So this is a 8 player list of the players from the 2014 Senior Bowl that stood out to me that Cleveland should consider with the picks they have in this years upcoming draft. Feel free to tell me your thoughts on the list hope you enjoy.
8. Chris Borland ILB Wisconsin
Borland reminds me so much of Kiko Alonzo from Buffalo. The guy is relentless and doesn’t stop until the whistle blows; and even then he is still trying to remind you that you just got lit up. He is a smaller guy and lacks the big time speed, but he is sideline to sideline on every play and is a really solid replacement for Craig Robertson who got burnt in coverage all season long. He is an under the radar guy who didn’t get a lot of exposure due to all the other big names in the Big 10 this season.
7. Dee Ford DE Auburn
Dee Ford proved a lot of people wrong that he was too small to play the position by winning MVP honors in the Senior Bowl. He has a quick burst off the edge and gave Zack Martin a workout the entire game. He is a Dwight Freeney type in his style of play with his quickness, burst and size. He will most likely go earlier and may have even worked himself into the late first early, or second round, but if he falls because scouts are still weary of his size he would be a steal as a developmental player later down the road.
6. Keith McGill CB Utah
McGill could go pretty high after his showing in the Senior Bowl because the long tall corners are the new talk of the NFL secondaries. Look at what the Seahawks have done with the “Legion of BOOM”. Cleveland needs help across from Joe Haden, there is no way around that, and they have to draft a corner at some point. Buster Skrine, for his size and as young as he is, held his own for the most part across from Haden. The thing is, Skrine works better in the slot where he isn’t on a 6 foot something WR. McGill showed he has good hands and can ball out when called upon. I know it could be a stretch here, but if he is on the board in the later rounds Cleveland should really give him a look.
5. Charles Sims RB West Virginia
Sims is a small guy, but he has no problem busting a DL in the mouth and letting you know he means business. He only had one year at West Virginia and he made it count. Rushing for over 1.000 yards and 11 touchdowns, he isn’t a guy that seems to be high on anyone’s draft boards, but he is a great sleeper in the later rounds and could become a solid starter at the next level. Sims has the kind of build of a Michael Turner; in that short bowling ball kind of runner, and he should still be on the board in the very late rounds depending on his combine showing.
4. Josh Huff WR Oregon
Huff reminds me of a more polished Tavon Austin in his height and speed. From what I witnessed during the week of the Senior Bowl practices, the guy can flat-out go get the ball, which is something Cleveland doesn’t have in the slot. No Devon Bess, I didn’t say “pot” I said “slot” sorry if I got you excited. If you still don”t understand I guess you could probably go ask Brandon Weeden. But back to Huff he runs clean routes and has strong hands when it comes to going after the ball, and he moves the chains. With a fully loaded draft at the WR position it is likely that he falls to at least the 4th maybe even 5th round.
3. Jimmy Garopollo QB Eastern Illinois
Some people may not see him as a polished QB, or even one that should be drafted before the 4th or 5th round. But this guy is an absolute steal if we could get him in the 3rd round and give him a few years to develop behind Brian Hoyer. I know I have Carr as number one on this list but its Cleveland, and can you really have too many QB’s on a team that has searched for “The One” since Bernie Kosar got shipped out-of-town. To answer your question, no. No, we truly can’t have enough. The way I see it, I would rather have three capable, winning QB’s on the roster than a thirty something rookie and a 32-year-old washed up journeyman.
2. Zack Martin OT Notre Dame
This is the kind of smash you in the mouth “bloody your nose” lineman that coach Pettine needs to draft and move inside next to All-Pro LT Joe Thomas. He is a versatile lineman who can be plugged in on almost any spot on the offensive line. The Senior Bowl is a great place for him to show off how good he is and the toughness that he has in the trenches. Martin is quickly soaring up draft boards and could be a steal late in the first round or possible even the beginning of the second, and would fill a void on the line for the next decade in Cleveland.
1. Derek Carr QB Fresno State
I know. The last name just screams bust right? Well my friends, this is not David Carr, this is the little brother with the strong-arm, the great field vision, and the arm to throw in December on the shores of Lake Erie. Sure he comes from a smaller school that doesn’t get the exposure that “Johnny Football” gets but the guy does one thing right and that all Cleveland fans want…..WIN!