Hobart OL Ali Marpet was compared by an anonymous NFL scout to Vikings C-G Joe Berger.
"My immediate comparison was JC Tretter, and I think he's better than JC," a different scout told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He blew up the combine. This kid has passed every test. He has a tremendous amount of upside." Two other scouts speaking with the paper disagreed about Marpet's long-term prognosis, to be expected from a Division III player headed to the big time. "He found out what Division I football was like at the Senior Bowl," one scout said. "Thing I liked about him, he was competitive. But I don't know if he's good enough to play." Said the other: "For a guy who had no technique and didn't know what he was doing, he went and more than held his own. I could see him in the third round, but it's all a guess."
NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock believes a good case can be made for the Jacksonville Jaguars drafting Alabama WR Amari Cooper No. 3, but thinks the club should wait until the second round to draft a receiver.
"They need to upgrade that defensive front, and that wide receiver class is so deep this year," Mayock said. "I think if (the Jaguars) want a receiver, you can get him at No. 36." The Jaguars, of course, must make major offensive strides in this week's draft. They finished last in the NFL in scoring offense with 15.6 points per game last year.
Pro Football Focus' Mike Renner cautions that only six of the 38 receivers who have run sub-4.4 forty since the 2009 combine are currently top-two receivers on their respective NFL teams.
"With Dorsett, we didn't see much besides elite speed," he wrote of PFF's tape and stat investigation. "He's undersized at 5-10, 185 pounds, and is still an unrefined route runner. Of his 67 targets last season, 40 came on deep routes (go, deep crosser, post and corner). He'll have to run a much more varied route tree at the next level. DeSean Jackson goes deep as often as anyone in the NFL, and even he was targeted on downfield routes only 37 percent of the time last season." The analyst concedes that there is "a lot of potential here" but believes that "taking Dorsett in the first round would be a substantial gamble." We think Dorsett is either going to sneak into the latter stages of Round 1 or get popped quickly on Day 2.
Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah's "elusiveness is the best of any player in this class," writes ESPN's Todd McShay.
McShay ranks Abdullah as the second-best player in space in this class (behind WR Tyler Lockett). "His stop-start ability is outstanding, making defenders miss and then accelerating again as though he never lost momentum," McShay wrote. "He also stands out as the best in this class for his ability to weave in and out of creases. Some guys have elite agility but don't feel the holes in time, and others can anticipate openings but don't have the quickness to exploit them. Abdullah has a rare combination of both skills." The analyst wrote previously that he envisions Abdullah being deployed as the Bengals use Gio Bernard with Jeremy Hill. "There were so many times I'd watch Abdullah on tape when he'd be going full speed and then stop on a dime to make a sharp lateral or diagonal cut without having to gear down," McShay wrote. "Not many guys in the NFL can do that. He's a threat as a pass-catcher and as a returner as well."
Wisconsin T Rob Havenstein "is the type of player who could be found as late as Day 3 and end up developing into one of the best offensive linemen in the draft," writes Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus.
"He needs to work on his pass protection, tying for just 60th in this draft class with a pass-blocking efficiency rating of 96.3 percent last season, but he already looks very good as a run-blocker," McGuinness wrote. "He impresses at the second level, and when he got there against linebackers in 2014, it was game over, swallowing them up and finishing his blocks well. He shows quick feet, which helps when he is asked to pull, and he did a good job setting up cutback blocks on zone runs." Havenstein was frequently the lead convoy behind which Melvin Gordon found open field in 2014, but he's a scheme-specific prospect only desirable to run-heavy teams. A scout speaking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently compared Havenstein to Jon Runyan. Another scout likened him to Tony Pashos.
NFL Media's Mike Mayock ranks Arizona State's Demarious Randall as "the best cover safety in this draft."
Cover safety, not safety safety. Mayock ranks Randall above Alabama's Landon Collins because Collins is "more of a box safety or a dime linebacker." Eagles director of player personnel Ed Marynowitz apparently agrees, which might mean you can cross Collins off the list of possibilities for the Eagles at No. 20. "He can do it, to a degree," Marynowitz said. "I think all these guys have strengths and weaknesses. Landon has the potential to do that. Maybe not to the degree that some other guys do, but he certainly has the ability to do that." Shockingly, Randall could be drafted within 10 slots or so of Collins. He's gained serious momentum in the past few weeks.
An anonymous NFL scout told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Missouri OL Mitch Morse is "my sleeper."
"This guy is one tough sucker," he said. "You talk about toughness and tenacity. You grade him and he just blocks his guy. Their left tackle last year (Justin Britt) went to Seattle and started, and there's no comparison between the two. His feet are good enough." The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Morse is tremendously versatile, starting 18 games at RT, 14 at LT and eight at center. "Center is a perfect position," another scout said. "He kind of grows on me. He's not a naturally big guy so he's going to get torqued a little bit. He's got a degree of toughness about him that shows in his play."
Clemson ILB Stephone Anthony "might be the most well-rounded player at the position," observed Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus.
ESPN's Todd McShay ranks Anthony as the No. 51 player in the draft. "His marginal change-of-direction ability is the biggest knock on him, but he shows off a nice burst and reads plays well," McGuinness wrote. "When he gets to ball carriers he almost always gets them on the ground, missing just two tackles from Week 2 on, after an out-of-character three missed tackles in Week 1. He was an effective blitzer in 2014, too, and looked comfortable in coverage. All of that makes him an ideal three-down linebacker in today's NFL." At the combine, the 6-foot-2, 235-pound Anthony recorded a 4.56 forty, a 1.57 10-yard split, a 37" vertical, a 10'2" broad jump, a 7.07 3-cone and a 4.03 20-yard short shuttle. It wasn't quite as good as teammate Vic Beasley's show, but it was a sensational performance in its own right.