UCLA edge rusher Owamagbe Odighizuwa "is very similar to [MSU's Preston] Smith in that he is a strong run defender who could play either left defensive end in a 4-3 front or 5-technique in a 3-4 defense," writes ESPN's Todd McShay.
McShay ranks Owa No. 52 overall, ahead of the more heralded Mario Edwards Jr. of Florida State (62). We've been higher on Odighizuwa throughout the process and remain so. You simply don't see many prospects who can covert speed to power in this way, and, as a bonus, can play in both even and odd man fronts. We aren't privy to all the NFL's medical information, but you can bet teams will quadruple-check Owa's hip before pulling the trigger.
NFL.com draft analyst Curtis Conway believes Oregon State QB Sean Mannion's pro-style experience makes him an undervalued draft commodity.
"He'll come in ahead of the game," said Conway, who also expressed attraction to Mannion's size (6-foot-6, 229). If you're a regular reader of this section, stop reading this blurb now, because we're about to assault the dead horse again. Simply put: Mannion is barely worth a late Day 3 pick. The immobile pocket passer only excelled in 2013, when Brandin Cooks was absolutely abusing Pac-12 corners. Mannion freaks out when things go wrong inside of structure, taking unnecessary sacks, forcing the ball to preliminary reads, or turning the ball over needlessly. He's going to be overdrafted.
East Carolina WR Justin Hardy "is a fierce competitor with huge hands that attack the ball and rarely drop it," according to NFLDraftScout.com's Frank Cooney.
"How can you not like this guy, who doesn't even complain about being ignored by the Biletnikoff Award panel after setting NCAA record for receptions? A lot of people will be curious to see where he goes and how he does," Cooney wrote. Hardy won the the Bulsworth Trophy as the nation's top walk-on in 2014. "It meant a lot, just having a trophy out there for guys like myself who walked on and then accomplished so much in your career, it's a great honor," he said. "It says a lot, that you go out there and do everything and give 110 percent."
NFL Media analyst Charles Davis says that the worst-case scenario for Miami is that the draft's top three receivers are all off the board when they get on the clock in Round 1.
Louisville WR DeVante Parker was a popular pick for the Dolphins in mock drafts throughout the winter, but Parker's stock has been rising in recent weeks, enough so that it is now assumed that he won't be available at No. 14 overall. In fact, the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero recently reported that he's hearing Parker will be drafted before No. 14. "The nightmare for the Dolphins could be standing pat and watching Parker go before it's their time to pick," Davis wrote. "The consolation prize? It could be UCF WR Breshad Perriman at No. 14. He, too, is on the rise and some rank him as even with Parker. I still have Perriman sixth in my WR rankings, though."
Florida State WR Rashad Greene "is a skinny, slinky runner who has a deceptive change of speed that he uses well to screw with defenders both before and after catch and even as returner," notes NFLDraftScout.com's Frank Cooney.
Greene skipped the Senior Bowl due to a banged up knee. At 5-foot-11 1/2 and 175 pounds, Greene clocked a 4.53 forty at the combine. "Great addition to locker room and the field, where he has experience at every receiver position," Cooney wrote. "Greene could become a pest for NFL defenses as a slot receiver as long as he holds up physically." Greene dropped only one of every 74 balls thrown his way last season. He was asked about playing in the slot at the combine: "It's very tough, you have to learn to get in and out of traffic, take hits, take on different types of linebackers and safeties. You have to learn to make your way through traffic, so you definitely have to have that toughness," Greene said.
NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah says Kansas State WR Tyler Lockett will slide because of the depth of this receiver class.
But Jeremiah cautions the following, via film study on Lockett: "He's the guy who's always open." Jeremiah believes Lockett will be available in the second round and would be good value there. "He's open on every single play," Jeremiah said. he 5-foot-9, 181-pound Lockett finished with 93 catches for 1,351 yards and nine touchdowns last season. He's been compared to Colts WR T.Y. Hilton by CBS Sports' Dane Brugler.
NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah thinks the Vikings could take Georgia RB Todd Gurley in Round 1 if they trade Adrian Peterson prior to the draft.
"If you lose a running back, I'm going to go ahead and replace him with a running back in Todd Gurley," Jeremiah said. "He is a special talent and one of the best running backs we've seen come into the league in quite some time. I'd take him right here at No. 11 and plug him in to watch him and Teddy Bridgewater grow on offense together as the future of this football team." Jeremiah ranks Gurley No. 12 player overall, right around the Vikings' No. 11 pick. Jeremiah sees Minnesota drafting offense in that slot even if they don't take a runner. "DeVante Parker and you are making high fives with that selection," he said. "Reunites him with Teddy Bridgewater and you saw how effective they were together (at Louisville)."
Vanderbilt redshirt senior TE Steven Scheu "offers a prototypical frame for his position as well as soft, reliable hands," wrote CBS Sports' Rob Rang.
Schue is following in star receiver Jordan Matthews' footsteps as a gifted pass-catching option for Vandy. "Whether lining up next to the tackle or split wide, he shows good build-up speed to beat defenders down the seam and uses his size well to shield defenders from the ball," Rang wrote. "Scheu's greatest asset is his vision to track passes and his hands. He shows the ability to pluck passes away from his frame, showing good extension and hand-eye coordination to make difficult receptions." The 6-foot-5, 255-pounder runs a 4.79 forty.