SERIES: Road to Chicago

Part two – Position by position breakdowns as the 2015 NFL Draft Nears

by Justin Day | @JDayErrday |

The combine has wrapped up and we are now in the fast lane headed towards the NFL Draft starting on April 30th. Before we get there though we will be releasing a six part series, chronicling our top five players at each position, culminating in our final mock draft. This installment will focus on edge rushers and offensive tackles. Click here if you missed Part One – Interior Lineman. 

Edge Rushers:

  1. Dante Fowler Jr. – Florida

One word comes to my mind when I think about Dante Fowler Jr., stud. This kid is an absolute beast, a terror to try to block, and immensely athletic. Decent size at 6 foot 3 and 261 lbs and moves very well, was able to post a 4.60 in the 40 yard dash. He’s never out of a play, plays until the whistle, and is built perfectly for a 3-4 defense. He should be the first edge rusher off of the board.

  1. Randy Gregory – Nebraska

Gregory is very long and he uses his length well. Uses his hands well. Great feet, naturally powerful. Only problems with his game in my mind come at the point of attack. He’s slim, needs to add some weight to his frame and develop some strength to get better at the point of attack so he doesn’t get pushed back as much.  More of a 4-3 defensive end, don’t see him being able to play in a 3-4, also injuries were a problem in 2014.

  1. Vic Beasley – Clemson

Vic Beasley

If we’re talking about combine superstars, then look no further than Clemson’s Vic Beasley. He ran a 4.53 in the 40 yard dash, was able to rep 225 lbs 35 times, oh and he exceled in the on the field drills. I originally had him ranked 4th and he moves up one spot on my board. Looking back on game tape, he plays just as fast as he ran, he’s easily got the quickest step of any edge rusher in this draft. His only negative is he isn’t very well against the run, but the team who drafts him wants him to do one thing, rush the passer, and he does that very well.

  1. Shane Ray – Mizzou

I’m going to be honest, I don’t know where to put Shane Ray. I’m not alone, I’ve seen him going as high as number 7 and as low as number 20. All I know is he will be selected in the first round and some team will find out just how good he is, or is not. My problem with Ray is he solely relies on his quickness, he has little to none in the way of pass rush moves. Very raw, but a great athlete, if someone can coach him up, he has the potential to be a Bruce Irvin type player in the NFL.

  1. Alvin “Bud” Dupree – Kentucky

This is another kid, just like Shane Ray, who is more of an athlete right now than a football player. He could go as high as #13 to New Orleans, or I have seen him going to the Colts with the 29th selection. Very long and quick, uses that quickness to get inside and disrupt the quarterback inside the pocket. He lacks football strength and technique. Much like Ray he needs some development, high ceiling, but also a risk early in the first round.

Offensive Tackles:

  1. Andrus Peat – Stanford

Andrus Peat

Andrus Peat has the look of a book end offensive tackle, 6 foot 7 & 313 lbs, and his play backs that up. Even with his massive size, he is immensely quick, and strong. Able to use his long arms to wait on the defender to make the first move before he stops his right in his tracks. The only negative with this kid is he isn’t as well in the run game, but that will come with some NFL level coaching.

2t. TJ Clemmings – Pitt.

Clemmings spent most of his first three seasons at Pitt playing defensive end, but once he made the move to the offensive line, he made himself a candidate for a first round selection. What amazes me the most is just how well he has played in such little time, has the tools to be a left tackle, but should spend two seasons on the right side before making that leap. Clemmings was able to pick this position up with relative ease, and I don’t think the NFL transition will be any different.

2t. Ereck Flowers – Miami

I love watching Flowers play, if he hadn’t gotten injured, he very well could have been my number one at this position. He is a huge body who excels at both pass blocking and shows the ability to get to the second level while run blocking. Has his fair troubles when going against athletic edge rushers, but that’s every offensive tackle who weighs 330 lbs.

  1. La’el Collins – LSU

As an LSU fan, I have seen a lot of La’el Collins during his time in college. He is huge, powerful, and surprisingly quick feet for a man of his size. Probably the quickest lineman during his time with LSU, clearly the leader of that group. He has a problem with lunging, and by that I mean that instead of waiting on the defender to come to him, he anticipates and gets beat. Needs some coaching, but has the tools to be a solid tackle in the NFL.

  1. Ty Sambrailo – Colorado St.

I am a lot higher on Sambrailo than most experts. I look at his quarterback Garrett Grayson and I have to believe that some of his success must be attributed to the high level of play that Sambrailo had all season. He is so athletic, immensely quick, and possess possibly the best football IQ of any of the offensive linemen in this draft. He doesn’t look the best, a little fat, but I have seen him play and he is a force. He’s played everywhere but center, some team will be happy to snag him.

  1. Cedric Ogbuehi – Texas A&M

Ogbuehi has the prototypical look for an offensive tackle. Very athletic, lengthy, with quickness in his lower body. The biggest problems keeping him from climbing boards, his technique is very sloppy, but the biggest question is the torn ACL that will not be healed until after the draft. If he is able to be the same player he was before, then some team will be stealing him in the middle rounds.

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