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Non-first-round pairings throwing myself out on a long limb

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Recent posts by Eric Edholm

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Posted April 04, 2007 @ midnight
Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

As part of my contribution to the draft blogosphere, I thought I would roll the dice a little and project certain players going to certain teams past the first round. We spend so much time looking at the first 32 picks, and rightfully so, that we often forget about which matches could be made thereafter.

I am hoping for maybe a 15-percent success ratio — so if I project, say, 50 potential players (about 1.5 per team) being drafted by a given team in Rounds 2-7, that means I would actually get 7-8 right. I think I can do that.

This is based on a bunch of information I have culled from NFL people, media reports, second-hand info I have gotten from the guys around the office and Nolan Nawrocki’s “hot list” from this year’s draft magazine. I’ll do this once a week up until the draft, starting with the two East divisions:

AFC East

New England

Florida State WR Chris Davis — Another receiver? Yes, after an offseason of collecting at the position, you heard it here: the Pats will draft another one. That other one could be Davis, who just looks like a Patriots receiver, doesn’t he? He’s not tall. But he’s shifty, he’s a hard worker and he look s like a poor man’s Troy Brown. I say Davis to the Pats in Round Four.

Brown OLB Zak DeOssie — Beyond the fact that his dad played for Bill Belichick in the 1980s, DeOssie fits the Mike Vrabel mold of “Sam” linebacker and would be a good special-teamer from Day One. Classic fifth-round pick (though they might have to get him in the fourth), and the Pats just picked one up as a compensatory choice.


Michigan State OG-C Kyle Cook — Hudson Houck was there to watch his Pro Day, and the coach has a history of taking less-than-athletic-but-technically-sound guys such as Cook and making them very efficient linemen. Would be a nice pickup in Round Six.

New York Jets

Michigan ILB David Harris — Yes, the team drafted Ohio State ILB Anthony Schlegel in Round Three last year, and Harris plays the same spot, but he’s a more athletic version who could fit inside or outside in 3-4 or 4-3 fronts — perfect for the Jets’ scheme. Harris would be a good choice at either of the team’s second-round picks, Nos. 59 or 63.

Utah DT Paul Soliai — A natural two-gapper who doesn’t have the athleticism to fit into the first two rounds, but he’s the most massive nose tackle in the draft and he’d give Eric Mangini his Ted Washington clone. Soliai to the Jets in Round Three, 89th overall.


Florida WR Dallas Baker — A potential fourth-round pick who would bring high character and nice size opposite Lee Evans. They pick 12th on the second day, 111th overall, and that would be a perfect landing spot for a good college player who got a little caught up in a numbers game at WR-rich Florida.

NFC East


Alabama State DB Michael Coe — Though Coe might be slipping on other teams’ boards, Jerry Jones loves small-school guys, especially DBs. This would be a good fit with the Cowboys’ third-rounder, No. 87.

Idaho State QB Matt Gutierrez — Projecting seventh-round picks is somewhat of a joke, but I could see Jones being intrigued by Gutierrez’s size, arm strength and character. Remember, Jones had a thing for Drew Henson — another Michigan product. Gutierrez was supposed to be the next big thing in Ann Arbor before getting hurt, giving Chad Henne a chance, and transferring to Idaho State.

N.Y. Giants

Alabama FB Le’Ron McClain — He’s an old-school throwback bruiser who would carry out Tom Coughlin’s message and fit the team’s need for a big fullback in their power-run game. The team probably would have to consider him in the fourth round.


Virginia Tech WR David Clowney — Maybe he’s a tad too much like Reggie Brown, but Clowney has the size-speed ratio to work well in Philly’s West Coast offense, and they don’t need him to play right away. He can take over Jason Avant’s spot as the receiver who sits and watches next season. A good pick in Round Three.


Georgia Tech DT Joe Anoai — Sixty NFL personnel were at Tech’s Pro Day, including a prominent contingent from the Washington Redskins: Dan Snyder, Joe Gibbs, Al Saunders and Vinny Cerrato. Of course, they were there to see Calvin Johnson work out, but they reportedly left impressed with Anoai — who has four family members that are professional wrestlers — as a late-round possibility. We’ll say he goes in Round Six, where the ‘Skins have two picks.

Arkansas DT Keith Jackson — Whoa, Nelly! Another Snyder pick: Jackson has name value (his father was a six-time Pro Bowler). The Skins were all over Arkansas’ Pro Day, too, but left underwhelmed by DE Jamaal Anderson, a projected first-rounder. Jackson is a seventh-rounder, or maybe an undrafted free agent, who fits with Washington. The Redskins need multiple defensive linemen.

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