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Norris: Best Available Day Two

by Josh Norris
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

There are so many different reasons why these prospects are still on the board. Some still have questions around their makeup. Others have questions around their evaluation. And then even more likely rank higher on my board than NFL teams’.


The second day of the draft is always my favorite. So much talent is still available. If players near the top of this list are still available in day three, especially the later portions, they were likely removed from numerous boards due to medical or character issues.


Best Available (overall ranking in parenthesis):


1. (7) LB Eric Kendricks, UCLA

(SPARQ%: 84.3)


NFL Comparison: Sean Lee


Where He Wins: One of the best coverage linebackers I have seen. His Virginia game is my favorite of any prospect this year. Aggressive. Attacks ball carries rather than just waiting at the second level. Best at working around blocks with angles and quicks but not afraid to hold his own. Can play multiple linebacker spots.


2. (8) EDGE Randy Gregory, Nebraska

(SPARQ%: 85.9)


Where He Wins: There is plenty of edge speed and fluidity, especially laterally. Does not get the credit he deserves for hand use to win on first contact. Lifts and controls wrists to separate. Package includes the effort he gives on passing down get-offs. Actually plays the run well in many instances, like versus Wisconsin (watch it before citing Melvin Gordon III).


3. (10) OL La'El Collins, LSU

(SPARQ%: 25.3)


Undrafted is a real possibility.


Where He Wins: Length and strength compensates for deficiencies in other areas. Gets to the second level very well and looks to maul. Does not get the credit he deserves in terms of mobility and functional athleticism. Will have one or three bad snaps per game, but luck partially determines impact. He can absolutely play left tackle.


4. (12) DL Henry Anderson, Stanford

(SPARQ%: 73.7)


NFL Comparison: Chris Canty


Where He Wins: He might play with a high pad level, but Anderson has tremendous strength through his hands and couples it with great length to press and push his opponent backwards. Will work best as a 3-tech, but might give some teams looks as a 5-tech. That versatility will be nice for teams who use multiple fronts. He displayed a variety of moves in 1 on 1s.


5. (13) EDGE Preston Smith, Miss State

(SPARQ%: 84.2)


NFL Comparison: On the Malik Jackson, Justin Tuck spectrum


Where He Wins: Converts speed to power very well when on the outside/edge, and uses quickness with strength when moved inside. Many teams could benefit from utilizing an outside to inside disruptor. Gives me the warm and fuzzy feeling Malik Jackson did.


6. (14) WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Oklahoma

(Age: 22) (SPARQ%: 48.4)


Where He Wins: Wins in the big (catch point in contested situations) and small (separation and yards after catch) receiver games. Plays like a specimen at the position in terms of fluidity for his size and there seems to be a lot of natural ability to work with, at a position where natural ability often separates great from good.


7. (17) EDGE Owamagbe Odighizuwa, UCLA

(SPARQ%: 95.6)


Where He Wins: Speed to power is the name of his game. Owa has one of the best get offs in this class and can run around the edge with that step advantage with strength or explode into his opponent with hands and length if his path is blocked. Hand use and motor account for his counter.


8. (20) DL Grady Jarrett, Clemson

(SPARQ%: 86.7)


Where He Wins: Added 16 pounds for the Combine and still showed great movement skills. Added weight was due to travel schedule. Is so quick to beat reach blocks or win the leverage advantage, then transitions to using speed and balance. Holds up well against the run as well. Can play both the 1 technique and 3 technique.


9. (21) S Landon Collins, Alabama

(SPARQ%: 31.5)


Where He Wins: I was able to get All-22 for Collins. There is a lot to work with. He was an impact player when aggressively moving forward. Also played single high when Alabama rotated safeties. I wouldn’t say he shines there, but Collins has experience in advanced coverages. Some teams might view him as an outside linebacker.


10. (28) TE Maxx Williams, Minnesota

(Age: 21) (SPARQ%: 21.1)


Where He Wins: Has put together some of the best highlight reel catches we've seen at the position. Has been impactful both inline and when split in the slot or out wide. Only needs to be willing and adequate as a blocker to stay on the field on all downs, and he is at least that.


11. (29) LB Paul Dawson, TCU

(SPARQ%: 13)


Where He Wins: A missile once he diagnoses and attacks. He stands 6'0/230 lbs, so is Dawson really undersized? He plays big thanks to power and aggression. This is a leap of faith on my part, due to poor athletic testing.


12. (30) OL Jake Fisher, Oregon

(SPARQ%: 94.2)


Where He Wins: An outstanding athlete at the position. Fisher is best at mirroring and accomplishing his assignment, especially as a pass protector. That athleticism allows him to compensate for other deficiencies. Might be the best true ZBS or slant blocking T in this class. Expect some teams to look at him at guard too.


13. (34) RB Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

(Age: 21) (SPARQ%: 97.3)


Where He Wins: The explosive testing is evident on the field. The straight line speed and vision helps him pick up the yards blocked and lateral explosion with compact strength helps create. Patience behind the line versus a stacked box allows him to find lanes. Abdullah is also a comfortable receiver.


14. (35) RB Jay Ajayi, Boise State

(Age: 21) (SPARQ%: 69.2)


Where He Wins: A very unique back for his size. Ajayi is very fluid and can really create yards in the open field. He has straight line speed and flashes beating contact against smaller defenders. Other times, Ajayi goes down easily and fails to locate holes behind the line of scrimmage. Ajayi would thrive in a Matt Forte/Marc Trestman receiving back role.


15. (36) RB David Cobb, Minnesota

(Age: 21) (SPARQ%: 27.3)


Where He Wins: We all have our bias, and Cobb is my type of running back: always falling forward for a few extra yards or beating contact in the backfield to create positive yards. One speed runner but comfortable in trash or in space. Has a nice foundation as a receiving back.


16. (37) RB T.J. Yeldon, Alabama

(Age: 21) (SPARQ%: 54.6)


Where He Wins: A glider. Yeldon has an easy running style and could shine in a zone blocking scheme. There is patience followed by decisiveness. Another back who falls forward on final contact to pick up that extra yard or two. Displays acceleration when seeing the goal line.


17. (40) CB/S Eric Rowe, Utah

(SPARQ%: 94.4)


Where He Wins: A supreme athlete who teams will evaluate at both cornerback and safety. Right now he relies on his athleticism and length to make up for separation rather than anticipating movements. He has played in press man and bail situations, along with the slot. Aggressive blitzer when called upon. Very willing to disrupt the catch point.


18. (41) WR Devin Funchess, Michigan

(Age: 21) (SPARQ%: 67.7)


Where He Wins: Has the level of ability to win in the contested catch game much more consistently than he did in 2015. Movement skills for his size are very intriguing. Can be used in a big slot role or along the sideline. Flashes yards after catch ability with short area quickness. Why line him up inline as a tight end?


19. (42) WR Devin Smith, Ohio State

(Age: 23) (SPARQ%: 65.1)


Where He Wins: The definition of a role player, which is great. No receiver in this class is better at combining straight line speed, vertical jump timing and strong hands to win downfield. He will really stress defenses in the deeper portions of the field. Also a very good special teamer. Question is if his receiving game grows beyond where it is now.


20. (45) LB Benardrick McKinney, Miss State

(SPARQ%: 70.9)


Where He Wins: Will be called “old school” and “traditional” for his style. McKinney can get downhill with power and little wasted movement when tracking down ball carriers. Seems at least adequate in short zones in coverage. Auburn did expose his over-pursuit/lack of recovery quickness, but they do that to many players.


21. (46) OL T.J. Clemmings, Pittsburgh

(SPARQ%: 69)


Where He Wins: Length and strength. As Lance Zierlein said, he has the level of ability to be a starting tackle. Is it inexperience or rawness that is causing him to not trust his feet or not utilize an inside armbar to prevent lateral moves?


22. (48) EDGE Frank Clark, Michigan

(SPARQ%: 94.7)


Where He Wins: One of the better speed to power rushers in this class. Also has enough upfield explosion to gain the edge on heavy footed offensive tackles. Stocky build helps him keep balance around the corner when given separation and angles. I cannot comment on the off-field charges.


23. (49) WR Tre McBride, William & Mary

(Age: 22) (SPARQ%: 85.3)


Where He Wins: I believe McBride develops into a nice No. 2 option for a team. He creates separation in his routes with precision and quickness. He also wins in contested situations. The top Shrine prospect heading into the week and the top one exiting.


24. (51) DL Carl Davis, Iowa

(SPARQ%: 63)


25. (52) DL Michael Bennett, Ohio State

(SPARQ%: 63)


26. (53) WR Justin Hardy, ECU

(Age: 23) (SPARQ%: 27.6)


27. (54) WR Rashad Greene, FSU

(Age: 22) (SPARQ%: 29.9)


28. (56) WR Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

(Age: 22) (SPARQ%: 46)


29. (57) C/G Shaq Mason, Georgia Tech

(SPARQ%: 78.7)


30. (58) G John Miller, Louisville

(SPARQ%: 49.9)


31. (59) G Tre Jackson, FSU

(SPARQ%: 16.3)


32. (60) EDGE Eli Harold, Virginia

(SPARQ%: 84)

Josh Norris
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 .