Inside The Pylon strives to provide deep, thoughtful analysis of football and our Mock Draft did not predict much of what happened in Round 1. Here are the leftovers, the players who dropped due to red flags, and why we missed.
Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State
David R. McCullough mocked Smith to Kansas City, for these reasons: The Chiefs spent big money on Jeremy Maclin in free agency, but after watching their wide receivers in 2014 combine for zero touchdowns, they won’t rest there. ChiefHackett at Arrowhead Pride broke down what the #2 receiver in Andy Reid’s system is required to do and, while Perriman is a better fit, Smith is not a bad consolation prize.
The Chiefs went in another direction, drafting CB Marcus Peters. But if Smith is available in the second round he could be a steal for Reid.
Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
Chuck Zodda mocked Strong to Cleveland for these reasons: Strong is a physical specimen at nearly 6’3” and 220 pounds, and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds. He has phenomenal ball skills, able to out-jump and high point the ball consistently. He does not have great separation skills, yet his ability to work while the ball is in the air makes him a massive asset to whoever is throwing passes his way in 2015 for the Browns.
Cleveland addressed the trenches with their two first round picks. At pick 12 they selected notorious bear-hugger Danny Shelton, a DT from Washington. Later at the 19th selection the Browns drafted Florida State OL Cameron Erving. Does Strong come back to them at pick 43?
Garrett Grayson, QB, Colorado State
McCullough on this selection to Arizona: The Cardinals made the playoffs, but suffered the indignity of starting Ryan Lindley at quarterback. Aging, injured starter Carson Palmer is recovering from another ACL tear. Logan Thomas was unable to beat out Lindley, and Drew Stanton is a career backup. Grayson played in a pro-style offense in college and has extensive experience operating from the pocket and on the move. Arizona head coach Bruce Arians prefers a big, mobile QB who can throw the deep ball and read defenses. Grayson will not last to the middle of the second round and having the fifth year option will be key, as he will sit behind Palmer in 2015 to learn the system.
Arizona addressed the offensive line with their selection of Florida’s D.J. Humphries. Grayson will likely be available at pick 55, and Arians might still get his quarterback of the future.
Landon Collins, S, Alabama
Dave Archibald selected Collins for the Colts: In their last two playoff exits, the Colts have been manhandled by the New England Patriots on the ground, allowing a combined seven rushing touchdowns. They’ll get a toughness injection in Collins, a 228-pound downhill missile who can lay punishing hits on defense and special teams. Instead, Indianapolis turned in the head-scratcher of the night, adding Miami WR Phillip Dorsett to an already-deep receiver corps. Perhaps they address their defense at pick 61, but Collins should be off the board by then.
Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
Zodda selected Kendricks for the Packers: Clay Matthews stabilized the Packers defense when he moved inside in 2014, but the long-term plan in Green Bay is for him to return to being an edge-rushing menace. Kendricks is a solid tackler and exhibits good awareness in coverage. His selection at the end of the first round allows Matthews to return to the outside, where he can get back to terrorizing quarterbacks on a regular basis. https://twitter.com/DraftDiamonds/status/593068919738408960 Green Bay selected Arizona State safety Damarious Randall, and intend to have him play cornerback. At pick 62, look for the Packers to address their offense.
Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon
Archibald on his mock of Fisher to New Orleans: The Saints traded away guard Ben Grubbs, and guard Jahri Evans and right tackle Zach Strief are both on the wrong side of 30. Fisher has experience at guard, where he can start right away, and his outstanding athleticism should serve New Orleans wherever on the line he ends up. Dave got the position right, but not the player. https://twitter.com/DraftOrtiz/status/591047672724910082 At pick 13 the Saints selected Stanford OT Andrus Peat. Later in the draft New Orleans picked ILB Stephone Anthony, from Clemson. With Fisher still on the board for Round Two, a team needing help up front might grab a great value pick. Depending on usage and blocking scheme, the 6’6” and 306-pound Fisher may need to add some bulk, particularly if remaining at tackle. His best fit may be in a zone-based system because of his college experience and athletic tools.
Jordan Phillips, NT, Oklahoma
McCullough got the position right for New England, but not the player: Phillips is arguably the best NT prospect in the draft, physically resembling Kansas City’s Dontari Poe ‒ strong enough to anchor the line against double teams and with the quickness to slide along the line and make plays outside the tackle box. His pass rush potential is questionable but his ability to eat space and keep blockers off linebackers Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, and Jerod Mayo makes Phillips the best pick on the board.
Phillips is an intriguing option for the Bears at pick 39, who need help up front and selected West Virginia WR Kevin White in the first round.