Round Pick School 1
Dee Ford – DE
Fluid athlete with impressive burst, agility and underrated strength. As his size suggests, Ford relies on his burst off the snap to gain the corner against offensive tackles. He accelerates smoothly and is flexible enough to bend around the corner as a pure speed rusher.
Trent Murphy – DE
Murphy was the 2013 national college football sack leader with 15 sacks, Murphy was also the 2013 highest career sack leader with 32.5 sacks. Murphy is considered a top 3-4 defense or 4-3 defense OLB/DE prospect for the 2014 NFL Draft
Stanley Jean-Baptiste – CB
Nebraska’s top cover cornerback throughout the 2013 season, and helped the Huskers feature one of the top pass defenses in the Big Ten. The 6-3, 220-pound Jean-Baptiste has an unusual combination of size, speed and athleticism, and in 2013 he combined that skill set with consistent performance to become one of the Big Ten’s top corners
There are some talented cornerbacks available in the first and second rounds. Whether or not they last until the end of each round is questionable.
“We remain optimistic that Alex Mack will be a Cleveland Brown for a long time,” Haslam said Tuesday. “We want him to be. I think we’ve made it very clear that he’s the kind of person, the kind of player we want in our organization.”
[Joe Thomas says “there’s no doubt” Mack will return to Cleveland].
Given the Browns’ favorable cap situation and Mack’s $10 million one year transition tag, it’s very likely that Mack will return to Cleveland for another year. The rarely used transition tag allows the Browns to match any offer another team makes, but offers no compensation if they decide not to match the offer. It also means the Browns can still use the franchise tag twice to try and retain Mack.
Forsett has always been a talented back but has continually found himself in the shadow of Pro Bowl runners, rarely getting an opportunity to shine.
Forsett brings a career average of 4.9 yards per rush to Baltimore. The former Cal product is also an asset in the passing game.
Forsett, who spent an injury-plagued 2013 with the Jacksonville Jaguars, played under Gary Kubiak in 2012 with the Houston Texans.
“I’m hungry right now,” Forsett said. “I definitely have a chip on my shoulder the size of Texas that I want to get off, and I’m excited about this opportunity. I want to come play and I want to win.”
Forsett’s talents may be needed early on in the season if the NFL suspends Ray Rice. Familiarity with Kubiak’s zone scheme should help Forsett learn the Ravens’ new offense quickly.
1. Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State – 6’0-1/8″, 202 lbs. Justin Gilbert reminds you of a certain CB of the 1990’s … but it’s Deion Sanders more than Rod Woodson. Gilbert is a certifiable athletic genius with a flair (and lust) for the big interception, the big return, and the spotlight. He even likes the occasional big hit, though he’s not to big on actual tackling.
2. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State – 5’10-7/8″, 199 lbs. Dennard ran okay at the Combine but gave ammunition to the opinion that he is a corner who will excel in press coverage but might struggle in zone. The Steelers play a LOT of zone, which pushes him down a bit.
1. Ra’Shede Hageman, DE/NT, Minnesota – 6’5-7/8″, 310 lbs. A remarkable athlete who could probably play both Defensive End and Nose Tackle in the 3-4 if he stays motivated.
2. Aaron Donald, DE, Pitt – 6’0″ 285 lbs. A potentially great Tackle in the 4-3 who doesn’t fit the physical prototype for a 3-4 defender, but has so much talent that the Steelers could easily pick him anyway on the premise that talented coaches can find ways to use talented players.
1. C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama, 2. Ryan Shazier, ILB, Ohio State
This is a comprehensive list that ranks players by position. It’s a good tool for all fans to familiarize themselves with some players their teams may draft. I’ve included the top two ranked players for CB, DE and ILB, all needs for the Steelers.
The Sideline Report Announcement from Surge: If anyone is interested in going to Radio City Music Hall for the Draft for The Sideline Report work product only, these are the slots I can fill: Photographer, Press Box (Writers, Radio), TV Personality Interviews
Please contact Surge directly through email or the messaging system in the bottom left if you’re interested. Alternatively, you can let Dooommeeeedd or Ravenous128 know you’re interested in the comments section. The deadline is before April 18th. The 2014 NFL Draft begins Thursday, May 8th and ends on the 10th.