My take on several draft that were particularly astute as well as those that were head scratchers.
Grady Jarrett Clemson – DL – Selected 137th overall by the Atlanta Falcons Jarrett is the third draftee to land in the “YES” column of this series. My only guess as to why Jarrett fell to the 5th round is due to the fact that he is a limited scheme fit. In other words, Jarrett is best utilized in a one-gap attacking system. It just so happens that the Falcons are switching to a defensive scheme that will allow Jarrett to one-gap and get up field. Though a bit undersized Jarrett has impressive pass rushing ability from the inside something the Falcons desperately need. With Jarrett and 1st round pick Vic Beasley now in the fold along with a host of free agent acquisitions the Falcons have made every effort to improve a listless pass rush.
Rashad Greene Florida St. – WR – Selected 139th overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The fact that Rashad Green lasted until Round 5 is utterly ridiculous. The most decorated receiver in FSU’s history, Greene lacks elite size or speed but he is a refined route runner who plays much faster than his 4.53 40 yard dash might suggest. He understands how to take advantage of the soft spots in zone coverage and his effortless breaks in-and-out cuts create consistent separation against man coverage. Greene has soft, reliable hands and the ability to help out in the return game. The Jaguars get an absolute steal with Greene in the 5th round. There is a laundry list of receivers that were selected prior to Greene that had no business going before him. Round 2 talent in Round 5. YES!
MyCole Pruitt Southern Illinois – TE – Selected 143rd overall by the Minnesota Vikings Pruitt was my 3rd rated tight end entering the draft. At 6’2 252 Pruitt can absolutely fly. He isn’t an in-line tight end and will have to work on his blocking but he is the best move tight end in the 2015 class. In a league of matchups Pruitt will create havoc against linebackers and safeties. The Vikings may have selected Teddy Bridgewater’s next go-to target, Pruitt is that talented of a receiver.
Jay Ajayi Boise St. – RB – Selected 149th overall by the Miami Dolphins Ajayi tumbled in the draft due to medical concerns. I’m not as big a fan as most but the production is undeniable albeit against underwhelming competition. However, Ajayi’s skills translate to the league. Ajayi has the makings of a three-down workhorse with natural instincts as a ball-carrier and excellent hands out of the backfield. Pairing Ajayi with Lamar Miller potentially gives the Dolphins a thunder and lightning combination in the backfield that could really make some noise. Ajayi would have been a 2nd round pick if it weren’t for long term durability concerns. The value and risk are well worth the gamble in Round 5.
Michael Burton Rutgers – FB – Selected 168th overall by the Detroit Lions. I’m not beating up the position. I have a ton of respect for the likes of Lorenzo Neal, Daryl Johnston and Larry Centers but again I question the team/scheme fit. Burton’s strength is his receiving ability not lead-blocking. And with Brandon Pettigrew, Eric Ebron and Joseph Fauria all in the tight end/H-Back conversation I think this selection was ill-advised. Unless the Lions have given up on Ebron blocking and they plan to run more two-back formations the Lions could have made better use of this pick.
David Mayo Texas St. – LB – Selected 169th overall by the Carolina Panthers. This pick would have made more sense if the Panthers didn’t select Shaq Thompson in Round 1. Considering that the Thompson selection made the “NO!” category this one does as well. The Panthers had five draft picks and spent 40% of those picks on a position of strength. Good luck on keeping Cam Newton upright. The Panthers’ 4th round selection, Daryl Williams, might be the team’s best offensive tackle. No bueno.