With the NFL Draft on the horizon, I thought it might be a fun exercise to complete a new Mock Draft each week leading up to it. Each week I will complete a seven round mock draft with an emphasis on a certain position (excluding QB) in Rd 1 and throughout the draft to start to get a feel for what players might be available, how the board might fall when emphasizing a certain position in Rd 1. This will also give me a way to scout individual players selected in the mock, before diving into my annual scouting of each position group for draft prep. I will use Pro Football Network since they have a trading option that can be used in future mocks. As offseason events such as the Combine and Free Agency occur, the draft board, players and team needs will come more into focus, so we can see the evolution of this process each week. I will try not to select the same players each week if possible, so we can get a look under the hood of some different players for each mock draft.

The previous Mock Draft in this series can be found here




Rd 1-Trenton Simpson, LB Clemson

Pro: Extremely versatile player that can line up all over the formation, elite range to make plays sideline to sideline, exceptional tackler once he latches on, does well reading and reacting to misdirection plays, has both man and zone coverage capabilities

Con: Can be overly aggressive taking himself out of plays, does not hold up well at the POA to shed and make tackles as he prefers to scrape and make plays in open space, offers little as a pass rusher, needs to drive his lower half when tackling instead of grabbing and dragging the ball carrier down

Rd 2- Noah Sewell, LB Oregon

Pro: Does a great job using his hands and body control to shed blocks and make the play, high IQ player that reads plays quickly and has a knack for beating his man to the spot to blow up the play, position flexibility as he can run and chase as an OLB but has the strength, smarts and toughness to play MLB, good closing speed once he locates the ball, fantastic at reading the QB and jumping passing lanes in zone coverage, good ball skills

Con: Needs to improve wrapping up tacklers in space, needs to develop more pass rush skill, needs to be more patient in man coverage to not make plays on the receiver before the ball arrives, can use his athleticism to improve his lateral chase ability to evade scrums and sift through traffic

Rd 3- DJ Turner, CB Michigan

Pro: Elite speed and athleticism, can flip his hips easily to cover the deep third of the field, can play outside or in the slot with his quick feet, shows good punch on his jams, plays with a confident arrogance often daring opponents to beat him over the top, good reaction and awareness to break off his assignment and make a play on the ball

Con: Lacks ideal size and weight for an outside CB, prefers to use his speed in man coverage and can look uncomfortable in zone, does not offer much in tackling or run defense, can play to physical and aggressive in the route causing flags, does not do well to contest balls in the air especially against bigger opponents

Rd 4- Parker Washington, WR Penn State

Pro: Elusive playmaker with the ball in his hands, does a good job of finding the open spaces in zone coverage to give his QB a target, aggressive when the ball is in the air to fight for the catch, uses good feet and timing to set up defenders and get open

Con: Seems more comfortable in the slot where he can use a two-way release, might not have the strength to consistently win outside, lacks nuance as a route runner because everything is one speed

Rd 5- Riley Moss, CB Iowa

Pro: Has the size and athleticism to play outside or in the slot, shows good aggressiveness and punch when playing press man, uses his feet well to stay balanced when flipping his hips in coverage, shows good turn of foot to diagnose and react quickly in zone or run support

Con: Prefers to play off coverage giving up space or in zone where he can react instead of having to turn and run with the receiver, while he is quick to react he lacks natural instinct to make plays, does not trust his athleticism to make plays down the field on the boundary, smaller twitchy athletes could give him a problem in the slot

Rd 6- Max Duggan, QB TCU

Pro: Plus arm strength, shows good feel in the pocket to elude rushers while keeping his eyes downfield, has the speed and elusiveness to take off and run or be used in read option play calls, very accurate in the short to intermediate parts of the field, shows good anticipation to throw receivers open

Con: Lacks the elite arm strength to bomb it downfield, needs to improve deep accuracy, has a tendency to lock onto a player and not read his progressions, needs to do a better job of reading coverages and not holding the ball, needs to improve accuracy off platform

Rd 7- Durrell Nchami, Edge Maryland

Pro: Relentless motor, good hands to keep his frame clean to shed blocks and make tackles, displays good speed to power on rushes, good lateral pursuit from the edge to make backside tackles, good length gives him the ability to get into passing lanes and swat balls down, comfortable dropping into coverage in space

Con: Is not a great bender around the edge, lacks pass rush skills, better at setting the edge as a standup OLB than a pass rush edge, can play to reckless as he is always full throttle often taking himself out of plays without being blocked

The takeaway from this mock was that there was really no elite, three down, slam dunk first round LB in this class, and I would not be surprised if there were none taken in round one. There are plenty of guys in later rounds that can come in and contribute right away.

The player that I was most impressed with in this mock was Sewell. He is all over the field on tape and he plays with a nasty streak. He has the thumping ability of a traditional MLB, but has the athleticism and smarts to cover, play zone or line up anywhere in the defense. He would be a great day two pick for any team looking to add versatility to their LB room and using him as a moveable piece across the formation. His game reminds me a lot of Troy Polamalu, only as a LB version. The guy is just instinctive and is always around the football repeatedly making plays anywhere from the intermediate half to behind the LOS.

There it is, Week Seven in the books. Let me know how you think this one shook out, and your thoughts on any of these players for the Chargers. Thanks

This FanPost was written by a member of the Bolts From The Blue community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bolts From The Blue editors or SB Nation.