Best Value Draft Picks Per Round
PACKERS 1st round pick 21 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S –Alabama:
Clinton-Dix started every game for the Tide as a sophomore and junior with the exception of two games he was suspended for violating team rules. Even after missing two games he was a consensus All-American last season. He is slender but he is a fantastic tackler and he can cover slot receivers and tight ends just as well as anyone in this draft.
EAGLES 2nd round pick 42 Jordan Matthews, WR – Vanderbilt
Matthews will be the NFL offensive rookie of the year. Scouts are worried about his speed and wiry frame but his stats speak for themselves. As Vandi’s only weapon with defenses focused on shutting him out, Matthews still lead the SEC in receptions as a junior and senior. Also in those seasons he was second and first in receiving yards respectively, totaled 206 receptions for 2,800 yards and 15 touchdowns, and showed durability by playing in every game. As one of the most relied upon receivers in the NCAA last season he was the second in targets per team pass attempt and even with the high volume of passes coming his way Matthews still managed to bring in 71% of the balls thrown to him which put him above the national average.
VIKINGS 3rd round pick 96 Jerick McKinnon, RB – Georgia Southern
McKinnon will make the switch from quarterback to running back when he enters the NFL, sort of. As a “quarterback” he was part of the most prolific rushing attack in the nation. In 47 games he only attempted 81 passes for the Eagles but he ran the ball 619 times for 3,899 yards and 42 touchdowns which included a 9 carry 125 yard 1 touchdown performance in Southern’s upset of Florida this past season. With the read option becoming more popular in the NFL McKinnon will have a unique perspective that other running backs won’t have. He was also impressive at the combine. Of all running backs he cranked out the most bench reps with 6 more than the second place finisher. Additionally he was second in the 40 yard dash, vertical jump and broad jump, and third in the 3 cone drill.
PATRIOTS 4th round pick 140 Cameron Fleming, OT –Stanford
Intelligence is one of the most important factors for an offensive lineman so this Stanford aeronautics graduate should do just fine. Not only is Fleming smart he’s got great size at 6’5” 323 lbs. The only knock on him is his lack of mobility but his cognitive ability and awareness should help make up for any short comings in athleticism.
GIANTS 5th round pick 174 Devon Kennard, OLB- USC
Kennard’s productivity as a Trojan was hampered by moving around to different positions and by being stuck playing under Monte Kiffin for a couple of seasons. In 2013 as an outside linebacker in Clancy Pendergast’s system he thrived and made second team All Pac-12. His draft stock took a hit due to his sub par combine but his 13.5 tackles for loss and 9 sacks last season proved he can be productive at a high level of competition. Kennard is also a smart football player. His father played in the NFL so he has been around football his whole life and he had the top GPA on the USC squad his senior season.
RAMS 6TH round pick 214 Garrett Gilbert, QB – Southern Methodist:
In 2009 Gilbert was a blue chip quarterback prospect on his way to the University of Texas. After a rough start to his Longhorn career and a serious shoulder surgery Gilbert transferred to SMU. A change of scenery is exactly what Gilbert needed. His senior season he threw for 3,528 yards with 21 TDs and only 7 INTs and showed good decision making by having the 10th best pass attempts to interceptions ratio in the nation. He also has the prototypical NFL size and attributes standing 6’4” 220 with a 4.81 40 time.
RAIDERS 7th round pick 247 Jonathan Dowling, FS- Western Kentucky
Dowling’s worst enemy is himself. He has the size and athleticism to be a great NFL player but he has shown major character issues. He was kicked off the Florida football team his freshman year which is what brought him to Western Kentucky. Fortunately he impressed as a Hilltopper with 9 interceptions and 8 forced fumbles and 2 All-Sun Belt team selections in his 2 seasons there.
VIKINGS undrafted free agent A.C. Leonard, TE – Tennessee St.
He was a highly sought after recruit in high school and started his career at Florida before being kicked off the team. After Florida Leonard made the most of his time at Tennessee State and made second team all FCS. He’s not much of a blocker and is slightly undersized but he is the most athletic tight end in the draft as shown by his 4.5 40 which makes him a match up problem for NFL defenses.