, Anthony proved Sunday that he is also an outstanding athlete, as he ran a 4.56-second 40-yard dash and showed great fluidity in the on-field drills.

Anthony’s great day on the field is likely to propel him into the draft’s second round, especially because many of the linebackers projected to be picked ahead of him had disappointing showings Sunday.

Easily the most disappointing performance of the day was that of TCU’s Paul Dawson. A player whose stock soared in a breakout senior season, Dawson looked surprisingly sluggish and out of shape Sunday. He ran a 4.93-second 40-yard dash, lumbered through the on-field drills and went just 28” in the vertical jump and 9’1” in the broad jump. A 6’0”, 235-pound linebacker known for his range, Dawson likely killed his chances of being a first-round pick with his poor performance.

Miami’s Denzel Perryman also had a slow 40-yard dash, finishing the drill in 4.78 seconds at 5’11” and 236 pounds, but his time was less surprising. A player known more for his short-area quickness and physicality in the box than his physical tools, Perryman was not expected to be fast, and he had a solid showing in the on-field drills. Still, there’s a good chance that Sunday’s results could propel Stephone Anthony ahead of Perryman in the draft order.

UCLA’s Eric Kendricks, at 6’0” and 232 pounds,posted solid numbers in the 40-yard dash (4.61), vertical jump (38”) and broad jump (10’5”), but struggled with balance in the on-field positional drills. Mississippi State’s Benardrick McKinney also posted good numbers, with a 4.66-second 40-yard dash, 40.5” vertical jump and 10’1” broad jump, but looked stiff changing directions in the drills.

Washington’s Shaq Thompson, a highly versatile player who most would have bet on to be the fastest player from the linebacker group, did not meet expectations with his 40-yard dash time of 4.64 seconds, and his jumps were also underwhelming (33.5” vertical, 9’9” broad jump). That said, Thompson looked great in his transitions during change-of-direction drills. The 6’0”, 228-pound linebacker was not the combine star he was expected to be, but it’s not as though he performed badly to the point that his stock should be dropped significantly.

 

All of this year’s combine measurements and results can be found in this spreadsheet by NEPatriotsDraft’s Mike Loyko.





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