Josh Norris

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Top 20 Best Available

Friday, April 26, 2013


Have no fear, there is plenty of great talent remaining on day two. Expect a large run on quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends, and defensive backs during the second- and third-rounds. There’s a variety of reasons the prospects listed below missed out on the first-round. Some possibly due to medicals (Brown, Carradine), others a poor pre-draft process (Allen, Lacy), and finally, a few specialize in a certain role (Washington, Rambo).


I have not included quarterbacks, but you can find my full list here. I’ve narrowed the evaluation of each of these prospects down to what truly matters: where they can help the team that drafts them. Next to each name is where they ranked on my pre-draft top 151.


1. LB Arthur Brown, Kansas State (8)


Where he wins: Instinctive, quick, and physical for his size. Believe he could play inside in any scheme but could thrive on the weakside. Doesn’t shy away from contact but also has the speed to beat ball carriers to the edge or stick with his assignment in coverage.


2. DE Cornellius Carradine, FSU (10)


Where he wins: Explosive off the snap and follows it up with strong hand use to keep separation or disengage. Plays with leverage to drive opposition back if need be or keeps his position to set the edge as a run defender.


3. S Johnathan Cyprien, FIU (19)


Where he wins: AN aggressive, physical player with enough mobility, awareness, and range to play the safety spots interchangeably. Sure tackler with aggression to make a play on ball carriers or when blitzing. Experience in the slot.


4. CB Jamar Taylor, Boise State (20)


Where he wins: Adept in press of off coverages. Very good at getting physical at the catch point to disrupt the receiver. Fluid hips and smooth turns with footwork to stick with vertical or breaking receivers. Comes up to set the edge, forcing running back inside.


5. DT Jesse Williams, Alabama (23)


Where he wins: Experience at nose tackle and as a five technique end. Strong upper body to absorb and hold an anchor. Shows power in hands to shed or extend and press the pocket from the interior at times.


6. G Larry Warford, Kentucky (24)


Where he wins: A punishing, powerful blocker with a strong grip to control his opponent. Flashes proper posture but can win with brute strength and athleticism for his size when things break down. Projects to a power running team.


7. S D.J. Swearinger, South Carolina (27)


Where he wins: Big hitter that can set the tone for a defense. Interchangeable safety in the back half. Showed well at cornerback when asked to play the position, but natural fit at safety. Feisty, downhill player.


8. WR Keenan Allen, Cal (29)


Where he wins: Reliability in his ability to create separation and hands at the catch point. Breaks and cuts are crisp and exaggerated, consistently opening up space. Can make an impact at every level of the field.


9. WR Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech (30)


Where he wins: Extremely fluid and smooth in his routes. Sets up opposing cornerback with head fakes and cuts. Reliable hands and adjusts body positioning after tracking to come down with difficult catches. Burns opposition vertically when speed isn’t respected.


10. WR Markus Wheaton, Oregon State (31)


Where he wins: Consistently took the top off coverages with excellent straight-line playing speed. Don’t overlook his ability to break off rights and his acceleration to take a short route to the house. Does very well to sustain the separation he created off the line or in routes, but frequently underthrown.


11. CB Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State (33)


Where he wins: Played a lot of cover 3 and not afraid to cut off his line and take a chance on underneath targets. His risks tend to pay off. Height and willingness to go up and get it allows him to win at the catch point. Not shy against contact.


12. T Terron Armstead, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (34)


Where he wins: Extremely fluid mover when asked to work in space, lead block, and hit second level targets. Athletic feet to mirror laterally, bend at the knee, anchor and redirect. Showed same kind of skill against top competition as he did versus FCS.


13. DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State (35)


Where he wins: Flashes winning in a variety of ways, specifically with strength to shed, power to drive, or quickness to shoot gaps. Runs the line well for his size and could see snaps all along the defensive line.


14. ILB Kevin Minter, LSU (38)


Where he wins: Hammer between the tackles. Uses strong hands to jolt second level blockers and stop momentum. Consistently sheds after stacking to make tackles. Tight lines and ability to work through trash helps him reach edge plays.


15. TE Travis Kelce, Cincinnati (39)


Where he wins: Projects well as an inline tight end due to skillful blocking and size but has experience as an H-back and slot option. Shields the ball from closing defenders and flashes nice agility for his size, especially when asked to get downfield.


16. DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M (40)


Where he wins: Experience as a rush linebacker and as an end in a four man front. Motor to continue his pass rushing line while flashing separation or to chase down plays from the back side. Generates production when asked to loop inside.


17. WR Robert Woods, USC (41)


Where he wins: Dynamic slot player who is very adept on short to intermediate patterns. Quick feet in and out of breaks with good body control to adjust to targets. Plays with low pad level in his routes to minimize target area for contact at the line.


18. RB Eddie Lacy, Alabama (44)


Where he wins: Strong lower body runner who always falls forward on contact. Allows blocks to develop but tough to slow down once up to full speed. Underrated passing down back, willing pass protector and adequate receiver.


19. WR Stedman Bailey, WVU (46)


Where he wins: Effortlessly adjusts to throws, either in the open field or in the end zone, with good body control. Hands catcher who doesn’t lose speed on his turns. Nice vision after the catch to cut off blocks and find the open field.


20. S Bacarri Rambo, Georgia (47)


Where he wins: Center field type safety who tracks the ball well with angles to disrupt the catch point. Shows enough tackling ability to be a reliable last line of defense. Great ball skills and shows a physical side closing downhill versus receivers.




Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Josh Norris


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