NFL Draft mailbag: Sleepers, Green Bay Packers needs and more

Just how good is the 2015 draft? Only as good as the number of underclassmen who go pro.

The #DraftBag this week features questions about what the Green Bay Packers should do, some sleepers and the overall quality of the 2015 NFL Draft. I try to provide some answers.

@MockingTheDraft This class looks on the weaker side to me compared to recent classes. Is that just me?

— Adam Benovic (@darkforce547) December 19, 2014

Compared to this year’s draft, that’s a fair statement in regard to the talent at the top of the draft. No players in the 2015 draft will probably grade out as high as players like Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mack, Jake Matthews or Sammy Watkins. The depth this year looks just as impressive as last season. Because of that, it should also push it past the 2013 draft in terms of overall quality.

Of course, that is all dependent on how many juniors and redshirt sophomores enter the draft. The draft would take a big hit if players like Florida State defensive tackle Eddie Goldman, Stanford offensive tackle Andrus Peat or Oregon defensive linemen Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner stay in school. There might be a dip in underclassmen declarations in 2015. There were 96 last year, a record. But less players have submitted their names to the NFL Draft Advisory Committee, so that number could slide. A smaller underclassmen talent pool will weaken next year’s draft as a whole.

@MockingTheDraft gimme a third-day guy who will be a quick contributor.

— Timothy Barnes (@TimothyMBarnes) December 19, 2014

The quick translation to this question is “Who will be this draft’s version of Bryan Stork, Telvin Smith, Ed Stinson, or some other late-round contributor?” The catch with answering this question in December is we don’t really know. Players projected early in the draft now could slide to the third day by April. It happens.

But to keep true to the question, Reese Dismukes of Auburn sticks out. We’ve seen several rookie centers contribute this season, including Stork in New England, and Dismukes is just as good or better. Hayes Pullard of Southern California is a player who could be placed into a inside or weak-side linebacker spot and contribute as well.

@MockingTheDraft in 140 characters or less, can you share your opinion of @QRollins2 and when he will really be known? #DraftBag

— CMo (@minigoon94) December 19, 2014

For anyone who doesn’t know, he’s asking about Quinten Rollins, the cornerback from Miami (OH). Rollins played just a season of college football after playing on the RedHawks basketball team for four seasons. He had a good season with 66 tackles, five interceptions, four tackles for loss and nine pass breakups. That earned him a spot at the Senior Bowl.

Obviously, Rollins is a solid prospect, but he’s as raw as you’d expect. His technique and handwork aren’t as advanced as other corners and a team will have to put in a fair amount of work on him. He at times watches the quarterback too much and will lose track of the receiver. But at 6-foot and 203 pounds, his size is good and he can close on the ball in a hurry. He’s a good tackler for the position too. With a good Senior Bowl, watch Rollins skyrocket up draft boards during the offseason process. Want a quick comparison? Byron Maxwell of the Seattle Seahawks fits.

@MockingTheDraft What do you think the Packers biggest draft needs are if we assume Sam Barrington solves their ILB hole?

— Joe Redemann (@JayArr_FF) December 19, 2014

The needs for Green Bay starts with offensive tackle. Bryan Bulaga is a free agent after this season. If he leaves, that need is obvious. I’m also not completely sold on David Bakhtiari being a good left tackle. Jake Fisher of Oregon would be a nice fit. The defensive line could use some quality additions as well. I wouldn’t assume Barrington is the answer on the inside, either.

Want a sleeper need for the Packers? A quarterback. Dear lord, just not in the first three rounds.

@MockingTheDraft Who is your favorite sleeper pick so far that everyone needs to watch tape on?

— Adam Benovic (@darkforce547) December 19, 2014

The first ones that came to mind are East Carolina wide receiver Justin Hardy, Stanford defensive lineman Henry Anderson and Baylor offensive lineman Spencer Drango.

Hardy is a smooth route runner with good hands. Hardy isn’t especially big or the fastest. He’s just a steady player. He reminds me of Jarvis Landry of the Miami Dolphins. Anderson is a classic five-technique end who may not be super impactful but will be a solid starter in a three-man front. Drango is just a really good offensive tackle for Baylor. A lot of people like to think that Brandon Scherff of Iowa is this year’s Zack Martin, but Drango fits the bill just as well.

December 19, 2014 by : Posted in Uncategorized No Comments

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