Josh Norris

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Day 2: Best Available Players

Friday, April 27, 2018

Four of my top 20 prospects are still available (Landry, Hurst, Guice and Daniels). I received feedback stating that means I’m a poor evaluator. That’s always possible, but that is assuming talented players are only selected in round one.

We have plenty of content going up on Rotoworld today. A day one recap podcast. Evan Silva’s round two mock draft. Thor has already released his best available players and Rich Hribar has examined the fantasy impact on some notable veterans.

1. EDGE Harold Landry, Boston College | 6’2, 252 | Athleticism: 87th percentile | Age: 22

Where He Wins: Pure speed and explosion off the edge. Even if he didn’t have moves or counters, tackles would fear Landry because of his ability to run the arc. That alone will create production. His flexibility to turn the corner and take a tight angle towards the quarterback might be the best in this class. The outside threat allows him to set up the inside move. Understands he needs to locate the quarterback when getting depth.

Forecast: Deal with injuries in 2017, but his 2015 and 2016 stuff is high high end tape. A natural pass rusher and that is what matters most. Don’t be too concerned about his run fits on the outside.

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2. DL Maurice Hurst, Michigan | 6’1, 292 | Athleticism: N/A | Age: 23

Where He Wins: Burst off the snap to shoot gaps or attack edges of interior offensive linemen. Hurst is so quick that he takes advantage of any error on the inside. Late on a reach block? Hurst is in the backfield. Hesitate to fill for a pulling lineman? Hurst will make a play. Likely fits as a 3-technique in a one gap defense, but has plenty of snaps at 1-technique in a NASCAR package. Plays low, which helps carry the momentum he created. Plays with timing and vision to separate and make plays on the ball.

Forecast: Interior disruption is king, and Hurst offers it most consistently in this class. Hurst was held out of the Combine with a heart concern, but he has since been cleared.

3. RB Derrius Guice, LSU | 5’11, 224 | Athleticism: 28th percentile | Age: 21

Where He Wins: No nonsense runner. Wants to maximize the blocking in front of him and will win on contact, either a few yards on final contact or break into free space. Not afraid of contact and faced a number of heavy boxes. Displayed big play ability during his first two years. Shows patience behind the line to wait for an opening on the front side or back side. Makes his cuts off a single step while maintaining momentum.

Comparison: On the Thomas Rawls - Marshawn Lynch spectrum

Forecast: Dealt with a deep thigh bruise this season but looked back to form down the stretch. Was not a major part of the passing game, but that is typical of LSU running backs.

4. CB Joshua Jackson, Iowa | 6’0, 196 | Athleticism: 82nd percentile | Age: 22

Where He Wins: Plays inside and outside. Slow plays his footwork to mirror in routes then drives on the ball off breaks. Anticipates certain routes and understands he has sideline help. Very good in isolation in the red zone. It is his ball in the air, and Jackson’s receiver background likely plays a role in that.

Forecast: Likely an outside corner who will attack the football in the air. Ball skills are an important part of his game, and it is not just the interception numbers.

5. OL James Daniels, Iowa | 6’3, 306 | Athleticism: N/A | Age: 21

Where He Wins: Pass protection is great. Athleticism is clear when asked to get out of his stance and block on the move, either getting to the second level or pulling as a lead blocker in space. Positional blocker in the running game.

Comparison: Ryan Kalil, Panthers

Forecast: Not a drive blocker in the running game, but that won’t be his job. Should be a longtime starting center and offers movement rarely seen at the position.

6. EDGE Lorenzo Carter, Georgia | 6’5, 250 | Athleticism: 96th percentile | Age: 22

Where He Wins: A true force player. Rotates between playing off the ball, on the edge and even takes snaps in the slot. So sound at accomplishing his assignment on the edge and in space, forcing ball carriers inside then shedding to make the tackle. Does the same in coverage. Athleticism equals a pass rushing ceiling, even though he is a bit lost in that area. Chews up ground on blitzes.

Comparison: Jamie Collins, Browns

Forecast: One of the few edge players who might be better in space than as a pass rusher. He’s comfortable and aggressive where other edge players have difficulties. Question is if his athleticism will translate into disruption.

7. WR Courtland Sutton, SMU | 6’3, 218 | Athleticism: 92nd percentile | Age: 22

Where He Wins: Smooth athlete who can win with just natural ability. Seems to make one highlight reel play per game when all of the tools come together. Fluid mover after the catch for a player of his size. Flashes using his entire frame to win contested along the sideline and in the end zone. Outside receiver.

Comparison: Demaryius Thomas, Broncos

Forecast: The floor and ceiling for Sutton are not close. If it all comes together he can be the clear top receiver in this class and potentially a true WR1. But too often he doesn’t use his size. Too often he seems disinterested or doesn’t give full effort when targeted. Poor quarterback play did not help. But his combination of size and fluidity is difficult to find.

8. iOL Will Hernandez, UTEP | 6’2, 327 | Athleticism: 66th percentile | Age: 23

Where He Wins: Mauling left guard. When he attacks a defender with both hands, his intention is to put them on the ground. This might sound like an odd comparison, but he can play guard like a linebacker in terms of locating a target and demolishing them, especially when pulling. His size and strength helps him eliminate a pass rusher’s momentum.

Comparison: Marshal Yanda, Ravens

Forecast: He’s your old school hammer interior offensive lineman. As long as Hernandez picks up the protections (no reason to think he can’t), he has all the tools to be a longtime starter.

9. WR Christian Kirk, Texas A&M | 5’10, 201 | Athleticism: 31st percentile | Age: 21

Where He Wins: Constantly made big plays with the ball in his hands, reading downfield blocks or making defensive backs miss when asked to tackle. Always working to get open when his quarterback escapes the pocket. Flashes winning contested when body catching. Plenty of snaps both inside and out.

Comparison: Golden Tate, Lions

Forecast: Wins in the small game but flashes winning contested. Question is if that translates to the NFL as well as on the outside. He can help a team immediately.

10. S Justin Reid, Stanford | 6’1, 207 | Athleticism: 96th percentile | Age: 21

Where He Wins: Exceptional athlete, and it shows when covering ground laterally or attacking ball carriers upfield. Combination of quickness and explosion allows him to play the ball in the air at the catch point to cause incompletions. Stanford asked him to line up in a variety of spots. In the box, as a safety and even played man to man in some instances. Play recognition can lead to tackles for loss.

Forecast: Reid had eight or nine visits during the process, so expect him to be a top 40 selection.

11. TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State | 6’5, 256 | Athleticism: N/A | Age: 23

Where He Wins: So good at elevating and coming down with acrobatic catches. Not afraid to go over the middle of the field or attack the sidelines. Absolutely can adjust to off target passes, either behind him, low or above. Impressive red zone weapon. Often lines up detached from the formation or off the line.

Comparison: Hunter Henry, Arkansas

Forecast: Yards after the catch is not really part of his game. Did not complete a full athletic profile. Will be questions if he can immediately be relied upon as an every down inline option.

12. RB Nick Chubb, Georgia | 5’11, 227 | Athleticism: 83rd percentile | Age: 22

Where He Wins: Has an uncommon combination of balance and power to win on contact and acceleration to make the most of space create for him. Actually had to work for his 20-plus yard runs rather than fit through huge lanes. Still an incredible athlete despite the knee injury that knocked him out. Patience, then burst, then balance.

Forecast: Again, it is amazing that Chubb is still the athlete he is. And it is a positive that we have no heard a single word about teams being concerned about that injury. He will be a day two selection.

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Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Josh Norris

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