Do they call it Garbage time because when a team is up big, their defense starts to play like garbage? I mean do defensive players these days Play to Win, but once they're in position to, it's time to let players on their fantasy teams or their friends fantasy teams rack up some numbers? Do these players start to feel bad that they have to make a game of it all the time? Defenses that stop playing hard for 60 minutes even though they are up big is to football what the pitch count is to baseball.. does some damage to the integrity of the game.
Houston Texans: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
The Texans could use a five-technique to replace Antonio Smith. Tuitt would be a great fit as an end in a 3-4.
The 6-foot-5, 304-pound Tuitt took college football by storm in 2012. He was a dominant force for the Fighting Irish with his combination of power and surprising quickness. Tuitt got overweight into the 310-320-pound range while rehabbing from surgery over the 2012-2013 offseason. That sapped some of his speed and explosiveness this year, but he still made big plays for his defense.
In 2013, Tuitt amassed 49 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, two passes batted and a pick-six. He showed off his athletic ability with some pass pressures and a diving interception for a touchdown against Michigan. Tuitt played well against Arizona State with a strip-sack and other pressures.
Tuitt had his best game of the season versus USC. He dominated the line of scrimmage and had success going against guards and tackles. Tuitt recorded seven tackles with two sacks for his first multi-sack game of the year. He drew a holding penalty and had a lot of other pressures. Tuitt finished 2013 with a strong performance against Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Throughout 2012, Tuitt lived in the backfield. He recorded 12 sacks, 47 tackles and three forced fumbles, plus returned a fumble 77 yards for a touchdown against Navy. Manti Te'o received all the headlines, but Tuitt and Louis Nix were phenomenal for the Fighting Irish. Like the rest of the Notre Dame defense, Tuitt had a disappointing performance in the National Championship against Alabama, but he was playing with a hernia.
Tuitt could be an excellent fit in the NFL as a 3-4 defensive end. He also could play end in a 4-3 and move inside to tackle in certain situations.
Washington Redskins: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska
Redskins general manager Bruce Allen has done a nice job of filling needs this offseason. Washington could consider more talent at corner to pair with David Amerson in the long run.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Jean-Baptiste fits the mold of the big corners who are becoming the rage in the NFL. He used the Senior Bowl to answer some questions. Many wondered if Jean-Baptiste had the movement skills to stay at cornerback or would he have to be moved to safety. Jean-Baptiste proved that he does as he showed the potential to be more than a press-man cover. Jean-Baptiste illustrated the quickness and agility to play some off-man and zone coverage in Mobile.
Jean-Baptiste had four interceptions with 12 passes batted and 41 tackles in 2013. He used the Senior Bowl to show that he is worthy of second-day consideration.
Pick change; previously Jason Verrett, CB
Cleveland Browns: Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State
The Browns grab a lead back to power their offense. Hyde is a great fit for Kyle Shanahan's system and gives the team a two-back tandem with Ben Tate.
The power back Hyde (5-11, 237) was one of the top runners in college football in 2013. After being suspended for three games to start the year, he dominated the Big Ten. Hyde is a power back who can run through tackles and picks up a lot of yards after contact. He is tough to bring down and is good in short-yardage situations. That being said, Hyde has a surprising burst and quickness to the hole. He can run away from defenders if he gets into the open field and is fast for a big back. Hyde could change the face of an NFL offense as a downhill runner.
As a senior, Hyde averaged 7.8 yards per carry for 1,290 yards with 14 touchdowns. He also caught 13 passes for 107 yards and two scores. Hyde went over 200 yards against Illinois and Michigan. In 2012, he averaged 5.2 yards per carry for 970 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Oakland Raiders: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
If the Raiders don't land Khalil Mack in the first round, the plan is to take a pass-rusher in the second. Ealy is a nice value and a good scheme fit for Dennis Allen.
In 2013, Ealy recorded 9.5 sacks, 43 tackles, 14.5 tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles, six passes broken up and an interception. The 6-foot-4, 273-pounder has an excellent combination of size and speed. All season, Ealy was tough at the point of attack on run downs and showed his pass-rushing prowess off the edge. He looks like a natural 4-3 defensive end who can stay on the field for all three downs.
While the Missouri defense was lit up by Auburn, Ealy showed up big with two forced fumbles, three tackles for a loss, one sack and five tackles. From start to finish in the Cotton Bowl, he ended his college career with a big-time presence against Oklahoma State. Early on, Ealy had a pressure to help cause an interception. At the start of the second quarter, he came close to a strip sack from the blind side, but Cowboys quarterback Clint Chelf got the pass off. During the second quarter, Ealy beat the left tackle with an inside rush to sack Chelf. Ealy beat the left tackle with a speed rush and a bit of a rip move a couple plays later to shed a block on the outside before chasing down Chelf for another sack. Ealy had two sacks, six tackles and a pass batted.
Ealy contributed a decent 2012 season with 37 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, seven passes batted and a forced fumble.
Pick change; previously Allen Robinson, WR
Atlanta Falcons: Dee Ford, DE/OLB, Auburn
The Falcons need a speed rusher off the edge and have shown interest in Ford.
Sources have told WalterFootball.com that Ford is grading out as a late second-rounder, but teams think that someone will reach for him late in the first round. In 2013, Ford had 29 tackles with 14.5 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. He finished the season playing his best football. Ford recorded six sacks with 34 tackles and a forced fumble in 2012. He missed the majority of the 2011 season with a back injury.
After Aaron Donald, Ford was the most impressive defensive prospect at the Senior Bowl. He had a great week and continued his tremendous play in the game. All week, Ford used his great get-off and quickness to burn edge blockers in the one-on-ones. He has the agility to drop his hips and juke tackles to the inside. Ford also has enough upper-body strength to help him break the grip of tackles' hands before using his speed to close in an instant. However, Ford is basically a one-trick pony as a speed rusher.
The 6-foot-2, 243-pounder projects best as an edge rusher in a 3-4 defense. Ford played defensive end in college, but he doesn't have the size to do that in the NFL. In a 4-3 defense, Ford would have to play as a linebacker who rushes off the edge in passing situations, similar to Von Miller in Denver.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State
Guard is the biggest hole on Tampa Bay's roste; Jackson could come in and start immediately. With the road-grading Jackson, the Bucs could have one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL with their stable of backs and projected first-rounder Johnny Manziel.
Jackson played well in 2013, including a quality outing against LSU defensive tackles Anthony Johnson and Ego Ferguson. Jackson also did well going against South Carolina's talented defensive line, especially tackle Kelcy Quarles. As expected, Jackson ran over Texas A&M's young defense in a shootout loss. He had a quality week at the Senior Bowl and showed that he's ready to play quickly in the NFL.
Jackson (6-3, 336) blocked well for Mississippi State in 2012. He excelled against Alabama and defensive tackle Jesse Williams. Jackson also was solid against LSU and Texas A&M. He didn't allow a single sack for the season. Jackson's run blocking is as effective as his pass protection, and he has good upside to develop into a starter quickly in the NFL.
Jackson was a Second-Team All-SEC selection in 2011, his second year as a starter. He was a powerful run-blocker for running back Vick Ballard for both of those seasons. Jackson should only get better as he gains more experience.
Pick change; previously Kony Ealy, DE
Jacksonville Jaguars: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
As I speak with more teams around the NFL, it sounds increasingly likely that Bridgewater is going to fall far on draft day. However, the Jaguars have shown a ton of interest in him going back to general manager David Caldwell scouting him live during the 2013 season. I could see Jacksonville moving up for Bridgewater.
In 2013, Bridgewater completed 71 percent of his passes for 3,970 yards with 31 touchdowns and four interceptions. The 6-foot-2, 214-pounder is a well-developed prospect as a pocket passer. He hangs tough to deliver passes in the face of pass rush, shows some mobility on rollouts, has a quality arm and is accurate. Bridgewater can get into rhythms of being deadly on third downs and possesses great poise in the pocket. He is very patient to let his receivers work themselves open. Bridgewater can drop into stretches where he is unstoppable. The junior also has a reputation as a great worker and film junkie.
Bridgewater completed 69 percent of his passes in 2012 for 3,718 yards, 27 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The signal-caller displayed a strong, accurate arm and good decision-making. He has only gotten better with more experience. Bridgewater was excellent against one of the best defenses in the nation as he led his team to an upset win over Florida in the 2013 Sugar Bowl.
Bridgewater completed 64 percent of his throws for 2,129 yards with 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions as a freshman starter in 2011. He was going to go to Miami before the school fired coach Randy Shannon. New, now former, Louisville coach Charlie Strong convinced Bridgewater to spurn other schools and head north to Kentucky.
Minnesota Vikings: Kareem Martin, DE, North Carolina
The Vikings could stand to fortify defensive end after losing Jared Allen. Sources have told WalterFootball.com that Minnesota loves Kareem Martin.
The 6-foot-5, 272-pound Martin has some talent, but he didn't produce up to it until his senior season. After a slow start to 2013, Martin played his best football to close out his collegiate career. The senior recorded 82 tackles, 21.5 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and three passes broken up for the year. He looks like a 4-3 defensive end with a nice combination of speed and strength. Martin was solid, but unimpressive, at the Senior Bowl.
Martin totaled 40 tackles, 15.5 tackles for a loss, three passes batted, one forced fumble and four sacks in 2012. He beat out Donte Paige-Moss for a starting job in 2011 despite the fact that Paige-Moss had a productive 2010 season. As a sophomore, Martin provided a bigger impact early in the season for the Tar Heels than Quinton Coples. Martin recorded 40 tackles with four sacks, seven tackles for a loss and six passes batted in 2011.
Buffalo Bills: Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame
The Bills have to get some help for E.J. Manuel and bring in a play-maker for him. They need a pass-receiving tight end and Niklas is a fit. General manager Doug Whaley and head coach Doug Marrone like size, speed athletes. Niklas has that, plus Buffalo has shown interest in him.
Niklas (6-6, 270) took Tyler Eifert's place in the Notre Dame offense for 2013 and had a quality season. Niklas caught 32 receptions for 498 yards with five touchdowns for the year. He has some athletic ability and quickness to go along with a huge frame. Niklas would have been better off returning for his senior season, but he entered the 2014 NFL Draft.
Tennessee Titans: Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU
The Titans grab their replacement for Chris Johnson. Hill would be their power back with Dexter McCluster supplying the speed and third-down ability.
At times, Hill is a dominant runner. The 6-foot, 233-pounder has surprising quickness with the power to run over defenders. He is tough to get on the ground and picks up yards after contact. In 2013, Hill averaged 6.9 yards per carry with 16 touchdowns. He had 755 yards with an average of 5.3 yards per carry with 12 scores in 2012.
In his final season at LSU, Hill showed more receiving skills with 18 catches for 181 yards. He will need to work on his blocking and receiving to be a three-down starter, but he has that potential.
New York Giants: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
The Giants could use some youth on the inside of their defense. Linval Joseph left in free agency, too. New York still has some veterans but needs to get younger.
Early in the 2013 NFL season, I spoke with some scouts who told me that Jernigan would be a fit for a team needing a three-technique, calling him an ideal fit. However, Jernigan can also play other techniques, and that opens him to a variety of teams. Sources said that Jernigan received second-round grades.
The Lake City, Florida product is extremely fast and is strong for his size. In 2013, Jernigan had 63 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 11 tackles for a loss. He steadily became more and more dominant throughout the season. Jernigan improved his pass-rushing skills and put steady pressure down the middle of the pocket. He showed phenomenal run defense in the National Championship game against Auburn.
Jernigan flashed big-time potential as a freshman in 2011. He totaled 30 tackles, six tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks. Jernigan recorded 45 tackles, eight tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks in 2012. The 6-foot-2, 299-pounder has a lot of upside.
Pick change; previously Cyrus Kouandjio, OT
St. Louis Rams: Dominique Easley, DE, Florida
The Rams land some defensive line help in a player they've shown interest in. Easley could rush from the inside on passing downs and make St. Louis' pass rush even more deadly.
Easley was a dominant force in 2013 before an ACL tear in practice cut his season short. He led the way for the Gators' defense to put on impressive displays against Miami and Tennessee. Easley caused a lot of havoc at the point of attack and created a lot of negative plays for the Hurricanes. The senior also drew three holding penalties in that game. The 6-foot-2, 288-pound Easley was in the running with Jadeveon Clowney for the best get-off in college football, but unlike Clowney, Easley displayed a non-stop motor and never took plays off.
Easley recorded 26 tackles and a team-leading four sacks in 2012. He also had 8.5 tackles for a loss and one pass batted. Easley missed two games with nagging injuries. The junior was quiet in the first half of the season, but was playing well to finish the year. He was strong, fast and disruptive. Easley was very capable of a huge senior season to rise high in the 2014 NFL Draft. He made a good decision to return to school - despite the injury.
Easley played defensive tackle in 2011. The sophomore flashed truly disruptive speed at the point of attack, recording 37 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks. He suffered a torn ACL late in 2011, and that could have contributed to him starting slowly in 2012.
Detroit Lions: Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State
The Lions land their long-term starter at center.
Richburg (6-3, 298) has a lot of fans in the scouting community and played well as a senior. The Rams averaged 461 yards per game of offense in 2013. He led a line that allowed only 20 sacks and averaged 200 yards rushing per game. Richburg had an impressive outing against Boise State, but didn't finish the season as well against Washington State. He played in the 2014 Senior Bowl.
Richburg was one of the top centers in the nation for the past few seasons and a 4-year starter. He was also a candidate for the 2012 Rimington Trophy given to the nation's top center. The junior graded out at 90 percent and wasn't called for one penalty that season. Richburg took over as the Rams' full-time starting center in 2011 and was a Second-Team All-Mountain West selection. In 2010, he was a starter at guard and center.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss
The Steelers land their big wide out for Big Ben. They've shown interest in Moncrief, plus it worked out well the last time they drafted a receiver from Ole Miss.
The 6-foot-2, 221-pound Moncrief had a disappointing 2013 season, but still entered the 2014 NFL Draft. The junior notched 59 receptions for 938 yards with six touchdowns for the year. He has some size to him, but could lack the speed to get separation from NFL defensive backs. In 2012, Moncrief was a Second-Team All-SEC selection as he caught 66 passes for 979 yards and 10 touchdowns. Moncrief's numbers were similar year over year, but he played better as a sophomore.
Dallas Cowboys: Demarcus Lawrence, OLB, Boise State
Dallas continues to build up its defensive line and edge-rushing potential. The Cowboys have shown interest in Lawrence. He's a nice player to develop for Rod Marinelli.
Lawrence had a slow start to the 2013 season, got red hot in the middle, and then didn't record a sack in the final four games. Still, he amassed 72 tackles, 20.5 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, one pass batted and three forced fumbles for the year. In a six-game strectch, the junior recorded nine sacks. Lawrence (6-3, 251) needs to add weight to stay at defensive end in the NFL, or he will have to move to outside linebacker. Thus, returning for his senior season would have been a good move and would have given him a better shot at being a first-round pick.
Lawrence did a superb job in 2012 as the replacement for Shea McClellin. Lawrence spent his freshman year in community college, but the sophomore was a breakout player for the Broncos in 2012 with 9.5 sacks. Lawrence also led the defensive line in tackles (48) and tackles for a loss (13.5). He chipped in four forced fumbles and an interception, too.
Pick change; previously Kony Ealy, DE
Baltimore Ravens: Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois
The Ravens go with another safety because they have nothing to go with Matt Elam. Baltimore also looks for solid doubles in the first round, and Ward fits that pattern. His intense physicality is similar to Elam, and they could form a devastating duo.
Ward (5-11, 193) displayed nice coverage ability at the Senior Bowl. He isn't the biggest of safeties, but he is a nice weapon to defend slot receivers with his man-coverage ability. Ward racked up 95 tackles with seven interceptions and 10 passes defended in 2013. He has nice instincts and ball skills to defend the deep part of the field while being a good tackler. If Ward were bigger, he would probably be a first-round pick.
New York Jets: Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU
The Jets grab another receiver to help weaponize their quarterback.
The 5-foot-11, 204-pound Landry plays bigger than his size. He is a tough receiver with good hands. The junior caught 77 passes for 1,193 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2013. Landry was a reliable receiver for Zach Mettenberger. Landry is a good route-runner and has shown a real ability to make difficult catches in traffic that move the chains. He lacks speed and doesn't have size to make up for it, but he is a gritty player who outfights defensive backs for the ball.
Landry flashed for LSU in 2012 and did a nice job of moving the chains in the team's run-heavy offense. He caught 56 passes for 573 yards and five touchdowns.
Miami Dolphins: JaWuan James, OT, Tennessee
Another tackle? Well considering how awful the Dolphins' line was last year it makes sense. James could start out at guard and eventually move to tackle. Plus while running Tampa Bay's drafts with Mark Dominik, new Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey had a habit of doubling up at the same position. He did that in 2010 (DT & WR), 2011 (DE) and 2012 (S & RB). Miami has shown interest in James, too.
James played well in 2013 for Tennessee, but he didn't have his best game against Florida. However, James played better in other games, including versus South Carolina. He got some double-team help when going against Jadeveon Clowney, but kept Clowney from recording a sack. James could be a nice sleeper pick. The 6-foot-6, 311-pounder moves well for his size and has the strength to open holes in the ground game.
This season wasn't the only year that James was rock solid on Tennessee's offensive line. He started all 49 games of his collegiate career at right tackle. The Volunteers allowed just 18 sacks (1.5 per game) in 2012, and James had a strong season protecting Tyler Bray.
Pick change; previously Cyrus Kouandjio, OT
Chicago Bears: Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State
The Bears can go with the best defensive player available, and that could be Sutton. Adding an interior pass-rusher would be a good idea for Chicago, and sources have said the Bears love Sutton.
Sutton had a disappointing senior season with 48 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks. He broke out for the Sun Devils in 2012 as one of the best pass-rushers in college football. Sutton picked up 13 sacks, 63 tackles, 23.5 tackles for a loss, five passes broken up and three forced fumbles. Unfortunately, an injury knocked him out for the vast majority of the game against Oregon. He totaled 33 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks in 2011.
Sutton had a rough Senior Bowl as he was out of shape and overweight at 6-foot, 315-pounds. However, Sutton is working to get back down to 300 and has already gotten to 304. At that size, he would be best as a three-technique defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense who lives and dies with his speed and explosion.
Arizona Cardinals: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois
The Cardinals grab their young understudy to Carson Palmer.
Garoppolo performed well at the East-West Shrine and followed that up with another quality week of practice at the Senior Bowl. Once again, he consistently threw the ball well. Garoppolo has a good arm and a decent throwing motion. He has also demonstrated some nice field vision with the ability to look off safeties to help open up his receivers. Garoppolo (6-2, 226) wasn't as big as his listed measurements, but he has enough size to be viable in the NFL.
Garoppolo has a quick release and a compact delivery. He will have to improve his feet and operating under three-, five- and seven-step drops. Garoppolo threw for 5,050 yards with 53 touchdown passes and nine interceptions while completing 66 percent of his passes in 2013. Walt has Garoppolo slotted in the third round of his 2014 NFL Mock Draft. Garoppolo ought to go in the third round, but the demand for quarterbacks could vault him much earlier.
Green Bay Packers: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
The Packers moved on from Jermichael Finley and could use another tight end for Aaron Rodgers to work with. I could see Green Bay trading up for Amaro.
Jace Amaro's declaring for the 2014 NFL Draft wasn't surprising, despite his early-season tweet that he would return to school, because he was dominant during 2013. Amaro was impressive in the early going before catching fire in conference play. He had huge days against a number of Big XII teams, including Iowa State (9-143), West Virginia (9-136), Oklahoma (8-119) and Oklahoma State (15-174).
The junior recorded 106 receptions for 1,352 yards with seven touchdowns this season. He caught 25 passes for 409 yards with four touchdowns in 2012.
Amaro has some quickness to get down the seam and good athleticism. The 6-foot-5, 265-pounder could use some work as a blocker for the NFL, but he has proven to be a dangerous receiving weapon. Amaro went through some off-the-field issues in the past.
Philadelphia Eagles: Marcus Smith, DE/OLB, Louisville
The Eagles could use an improved edge rusher and Smith is a great scheme fit. Philadelphia has shown interest in him.
Louisville had a tough defense in 2013, and Smith was the leader of the unit. He was the American Conference Defensive Player of the Year as he finished the 2013 season with 14.5 sacks for Louisville. Smith also had 42 tackles with 18.5 tackles for a loss, four forced fumbles and three passes broken up. The senior's sack total put him second in the nation - just .5 sacks off sharing the lead.
Smith picked up four sacks and 5.5 sacks as a junior and sophomore, respectively. He played defensive end for Louisville, but in the NFL, he will have to move to outside linebacker. The 6-foot-3, 258-pound Smith would fit well as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. He held his own at the Senior Bowl and was solid, but he wasn't overly impressive.
Pick change; previously Demarcus Lawrence, OLB
Cincinnati Bengals: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
Cincinnati lost Anthony Collins in free agency and could use a young talent to develop. The Bengals like linemen with size and athleticism, so Kouandjio fits the organization.
The 6-foot-6, 322-pound Kouandjio is a very talented athlete who should get better as he gains experience and develops his technique. Kouandjio had a rough performance at the Combine that sources told WalterFootball.com could send Kouandjio to the second day of the 2014 NFL Draft rather than the first round. 2013 showed that the early entrant has special talent - even if he isn't a finished product yet.
Kouandjio had some hiccups against Virginia Tech and Texas A&M in 2013, but he also displayed some stretches of dominance. Kouandjio was phenomenal against LSU as he crushed the Tigers in the ground game and was rock solid as a pass-protector. After finishing the regular season well, he was absolutely abused by Oklahoma's Eric Striker in the Sugar Bowl. Kouandjio gave up multiple sacks to the speed rusher, including the game-clinching sack-fumble. If Kouandjio lands with good coaching, he could be a special player in the NFL.
Kouandjio was Alabama's starting left tackle in 2012, and the sophomore was reason that the team could move Barrett Jones from left tackle to center. Kouandjio had some pass-protection issues and allowed some sacks in 2012, but the first-year starter also blasted open running lanes and showed the potential to be a quality pass-protector.
Kouandjio is a very good athlete who has a high ceiling with a ton of upside. He has long arms (35 5/8") with the length to be a good left tackle. He decided to enter the 2014 NFL Draft rather than return to school.
Pick change; previously JaWuan James, OT
San Francisco 49ers: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
I think character concerns could send Benjamin to the second round. San Francisco needs help at receiver, and Benjamin would make sense for their offense. Former Seminole Anquan Boldin could mentor Benjamin and turn him into a pro. The 49ers have shown interest in Benjamin.
Benjamin was a big-time play-maker for the Seminoles in 2013. Even though other receivers saw more targets, the redshirt sophomore produced a lot of long receptions for Jameis Winston. Benjamin had 54 receptions for 1,011 yards with 15 touchdowns for the year. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder is a mismatch nightmare with a ton of upside. He has the speed to stretch a defense vertically as he torched Florida and cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy to the tune of 212 yards on nine catches and three scores.
Benjamin saw his first playing time in 2012. He caught 30 passes for 495 yards with four touchdowns.
Pick change; previously Bashaud Breeland, CB
San Diego Chargers: Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech
Tom Telesco has to improve the Chargers' edge rush. That is one of San Diego's biggest needs. Without improved play from their corners and pass-rushers, it will be difficult for the Chargers to get by the Broncos. San Diego has shown interest in Attaochu.
Attaochu (6-3, 252) is fast and athletic. He has some natural pass-rush ability as he entered the 2013 season with 19 career sacks. Attaochu moved from outside linebacker to defensive end for his final year. For the NFL, he looks like he would fit well as a 3-4 outside linebacker or a 4-3 outside linebacker in a role similar to the Broncos' Von Miller.
In 2013, Attaochu collected 45 tackles with 16 tackles for a loss, two passes batted and 12.5 sacks. He beat North Carolina left tackle James Hurst for one of those sacks. Attaochu had big games against Clemson and Georgia.
Attaochu totaled 69 tackles with 10 sacks, 12 tackles for a loss, one pass broken up and one forced fumble in 2012. He had a solid sophomore season with 59 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, six sacks, one interception, two passes broken up and two forced fumbles.
Pick change; previously Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB
New Orleans Saints: Marcus Martin, C, USC
The Saints need a long-term center, and Martin fits the type they like in the middle.
Martin (6-3, 320) was a surprise entry in the 2014 NFL Draft. He probably should have returned for his senior season to improve before going pro. Martin started his career at left guard and was the starter for the Trojans in 2011 and 2012. He moved to center for 2013 and had a quality season. Martin has some athleticism and versatility. He also is strong at the point of attack and can generate a push in the ground game.
Indianapolis Colts: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
The Colts need a long-term big receiver to pair with T.Y. Hilton. Reggie Wayne is just a short-term player at this point in his career, while Hakeem Nicks only signed a 1-year deal.
In 2013, Robinson recorded 97 receptions for 1,432 yards and six touchdowns. The junior demonstrated nice quickness to get separation and run-after-the catch ability. He had many prolific games, including contests against Ohio State (12-173), Illinois (11-165) and Indiana (12-173). Robinson looks like a mid-second-day selection who could be a nice value pick.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Robinson was one of the bright spots of the 2012 season for Penn State. He excelled in the Nittany Lions' new pro-style offense. Robinson hauled in 77 passes for 1,018 yards and 11 touchdowns after barely playing in 2011.
Pick change; previously Marcus Smith, DE
Carolina Panthers: Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
The Panthers need to draft multiple receivers and have shown a lot of interest in Adams.
The 6-foot-1, 212-pound Adams has a combination of some size and speed. He was extremely reliable for Derek Carr and gets open via quickness, size and route-running. In 2013, Adams dominated with 131 receptions for 1,718 yards and 24 touchdowns. He was one of the best receivers in college football. Adams has the ability to make receptions over defenders with the skills to get separation. As a freshman in 2012, he recorded 102 catches for 1,312 yards and 14 scores.
San Francisco 49ers: Trent Murphy, OLB, Stanford
The 49ers could use some pass-rushing depth given Aldon Smith's situation.
The 6-foot-5, 252-pound Murphy is a physical force who beats linemen with power and technique. He also has enough speed and explosiveness to get by as an edge rusher in the NFL. In the 2013 season opener, Murphy recorded two sacks of San Jose State quarterback David Fales. Murphy then had an interception returned for a 30-yard touchdown against Washington State. Versus Washington, he had two sacks and deflected a pass that was intercepted near the end zone late in the fourth quarter to protect Stanford's narrow win over the Huskies.
Murphy had other multi-sack games against UCLA and USC. Against Oregon State, he was an animal, totaling eight tackles, 2.5 sacks, two batted passes and 4.5 tackles for a loss. In 2013, Murphy put together 15 sacks, 24.5 tackles for a loss, 62 tackles, six passes batted, one forced fumble and an interception returned 30 yards for a touchdown. He led the nation in sacks. After a great senior season, Murphy is being underrated nationally as a draft prospect.
2012 was a breakout season for Murphy as he totaled 56 tackles with 10 sacks, 18 tackles for a loss, four passes broken up, one interception and a forced fumble. He totaled 40 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks in 2011. Murphy is a versatile player who lined up in a variety of spots in Stanford's 3-4 defense.
New England Patriots: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
The Patriots need another pass-receiving tight end. After losing Aaron Hernandez, New England really missed its tight end mismatches while Rob Gronkowski was injured.
Seferian-Jenkins was a freshman star for the Huskies in 2011. He was a fabulous receiving target for quarterback Keith Price. Seferian-Jenkins totaled 41 receptions for 538 yards and six touchdowns. He also contributed some quality blocking in the ground game, which should improve even further as he gains experience. Seferian-Jenkins recorded 69 receptions for 852 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012.
The 6-foot-5, 262-pounder already looks like he could be a play-maker on Sundays. Seferian-Jenkins is a special athlete who played basketball for Washington after the 2011 football season. He has a rare combination of size, speed and athleticism. Seferian-Jenkins hurt his draft stock with a DUI arrest in the spring of 2013 that left him suspended for the season opener against Boise State.
The junior notched just 36 receptions for 450 yards and eight scores in 2013. Seferian-Jenkins was only thrown two passes versus Oregon, but caught those in acrobatic fashion for 36 yards and a touchdown. Against Stanford, he recorded four receptions for 58 yards. The Washington offense seemed to forget about Seferian-Jenkins as it was led by Bishop Sankey, and Keith Price spread the ball around. Seferian-Jenkins also has been hampered with a foot injury.
Denver Broncos: Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State
The Broncos could use more help at defensive end. DeMarcus Ware was a nice signing, but Denver has lost Elvis Dumervil, Shaun Philips and Robert Ayers over the last two offseasons. It would make sense for the Broncos to add another end to pair with Ware. They've shown interest in Crichton.
The 6-foot-3, 273-pounder displayed some natural pass-rushing and play-making ability during his collegiate career. Crichton is strong for his size and has a burst around the edge. In 2013, he recorded 47 tackles with 19 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and three passes batted. Crichton was more disruptive than the numbers indicate. He didn't notch a sack against Oregon, but was constantly pressuring Marcus Mariota and causing lots of disruption.
Crichton turned in an impressive 2012 season with nine sacks, 17 tackles for a loss, 44 tackles and a forced fumble. He recorded six sacks, 14.5 tackles for a loss, six forced fumbles and 74 tackles as a redshirt freshman in 2011.
Seattle Seahawks: Ego Ferguson, DT, LSU
The Seahawks could use more talent at defensive tackle and are said to want a speedy three-technique.
The speedy and athletic Ferguson (6-3, 315) was impressive in 2013, especially early in the season. He recorded 58 tackles with 3.5 tackles for a loss and a sack. Ferguson can be disruptive at the point of attack and uses his speed to cause a lot of havoc behind the line of scrimmage. The redshirt junior started out hot in 2013, but cooled off. He had seven tackles against Alabama. Ferguson decided to enter the 2014 NFL Draft, but would have had a better shot at the first round by returning to school.
Ferguson was a backup in 2012 and totaled 14 tackles. He was a redshirt freshman backup in 2011, too, notching 13 tackles.