6, Baltimore Ravens, Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
The Ravens had to find a way to better protect Joe Flacco and they opted for Stanley ahead of Laremy Tunsil. I think it’s fair to wonder if the leaked Tunsil video had any impact on this selection, but reports have suggested for weeks that the league was split on which tackle was best.
In any other year, Ronnie Stanley would have been generating all kinds of hype and hyperbole. Unfortunately for him, Laremy Tunsil had absorbed a bunch of that attention. However, that doesn’t make Stanley any inferior a prospect.
Stanley is a hyper-explosive tackle, with the prototypical size and frame for a tackle, who effortlessly shows speed-rusher round the corner and is willing to mix it up against pure power moves. He is more refined in pass protection than in the run game, though at times can get lost on stunts and twists. Against the run, he can deliver a blow, but you’d like to see more fire and a nastier streak. His fits beautifully in the Ravens outside-zone scheme and can play on either the left or right side.
15, Cleveland Browns (trade from Tennessee) , Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
After smartly moving down again, the Browns take the best player on their board and that’s Coleman.
Coleman is the drafts most dynamic receiving threat, with one scout I spoke to referring to him as “Odell Beckham-lite.” For a smaller receiver, he has outstanding down the field tracking skills, routinely making plays over the shoulder and has terrific hands. Where he’s at his best is beating the jam. He routinely bamboozles defenders with his quick feet and sudden change of direction ability. The knock on Coleman is that Baylor runs little to no pro-style elements, route tree, and play without a playbook. Indeed, Baylor’s receivers do not run any routes on the backside of plays. The learning curve will be steeper for Coleman than others, who will have to learn to fit into the rhythm of a system, but he is a flat-out baller who is a devastating threat once the ball is in his hands.
While I wanted to see the Browns build inside-to-outside, they just need to add good players, and there’s no doubt that Coleman is an extremely talented player. Hue Jackson is a creative coach and they will find inventive ways to get him the ball.
24, Cincinnati Bengals, William Jackson III, CB, Houston
The Bengals go corner in the first round again.
While Vernon Hargreaves is a natural ‘mirror’ corner, William Jackson is a ‘get in your face and knock you out’ corner. He works exclusively as a press-man corner who struggles when playing off-man due to his lack of fluidity. He is at his best when he using his physicality to jam receivers and remaining physical down the field, with very good closing speed. In 2016, with the league now perimeter-based and featuring non-stop outside zone runs, constraint plays and bubble screens, a cornerback being willing and able to tackle is more important than ever. Jackson brings that physical edge. He sets the edge hard in run support, remains disciplined and likes getting after the ball carrier. But he is truly at his best when the ball in the air, where he has receiver like ball skills and body control.
25, Pittsburgh Steelers, Artie Burns, CB, Miami
One of the worst kept secrets in this year’s class was that the Steelers loved Burns. While I’m not a Burns fan, there is no doubt that he fits much better in Pittsburgh, where he won’t be caught in as much off-man coverage as he would elsewhere. While he has the size, length and frame that clubs now covet, he is also extremely handsy and got a way with a number of holding calls on tapes studied. Burns has average mirroring skills and is better suited to a predominantly zone-based defense despite his size.