10. RB Andre Ellington
(5’9/195), Clemson - The lean runner could weigh in taller and heavier than his listed measurements, which isn’t common. Ellington displays excellent straight-line speed, but his willingness to stick close to blocks and balance to spin or break tackles is what makes him the best senior running back.
11. OL Dallas Thomas
(6’5/310), Tennessee - Tackle or guard? Thomas has experience and good tape at both spots, and that kind of versatility should impress decision makers in April. The question is, can he play at a high level at either position? Thomas certainly has the arm length and athletic lower body to absorb talented pass rushers.
12. DL Margus Hunt
(6’7/280), SMU - I was not impressed with Hunt during the first two weeks of the season, but it all made sense after reading he was limited due to an injured back. The Mustang’s pad level and ability to work around the edge or bend to make plays was much improved when healthy. Five technique ends are usually drafted earlier than expected, and Hunt fits the bill.
13. OLB Khaseem Greene
(6’1/234), Rutgers - I struggle to evaluate run and chase linebackers correctly. Greene is a physical hitter when lined up and he is comfortable in coverage, but the issue is with his lack of hand use while working through trash. There’s no doubt Greene can be an effective weakside linebacker in the NFL, but the Scarlet Knight needs to improve how he handles second level blocks.
14. WR Markus Wheaton
(6’1/182), Oregon State - Wheaton is an absolute burner in the mold of Mike Wallace
, but the Beaver’s catch radius is probably larger. He is much more than a vertical target, however, since Wheaton consistently creates separation when breaking off his routes and can take any catch to the endzone thanks to his great speed.
15. OLB Chase Thomas
(6’4/238), Stanford - Thomas lacks ideal edge speed and quickness off the snap, but few players have the same technical shedding ability. The Cardinal played from a variety of spots while in college and completed each with a gap sound mentality. He will likely spend the week in Mobile at strong side linebacker.
16. CB Jamar Taylor
(5’11/196), Boise State - The Bronco was asked to play a variety of coverage, but seemed to thrive in press bail situations where he frequently ran the receiver’s route for him. Taylor takes tight angles and keeps a good distance when trailing. To top it off, he consistently makes plays in the open field and brings his arms when tackling. This could be a real coming out party.
17. S Jonathan Cyprien
(6’0/210), FIU - The ultra physical safety displays comfort in the box against the run or getting aggressive with tight ends hoping to find open area. Cyprien’s game is not limited there, however, since he shows enough range to make plays in cover two situations and is at his best when disrupting at the catch point.
18. G Larry Warford
(6’3/343), Kentucky - The massive guard wins despite poor technique, but there is no reason in trying to fix that if Warford continues his consistent domination. he reminds me a lot of Cordy Glenn in that regard, especially for a player that is so mobile despite his monstrous size.
19. CB Robert Alford
(6’0/185), SE Louisiana - Speaking of corners that could have a coming out party, Alford is another strong possibility. The small schooler just makes plays, whether it be undercutting passes from shallow zones or quickly closing on outside breaking routes. He tends to ball watch in zone coverage, but this week should be a nice test for Alford.
20. OLB/DE John Simon
(6’2/263), Ohio State - Simon is slated to play strong side linebacker, but expect him to see a handful of snaps each practice near the line of scrimmage. His frame is not exceptional, but Simon’s motor, power, and leverage will allow him to stick on a roster for a very long time.