Josh Norris

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Day 3: Best Available Players

Saturday, April 28, 2018


Five of my Top 50 prospects remain. For Hurst, I'm starting to wonder if he goes undrafted. Perhaps a team takes a "chance" on the potential top 10 talent. His ability to consistently create from the interior is unmatched in this class.


As you can see, the skill position talent and offensive line talent has been wiped out in this range. Plenty of defensive prospects remain.


1. 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.


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2. LB/EDGE Genard Avery, Memphis | 6’1, 248 | Athleticism: 87th percentile | Age: ?


Where He Wins: Exciting prospects because he combines athleticism, bend and closing quickness. With that said, he isn’t strictly a pass rusher. He often works as a true off ball linebacker and is asked to cover receivers in the slot. A front seven weapon who is equally as talented to chase and defend the run or rush the passer, especially with his natural leverage advantage and flexibility.


Comparison: LB Haason Reddick, Cardinals


Forecast: Does have trouble knifing through blockers in his path. Luckily I don’t have to decide where he is being used, but he can win in multiple roles.


3. T Tyrell Crosby, Oregon | 6’5, 309 | Athleticism: 23rd percentile | Age: 23


Where He Wins: Left tackle. Squares shoulders towards his opponent and delivers a strong punch. If that punch puts the opposition off balance, Crosby finishes him with a nasty demeanor. Functional strength is there, so when footwork or punch is off, he can still complete his block. His goal in the running game is to create movement.


Comparison: T Donald Penn, Raiders


Forecast: Not the testing athlete of some of his peers, but he plays within himself and can help a team early on. Coaches will love his on-field mentality.


4. EDGE Josh Sweat, FSU | 6’5, 251 | Athleticism: 95th percentile | Age: 21


Where He Wins: Insane athlete. Sweat can fire up the field in a hurry, instantly putting an offensive tackle in panic mode to get a deep drop set. If Sweat has space, he will win and disrupt the backfield. Held up in run defense well.


Comparison: EDGE Danielle Hunter, LSU


Forecast: FSU often used sweat as a tight edge instead of a true edge, where he would be afforded more space. In fact, often it seemed he was reactive rather than asked to be disruptive. Hopefully that changes. He gets a bit lost when his initial momentum is stopped, lacking a counter. I hope he lands with a coach who can coach.


5. WR Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame | 6’5, 214 | 62nd percentile | Age: 21


Where He Wins: A very smooth player for his size. Will run crossing routes underneath and can win after the catch thanks for long strides. Has body control to adjust and win along the sideline. Naturally wins big because of his height and length.


Comparison: WR Devin Funchess, Panthers


Forecast: His combination of fluidity and size is difficult to find. He doesn’t consistently win big despite being big. A second day pick.


6. WR DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State - Inside and outside receiver who is “good” in many areas

7. EDGE Obo Okoronkwo, Oklahoma - Shorter edge with good bend and flexibility

8. S Marcus Allen, Penn State - Big downhill safety who wants to hit like a linebacker

9. RB John Kelly, Tennessee - Big back who wins on contact and is comfortable in the passing game

10. T Jamarco Jones, Ohio State - Best in pass protection. True tackle size

11. CB DJ Reed, Kansas State - Outstanding slot corner prospects

12. CB Avonte Maddox, Pitt - Smaller slot corner with fantastic athleticism

13. EDGE Duke Ejiofor, Wake Forest - Labrum surgery but a pass rusher with outside to inside ability

14. S Armani Watts, Texas A&M - Quick closing and aggressive safety in the back end

15. TE Ian Thomas, Indiana - Lacked production, but is one of the real athletes in this class at the position

16. DL Foley Fatukasi, UConn - Interior disruptor with very good athleticism

17. EDGE Kylie Fitts, Utah - Great bend to turn the corner on the outside, dealt with injuries

18. LB Shaquem Griffin, UCF - Likely a run and chase linebacker/safety with an endless motor

19. QB Kyle Lauletta, Richmond - Mobile passer who could operate as a No. 2

20. LB Josey Jewell, Iowa - Sound football player who identifies and attacks upfield

21. T Desmond Harrison, West Georgia - Extremely athletic left tackle with a finisher’s mentality

22. EDGE Kentavius Street, NC State - Tore his ACL in a private workout. Great athleticism

23. WR Cedrick Wilson, Boise State - Used on shallow crosses and vertical routes where he could track the football

24. CB Parry Nickerson, Tulane - Shorter corner who plays big at the catch point

25. CB Holton Hill, Texas - Talent is there, but ran into issues off the field

26. S Natrell Jamerson, Wisconsin - Very athletic safety who also played slot corner. Great length

27. S Kyzir White, WVU - Flies into the box to attack ball carriers and finishes violently

28. CB Nick Nelson, Wisconsin - Injured during draft process

29. DL Jullian Taylor, Temple - Extreme athleticism to disrupt from the interior, if he learns to play

30. CB Christian Campbell, Penn State - Long corner and one of the most athletic players at his position



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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