2017 NFL Draft Outlook
Based on interviews with executives in personnel for six teams, it is possible to narrow down just a little bit the pool of players that might be considered by the Green Bay Packers regardless of position if they exercise their current 29th selection in the first round of the NFL draft April 27.
Prospects are conservatively divided into three categories: As Good As Gone – barring negative developments, these players have virtually no chance of reaching No. 29; Probably Gone – players who appear to have no better than a 50-50 chance of remaining on the board at No. 29; and The Next Level – players who figure to be taken next.
Here’s an early look at 50 players who figure to fit into these layers of the draft (underclassmen are denoted by asterisk).
AS GOOD AS GONE (14)
MIKE WILLIAMS*, WR, Clemson: 6-4, 218. Huge possession receiver. “He’s a big-body, Dez Bryant mold,” said one scout. “He fits that profile well. If you sit there and try to make him a guy that wins on immediate separation, there may be an issue.” Started 30 games over portions of four seasons. “Reminds me of Mike Evans,” another scout said. “He’s really good in traffic. He is talented, big. Thing that worries me, I don’t see him separating from people.” Disappointing vertical jump of 32½ inches.
COREY DAVIS, WR, Western Michigan: 6-3, 209. Similar in many ways to Williams. “He’s more fluid than Michael Irvin was,” said one scout. “Works hard. Loves football. Smart (31 on the Wonderlic intelligence test). Attacks the football. Concentrates in traffic. Got vertical tracking skills.” Four-year starter with 326 receptions in an emerging program. “He’s good, but he’s not like some of the top guys from the past few years,” another scout said. “He’s like the kid from the Eagles (Jordan Matthews). Little better hands. He’s a big, strong guy who can catch the ball really well.”
O.J. HOWARD, TE, Alabama: 6-6, 251. Most complete tight end in the draft. “Nothing wrong with him at all,” said one scout. “Big-time basketball player in high school. Just a country boy. Big, fast, athletic. Receiving tight end or every down.” Played extensively for four seasons. “There’s no dominant in-line guys anymore but he’s probably as good as you’re going to get coming out,” a second scout said. “As a receiver he’s still a little untapped. Only two years did he play with a pro-style quarterback. He’s a phenomenal human being. His upside is through the roof.” Ran a speedy 4.51 in the 40-yard dash Saturday at the combine.
RYAN RAMCZYK*, T, Wisconsin: 6-6, 310. One scout was shocked to see this former UW-Stevens Point LT play so well in his Badgers debut against Louisiana State at Lambeau Field. “LSU has edge guys and I was saying, ‘Who the heck is the left tackle?’ ” he said. “He stood out. He matches up with people stride-for-stride athletically.” Underwent hip surgery in January. Arms measured just 33¾ inches but hands were immense (10 7/8). “Balanced and strong and steady,” said a second scout. “He goes 15 to 25. He’ll be fine.” Aggressive run blocker. “You’re just betting a lot on this guy who in one year worked his way into being a productive blocker toward the end of the year,” said a third scout. “He just comes out of nowhere, he plays, now he’s hurt and he can’t work. Lot of red flags for me. I hope they take him early.”
GARETT BOLLES*, T, Utah: 6-5, 297. Bounced around from high school to high school, played in junior college and spent just one season at Utah. “Checkered past,” said one scout. “He’s the most talented of all of them (tackles). Really athletic and tough. Plays hard. He’s got to get stronger.” Will be 25 as a rookie. “He’s more of a traditional mauler,” said another scout. “He’s athletically gifted and plays the game dirty tough. He is an LDS Mormon guy that’s kind of recaptured his life. He ran with gangs earlier in his life. He’s pretty good.” Arms were 34, hands just 9 3/8.
CAM ROBINSON*, T, Alabama: 6-6, 322. Three-year starter at LT. “He is aggressive, he’s physical, he’s big,” one scout said. “There’s nothing he can’t do physically. I think someone like (Seattle’s) Tom Cable might say, ‘Hey, I can coach him up.’ They’ll buy into the upside aspect of it.” Whiffed frequently in pass protection and had too many penalties. Arms measured 35½. “Very, very erratic,” another scout said. “Off the field is a little bit of a question mark, too.”
MITCHELL TRUBISKY*, QB, North Carolina: 6-2, 222. One-year starter. “You’ve got to try with him,” said one scout. “He’s the best of the bunch. You just wish he played more. He started one year, and the guy he played behind last year was terrible (Marquise Williams, who was in Green Bay’s camp). It’s kind of a concern. As far as the physical gifts, he’s got everything you look for. And he’s got the poise. He works hard.” Asked reporters to be known as “Mitchell” in the NFL. “Five-time Punt, Pass and Kick champion,” said a second scout. “Mr. Ohio in football out of high school. Has athletic feet and good feel for the game. As the season progressed he got better. Strong enough arm.” Hailed by a third scout as a “Marcus Mariota-type athlete.” He added: “He had his worst game against Stanford when he locked on twice and the safety picked off two passes. I wanted to compare him to (Brett) Favre but he’s a much better athlete than Favre and he’s faster than Favre. The amazing thing is he can run so well. Excellent competitor. He’s probably my best player (in the draft).” Clocked 4.67 in the 40.
DALVIN COOK*, RB, Florida State: 5-10, 210. Rushed for 4,464 yards in three seasons while adding 79 receptions. “He reminds me of Marshall Faulk so much because he can catch the ball,” said one scout. “You can stick him in the slot. He goes downfield, catches the ball, runs hard. But he’s had three shoulder operations.” Ran an ordinary 40 (4.49). “Fast, explosive runner,” another scout said. “Boy, he would add something to our offense. He’s a back who can go for 60 (yards) every now and then. He’s everything.”
LEONARD FOURNETTE*, RB, Louisiana State: 6-0, 240. Burst onto the scene as a pure freshman in 2014, rushed for a career-best 1,953 yards in ’15 and struggled playing on a high ankle sprain for most of ’16. “He’s the real deal,” said one scout. “He’s head and shoulders above everybody else.” Compared by scouts to Bo Jackson, Jonathan Stewart and Derrick Henry. “There’s similar things to Bo: size, twitch, explosion, burst, power,” said a second scout. “I could have written his report as a freshman. It didn’t take long to see he was a different bird. He’s not normal. Last year he had some of the most dynamic 2-yard gains you will ever see.” Ran 4.51 to go with a lousy 28½-inch vertical jump. “Big, strong, physical player but he really takes some hits,” a third scout said. “Like Derrick Henry.”
MYLES GARRETT*, DE, Texas A&M: 6-4, 272. Three-year starter with 32½ sacks. “He’s a freak,” said one scout. “This guy is bigger and longer than Von Miller (6-2½, 246). He’s the best player in the draft.” Projects to DE for 4-3 teams and OLB for 3-4 teams. “He will not let teammates down,” said another scout. “He’s committed. He’s all in.” His arms measured an imposing 35¼. Several scouts questioned his effort and toughness. “This guy is supposed to be the certain first pick in the draft but he leaves a lot to be desired,” said one. “He’s a good athlete but there are stretches of him not being productive. He’s not really a tough guy. He’s not strong. He’s a flash player. Everything is solid off the field but I don’t think he plays hard. I’d take (Joey) Bosa.”
JONATHAN ALLEN, DT, Alabama: 6-3, 286. Overcame multiple shoulder surgeries and made his senior season his best. “He was damn near unblockable in a lot of games,” said one scout. “He’s a difference-maker. Not a special athlete but extremely strong and an outstanding technician. He can play hurt and be productive. He just looks like a pro. He’s the perfect base end that moves inside on third down.” Three-year starter with 28½ sacks. “He doesn’t really stand out in any particular area but he just plays so hard,” another scout said. “He’s quick, active, strong. I’d want him on my team.”
REUBEN FOSTER, ILB, Alabama: 6-0, 229. Follows in the footsteps of Crimson Tide MLBs C.J. Mosley and Reggie Ragland. “He’s better than Ragland from last year but Mosley is a little bit more athletic,” said one scout. “This guy has a little more thump to him (than Mosley). He’s good, not tremendous. He’s had some issues.” Foster’s difficult past came into focus Saturday when it was reported by ESPN that he was sent home from the combine after a “heated argument” with a hospital worker in Indianapolis. “This guy is fast, explosive, the real deal,” another scout said. “He may slide because of background. He’s got all kinds of stuff.”
MARSHON LATTIMORE*, CB, Ohio State: 6-0, 193. Third-year sophomore who in effect played just one season. “He’s really quick,” said one scout. “Loose hips and good feet, and he has a burst. Faster, quicker than Gareon Conley. I just didn’t see him challenge (receivers).” Four interceptions this season and then declared two years early. “Not a true leader but teammates love him,” another scout said. “Good ball skills.”
JAMAL ADAMS*, S, Louisiana State: 6-0, 214. Two-year starter with exceptional arm length (33 3/8). “Top-10 pick,” said one scout. “Phenomenal player. He’s one of the best safeties I’ve done. That’s Earl Thomas but bigger.” Father, George, was a running back drafted in the first round by the Giants in 1985. “The whole world is excited about him but I liked him more last year (2015),” said another scout. “He’s a box guy. Breaks down well and is a good tackler. He’s a tight-hipped guy who has some problems changing direction. He struggles out in space. He’s impressive physically. He is tough.”
PROBABLY GONE (11)
JOHN ROSS*, WR, Washington: 5-11, 188. Deep threat. Broke unofficial combine 40 record with 4.22 clocking. “He’s completely different from the other two (Williams, Davis),” said one scout. “He’s small. If you want that speed element, more of a playmaker, a vertical threat, he’s the guy.” Fourth-year junior routinely praised for his character. “Very clean off the field,” a second scout said. “Dangerous after the catch. But he may get a surgery after the combine. Shoulder.” Also underwent microfracture procedure around the time of his season-ending knee injury in 2015. Compared by a third scout to DeSean Jackson.
DAVID NJOKU*, TE, Miami: 6-4, 246. Renounced his final two years of eligibility. “It was a little bit surprising,” said one scout. “Very smart kid with a goofy personality but no issues off the field. In high school he was a 7-1 high jumper. Really good athlete and run after the catch.” Arms measured 35¼ at the combine. Started nine of 26 games. “I don’t know how you can take an unproductive backup guy from an average team in the first or second round,” a second scout said. “He’s going to blow the combine out and he’s a track guy. As far as a football player, he is a long ways away.” Ran 4.67 with a vertical jump of 37 1/2.
DESHONE KIZER*, QB, Notre Dame: 6-4, 233. Third-year sophomore. “He should have gone back,” said one scout. “I think it’s all there. He’s gifted. But that team won five games this year. They have talent.” Two-year starter with a career passer rating of 98.6. “He cranks the ball through the tight windows,” said a second scout. “Big dude. He’ll stand tall in the pocket. It’s between his ears more than anything … and when he’s under pressure he doesn’t move in the pocket as well as you would like.” Compared by a third scout to Jay Cutler because “he doesn’t win.” Added a fourth scout: “The guy got benched. He had a lot of bad games. Doesn’t win. He’s a mess.” Ran 4.83.
DESHAUN WATSON*, QB, Clemson: 6-2, 221. Started for 3½ years, leading Tigers to national title over Alabama in January. “He’s No. 1,” said one scout. “He’s played the best in the biggest stages. His best thing is leadership and he’s a winner. He has to develop into a pocket passer.” Compared by a second scout to Robert Griffin III. “He’s not as fast and isn’t as good a pure athlete but he’s like Griffin in that he beats you on the edges and not out of the pocket,” he said. “He’s not a pure passer. You have to admire the way he brings teams back. That’s something you can’t discount.” About the same size as Teddy Bridgewater. “Better athlete than Bridgewater,” said a third scout. “Arm strength? Probably similar. You don’t see him throwing the same pro kind of routes that Teddy did. He does make some NFL throws but he’s not going to be a guy who will wow you physically. Kind of lean-boned. There will be some concerns about withstanding because he hasn’t been hit a lot. Great athlete for the position.” Ran 4.66.
CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY*, RB, Stanford: 5-11, 202. Two-year starter and ex-teammate of Green Bay’s Ty Montgomery. “This guy is a better runner than Montgomery, a better catcher, he’s more explosive, more agile and he’s probably faster,” said one scout. “Montgomery is more of a straight-line guy.” Far from a workhorse back. “He’s a jack-of-all-trades guy,” another scout said. “He can be your returner and give you 15 snaps a game (at RB). Once he tests and runs 4.38 (he ran 4.49) guys will fall in love with his personality and his genetics.”
SOLOMON THOMAS*, DE, Stanford: 6-3, 273. Third-year sophomore. “Great kid,” one scout said. “Team captain. Top worker. Explosive athlete. Plays hard. Runs and chases. Strong hands.” More of a 3-technique than a 5-technique, although weight could be a problem at either position. “He reminds me of John Randle,” said another scout. “Excellent quickness and motor.”
ZACH CUNNINGHAM*, ILB, Vanderbilt: 6-3, 234. Started 27 of 36 games over three seasons. “He’s pretty (expletive) good but it’s not even close to (Reuben) Foster,” one scout said. “He’s a modern-day linebacker. He goes sideline to sideline. Led the SEC in tackles. Tough, very athletic.” Arms were 34 3/8. “He’s either a long-levered ‘sam’ backer on the line, kind of that Scott Fujita role, or he’s an inside guy,” a second scout said. “Solid, productive football player. I don’t see the dynamic play. I guess K.J. Wright was a lot like that coming out (Mississippi State, 2011). If it’s third and 8 and you’ve got to get off the field, (Cunningham) is not the guy to make that play consistently.”
TAKKARIST MCKINLEY, ILB, UCLA: 6-2, 250. Former junior-college player who had a 10-sack season as a stand-up DE last season. “He’s an outside linebacker in a 3-4,” said one scout. “Loves football. He’ll work at his weaknesses. He’s got a great first step. He could sneak into the first (round).” Arms measured 34¾. “He does have an explosive takeoff but he’s a stiff, straight-line guy,” said another scout. “OK athlete. I thought he was soft. He’s not close to Anthony Barr. Barr had loose hips.”
MARLON HUMPHREY*, CB, Alabama: 6-0, 197. Third-year junior, two-year starter. “He is the most complete corner I’ve seen come out of there,” said one scout. “I’ve done Dre Kirkpatrick, Dee Milliner, Kareem Jackson. He can be a big-time player. He’s as violent as I’ve ever seen a corner be. He comes up to smack people. It’s rare to see a corner of his caliber that seeks contact. I guess a little of that comes from his dad. … Looks the part. Track guy. He’s got to get some eye discipline. He likes to jam but his eyes will lose discipline.” Father, Bobby, was a running back drafted in the first round of the 1989 supplemental draft by the Broncos. “He’s super-talented,” said another scout. “He just doesn’t make plays on the ball. If he made plays on the ball he’d go higher.”
TRE’DAVIOUS WHITE, CB, Louisiana State:5-11, 192. Four-year starter. “Hell of a player,” one scout said. “Quick, agile. All football.” Some scouts question his speed. “He is really quick,” another scout said. “Really good one-on-one cover. Good ball react and hands. Has red-zone problems against tall receivers.”
JABRILL PEPPERS*, S-CB, Michigan: 5-11, 213. Possibly the most multi-dimensional player in the draft. “He’s one of my top five players,” said one scout. “You can line him up at receiver, running back, slot, free safety, strong safety, kick returner. The worst thing he is is a safety who can cover the slot. I’d start him (off) at corner.” Weighed 213, eight more than his program weight and befitting teams that view him as a hybrid LB. “He’s a utility safety for us,” said another scout. “People seem confused what to do with the guy. Just put him out there. Guy’s a winner.” Two-year starter with merely one interception. “I don’t think he’s a natural defensive guy in space,” another scout said. “He has issues in space. Everybody’s all over the board. I got him as an offensive player, a slot-running back.”
THE NEXT LEVEL (25)
CURTIS SAMUEL*, WR-RB, Ohio State: 5-11, 196. Third-year junior almost equally valuable as a receiver, runner and returner. “He’s Percy Harvin,” said one scout. “Urban (Meyer) ran him from the tailback spot more than he ran Percy Harvin but that’s because the game has changed. Every time he touches the ball it’s a potential touchdown.” Described as a faster Randall Cobb by a second scout. “Unique player,” he said. “Physically tough. Playmaking ability.” Averaged just 11.7 yards per catch in 2016. “He’s supposed to be this big-play speed guy but he doesn’t make any big plays,” a third scout said. “He’ll run fast but he’s just more of an athlete than a player right now.” Ran extremely fast (4.31), vertical jump of 37, 18 reps on the bench press.
EVAN ENGRAM, TE, Mississippi: 6-3, 234. Four-year starter with 162 receptions. “He’s a receiving tight end, not an in-line blocker,” one scout said. “He can play slot. Smooth athlete, good speed. This is where the modern-day offense is going.” Compared by one scout to former Saints WR Marques Colston. “Not as fast or quick-footed as Marques but more of a big slot receiver,” he said. “He could probably be 245 but he’ll never be a point-of-attack guy. He’ll have to be a back-side flex guy if you want to get any kind of production out of him.” Led tight ends in the 40-yard dash Saturday with a blazing 4.42.
FORREST LAMP, G-C, Western Kentucky: 6-4, 309. Started most of his four-year career at LT but projects inside. “He’d be the best inside guy,” said one scout. “He’s technique, good athlete, balance, competitive. He’s a center-guard.” Short arms (32¼), large hands (10 5/8). Ran a fast 40 (5.00). “Western Kentucky is a good program,” said another scout. “He is really good on the move and can get to the second level and downfield. Not real strong or powerful but really is a nice athlete.”
PATRICK MAHOMES*, QB, Texas Tech: 6-2, 225. Started for 2½ seasons. “You (remember) how John Elway could scramble around and at the last second just square up and throw the ball the length of the field?” said one veteran scout. “This guy can do the same thing. He didn’t play in a bowl game this year but, remember, John Elway never played in a bowl game. (Texas Tech) had the worst defense in the nation. He had no backs and receivers this year. Excellent athlete and arm strength. He’s got a gunslinger mentality.” Played in a simplistic spread offense with limited reads. “He plays in that junk offense and has a lot to learn,” another scout said. “A lot. He’s got quick feet and a (big arm). 4.0 student. Good kid.” Arm strength might give him the edge over recent Texas Tech passers. “He could (develop) but I don’t see it,” a third scout said. “He has no vision, no mechanics. He’s erratic as hell. Makes a lot of mistakes.” Ran 4.80.
ALVIN KAMARA*, RB, Tennessee: 5-10, 214. Redshirted at Alabama and spent time in junior college before starting eight of 24 games for Volunteers. “He can do it all,” said one scout. “He’s quick. Got good balance and vision. Catches the ball extremely well out of the backfield. Just hasn’t been a lead dog.” Ran 4.56 with a vertical jump of 39½. “When Jalen (Hurd) went down (in 2016) he had a chance to step up and be that guy and you just never saw it,” another scout said. “He’s not really a between-the-tackles, wear-you-down, take-the-bull-by-the-horns guy. He needs to get out in space. He can be a good player in a niche role.”
DEREK BARNETT*, DE, Tennessee: 6-3, 259. Led the nation in sacks with 13. His career total of 33 broke Reggie White’s school mark by one. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes to the combine and bombs out athletically,” said one scout. “If he works out well and runs 4.7, he’s first round. If he runs 5-flat, 4.9, no. Little overhyped. He’s not going to be a foot athlete or a special guy.” Opted out of drills Saturday because of illness. Weight was an unexpectedly low 259. “He can do stand-up (linebacker) but I wouldn’t want him dropping,” said one scout. “You’ll want him putting his hand in the dirt and being a base DE. He plays hard when it’s time to rush the passer.”
TACO CHARLTON, DE, Michigan: 6-6, 277. Blossomed as a senior starter after being a rotational player for three years. “Loved by his teammates and loves the game of football,” one scout said. “Things come easy to him. You could almost compare him to Chandler Jones.” Arms were 34. “He won’t be dominant but he’ll be a good, solid player,” one scout said. “Not dynamic or anything. He’ll start as a rookie and be good.”
CHARLES HARRIS*, DE, Missouri: 6-3, 253. On the small side for 4-3 teams but might be athletic enough to stand up in a 3-4. “I think he’s one of the better defensive players in the draft,” said one scout. “He’s athletic, physical, tough and can rush the passer like those other Missouri guys.” Two-year starter came into his own in 2016. “This is the kind of guy that gets you fired,” another scout said. “Physically soft. Does not play strong. Once they get their hands on him it’s over. He’s a finesse rusher. I could see where you could be excited about the guy but I’d be afraid to draft him (high).” Arms were 32 5/8.
CALEB BRANTLEY*, DT, Florida: 6-3, 307. Two-year starter with just 2½ sacks. “He probably fancies himself as a 3-technique,” one scout said. “He’s got to be more consistent anchoring down and playing the run. Even as a 3-technique, you’re going to have to take on a double every now and then. Otherwise, they just keep running the ball at you all damn game. He wants to rush the passer.” Arms measured just 32. “Fake tough guy,” said another scout. “He understands how to edge the blocker and has balance and control. Doesn’t always finish the play. I like the athlete.”
DALVIN TOMLINSON, DT, Alabama: 6-3, 310. Rotational backup for two seasons before replacing NFL draftees A’shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed as a senior. “Tough, physical,” said one scout. “Not great. Just a good, solid pro. Could develop into a quality nose tackle.” Outstanding prep wrestler. “Strong at the point of attack,” said another scout. “He’s got strong hips, good hands, hard to move on run blocks. Not a dominant pass rusher but can get push and is athletic enough to edge the blocker. One-technique or 3-technique.”
MALIK MCDOWELL*, DT, Michigan State: 6-6, 295. Physical specimen with 34¾ arms and 10½ hands. “It won’t be because of lack of talent,” said one scout. “Good feet. Flashes twitch. Going to need lots of work, though.” Departed after disappointing junior season in which he had 1½ sacks in nine games. Played a lot inside but was more productive outside. “He does have a takeoff when they move him on the edge and he can up field,” another scout said. “Talented but inconsistent. I question his toughness, shed, instincts. I’m scared because he doesn’t play hard. High opinion of himself. They question if he loves football.”
RAEKWON MCMILLAN*, ILB, Ohio State: 6-2, 240. Third-year junior, two-year starter in the middle. “Excellent leader,” said one scout. “Everybody listens to this guy. He’s a zone coverage guy. He’ll need some work in man-to-man. Has feel, has vision, easy mover. He’s a perfect football guy.” Surpassed 100 tackles in each of the past two seasons. “I’m not a fan,” said another scout. “He’s tough and plays the game the right way, but he’s a little bit small and plays small. He’s not as athletic as a guy that size needs to be.”
JARRAD DAVIS, ILB, Florida: 6-1, 238. Missed four games with an ankle injury in an oft-injured career. “I don’t see how he gets out of the first (round),” said one scout. “Too fast, too athletic, too good of a player over his career there.” Arms were 33 1/2. Wonderlic of 21. “He can run and he’s rangy,” another scout said. “He’s got great leadership intangibles. Now he’s often-injured, too. He’s got to go first round.”
HAASON REDDICK, ILB, Temple: 6-1, 237. Enrolled as a cornerback but spent almost entire career as a boundary DE. Looked good at the Senior Bowl in move to the middle. “The Senior Bowl helped him a lot because he was off the ball a lot more,” one scout said. “You could see he could handle that. He’s skyrocketed. Coming into the year he was just a reject. He’s had a hell of a year. He is productive, tough, fast.” Posted 10½ of his 18 sacks as a senior. “He plays relentless and has speed,” said one scout. “Very tough. He’s a leader. Has a good feel for the game.”
TIM WILLIAMS, OLB, Alabama: 6-3, 244. Four-year player who didn’t see much action until 2015 and ended up starting just two games. “Not a special athlete, just a hell of a football player,” said one scout. “Knows how to play.” Designated pass rusher whose background will require scrutiny. “He’ll get pushed down to the second round because of his character,” another scout said. “He’s a dynamite pass rusher. He gets off the edge.”
RYAN ANDERSON, OLB, Alabama: 6-2, 253. Fifth-year senior finally worked his way into the lineup as a senior. “Very steady,” one scout said. “He doesn’t look pretty but he makes plays. Outside linebacker in a 3-4. He is (short), but he does everything good and makes plays.” Arms were just 31 1/2. “He’s thick built,” another scout said. “He’s more like the big guys they’ve had play that edge. Tough guys.”
T.J. WATT*, OLB, Wisconsin: 6-4, 252. Overcame string of injuries to forge 13-sack season in 2016, his first as a starter, and then declared a year early. “This guy just plays his tail off,” said one scout. “Boy, does he have technique. He’s Clay Matthews. Probably more explosive. Uses his hands well. He finishes things better than his brother (J.J.) did. I think he’s special.” Weighed in at 252, nine pounds more than his program weight, and had 33 1/8 arms and 11-inch hands, which might be the longest at the combine. “I don’t see him in the first round,” another scout said. “He’s a solid backup-rotational type player. I don’t think he’s a definite starter on any team. He may eventually because of the intangibles, effort, the way he plays the game. But not just on pure talent.”
QUINCY WILSON*, CB, Florida: 6-1, 211. Two-year starter with six picks. “He’s got really nice length,” said one scout. “He’s got body control and passion for the game. He will need some work on his tackling. He wants to be physical with receivers. Press corner.” Expected to run much faster than his teammate, CB Teez Tabor. “He’s much more aggressive than Tabor but I think he’ll have to be a safety,” said another scout. “He’s a little bit bulky (for cornerback). Safety is where he’ll end up.”
SIDNEY JONES*, CB, Washington: 6-0, 186. Three-year starter with nine picks. “Very good player,” said one scout. “Good arm length (31½). Adequate tackler.” On the thin side and appears to lack growth potential. “Good worker, willing to do extra,” another scout said. “Really smart. Doesn’t get rattled. I question his long speed. Never missed a game. Good hands and eyes at the line of scrimmage.”
ADOREE JACKSON*, CB, Southern California: 5-10, 186. Three-year starter and terrific return specialist. “Only negative is his height,” one scout said. “He’s always in the right spot at the right time. He knows how to keep position and break on the ball. Reminds me of Darrell Green, who was just 5-8. He’s so instinctive. Excellent one-on-one cover.” Registered six interceptions. “He’s a really good player but he’s small,” said another scout. “He’s a first-round player for me but he’s got to be penalized because he’s a midget. Second round.”
GAREON CONLEY*, CB, Ohio State: 6-0, 195. Played extensively as a true freshman and started two years. “Very confident,” one scout said. “Everybody loves the kid. Really a good teammate. Leader of the group. Smooth. Makes it look easy. Good in press man. Short-area burst. Likes to jump routes. He can track the ball deep.” Average strength affects him as a tackler. Arms were 33. “Got that long body,” another scout said. “More of a press guy. He might get in the first (round).”
MARCUS WILLIAMS*, S, Utah: 6-1, 202. Started 28 of 37 games, intercepting eight passes. “He’s like Eric Weddle in terms of his ability to work,” said one scout. “True professional. Great tester. Rare athlete. Very good ball skills. May be a corner.” Biggest negative is tackling. “He’s just not very aggressive playing the run,” said another scout. “Just doesn’t show up enough on tape.”
MALIK HOOKER*, S, Ohio State: 6-1, 206. Used his massive hands (10¾) to intercept seven passes in 2016, his only season as a starter. “He’s got great range,” one scout said. “Can he run after he catches the ball. He certainly has the feet and hips and change of direction to play corner. The guy is a first-rounder, but it bothers me that he doesn’t tackle.” That personnel man certainly wasn’t the only one to think that. “I’m not as sold on Hooker as everyone else,” said another. “I don’t think he’s going to run very well and he’s very inconsistent against the run. He is opportunistic.”
OBI MELIFONWU, S, Connecticut: 6-4, 224. Four-year player with 48 games and 48 starts. “He reminded me of Deone Bucannon because he can play in the box and in space,” said one scout. “Physical. Square tackler. I was shocked. He’s big and he can run. I think he’s too big for corner. He can replace a ‘backer in the box because he can cover.” Arms were 32½. Eight career interceptions. “He looks the part,” said another scout. “He’s more of a downhill type but he brings a presence.”
BUDDA BAKER*, S, Washington: 5-10, 195. Started all 40 games of his three-year career. “The coaches will tell you that’s the best player on their team,” said one scout. “They love that guy. He’s more like Earl Thomas. Small guy that can run.” Finished with five picks and three forced fumbles. “He’s kind of like a Bob Sanders,” a second scout said. “Big-time hitter. Around the ball. Covers the slot. Only negative I had was his height.”