Mike Mayock’s prospects 17-32 Dan Leberfeld
17. Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
Had 33 sacks, 14 forced fumbles. With this kid, you know what you’re getting. You know what your floor is, and he might not have the same upside as some of these other kids. But I think he can play defensive end or stand up and be an outside linebacker.
18. Muhammad Wilkerson*, DT, Temple
He can play the 5-technique, and he can get kicked inside. He reminds me of Trevor Pryce.
19. Gabe Carimi, OL, Wisconsin
I think the kid is a plug-and-play right tackle. Throw him in there and he’s a starter on day one. And he’s a starter for the next 10 years. He’s got a little attitude and there’s something tough about him. He’s a good football player.
20. Jake Locker, QB, Washington
He’s got top-10 ability but he’s got a hole in his game — poor pocket awareness and accuracy within the pocket. He’s as accurate on the edges as any quarterback I’ve seen on tape. I’ve talked to a lot of NFL quarterback coaches that believe over time, a one-year period, that his pocket awareness can be corrected. He’s a little bit of a project.
21. Cam Newton*, QB, Auburn
I know, Cam Newton at 21 — why? I believe in this kid. I believe in him as an athlete, I believe in his arm strength, but I don’t believe he’s in the top 10. He’s got top-10 ability, but he’s a developmental prospect. As a general manager, I would be comfortable taking him somewhere in the 20s.
22. Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
Interesting guy. After his junior year, most would have called him a top-10 to top-15 pick. All that stuff about Erb’s Palsy and will it affect his draft stock, I say watch the tape. He’s a football player. Gabe Carimi got the better of him this year, but I though he dominated Carimi a year ago. If he goes in the low 20s, what a great football player you’re going to get.
23. Corey Liuget*, DT, Illinois
He’s a prototypical 3-technique — a defensive tackle in a 4-man front. At 298 pounds, he ran a sub-5 40. As we get closer to the draft, I expect his stock to continue to increase. A lot of upside for him.
24. Akeem Ayers*, OLB, UCLA
On tape, he’s a natural edge pass rusher. He didn’t perform well at the combine; ran in the 4.9 range in the 40. There’s also questions about whether he can handle a complicated defense, both with his hand down or standing up. But he is a great athlete and a natural 3-4 outside linebacker.
25. Nate Solder, OL, Colorado
Solder has a wonderful skill set, but he needs to get stronger and have more consistent technique. He reminds me of D’Brickashaw Ferguson in that he’s a little bit underpowered, has great feet, and an awful lot of upside. That’s value right there.
26. Aaron Williams*, DB, Texas
He didn’t run well at the combine and I didn’t think he looked particularly great, but I’ve been struggling all along with whether he’s my No. 3 corner or my top safety. Every time I look at this kid, I think you could drop him on the slot, or he could also play free safety. One thing I do know, he makes plays.
27. Cam Heyward, DT, Ohio State
In the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas, but if you watch that game, you might be convinced he’s a top 15 pick. He’s had injuries, he’s a little inconsistent, and there’s a question about where you play him, but he’s got a great motor. To me, he’s a 5-technique, the defensive end in a 3-4. Some team at the end of the first round is going to get a bargain.
28. Mike Pouncey, OL, Florida
If the name sounds familiar it should. His twin brother was an all-pro as a rookie with the Steelers last year. He’s remarkably similar to Maurkice. He didn’t test very well but he can play all three interior positions on the offensive line, and he should do it in Year 1.
29. Phil Taylor, DL, Baylor
He’s one of the biggest risers in this draft class. There aren’t many 334-pound defensive tackles in the league that have the movement skills of this kid. he’s had some off-the-field issues, but I don’t think a guy his size and with his movement skills gets out of the first round.
30. Jimmy Smith*, DB, Colorado
He had an inconsistent junior season at Colorado, but he’s a tremedous athlete. He’s long and physical, but he’s too inconsistent, which is the reason he isn’t higher up on the board.
31. Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
He lifted 225 pounds a record 49 times at the combine, and the best part about those reps is it translates to functional strength on the field. He’s a 3-technique player who can really get it done.
32. Kyle Rudolph*, TE, Notre Dame
Someone’s going to get value when they pick this guy. This guy is Rob Gronkowski. He’s an inline blocker if you need him to be, but he can also get down the field and he’s a tremendous athlete.