Josh Norris

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NFL Draft: Norris' Top 50

Tuesday, February 04, 2014



30. G Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA


NFL Comparison: Louis Vasquez


Where He Wins: Has great balance, rarely on the ground. Does not possess a punishing first punch, but certainly has the movement skills to mirror defensive linemen and is active when looking for rushers.


Where He Fits: Has experience at tackle but should play guard at the next level.


Draft Projection: Possible first guard selected.



31. T Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama


NFL Comparison: Doug Free


Where He Wins: Does occasionally bend at the waist but is athletic enough to recover and regain balance. Best when keeping separation thanks to great length. Can get a bit short in his drops, but again, has the athletic lower half to react and keep positioning. Better in pass protection than run blocking.


Where He Fits: Likely left tackle but could start on the right side as well. The two aren’t so different anymore.


Draft Projection: Has shown weaknesses this season, mainly in the form of overextension or slow feet off the snap, but talent is there. Top-30.



32. WR Kelvin Benjamin, FSU


NFL Comparison: Plaxico Burress


Where He Wins: Huge frame and length to win at the catch point in contested situations. Very good body control to slow down, time catch, and contort frame to haul in a catch.  Long strides allow him to get downfield. Unafraid to work across the middle on deep posts. Able to make adjustments with the ball in the air that other receivers can’t. Displays strength after the catch.


Where He Fits: Can dominate in the red zone, on vertical passes, and with strength on slants. Mainly an outside receiver.


Draft Projection: Needs to improve consistencies in the form of drops, but he and Mike Evans could draw similar interest.



33. S Calvin Pryor, Louisville


NFL Comparison: T.J. Ward


Where He Wins: A huge hitter. Takes aggressive angles downhill. Wants to get in on the action. Very good flashes while playing in the box or closer to the LOS.


Where He Fits: Was forced to play a lot of single high safety or far off the LOS. That is not where he should play at the next level. Was late on passes, but delivered big hits at the catch point.


Draft Projection: Second safety selected, possible top-25 draft pick.



34. TE Troy Niklas, Notre Dame


NFL Comparison: Baby Gronk?


Where He Wins: Displays good speed when running down the seam. Has flashed winning with breaking routes or bodying defensive backs at the catch point. A very good blocker for the position.


Where He Fits: It is difficult to project Niklas right now. First, his best trait is blocking. He was kept in during pass protection situations because of it. But receiving and complete TE skills are there.


Draft Projection: Top-64 selection



35. TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington


NFL Comparison: Martellus Bennett


Where He Wins: Displays enough agility to be detached from the line of scrimmage but also can in inline. Has the body control to win at the catch point. Movement skills are there to win in the short and intermediate areas. Can be a more than adequate blocker when willing.


Where He Fits: Likely an inline TE but is not stuck there.


Draft Projection: Top-64.



36. DT Timmy Jernigan, FSU


NFL Comparison: Barry Cofield


Where He Wins: Can be very disruptive when gaining the momentum and balance advantage from the 1/0. Drives interior OL back and has quick feet to make a play in the backfield once creating the operable space. Much better when working upfield. Loves to utilize a pull and swim motion.


Where He Fits: I do not like Jernigan’s game from the 3 technique and/or when he is asked to work around blockers rather than through them. Run defense is hit or miss. I would rather he become an upfield disruptor close to the center.


Draft Projection: Could be the first defensive tackle off the board.



37. Edge player Marcus Smith, Louisville


NFL Comparison: Jason Worilds


Where He Wins: The more I watched the Cardinal, the more I liked him. Not only can he bend around tackles, Smith loves to chase from the backside and converts speed to power with good length and hand use. I know I keep bringing up hands and technical skill, but it really does set great rushers that can win on counter moves apart from good ones that have one trick.


Where He Fits: Like Attaochu, I don’t care how Smith lines up as much as where. He can stand up or play in a sub-package, hand in the dirt pass rushing role.


Draft Projection: Top-75



38. WR Marqise Lee, USC


NFL Comparison: Reggie Wayne


Where He Wins: Long, lean strider. Best as a straight-line receiver. Doesn't mind chipping the edge when in motion or finishing off runs with low shoulder. Obvious burst of quickness in first or second step, then it builds after that. Lines up in the slot and outside, smooth runner in his breaks to avoid contact. Frequently sent in motion. Can make people miss in the open field, but doesn't have outstanding lateral agility.


Where He Fits: Likely outside receiver who gets vertical with fluid routes and long speed. Can easily peel back patterns and create separation when working towards the quarterback.


Draft Projection: Has dealt with injuries, drops, and bad quarterback play this year. Still a top-40 selection.



39. CB Jason Verrett, TCU


NFL Comparison: Chris Harris Jr.


Where He Wins: Active player who doesn’t wait to react. Keeps close trailing distance and makes tackles for a loss on crossing routes by forcing receivers back. Quick in his movements once diagnosing and locating. Has great vision, baits quarterbacks from off man with success. Coverage versatile. Hides blitz very well.


Where He Fits: Plays a lot of off coverage, but that doesn’t mean he lacks physical play. Best role will likely be as a slot corner.


Draft Projection: First-round.


40. DL Kony Ealy, Missouri


41. OL Brandon Thomas, Clemson


42. T Jack Mewhort, Ohio State


43. WR Jarvis Landry, LSU


44. CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech


45. CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State


46. S Jimmie Ward, NIU


47. DB Lamarcus Joyner, FSU


48. CB Terrance Mitchell, Oregon


49. Off LOS LB Telvin Smith, FSU


50. RB Devonta Freeman, FSU



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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