Josh Norris


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NFL Draft: Norris' Top 200

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Keeping the draft in mind, I wanted to post these rankings, even without full explanations for each prospect, before any more time passed. I will be adding evaluations each day, so continue to check back for updates.

With comparisons, note that a player listed does not mean a complete mirror image. It could be referring to certain traits, roles, or progression in relation to a specific point in a career.

41. S Terrence Brooks, FSU


NFL Comparison: Poor man's Jairus Byrd


Where He Wins: Loves to tackle at waist level. Recognizes and reacts to plays more often than he can finish them. Not afraid to fill the lane and lower the shoulder to stop a running back's momentum. Displays good range to undercut passes at the catch point. Even baits the QB.


Where He Fits: Has free safety experience, which is tough to come by in this class. Lots of single high looks where he is the last line of defense.


Draft Projection: Likely a second-round pick, but will be coveted after first-round safeties.


42. 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 or third safety selected, possible top-25 draft pick.

43. 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.

44. OL Joel Bitonio, Nevada

NFL Comparison: Riley Reiff

Where He Wins: Very athletic lower half. More of an occupier than power blocker, but it works for him. Bends at the knees and ankles to absorb momentum and redirect it. That compensates for lack of upper body strength.

Where He Fits: Could see him as a guard or tackle, but I prefer him at the former. Rushers with a head of steam tend to get under his pads and generate initial push.

Draft Projection: Late first- or second-round.

45. WR Cody Latimer, Indiana

NFL Comparison: Braylon Edwards

Where He Wins: Big, fast in a straight-line, can create separation at the catch point and has extremely reliable hands. Can win against man along the sideline and has body control to haul in catches. Willing run blocker.

Where He Fits: Perimiter receiver who could do his best vertically early against corners who struggle to obtain vision or adjust.

Draft Projection: Top 50 selection.

46. CB Bashaud Breeland, Clemson

NFL Comparison: Sam Shields

Where He Wins: Very adept at finding the football and attacking the catch point. Worked in off and press coverage. Good at mirroring receivers movements, handles stems and seems to understand alignment tells. A very aggressive corner who competes with the ball in the air and is usually in position to do so.

Where He Fits: Does not seem to be scheme specific. Has also spent time as boundary and field corner.

Draft Projection: Second-round pick.


47. G Trai Turner, LSU

NFL Comparison: Larry Warford


Where He Wins: Extremely physical. Goes hunting for defenders when uncovered. Is very good at pulling and trapping. Athletic for his size. Strong upper half, which tends to lead to waist bending, but signs of progress were there. Wants to block until the whistle, even downfield.


Where He Fits: It is in the realm of possibility Turner becomes the top guard form this class. He can run "power" in pulling/trapping scheme or push head up defender.


Draft Projection: Second- or third-round pick.

48. DL Kony Ealy, Missouri

NFL Comparison: Michael Bennett

Where He Wins: Majority of sacks came on a bull rush. Understands getting his hands up to deflect if path to QB is blocked. Has good movement skills to take advantage of space or gaps in offensive line. Think he will win most consistently as an interior rusher in sub-packages rather than sticking on the outside.

Where He Fits: Plenty have mentioned that Ealy could stand up next to a three man front. I prefer him as an edge rusher who works inside, but stronger punch and leg drive could help with edge push.

Draft Projection: His 3-cone time meeting the threshold is throwing me off a bit and is the main reason I think he’ll be successful. Top-40 pick, but could go top-20.

49. Edge player Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State

NFL Comparison: Olivier Vernon

Where He Wins: Has very good length and flashes hand use. On-field movement skills are much better than tested times. Flashes some bend as well to turn the corner. Powerful finisher. Quick moves to beat extended tackles inside.

Where He Fits: Could see him down in an even front or standing up next to a three man line.

Draft Projection: Depends on if suspension checks out. First-round is possible.

50. C Weston Richburg, Colorado State

NFL Comparison: Nick Hardwick

Where He Wins: More of an occupier than road grader. Can get to the second level and seal lanes. Active in pass protection. Was asked to make pre-snap reads and checks.

Where He Fits: Anchor the middle of a team's offensive line. Doubt he can play guard.

Draft Projection: Top-50.

51. Off LOS LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, Boston College

NFL Comparison: Danny Trevathan

Where He Wins: Closing speed is outstanding. Can locate and chase down with ease. Fairly sound in coverage at the position as well. Plays bigger than size. Does not mind knifing through gaps for tackles for loss.

Where He Fits: Likely as a weakside linebacker and nickel backer.

Draft Projection: Third- or fourth-round.

52. Off LOS LB Kyle Van Noy, BYU

NFL Comparison: Koa Misi

Where He Wins: One of the more consistent players in this class. You know what you are going to get. Knows how to use his hands to take advantage. Knows how to shed to make tackles inside or out.

Where He Fits: Strong side linebacker, possibly on the line of scrimmage.

Draft Projection: Third-round.

53. T Morgan Moses, Virginia

54. RB Devonta Freeman, FSU

NFL Comparison: Ben Tate

Where He Wins: The most decisive runner in this class. Puts his foot in the ground and gets up field immediately. Vision is there. Flashes of breaking first contact. Plenty of experience in pass protection and is an adequate receiver.

Where He Fits: Best in a heavy zone scheme, but should not be limited to that. Pass protection ability should allow him to play early.

Draft Projection: Should be a top three running back selected, although it is kind of a “flavor” position.

55. OL 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. Combine medicals were reportedly an issue. Top-64.

56. WR Bruce Ellington, South Carolina

57. WR Jarvis Landry, LSU

NFL Comparison: Andre Roberts

Where He Wins: Very strong hands in contested situations. Outstanding body control to come down with adjusted catches. Made a large portion of his catches between 6-10 yards, 30 percent. Will get physical with DBs and does not have to actually be open to be open. Finds soft areas in coverage very well.

Where He Fits: Likely best as a slot receiver. Not really the quick twitch type, but can be very productive.

Draft Projection: Could get Andre Ellington’d because of 4.77 forty. Has plenty of talent, but that run and NFL’s reaction could land him in the third or fourth.


58. DT Caraun Reid, Princeton


NFL Comparison: Clinton McDonald


Where He Wins: Frequently double teamed this season, but did well to hold up at the point of attack with a lower base and hand use. Does very well to lift his opponent’s extended hands and make the most of that created separation. His forward momentum is tough to anchor against.  


Where He Fits: Has lined up in a variety of alignments in multiple fronts, including the 1, 3, and 5 tech.


Draft Projection: Third-round pick.

59. TE CJ Fiedorowicz, Iowa


60. CB Terrance Mitchell, Oregon

NFL Comparison: Corey Graham

Where He Wins: Best at attacking the shorter routes. Outside of allowing a few receivers to run by him, he is very consistent beyond 10 yards. Good at mirroring routes before flipping his hips and turning with receivers.

Where He Fits: Fairly even mix of press and off coverage. In fact, he played strictly press man more often than many other corners in this class.

Draft Projection: Third-round selection would not surprise me.

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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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