As I write this we are a little more than two weeks away from the 2017 NFL Draft. NFL teams have their big boards pretty much set and are putting the finishing touches on their strategies for draft night.
At this point prospects’ stock is pretty much decided in-house. But that won’t stop their stock from changing in the eyes of the media at large. Those changes will come from two sources: league sources cluing reporters and draft experts in on what teams are actually thinking, and last-minute decisions from film study or over-analysis.
The NFL Network’s Mike Mayock is one of the most well-respected draft guys around, and one of the most well-connected. He does his own work, but he also listens to what his contacts around the league are saying.
Wednesday morning Mayock released the third iteration of his positional rankings, and it features some big changes along the line of scrimmage.
1. Cam Robinson, Alabama
2. Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin
3. Garett Bolles, Utah
4. Taylor Moton, Western Michigan
5. Antonio Garcia, Troy
Rise: Robinson (previously No. 2 interior OL), Moton (T-5)
Fall: Ramczyk (1), Bolles (2), Garcia (3), Roderick Johnson, Florida State (4), Jermaine Eluemunor, Texas A&M (T-5)
1. Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky
2. Dan Feeney, Indiana
3. Dion Dawkins, Temple
4. Pat Elflein, Ohio State
T-5. Ethan Pocic, LSU
T-5. Dorian Johnson, Pitt
Rise: Feeney (3), Dawkins (4), Elflein (T-5), Johnson (NR)
Raptor’s Take: It’s interesting that Mayock moved Robinson from his second guard to his top tackle. The shift is likely from the impressions he has gotten from the league, but the talent is there. Robinson wasn’t consistent, but he has all the traits teams look for in a starting tackle. He might not be the first off the board, but his upside is there. The rise of Moton is likely due to his combine workout, where the big bodied lineman proved to have some of the best movement skills in the tackle class, especially for his size.
Robinson’s shift opened up a void in the interior rankings which opened the door for Pittsburgh’s Dorian Johnson to move into the top-5, someplace I’ve always felt he should be.
1. Jonathan Allen, Alabama
2. Chris Wormley, Michigan
3. Malik McDowell, Michigan State
4. Caleb Brantley, Florida
T-5. Larry Ogunjobi, Charlotte
T-5. Dalvin Tomlinson, Alabama
Rise: Wormley (5), Tomlinson (NR)
Fall: Brantley (2), Ogunjobi (4)
1. Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
2. Solomon Thomas, Stanford
3. Derek Barnett, Tennessee
4. Takkarist McKinley, UCLA
5. Charles Harris, Missouri
Rise: Harris (NR)
Fall: Tim Williams, Alabama (5)
Raptor’s Take: The biggest move here is the jump of Chris Wormley from fifth to second. The versatile Michigan lineman proved to be the most athletic interior defender in the draft. He often played defensive end, but his future is likely at 3-technique or 5-technique depending on scheme and sub-package. Also of note is Tim Williams, who fell out of Mayock’s top five. Rumors of significant off-field red flags and a disappointing workout seem to have torpedoed his draft stock despite an impressive resume as a pass rusher.
Take a look at the rest of Mayock’s rankings and tell us what you think.