1. Garett Bolles, OT, Utah (6'5", 300 lbs.)
STRENGTHS Elite athletic ability with the sweetest feet at the tackle position in this draft. Movement skills are smooth and unencumbered. There isn't an angle block he can't get to. Smooth climbs to linebackers as a work-up blocker, and has rare ability to accelerate from that block up to a third target. Has lateral quickness in run game to cross-face from backside and seal on the play-side. Can take quick settle steps, sinks and scoops defensive ends on base blocks. Quick feet allow for more patience to scan for stunts. Can meet edge speed with quick sets in pass pro. Plays with a mean streak and loves to finish. Outstanding change of direction to mirror without a hitch in his transition. Keeps weight on inside foot in his slides. Moves feet into position against inside counters. Balanced in his pass sets and keeps blocks centered. Should get bigger and stronger with more weight work after unorthodox path to the draft.
WEAKNESSES Frame is a little narrow and legs appear to be shorter than normal. Devoid of drive power in his lowers. Pad level rises and he struggles to generate much movement against stout outside linebackers at point of attack. Needs better knee bend into second-level contact. Inconsistent in sustaining his blocks. Power can toss him off balance. May be limited by scheme fit. Needs to keep hands inside to bolster strength in his base. Lacks trust in his core power against speed-to-power. Leans into blocks with feet behind him to brace up. Will need sharper punch and more sink in his sets. Gives initial ground against power and doesn't always anchor quickly. Will be 25 years old by opening of fall camp.
SOURCES TELL US "Most athletic offensive lineman I've done since I took over this area of the country. He's also mean on the field, which you love. I'm projecting him to get stronger once he locks into an NFL strength-and-conditioning program. He's underdeveloped right now. What you see isn't what you are going to ultimately get, in my opinion." -- West area scout for NFC team
NFL COMPARISON Cedric Ogbuehi
BOTTOM LINE Because he's only played one year of FBS football and hasn't been able to fully fill out his frame over the last five years, Bolles will require a projection and conjecture than most of the tackles in this year's draft. He clearly has elite athletic ability and foot quickness, but his lack of core strength and ability to sustain blocks against power across from him is a concern at this time. While he has Pro Bowl potential for a zone-scheme team, his floor will be a little lower than you might like in an early round pick.2. Jordan Willis, EDGE, Kansas State (6'3", 255 lbs.)
From Matt Miller's notebook:
There were a lot of impressive showings at the combine, but you could easily say Jordan Willis had the best day of any player at any position. When your numbers compare to guys like Von Miller, you're doing pretty good.3. He Who Must Not Be Named, RB, Oklahoma
[INFORMATION REDACTED]4. Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M (6'0", 199 lbs.)
STRENGTHS Tremendous athlete who was heralded as a baseball pitcher, and receiver and defensive back in football coming out of high school. Has feet and hips for easy toggle between backpedal and angled shuffle as high safety. Ball skills of a slot receiver. Plays with excellent passion for the game. Can snare at the highest point thanks to well-timed leaps, great arm extension and supple hands. Big accelerator to close out crossing routes and disrupt the passing lane. Very good plant-and-go twitch. Looks to make plays taking aggressive routes to the ball. Logged four interceptions and seven pass breakups as a senior. Fast with ability to range over the top from high safety. Seeks out collisions and doesn't shrink from contact. Completely laid-out Alabama's Derrick Henry during hit in 2015 game. Wrap-up tackler who explodes into target and runs his feet through the finish.
WEAKNESSES Needs improved eye-balance. Has issues splitting focus between ball and man. From second level, hyper-focuses on receiver keys and is late finding running back headed his way. Aggressive nature could make him a play-action target on pro level. Instincts dwindle the further away from line of scrimmage he goes. Inconsistent seeing and breaking on throws from high safety. Needs to come to balance in tackle-ready position more quickly on third-level stops. His heart is bigger than his body. Needs more bulk to withstand fallout from his physical play. Gets stuck to blocking tight ends from slot and struggles to unglue.
SOURCES TELL US "His interception against UCLA at the beginning of the year was one of those plays that not many safeties can make. But I'm worried about his missed tackles. Hard hits are great for Sportscenter or YouTube but getting guys to the ground is top priority." -- Front-office executive for AFC team
NFL COMPARISON Karl Joseph
BOTTOM LINE Soft-spoken but carries a walloping stick. Plays the game with an elevated sense of urgency and excitement. He is a little undersized, but has plus speed, is an extremely physical hitter and can play deep or near the line of scrimmage. Athleticism and ball skills might lead a team to test him out as a slot corner. Regardless of where he plays, he has the talent to become a plus NFL starter and a potential Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) draft selection.5. Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama (6'3", 310 lbs.)
STRENGTHS Good arm length with power in his large hands. Fires jarring punch into blockers quickly and is in control of the rep. Has good feel for double teams. Broad, powerful hips and strong post leg helps him drop anchor against down blocks. Awareness and power helps him constrict his gaps. Maintains two-gap responsibility until it's time to tackle. Doesn't linger on blocks long. Stacks and sheds with consistency. Locates ball quickly. Recognizes run-direction tendency from certain formations. Long, lateral step allows him to get head-start on blocker and prevent being reached. Quality motor and effort. Chases outside his area like he expects to make the play. Willing to do dirty work in Alabama's twisting defensive scheme. Does outstanding job of occupying both blockers on twists. Active hands in passing lane to bat down passes.
WEAKNESSES Only one season playing more than 45 percent of team's defensive snaps. Is surrounded by upper-echelon prospects, which eases attention on him. Slow-twitch defender who lacks quickness into neutral zone off the snap. Most pass-rush success comes via twists and games up front. Not a threat to beat interior pass protection with rush moves. Makes predictable pass-rush charges and doesn't garner enough pocket push as bull rusher.
SOURCES TELL US "I don't know how he flew under the radar so long because he is a dude. If you liked those guys from last year (Jarran Reed and A'Shawn Robinson), no reason you won't like this one." -- AFC South area scout
NFL COMPARISON Dan Williams
BOTTOM LINE Prototypical Alabama defensive tackle who wins with leverage, power and technique. Tomlinson's powerful frame and ability to stack the run between the tackles could make him a scheme-flexible target in the draft. While he is likely to be drafted as a run bully, his history of operating in Alabama's stunt-and-twist-oriented defense could help keep him on the field on third downs for teams using a similar concept. Tomlinson has a chance to become an early starter and should work into a defensive line rotation immediately.6. Noah Brown, WR, Ohio State (6'2", 218 lbs.)
STRENGTHS Big receiver who plays like it. Wide frame shields defenders and maintains a catch window. Willing and able to work through traffic and can stomach collisions to secure the catch. Strong hands pluck and secure low throws and balls that sail. Uses size and strength to bully cornerbacks at top of his route when working in the end zone. Physical, fall-forward runner after catch with an effective stiff-arm to stuff tacklers. Gives as good as he gets when facing physical press corners. Able to fight through route re-direction and maintain the timing of his route. Plays the game like a battering ram at times. Committed blocker who looks to cave-in his crack blocks. Able to sustain his block and spring a run for additional yardage.
WEAKNESSES Lacks desired experience thanks to age, injury, and depth at the position over the years. Targeted just 52 times with 33 catches during his career. Short strider with below average burst off the line. Cornerbacks do not appear to fear his deep speed. Has just six catches over 20 yards. Raw route runner lacking sink and sharpness into and out of his breaks. Gives away route breaks with early deceleration. Struggles to gain anything more than functional separation against man coverage. Likely to be tasked with making contested catches as a possession receiver for entire career. Inconsistent finisher on contested catches.
SOURCES TELL US "Remember, he's still young in the game. He's basically got one year under his belt so what you are seeing now is definitely an unfinished product. You're going to have to do a lot of projecting with him and that's not going to be easy." - AFC national scout
NFL COMPARISON Vince Mayle
BOTTOM LINE Brown is a big, physical possession receiver who could need additional time and coaching to accelerate the learning curve he faces due to his inexperience. While he doesn't appear to possess great vertical speed, his body control and ball tracking could tilt the odds in his favor when challenging for the 50/50 balls. If he can improve his route running and contested catches, Brown should become an NFL backup with a chance to work into a more predominant role.7. Josiah Price, TE, Michigan State (6'4", 248 lbs.)
From Sports Illustrated's list of combine snubs:
He’s not the mismatch-creating tight end that others at his position are, but Price still caught 21 career touchdown passes for the Spartans. He’s also well-versed as a blocker, which should help draw him NFL looks.