2016 NFL Draft Outlook
From the great Bob McGinn
~Here’s an early look at 50 players who figure to fit into these layers of the draft (underclassmen are denoted by asterisk).
Based on interviews with executives in personnel for five 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 27th selection in the first round of the NFL draft April 28.
Prospects are conservatively divided into three categories: As Good As Gone – barring negative developments, these players have virtually no chance of reaching No. 27; Probably Gone — players who appear to have no better than a 50-50 chance of remaining on the board at No. 27; and The Next Level — players who figure to fall next.
The Packers have their own selection in all seven rounds. They’re also likely to be awarded at least one compensatory pick next month for the free-agent losses of cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Davon House in 2015.
AS GOOD AS GONE (11)
Laremy Tunsil*, T, Mississippi: 6-5, 310. Started 28 games at left tackle. “Outstanding athlete,” one scout said. “Long arms. Moves well. He played against some of the best pass rushers in college football and shut them down. Tough.” Doesn’t work to finish blocks on a consistent basis. “He might be a little lighter on his feet than (Ronnie) Stanley,” a second scout said. Top-five pick.
Ronnie Stanley*, T, Notre Dame: 6-6, 312. Junior left tackle. “Good player, but I don’t think he’s special,” said one scout. “He’s in the top seven, eight (picks). He’s a better player than the Giants took at No. 9 last year (tackle Ereck Flowers).” Not a great worker and doesn’t always play hard. Three-year starter (39 games) at LT. “He needs to get stronger,” another scout said. “He probably has the best pass set. He’s really good technically as a pass blocker. Left tackle.” Extremely long arms (35 5/8 inches).
Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State: 6-5, 237. Played behind Waupaca’s Brock Jensen until 2014. A wrist injury in ’15 limited him to just 23 career starts. “He’s a big guy with a big arm,” said one scout. “The ball gets there. He’s not a scrambler per se but he has speed. He might be the most physically talented of the group. Would I be nervous with this guy? Absolutely. But if you have no quarterback at all, what do you got to lose?” Finished with an NFL passer rating of 105.2. Scored 29 on the 50-question Wonderlic intelligence test. “He’s got an arm,” another scout said. “But it’s such a long way from that level of play to the NFL at any position, let alone quarterback.”
Jared Goff*, QB, California: 6-4, 215. Third-year junior with 37 starts. “He might be the most ready,” one scout said. “Thing I don’t like is his slender build. He did not have a lot of talent around him. Does he have a great arm? No, but it’s good enough. I’d be nervous taking him above 10.” Posted an NFL passer rating of 98.9. “In terms of arm talent, he’ll be like (Jay) Cutler,” another scout said. “Skinny kid. Gets hit a bunch. He doesn’t see everything. Accuracy is off at times, but he is talented. He can really spin it. Really good feet.”
Paxton Lynch*, QB, Memphis: 6-7, 244. Fourth-year junior. “There’s stuff he doesn’t see but, boy, is he a great athlete for a big guy,” one scout said. “He’s got good feet and can make all the throws.” His NFL passer rating of 93.5 included 110.6 in 2015. “Big production in a lot of games, so-so in some others,” another scout said. “Pretty good athlete for a big kid. Excellent size. He’s got a big ceiling. It’s a weird group of quarterbacks. None of them are just ready-made and none of them show consistency. They’re good, solid starters. None of them are Pro Bowl-caliber type quarterbacks. I would take (Jameis) Winston and (Marcus) Mariota over these guys. No question.”
Joey Bosa*, DE, Ohio State: 6-5, 269. Third-year junior with 26 sacks and 50½ tackles for loss in 37 starts. “He’s a top-three, top-four player,” said one scout. “He could be the first pick in the draft. Very strong. Can play the run and he rushes the passer well. Plays with good intensity.” Father, John, was a bust (seven sacks in three seasons) as a DE drafted with the 16th pick by Miami in 1987. “He’s a little better version of Justin Smith when he came out of Missouri (in 2001),” said another scout. “Little better athlete. Strong, tough guy like that. Good motor.”
A’Shawn Robinson*, DT, Alabama: 6-4, 307. Third-year junior. “He doesn’t play with the same consistency that (Jarran) Reed does,” said one scout. “He’s not stiff. He can play 3-technique or 5-technique. I don’t like him as a nose because he plays tall.” Started 30 of 42 games, finishing with 9 sacks and 22 tackles for loss. Won’t turn 21 until next month. “Big run stuffer with pass-rush ability,” one scout said.
DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon: 6-7, 291. Started 38 of 54 games. “Comes in and starts,” one scout said. “Not as dynamic obviously as Bosa. More of a run-down player for a 3-4 team, but he has some pass rush to him.” Finished with 18 sacks and 36 tackles for loss. Wonderlic score of 9. Widely regarded as a better prospect than former Duck DE Arik Armstead, who went 17th last year to the 49ers. “They play a two-gap 3-4 there,” said another scout. “He’s got a chance to be an impact guy. He kind of plays all across the front.” Hands measured an incredible 11¾ inches.
Myles Jack*, ILB, UCLA: 6-1, 245. Third-year junior. “He’s the best player in the draft,” one scout said. “He’s a slam dunk. He can play modern-day football. He ain’t never leaving the field.” Suffered torn lateral meniscus in practice after the third game last season and immediately left team. Cleared for workouts Jan. 22. Also played extensively as a RB in 2013-’14. “He’s a ‘will’ but he’s kind of a freak,” said another scout. “You see him walk out to the slot and cover receivers. He can also play in the box. I’m betting he’d go in the first three rounds as a running back. He’s a much better player than Shaq Thompson a year ago. Will run in the 4.5s. He can play inside in a 3-4 but that’d be kind of a waste for him.”
Jalen Ramsey*, CB-S, Florida State: 6-1, 209. Third-year junior split time between CB and safety. “He could be the first pick,” said one scout. “He’s going to blow this combine out. He’ll run in the 4.3s. Super competitive. Very smart. Very long. Very physical.” Just three interceptions in 41 starts. “I don’t know if the movement’s quite there for corner but he can really run and he’s athletic and he’s smooth,” said another scout. “I think he’s probably better covering tight ends and backs than walking out.”
Vernon Hargreaves*, CB, Florida: 5-10, 204. Third-year junior. “I do think he’s the best corner,” said one scout. “He’s a smoother cover guy than Ramsey.” Started 37 games and had 10 interceptions. “Very smart, very instinctive,” said one scout. “Joe Haden-type player. Gets his hands on a lot of balls. Very physical in the run game. Competitor. Only thing he lacks is Jalen’s size.”
PROBABLY GONE (9)
Laquon Treadwell*, WR, Mississippi: 6-2, 221. Bounced back from a gruesome leg injury in November 2014 with 82-catch, 1,153-yard final season. “Most likely he is the first wide receiver taken, but that’s not a slam dunk,” one scout said. “He’s a physical, stronger guy. DeVante Parker last year was a very similar player. Good route runner.” From Crete, Ill. “He’s big, has made some great catches and can run with the ball,” another scout said.
Ezekiel Elliott*, RB, Ohio State: 6-0, 225. Two-year starter with 592 carries for 3,961 yards (6.7) and 43 TDs. “He’s a complete three-down back,” one scout said. “He’s really good.” Stunned some scouts by telling reporters after loss to Michigan State that he didn’t get the ball enough and was done as a Buckeye. “Declaring for the draft and making those statements right after a loss were very disappointing,” another scout said. “Is he a selfish player? Is it all about him? He’s going to have to answer a lot of questions.” Ran a 4.47 40.
Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama: 6-3, 307. Played two seasons of junior college before starting two seasons for Crimson Tide. “I didn’t realize how well he ran until he chased down (Carson) Wentz in the Senior Bowl,” one scout said. “I’d take him (mid-first round) and not look back. You don’t see his pass rush but I think he can. I think he can play nose, too.” Finished with 6½ sacks and 21½ tackles for loss. “He doesn’t thrill me,” another scout said. “He’s a nose tackle. Maybe somebody will get fired up on him. Not a pass-rush guy.”
Robert Nkemdiche*, DT, Mississippi: 6-3, 294. Kicked off team 10 days before Rebels’ bowl game after having his 15-foot fall from a hotel wall interrupted by a bush. “I was drunk,” he said Friday. “It was a blunder. I have changed. I have cleaned up a little bit.” Third-year junior started 34 games. “He’s really a different kid,” said one scout. “He may scare some people. He’s strange strange.” Finished with seven sacks. “He’s got as much ability as anybody, if not more,” another scout said. “Three-technique is his best position. He’s a little bit up and down, but his good plays are very, very good. But there’s some things that have to be answered and worked through.” Added a third scout: “His character will keep him off the board for us. He’s talented enough to be in the top 10. But holy (expletive), buyer beware on this one.”
Kevin Dodd*, DE/OLB, Clemson: 6-5, 277. Fourth-year junior. “He’s a little better than (teammate) Shaq Lawson,” one scout said. “Really came on. His best games were probably the last six in his career, which always helps. Quality kid, all that stuff. He’s a 4-3 DE pass rusher or an outside backer in a 3-4.” Had 12 sacks in 39 games (15 starts).
Shaq Lawson*, DE, Clemson: 6-3, 269. Third-year junior. “Top 25,” said one scout. “Pass rusher. Long arms. Really came on this year. Played behind (Vic) Beasley in the past. Totally different than Beasley. Beasley was a speed rusher. This guy’s got speed and athleticism. He’s just a bigger guy.” Posted 20 sacks in 43 games (16 starts).
Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville: 6-1 1/2, 299. Undersized 3-technique with 29 starts in four seasons. “He’s a move guy,” one scout said. “If you put him at nose and don’t move him you’re going to be wasting him. He can run. He’ll play at 315, 320.” Models his game after Aaron Donald, J.J. Watt and Geno Atkins. “I can play in any scheme and all three downs,” he said.
Emmanuel Ogbah*, DE/OLB, Oklahoma State: 6-4, 273. Fourth-year junior. “Whoever takes him will get an excellent player,” one scout said. “He can play any position except nose. He does what they tell him to do. He plays the defense.” Consistent production (28 sacks, 36 starts) over three seasons. “Good effort player,” another scout said. “Very explosive. Late first, early second.” Arms were 35 1/2.
Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama: 6-1, 247. Started two of four years. “Ragland is a great kid, great leader, great person, great worker,” said one scout with intimate knowledge of the Crimson Tide program. “His speed is good enough.” Dropped 12 pounds in the last month, presumably in hopes of running a competitive 40 Sunday. Several scouts said he wasn’t as good as D.J. Mosley, the Alabama ILB who went in the first round to Baltimore in 2014. Scored 10 in first attempt at the Wonderlic. “Alabama runs probably the toughest defense in college football to understand, and he ran the show,” another scout said. “He had to bide his time to run the show. He did it only his senior year. He’s a pretty serious football player. Very tough, very athletic, could cover really well. Mosley is a little more versatile than Ragland but Ragland can take the pounding a little bit more.”
THE NEXT LEVEL (30)
Corey Coleman*, WR, Baylor: 5-11, 194. Caught 173 passes for 3,009 yards (17.4) and 33 TDs. “Really dynamic player,” one scout said. “Got a ton of catches and big plays. It’ll take a little bit of time when he comes in the league just like all the Baylor receivers because they don’t run a route tree. There’s a development to his game that he needs.” Compared by another scout to Anquan Boldin.
Josh Doctson, WR, Texas Christian: 6-2, 202. Caught 35 passes as a true freshman at Wyoming before transferring. “He’s got great hands,” one scout said. “He may have the best hands of the bunch.” Late-season wrist injury that required surgery concerns some teams. “He’s very similar to (Laquon) Treadwell,” another scout said.
Tyler Boyd*, WR, Pittsburgh: 6-1, 197. Established school records with 254 receptions and 3,361 yards (13.2) in three seasons. “Very smooth,” said one scout. “Good hands. Good route runner. He has a chance to be in the latter part of the first (round).” Ran a disappointing 4.58.
Hunter Henry*, TE, Arkansas: 6-5, 250. Moved to the head of the tight end group after Alabama’s O.J. Howard returned for his senior season. “It’d be a reach to take a tight end in the first round,” one scout said. “He’s not a dynamic, special athlete, difference-maker like some of the tight ends that have come out recently. Like Eric Ebron or Jordan Reed or Tyler Eifert or Zach Ertz or Travis Kelce. All those guys had more athletic-receiver traits than this guy.” Much faster than Green Bay’s Richard Rodgers and has comparable hands, according to another scout. “He’s a complete tight end,” said one scout. “More of a pass catcher but he’s got enough size to block.” Started 30 of 38 games, finishing with 116 receptions for 1,661 (14.3) and nine TDs.
Jack Conklin*, T, Michigan State: 6-6, 308. Walk-on from Plainwell, Mich., who earned scholarship shortly after his redshirt season. “He’s a mass blocker, not an explosive blocker,” one scout said. “I think he’s a guard or a right tackle.” Started 35 games at LT and three at RT. “He’s a typical Big Ten offensive lineman,” another scout said. “Big, tough, nasty. Late first round.” Added a third scout: “Finisher. Doesn’t have elite left tackle feet but his feet are good enough. Very consistent.” He compared Conklin to Green Bay RT Bryan Bulaga. 40 time of 5.00.
Taylor Decker, T, Ohio State: 6-7, 310. Started all 42 games from 2013-’15 at LT. “He’ll end up being a right tackle,” one scout said. “OK athlete. Tough kid, smart, good length. He just ends up being so high he gets pushed. He’s better than the (Jack) Mewhort kid was.” Co-captain in 2015. “I’m not as excited about him,” a second scout said. “He does have some toughness and is pretty sound in his technique, but he’s limited athletically.” Just 20 reps on the bench press.
Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama: 6-4, 311. Three-year starter. “Great kid,” said one scout. “Leader. Has great initial quickness. Savvy. He’s not overly powerful. Turned down the Senior Bowl. Plays with leverage. Athletic enough in the screen game. Really good at the second level.” Took over in 2013 for long-time starter Barrett Jones. “He’s significantly better than Barrett Jones,” said another scout. “Not even in the same category. Jones didn’t have nearly the ability that Kelly has. He’s the best center in the draft.”
Jason Spriggs, T, Indiana: 6-6, 301. Started 47 games at LT. “He may go late one or top of two,” said one scout. “Athletic kid. Had a good Senior Bowl. He’s got size, he’s got length and does have left tackle type feet. He’ll continue to rise.” Excelled in three other sports as a high school athlete. “Strictly a left tackle,” another scout said. “He is athletic. Maybe he sits a year and works his way into the lineup. Offensive linemen go (early) because there’s such a need, but I don’t see him being any more than a solid starter.” Turned in a sensational workout. His 40 time of 4.94 was the best among offensive linemen, and he did 31 reps on the bench.
Shon Coleman*, T, Auburn: 6-5, 307. Was diagnosed with leukemia in spring 2010, underwent treatment and finally was cleared for limited practice two years later. “He’s actually a very humble kid,” one scout said. “That (leukemia) is a big deal now. He had 30 months of treatment. That kind of slowed him down, but he’s a worker.” Backed up Greg Robinson in 2013 before making 25 starts at LT. “Very talented,” another scout said. “That offense is hard to evaluate because they don’t do a lot of traditional, basic pass protection.”
Nick Martin, C-G, Notre Dame: 6-4, 299. Older brother Zack was a four-year starter at LT for the Irish before being drafted in the first round by Dallas in 2014 as a RG. “He’s close to his brother only because of blood,” one scout said. “He’s just not as good a player. Not as athletic. He’ll play in the league, yes.” Most of his 37 starts were at center but also projects to guard. “Tough, try-hard kid,” another scout said. “He’s got the intangibles like his brother but not the athlete.”
Cody Whitehair, G, Kansas State: 6-4, 301. Four-year starter. “He was a college left tackle but will be a guard,” one scout said. “Probably the best guard in the draft. Very steady. Always in great position. Great feet. Knows how to play.” Handicapped to an extent by short arms (32 inches). “He’s stiff,” said another scout. “I’m not as enthused with him as other people. Real smart guy.” Hurt himself with merely 16 reps on the bench.
Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State: 6-4, 217. Three-year starter with a 34-5 record. “He’s got a great winning percentage, an average arm and a quick release,” one scout said. “I don’t know if his teammates really love him.” Wasn’t elected as a team captain. “He can make all the throws and he’s got some strength to him and he can run,” another scout said. “It’s all the other stuff. How much he really likes ball and how much he’s going to work at it. He likes being a celebrity.” NFL passer rating was 95.1. “Cook speaks well and looks good when he speaks, but he’s not the sharpest guy,” a third scout said. “He’s not a high football IQ guy.”
Christian Hackenberg*, QB, Penn State: 6-4, 223. Third-year junior. “He’s got an incredible amount of talent,” one scout said. “There are times he makes incredible throws and times he makes stupid throws. Does the pressure rattle him? That’s the key. The changeover in coaches has probably brought him down.” Flourished as a freshman (NFL passer rating of 89.0) before coach Bill O’Brien departed for the Texans. His rating in 2014-’15 dipped to 75.6. “After his freshman year people looked at him as the first pick in the draft,” another scout said. “He could be as talented as any of these quarterbacks. He’s got the arm, the body and is actually a competitor. But the coaches there at Penn State didn’t play to his strengths. A premier type talent like that is so hard to find these days. I could see him going latter part of the first round.”
Derrick Henry*, RB, Alabama: 6-3, 247. Heisman Trophy winner started just 17 of 41 games. “He’s very similar to (Eddie) Lacy,” one scout said. “He’s the workhorse.” Rushed for 2,219 yards last season, bringing his three-year totals to 602 carries for 3,591 (6.0) and 42 TDs. “Great kid,” another scout said. “Great production. Strong runner. Had a lot of wear and tear. Upright style of running.” 40 time of 4.54.
Noah Spence*, DE, Eastern Kentucky: 6-2, 251. Ended up at Eastern Kentucky after being suspended indefinitely at Ohio State for failed drug tests. “Multiple trust things got him kicked out,” said one scout. “Some question marks about his character. Pass rushers are a premium, and he is that.” Had a strong week at the Senior Bowl. “He could go anywhere from 15 to 35,” a second scout said. “It’s all on the off-field stuff. All it takes is one team to be OK with it. Especially with guys like Randy Gregory…you get nervous.” Played well as an outside linebacker at OSU. Had 11 1/2 sacks in only season at EKU.
Andrew Billings*, NT, Baylor: 6-0½, 311. Third-year junior with 30 starts. “They bill him as the strongest college football player,” one scout said. “He’s a limited athlete, but he’s got incredible strength.” Had 5 1/2 sacks in 2015. Likens his style of play to Vince Wilfork. “He’s the true nose,” another scout said. “They rant and rave about how strong he is, but he just doesn’t play that way all the time. I see him second or third round.”
Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech: 6-4, 323. Two-year starter with extremely long arms (35 1/8) and large hands (10 3/4). “Big 5-technique,” one scout said. “He can do a lot of things. I’d be a little skittish of him there (late first round).” Just five sacks in 48 games (28 starts). “Everybody here loves him,” another scout said. “More second round. Nose tackle and 3-technique.”
Jonathan Bullard, DE, Florida: 6-3, 285. Started 36 of 50 games. “He had his best year (in 2015),” one scout said. “Thought about coming out last year. Helped himself. He’s been dinged up. More of a 4-3 DE than an outside linebacker. He’ll go second or third round just because of limitations on flexibility.” Posted 12 sacks and 33 1/2 tackles for loss.
Kenny Clark*, DT, UCLA: 6-3, 314. Third-year junior. “Very similar to Billings,” one scout said. “Good football player. Second round. He has always played nose.” A scout for a 3-4 team said Clark fits better as a 3-technique. “He has some pass rush in him,” the scout said. “Wish he was more consistent.” Two-year starter with seven sacks.
Austin Johnson*, DT, Penn State: 6-4, 314. Fourth-year junior. “Fits multiple schemes,” said one scout. “Late first, early second. Like him. Plays more 3-technique but he can play nose.” Registered 8 1/2 sacks in 38 games (28 starts). Short arms (32 3/4). “For me it’s all about running to the ball,” Johnson said. “I like 3-technique but I can play whatever.”
Adolphus Washington, DT, Ohio State: 6-3, 298. Prevented from playing in the bowl game by coach Urban Meyer after his arrest for soliciting a prostitute. “I think about it on a daily basis,” he said. “I had never been in trouble or failed a drug test. It was just an impulsive decision.” Finished with 13 1/2 sacks in 49 games (31 starts). “Losing the last game because of that…God, what an idiot,” said one scout. “He’s a late second-rounder now.” Wonderlic of 16. “I like him but he gets knocked around, he really does,” another scout said. “He plays light. He’s got a good first step. He’s a 3-technique all the way.”
Chris Jones*, DT, Mississippi State: 6-6, 310. Third-year junior. “Interesting guy. Real interesting,” one scout said. “Big long guy. Can run. I don’t know if he knows he don’t know (anything) yet. Five-technique. He can rush. Second round.”
Started just three games in first two seasons before starting 13 at DT in ’15. “He could easily be in the top 50 but he is such a dog,” said another scout. “He’s an underachiever. Very good ability.” Said Jones: “I’m a flamboyant personality. I’m a cheerful guy. Sky’s the limit.”
Leonard Floyd*, OLB, Georgia: 6-6, 244. Fourth-year junior. “He has a DeMarcus Ware kind of body,” one scout said. “Could play D-end, could play outside backer. Has first-round traits and some third-round, fourth-round inconsistency.” Started 32 of 38 games, finishing with 17 sacks. “His lack of bulk and strength is going to be a concern for some teams,” another scout said. “He’s got good pass-rush skills and instincts. People will be concerned about him because of Barkevious Mingo and Dion Jordan in recent years.”
Jaylon Smith*, ILB, Notre Dame: 6-2, 240. Seven weeks removed from suffering knee damage (torn ACL, torn lateral collateral ligament, some nerve damage) and might not be ready to play at all in 2016. “If he didn’t have the blown knee I think he’s in the top 10,” one scout said. “Maybe he falls because of that and is there for Green Bay (at No. 27). If so, they lucked into a great player.” Third-year junior with 39 starts in 39 games. “I view myself as the best player in the draft,” he said. “I’m going to be a very impactful player for a long time.” Projects inside in a 3-4 and on the weak side in a 4-3. “Athletic, really good pass rusher and he’s also got cover skills,” another scout said. “He’s better than Manti Te’o.”
Darron Lee*, OLB, Ohio State: 6-1, 232. Redshirt sophomore started all 28 games in 2014-’15. “Run, see, hit type guy,” one scout said. “Little bit like Myles Jack. Very athletic. Little undersized. 4-3 ‘will’ or 3-4 inside backer. Immediate nickel backer.” Had 12 sacks, 27½ tackles for loss and three interceptions. “More of a finesse guy than anything,” another scout said. “Has to be covered up. He goes out and plays on the slot a lot. First-round talent.”
Su’a Cravens*, OLB-S, Southern California: 6-1, 226. Projects himself as another Deone Bucannon, the Cardinals’ strong safety who shifted to ILB in ’15. “I think that’s what this kid is,” said one scout. “Probably a nickel backer. For a 4-3 team he’s probably not much different than Shaq Thompson that went in the first round (No. 25) last year. I don’t see him being a first. I just don’t see the production.” His 14 turnover plays included nine picks. “He’s not (Troy) Polamalu but he’s a good player,” another scout said. “Everybody wants to make a linebacker out of him. I think he can play safety.”
Eli Apple*, CB, Ohio State: 6-1, 199. Redshirt sophomore renounced final two seasons of eligibility. “He’s raw,” one scout said. “He’s a man-cover corner. He’d benefit from not having to start right off the bat. Not getting beat early. The physical stuff is there. He gets by with size and speed but not really good fundamentals. That’s great on the college level where they allow you to grab downfield.” Had four picks, 18 passes defensed.
Kendall Fuller*, CB, Virginia Tech: 5-11, 187. Third-year junior. Suffered torn meniscus three games into last season, underwent a microfracture procedure and never returned. “If he wasn’t hurt he’d be a first-rounder,” one scout said. “He’ll probably end up being top of the second based on size and ability. His sophomore film really was very good.” Older brothers Vincent (CB-S), Corey (WR) and Kyle (CB) all either played or are playing in the NFL. “He’s faster than his brother in Chicago (Kyle),” said another scout. “He’s not as good a football player or as strong.”
Xavien Howard*, CB, Baylor: 6-0, 201. Fourth-year junior. “He probably has a chance to be a late first because of the height-weight-speed factor,” one scout said. “Top 50 for sure. Man-cover corner. Decent ball skills. He is tough to throw on. Not a lot of balls completed on him. He can run with almost all receivers. He tracks the ball well. Physical.” Picked off 10 passes in 39 games.
Artie Burns*, CB, Miami: 6-0, 193. Third-year junior. “He’s going to run very well (Monday),” one scout said. “Then he’ll climb.” Started 23 of 36 games, finishing with seven interceptions. “Howard is a much better player but he could slide into the top 50 because of the nature of the position, the size and the speed,” said another scout. “I don’t love him. He’s not very instinctive. More of a height-weight-speed type player that shows flashes.”
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