Josh Norris

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2013 Draft: Top 32 Seniors

Monday, April 30, 2012


17. QB Geno Smith (6'3/214), West Virginia- Possessing a quick release that shines in a fast moving offense, Smith drops back quickly and adds the necessary amount of velocity to fit throws into alleys between the numbers or on the sidelines on anticipation routes. He lacks real experience in a full field progression-read offense and does not have consistent downfield accuracy, but Smith took a giant leap before last season under Dana Holgerson and I expect an even bigger one this year.

18. LT Ricky Wagner (6'6/320), Wisconsin- At the snap, Wagner's hands take a bit too long to reach their target after dropping them to his waist, but he delivers a clinching punch while attempting to lift and redirect in the running game. In his pass set, Wagner stays low until contact while shuffling his feet to control and absorb the pass rusher. He will be the next Wisconsin lineman to be selected early in the draft.

19. DE Dion Jordan (6'6/246), Oregon- Blessed with an outstanding closing burst and valued length, Jordan is more of a project that flashes tremendous pass rusher potential than a finished product. He lacks the strength to work inside against stouter blockers, but Jordan holds the edge by penetrating the backfield and engulfing the ball carrier. He already shows hand control to separate on the outside and really lays the wood on contact.

20. LB Shayne Skov (6'3/244), Stanford- There are not many flashy qualities to Skov's game but he offers consistency and quick movements to get around blocks at the second level. Mostly due to getting caught in no man's land, Skov is only adequate in coverage but he has many veteran tendencies that should translate to production and growth.

21. FS Robert Lester (6'2/210), Alabama- Mark Barron's running mate last season, Lester chose the same path as the seventh overall selection in terms of returning to school for his final season rather than leaving early. If he had declared early, Lester had a real shot of being the second safety chosen just a few days ago. Instead he brings his downfield coverage and delayed blitz abilities back to Tuscaloosa for one more season.

22. CB Johnthan Banks (6'1/185), Mississippi State- Despite playing plenty of off coverage thus far in his career, Banks has the necessary quickness, burst, and reaction timing to close on short breaking routes confidently with success. However, he does lack that physical nature to his game which especially shows when asked to hold the edge on outside runs. From a coverage standpoint, Banks is one of the top cornerbacks in the class.

23. RB Knile Davis (6'0, 226), Arkansas- After missing all of last season due to a fractured ankle, I am banking on Davis returning to his previous form. Despite his larger size, Davis is shifty in the hole with multiple lateral steps and exaggerated movements to change his tackler's angle. He succeeds when there is a slight crease on runs between the tackles, but Davis could improve when finding cutback lanes inside on runs to the edge. Let's hope he returns to his mid 4.4 speed.

24. LB Nico Johnson (6'2/246), Alabama- Without first-round pick Dont'a Hightower by his side, Johnson will now command the spotlight at the second level. He plays too high at times, which causes hesitations and wasted movements, but Johnson has recovery quickness and a willingness to plug holes at the line of scrimmage. He does not offer the same pass rush versatility that Hightower has.

25. RB Kenjon Barner (5'11/195), Oregon- An absolute burner, Barner offers a larger build than many other Oregon ball carriers. He is perfectly content to cut in one step up the field between the tackles and slice the defense with long runs right up the middle. However, other than flashing balance, Barner does not often stay up after first contact. But, once defenders see Barner's name on the back of his jersey, he is gone.

26. G Chance Warmack (6'2/320), Alabama- A plump interior lineman, Warmack consistently fires off the snap with excellent pad level due to his short stature. He could extend his arms more when run blocking but Warmack plays under control with very good strength, especially when leaning against pass rushers to redirect. The Alabama product may project to center at the next level.

27. S Bacarri Rambo (6'0/218), Georgia- A 2011 All-American, Rambo is at his best when covering running backs or tight ends downfield and closing aggressively against runs on the edge. Too often Rambo fails to bring his arms to the party when tackling and his angles lack anticipation, but it is tough to argue with his eight interceptions last season; the ball always seemed to find Rambo.

28. DT Aaron Tipoti (6'2/295), California- Tipoti is a stouter nose tackle that really fires off the ball with force on first contact. He consistently holds and sheds double teams with leverage but lacks the backfield vision to diagnose the play that is happening in front of him. The run stuffing specialist has lost its value in the NFL, but Tipoti is active and relentlessly attempts to penetrate on passing downs.

29. CB Desmond Trufant (6'0/185), Washington- The younger brother of Marcus, Desmond is an aggressive corner that tends to duck his head when closing on his target. In coverage Trufant mirrors downfield well but gives up just enough separation at the catch point too often, mostly due to taking too many steps when reacting to cuts. I am expecting a jump in consistency from the thickly built corner.

30. LT Oday Aboushi (6'6/310), UVA- The ceiling is high for Aboushi but he needs a lot of refinement. First, his upper body is a bit soft and it shows when he is forced to overextend himself when attempting to jolt the opposition on first contact when pass protecting. Aboushi also lets defensive linemen into his chest too much but there are times where he mirrors perfectly. Development is needed.

31. TE Joseph Fauria (6'7/252), UCLA- After transferring from Notre Dame. Fauria saw limited targets but flashed exceptional inline ability. His frame is thin and it shows in his blocking strength on the edge, but Fauria fights through trash to get downfield and tracks the ball over his shoulder very well. There are plenty of underclassmen tight ends, but Fauria is the best of the senior crop.

32. DT John Jenkins (6'3/351), Georgia- Another boom or bust prospect, Jenkins is dominant for stretches when at his best but a flop when his motor is turned off. For such a massive player, Jenkins must get off the line with a low pad level, jolt on first contact and continue his momentum into the backfield in order to be successful. Sadly, he frequently stops after that initial engagement and chooses to kill grass instead of blockers. Jenkins makes this list just because of the glimpses he gives of crumbling the interior of the pocket.



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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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