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 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
MOCK DRAFT 5
Rd 1-Bryan Bresee, DT Clemson
Pro: Elite power and agility, powerful lower body can drive and bully OL, has the power and agility to 2 gap and hold the POA forcing double teams, good motor to chase down ball carriers well past the LOS, great first step to split OL and get into the backfield
Con: Can play with his pad level to high and get moved easily at times, needs to refine his pass rush plan as he to often takes extra movements that lead to pressures rather than sacks, needs to play with more of a mean streak to take on blockers on his terms
Rd 2- Dalton Kincaid, TE Utah
Pro: Extremely athletic, shows fantastic balance and body control, very good route runner especially on selling leak routes from inline, elite catch radius, very good at setting up defenders and knowing where to find the soft spot in zones
Con: Limited production in college until his last season, needs to greatly improve his blocking technique and strength to move defenders at the NFL level, does not possess elite speed or burst, is best suited for a big slot role or a flex or move TE as he does not have the strength or size to be an every down inline "Y" TE
Rd 3- Steve Avila, OG TCU
Pro: Prototypical size and length for interior OL, good initial burst and punch off the line, great agility to get to the second level, extremely strong player that is tough to move with a bull rush, has positional versatility at G and C
Con: Can get grabby when beat laterally, to often just locks on to his initial responsibility off the snap failing to pick up stunts and delayed blitzes, needs to be sounder in his base in pass pro and not let defenders get to his edges, has a penchant for stopping his feet on contact and leaning into defenders
Rd 4- Jaquelin Roy, DT LSU
Pro: Very good first step off the line to shoot gaps and disrupt plays, extremely strong lower body that anchors and drives well, good lateral movement to chase down screens and plays off tackle, has good leverage to move OL
Con: Plays with heavy feet, does not disengage well from blockers, offers very little pass rush, needs to be better at bringing down ball carriers once he makes initial contact
Rd 5- Nate "Tank" Dell, WR Houston
Pro: Excellent playmaker with the ball in his hands, shows great cutting ability on routes, good body control on contested catches, fantastic lateral speed on short and intermediate routes, good accelerator getting to top speed quickly
Con: Below average measurables for the position, can be sloppy with his footwork off his releases leaving him susceptible to jams and press coverage, does not possess the size needed for a traditional "X" receiver resorting him to slot duty, limited catch radius, can be overwhelmed against bigger DB
Rd 6- Byron Young, Edge Tennessee
Pro: Shows good initial burst off the line from either a 2 or 3 point stance, has decent bend around the edge, good at reading the play and locating the football, does a good job shooting gaps on designed rushes and stunts
Con: Lacks ideal size and length, does not use his hands well to keep his frame clean, does not have enough power to move defenders with any bull rush, lacks ideal lateral agility and foot speed for backside pursuit
Rd 7- Charlie Thomas, LB Georgia Tech
Pro: Good at reacting in open space to make plays on the ball or the ball carrier, shows good burst when tackling to affect the ball carrier, shows good feel when dropping into coverage to read the play, aggressive in run support, good in man coverage
Con: Lacks play speed and quickness to make plays at or behind the LOS, does not have enough size or power take on blockers and make a play, prefers to stay clean to react and make tackles at the second level, does not show the play style or body type to be anything more than a coverage WLB or ST player.
The takeaway from this mock was that while there are plenty of good DL with varying skill sets, there are really only 1 or 2 (if you consider Bresee in that class) elite talents at the position. You could probably find relative talent in the second or third round if you decided to focus your first-round pick elsewhere. Especially if you were just trying to draft for a specific skill set like run stopping or interior pass rush, you can isolate those type players in later rounds. There are plenty of guys who can be added as depth to a rotational DL.
The player that I was most impressed with in this mock was Kincaid. He epitomizes what the TE position is morphing into as more of a flex/slot position which is more of a big WR than a blocking piece. While he does not have the raw speed of Musgrave, he has better body control and suddenness to create separation. He has enough skill to be lined up inline and block occasionally like Travis Kelce can, but even those offensive sets must be accounted for in coverages. I do not think, as we get deeper into the process, he will make it out of Rd 1, no less the back half of Rd2.
There it is, Week Five 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