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MOCK DRAFT MONDAY

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 in this series can be found here

MOCK DRAFT 8

FOCUS: WR

TRADES: NONE

Rd 1- Jalen Hyatt, WR Tennessee

Pro: Elite Speed and straight-line separation, knows how to beat and stack defenders, good ball tracking ability on balls downfield, good lateral agility, good at snapping off routes and throttling down, gets to top speed quickly

Con: Does not have the ability yet to beat press man coverage regularly, needs to seriously improve his route tree and he was asked to mostly run vertical routes, needs to show he can win outside without being in motion or schemed up to be in space, most of his production has been from the slot so he needs to improve his strength and route savvy to win on the outside

Rd 2- Marvin Mims, WR Oklahoma

Pro: Top end speed and quickness, explosive with the ball in his hands, shows ability to beat and stack defenders but has enough body control to adjust and make contested catches, offers ST ability to return punts, does a good job of toggling his pace on routes to set up the defenders with double moves or quick bursts to blow by

Con: Smaller profile could limit his ability outside, needs to develop understanding of coverages and where and when to sit in a zone or break off a route, needs to use his hands and feet better off the line when being pressed, is not elusive in the open field as he tends to win with speed and setting up blocks downfield, is not great in traffic on contested catches as he prefers to get the ball on the move in space or down the field

Rd 3- Kyu Blu Kelly, CB Stanford

Pro: Smart and aggressive, plays physical and is an asset in run support with his tackling ability, excels in press man where he can get into the WR and reroute him, good closing ability when he locates the ball in zone, is smooth in his backpedal to turn technique when flipping his hips to run with WR downfield, above average ball skills

Con: Needs to be more discipline in his technique, has a tendency to bite to early on vertical route fakes leaving comebacks and stop routes open underneath, can be overly physical down the field in coverage, needs to improve route recognition to be able to break off his assignments and make a play

Rd 4- Zach Harrison, Edge Ohio State

Pro: Size and power, extremely athletic profile, excels in converting speed to power to get around the edge or bull rushing his way into the backfield, good run and chase tackler especially in backside pursuit, can hold the POA to set the edge and locate the ball,

Con: Can play to high losing leverage, is stiff around the edge lacking bend to win, can take bad pursuit angles often nullifying him from the play without being blocked, does not have a great first step off the line, needs to improve hand fighting to keep his large frame clean

Rd 5- Luke Schoonmaker, TE Michigan

Pro: Above average hands, does a good job of walling off defenders and giving his QB a target, good route runner that sets up defenders well, shows good functional strength at the POA, shows good contact balance by not going down after the first hit, not a great blocker but knows how to wall his defender to set an edge

Con: Lacks top end speed and athleticism to threaten downfield, does not possess the best releases and can get held up at the line, does not run many routes or show nuance in his route tempo, needs to improve his lower half in order to drive defenders instead of just holding the POA

Rd 6- Brandon Kipper, OG Oregon State

Pro: Very good athlete for his position, does a great job when asked to pull and lead block, shows a good anchor to handle bull rushes, plays with good awareness to pick up stunts and twists, shows decent lateral movement to stay with defenders

Con: Can have trouble handling speed to power rushes, has a tendency to lean rather than drive his opponent after the initial punch, can lose his technique when beat off the snap which causes him to play high and without leverage, does not play with a mean streak often absorbing more punishment than he dishes out

Rd 7- Camerun Peoples, RB Appalachian State

Pro: Very good contact balance and power where he is able to absorb hits and still move the pile, shows good burst and patience to wait for the hole and accelerate through it, has good quickness and feet to bounce runs to the boundary, decent hands on flat routes and screens, shows good top end speed to outrun front seven defenders and get into the second level

Con: Does not get to top speed quickly, is not elusive in the open field as he is more willing to absorb and shed hits, has a tendency to run high and loses pad level, does not do a good job of "getting small" to squeeze through the line

The takeaway from this mock was that the WR position is deep with good talent, but it lacks any true blue chip players and especially many true "X" outside WR. I am not sure if this is a function of college offenses featuring more spread concepts where teams are looking to get the best playmakers the ball in space, but more and more players seem to be more comfortable from the slot. This positioning gives them the ability to use their athleticism and quickness to use a two way release to get open and receive the ball quickly off the LOS. I believe the NFL is skewing more toward this type of WR also as we are seeing less of the bigger WR in the Julio Jones, Deandre Hopkins mold, and more of the Jamar Chase and Cooper Kupp style of wideout. Guys that have the athleticism and short area quickness to get the ball quickly in space and the speed to take it the distance.

The player that I was most impressed with in this mock was Kelly. His style of play is infectious. He loves to get his hands on the receiver and makes them fight for every yard. He plays with great attitude and swagger but is extremely smooth in his technique. He would be a good fit in our defense where we are using more press man concepts but has the versatility and awareness to drop into zone coverage.

There it is, Week 8 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.