2017 Draft

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2017 Draft 

Post#1 » by bwgood77 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:27 pm

The top edge rushers...

In order to familiarize fans with some of the top names in the 2017 NFL Draft, will be highlighting top prospects by position each week leading up to the first day of the draft on April 27th.
Next up is a look at some of the premiere edge rushers according to pundits.

Derek Barnett
School: Tennessee
Height: 6-3
Weight: 259 pounds

NFL Network Pro Comparison: Nick Perry

The SEC is known as the premiere conference in college football, yet Derek Barnett made it look easy from the moment he stepped foot on Tennessee’s campus.

Barnett recorded 10 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss as a freshman, the latter of which ranked first in the SEC. He totaled 10 sacks once again as a sophomore to lead the Vols. However, most of all, it was his 2016 campaign that has NFL scouts buzzing.

As a junior, Barnett ranked sixth in the FBS with 12 sacks while also totaling 18 tackles for loss. In the process, he earned first-team All- American and first-team All-SEC honors. His most dominating performance came against Carolina when he sacked the quarterback a career-high three times.

There is a lot to like about the 6-3, 259-pound edge rusher, but he earns the highest marks for how he uses his hands.’s Lance Zierlein put it best, calling him a “championship hand fighter on college level. Hands are strong, fast, efficient and lethal. Punch-and-discard winner. As a rusher, swats are well-timed discarding tackle's punch attempt.”

Put it all together, with his high production in the SEC and innate ability as a technician, it’s easy to see why Barnett has a lot of buzz heading into the draft.

Combine Metrics

40-Yard Dash: 4.88 seconds
Vertical Jump: 31.0 inches
Broad Jump: 6.96 inches

Taco Charlton
School: Michigan
Height: 6-6
Weight: 277 pounds

NFL Network Pro Comparison: Chandler Jones

Most draft experts have done away with evaluating players as simply defensive ends or linebackers. Often times, a 3-4 college OLB is drafted to play 4-3 end in the NFL, and vice versa.
However, when it comes to Vidauntae "Taco" Charlton, most scouts believe he is a prototypical 4-3 end who is best served staying in that role.

After serving as a rotational lineman his first two seasons at Michigan, Charlton broke out in a major way last year. He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors after leading the Wolverines with 9.5 sacks along with 13 tackles for loss. While his team came out on the short end of an epic matchup against Ohio State, he authored a signature performance with a career-high nine tackles and 2.5 sacks.

The 6-6, 277-pound Charlton combines freakish athletic gifts with a commanding presence. Notably, he boasts long 34 1/4th inch arms that he uses to out-leverage offensive linemen. However, he is still extremely raw and learning to put all his gifts together.
Overall, with proper coaching at the NFL level, many pundits project Charlton to be the next Michigan product to hit it big in the pros.

Combine Metrics

40-Yard Dash: 4.92 seconds
Bench Press: 25 reps
Vertical Jump: 33.0 inches
Broad Jump: 116.0 inches

Myles Garrett
School: Texas A&M
Height: 6-4
Weight: 272 pounds

NFL Network Pro Comparison: Julius Peppers

It would be one of the biggest draft day shockers in years if Myles Garrett is not the first name off the board on April 27. The Texas A&M star is projected to be selected first overall in virtually every mock draft.

Garrett burst onto the scene as a consensus freshman All-American after recording 11.5 sacks in his first season. He ranked second in the nation with 12.5 sacks and five forced fumbles as a sophomore while also adding 19.5 tackles for loss. Last year, he dealt with a nagging knee injury to still be named a first-team All-American by totaling 8.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss.

It’s not often someone draws comparisons to Julius Peppers, but it’s hard to watch Garrett and not think of the nine-time Pro Bowler. At 6-4, 272-pounds and blessed with freak athleticism and speed, Garrett can embarrass offensive tackles in a number of ways. Explosive off the snap, he is a blur around the edge with the ability to single handedly wreck a game.
As a result, some pundits believe it is not a matter of if Garrett will be an All-Pro, but when.

Combine Metrics

40-Yard Dash: 4.64 seconds
Bench Press: 33 reps
Vertical Jump: 41.0 inches
Broad Jump: 128.0 inches
Takkarist McKinley
School: UCLA
Height: 6-2
Weight: 250 pounds

NFL Network Pro Comparison: Tamba Hali

Few players terrorize quarterbacks as ferociously as Takkarist McKinley, who emerged as one of the top Pac-12 players over the past few seasons.

After transferring to UCLA from Contra Costa College, the pass rusher made an immediate impact by posting 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss in a limited role. Given more responsibility as a junior, he started 12 games before breaking out in 2016. McKinley earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors as a senior, tallying 61 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and 10.0 sacks. His top game came against Utah when he logged three sacks and two forced fumbles.

Playing with an endless motor and a ton of heart, “Takk” is a coach’s dream who never takes a play off. His famed work ethic combined with pure speed and athleticism overpowered tackles at the college level. Still, pundits note McKinley has room to grow from a technical standpoint. As he evolves into a more complete presence off the edge, many believe he has one of the highest ceilings in the draft.

Combine Metrics

40-Yard Dash: 4.59 seconds
Bench Press: 24 reps
Vertical Jump: 33.0 inches
Broad Jump: 122.0 inches

Solomon Thomas
School: Stanford
Height: 6-3
Weight: 273 pounds

NFL Network Pro Comparison: Justin Smith

Few players dominated college football in 2016 more than Solomon Thomas.
As such, draft experts expect him to be one of the very first names off the board come draft day.

Thomas was a force all year long, capturing the Morris Trophy as the Pac-12’s Defensive Player of the Year as a redshirt sophomore. He paced the Cardinal with 61 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and notched eight sacks. He also earned praise for his ability to impact the game in ways that don’t show up on the scoresheet.

The Stanford star saved his best for last, putting on a clinic the last time he suited up in the college ranks. He earned MVP honors in the Sun Bowl, leading his team over North Carolina with multiple pressures, two tackles for loss and a sack.
Thomas has an infectious love for the game and an innate drive to be the best. Powerful and athletic, he has the ability to dominate as either a 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker.

Combine Metrics

40-Yard Dash: 4.69 seconds
Bench Press: 30 reps
Vertical Jump: 35.0 inches
Broad Jump: 126.0 inches
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Re: 2017 Draft 

Post#2 » by bwgood77 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:53 pm

When the NFL Draft begins selections in Philadelphia April 27, the L.A. San Diego Chargers have the No. 7 pick in the first round.

Top five needs

1. Offensive line: Russell Okung fills a big void with the release of left tackle King Dunlap . But the Chargers could also be seeking to upgrade the right tackle spot. Joe Barksdale has missed but one start in two seasons, but he's also been beat too much on the edge. Inside, the right guard spot must be addressed with D.J. Fluker not being brought back. The Chargers do have some depth inside, but that doesn't mean they won't be looking to upgrade the roster, especially with new head coach Anthony Lynn's preference for running the ball.

2. Wide receiver: Keenan Allen is an emerging star if he can stay on the field. That has been an issue for two straight seasons, so can the Chargers really count on him to be available with regularity in 2017? Their fingers are crossed, but they will also look for some more depth. Tyrell Williams became a 1,000-yard receiver last year, and that was a pleasant surprise. But there isn't much behind him, especially with Stevie Johnson not being retained.

3. Defensive end: The Chargers are ditching their 3-4 alignment in favor of new coordinator Gus Bradley's 4-3 approach. But to implement it, Bradley is going to need some more defensive ends as the team makes the switch. Some outside linebackers, like Joey Bosa , can drop down and play end. But there is only one true defensive end, Darius Philon , on the roster.

4. Safety: The Chargers brought back hard-hitting Jahleel Addae , but his physical style of play often lands him on the sidelines. Help at free or strong safety seems to be a no-brainer, especially when looking at some of the deep threats among the AFC West teams.

5. Cornerback: This being a need is a head-scratcher with Pro Bowl cornerback Jason Verrett on the roster. But the undersized Verrett has a tough time dodging injuries. And the other starter, Brandon Flowers , was let go in the offseason. Depth at the least, and a starter at the most, is needed here.

Best fit

Malik Hooker , S, Ohio State Buckeyes : The Chargers hit their bull's eye by drafting the right Buckeye in last year's first round, selecting Defensive Rookie of the Year Joey Bosa. The team could grab Hooker, Bosa's former teammate, and solidify a secondary that is still overcoming the loss of All-Pro Eric Weddle . Hooker is a ball-hawking, All-American who had eight interceptions last year. Considering the AFC West teams' outside threats, having Hooker in the middle of the defense on its back end could cause havoc, with Bosa doing likewise.

The pick will be ...

Rob Rang: Jonathan Allen , DL, Alabama Crimson Tide . The Chargers won big a year ago with Joey Bosa and could be in a similar position this year should Allen fall into their lap. The 6-foot-3, 286-pound Allen has the intangibles the Chargers have long prized and could remind new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley of former Seattle Seahawks pupil Michael Bennett with his positional versatility, initial burst and coordinated, powerful hand play.

Dane Brugler: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama. A year after drafting Joey Bosa in the first round, the Chargers could again bolster the defensive line with a talent like Allen, who would bring versatility as a three-technique and edge rusher.

Jim Miller: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State.

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