2017 NFL Draft – Safeties and the Best of the Rest

I’ve gone over the major needs positions in the last few weeks (OL, DE, LB, CB), and today I’m going to kind of give you the best of the rest. Today I’ll look at safeties, DT’s, and a couple of TE’s. I can’t believe the draft is TOMORROW! We’ve talked and discussed all these prospects for months and months and now it will all be over in one long weekend. I hope we ALL enjoy the draft, and it gives us a lot more optimism heading into the 2017 season.

Malik Hooker S 6’1” 206 Ohio State

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We know the guy has talent, but he’s basically a one year wonder. Hooker played in 6 games his Freshman season, and then really put himself on the map with a great Sophomore season, starting 13 games for Ohio St. He finished with 74 tackles (43 solo), 5.5 TFL’s, 4 passes defensed, and a whopping 7 INT’s (3 returns for TD’s). Obviously Hooker has off the charts ball skills, but he is a prospect that is still very new at the safety position, and still has a lot of learning to do as to how to play the position. He will likely be off the board before we pick, but you never know. Hooker was unable to perform at the combine and his pro day due to having sports hernia and labrum surgeries. He is the top rated safety on NFL.com at 6.7
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Jabrill Peppers  S  5’11” 213  Michigan

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Polarizing figure for sure. Some here think he’s the best thing sliced bread. Others feel he’s a man without a true position. In any case, the guy has terrific athletic ability. He was used in various ways at Michigan, and in some ways, the fact that he didn’t get to concentrate on one position may have hurt him with some teams, and helped him with others that seek his versatility. Peppers started his Sophomore and Junior years. He finished his last year with 66 tackles (46 solo), 13 TFL’s, 3 sacks, 1 pass defensed, and 1 INT. So what you see here are not elite safety stats, and the 1 pass defensed and 1 INT indicate coverage is not his best suit. Possibly not his fault due to the way he was used, more like a LB near the LOS. In any case, as it’s been said by many experts, his best chance to succeed will be for a team that has a specific plan for him. Peppers did very well at the combine (besides the drug test), running a 4.46 40. He happens to be an elite return man, and that’s a plus for him as well, but I don’t think he’s a guy you just throw out there as a safety and expect him all of a sudden to be able to cover. NFL.com has Peppers rated at 6.06.
Oh, and Peppers was found to have a diluted drug test sample at the combine, which means once he signs, he will be in the NFL’s substance abuse program. He was just thirsty, give the guy a break, will ya! Anyone remember the last Gibril?
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Budda Baker  S  5’10” 195  Washington

Washington Arizona Football

Baker was a 3 YR starter for the Huskies. His Junior season, Budda finished up with 70 tackles (48 solo), 9.5 TFL’s, 3 sacks, 5 passes defensed, 1 FF, and 2 INT’s. Baker is a former HS sprinter, and he did well at the combine, running a 4.45, a 6.76 cone, and a 4.08 20 yard shuttle. Budda is definitely undersized, and I’m sure many wonder if he can hold up in the NFL. Definitely too small to match up with TE’s, Baker maybe a deep safety who can also play some small nickel. The guy has tons of heart, and likes to mix it up, but I’d be worried about his size, which is nearly maxed out at 195 lbs. NFL.com has Baker rated at 5.91
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Obi Melifonwu  S  6’4” 224  Connecticut

NCAA Football: Temple at Connecticut

Help us Obi Meli Fonwu! You’re our only hope! 4 YR starter at Connecticut. Obi finished his Senior season with 118 tackles (73 solo), 3 passes defensed, 1 FR, and 4 INT’s. This guy is a freak athlete. Ran a 4.4 40, jumped out of the combine with a 44” vertical, and nearly set the broad jump world record with a 144” jump. OK, so he has elite size and athleticism. What could be wrong? He’s a little slow to react what he’s seeing, and hasn’t shown good instincts. He does however, have the size to match up very well with TE’s, and that’s the type of defender I’ve been looking at for quite some time. He’s compared to the Bengals safety George Iloka who I pined for here in that draft, but he’s Iloka on steroids. He may not be ready to start now, he may take time to develop, but I’d love to see this kid on the Dolphins. NFL.com has Obi rated at 5.77
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Josh Jones  S  6’1” 220  N.C. State

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3 YR starter at NC State, Jones completed his Junior season totaling 109 tackles, (62 solo), 4 TFL’s, 1 sack, 8 passes defensed, 1 FF, 1 FR, and 3 INT’s. Jones has great size and speed, and showed up well at the combine running a 4.41 40. Very aggressive player with excellent leaping ability to challenge receivers. Loves to hit, but sometimes foregoes proper wrap up technique and looks to just lay the lumber. Can play in the box or in CF. I like his size and attitude, and could be a nice 2nd or 3rd RD pick. NFL.com has Jones rated at 5.88
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Malik McDowell  DT/DE  6’6” 295  Michigan St.

12.05.15_MSU FTBL VS IOWA (BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME)

Has played both DE and DT, and will likely continue to do so in the NFL. That kind of versatility will only help him. 3 YR starter, McDowell in his Junior year totaled 34 tackles (20 solo), 7 TFL’s, and 1.5 sacks. Not very explosive, the big guy ran well enough posting a 4.85 40 at 295 lbs. Only put up 23 reps, but he’s got those long arms. Interesting prospect with elite size, He needs a lot of coaching, and probably endurance training. He fades away at times during games, and is it heart, or exhaustion? Some scouts think he can be a dominant player, so he may be in play for us. Most likely a 1st RD pick. NFL.com has McDowell rated at 6.22
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Chris Wormley DT/DE  6’5” 298  Michigan

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Another versatile big man who can play both inside and outside. Wormley was a 4 YR starter at Michigan, and finished his last season with 36 tackles (18 solo), 7.5 TFL’s, and 5.5 sacks. Wormley didn’t perform at the combine because of a hamstring injury, but did very well at his pro day. Wormley ran a 4.86 40, a 4.59 20 yard shuttle, a 1.62 10 yard dash. and a 31.5” vertical.  Needs to work on his pass rushing skills (as many prospects do) His defensive coordinator loved the kid, so that’s a plus. Good leader with good character. NFL.com has Wormley rated at 5.83
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Montravius Adams DT  6’4” 304  Auburn

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4 YR starter at Auburn. Turned in an impressive season, totaling 43 tackles (26 solo), 8 TFL’s, 4 sacks, 1 FF, 2 FR’s, and 2 passes defensed, and 1 INT. Played his last season with an improved motor compared to his Junior season. Not necessarily a starter at the moment, could be a good rotational guy at the present. NFL.com has Adams rated at 5.68
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Bucky Hodges TE  6’6” 257  VA Tech

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3 YR starter at VA Tech, Hodges has the prototypical TE size. Hodges totaled 48 receptions for 691 yards for a 14.4 YPC avg, and hauled in 7 TD’s in his Junior season. Hodges ran an impressive 4.57 40, an equally impressive 39” vertical and 134” broad jump. This kid is obviously an excellent athlete who can make the high point catch. Not a great route runner, and is a converted QB. Needs to hit the weight room too, not very powerful at the present. Still, he offers definite potential down the line, and wouldn’t be a bad choice if the Dolphins are truly looking for a TE in this draft. NFL.com has Hodges rated at 5.72
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Jeremy Sprinkle TE  6’5” 252  Arkansas

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Sprinkle was a 3 YR starter at Arkansas. In his Senior season, Sprinkle finished with 33 receptions for 380 yards for an 11.5 YPC, and 4 TD’s. Besides being a good receiver, Sprinkle is also an accomplished blocker. Has long arms to keep defenders off, and is a willing blocker. Has run after catch ability and flashes a good stiff arm. Needs to hit the gym, but lots of prospects do. A good mid RD pick if we’re looking for a TE. NFL.com has Sprinkle rated at 5.54
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Remember, the draft begins at 8PM on Thursday, 4/27. Don’t miss it, and if you’re working a 13 hour day like me, you’ll STILL have time to get home and relax (YEAH RIGHT!) before we pick at #22. I have to say, we all have our opinions here, and I value all of yours, really. Just because we don’t agree on everything doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate and respect each other. Enjoy the draft, GO DOLPHINS, and ZERO IN!

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1,245 Responses to 2017 NFL Draft – Safeties and the Best of the Rest

  1. Ken says:

    Alright time to call it a night. Round 1 is done and I am still Bruce Banner

  2. Randy says:

    And there you have it. No 1st round guards in this draft….just as it should be.

  3. steveccnv says:

    I worry about Harris getting a concussion. I can see him going around the end and the QB steps up and colliding with Wake 😛

  4. The Flying Pig says:

  5. steveccnv says:

    Watching Harris he doesn’t sell out to the QB, his first job is setting the edge. I expect he’ll be better in the NFL, because he makes sure the QB isnt going to keep it in college. Doesn’t have to worry about that too much in the NFL.

    • Tim Knight says:

      He’s got that classic bend edge rush. It all started there. Then good size, athleticism, character, work ethic etc.

  6. Tim Knight says:

    DE Wake, Branch, Hayes, *Harris, Fede, Warmsley, Miley
    DT Suh, Phillips, Okoye, Williams

  7. manitobafinfan says:

    Harris : Nickname Black Ice

    Reason : you never see it coming

    Daniel Jeremiah ” you also cant drive on Black Ice”

    EarthWake, Suhnami, and Black Ice i lke it.

  8. Tim Knight says:

    Charles Harris is an Alpha. He’s self made and self-motivated. That’s why we drafted him. Oh right, that edge rush ability. This kid is all business. He wants to be great. He reminds of Terrell Suggs. A gamer.

  9. dbolt48 says:

    As a pure rusher, Harris has the best tool kit in the draft. Barnett has the best hand usage, but Harris has great hand usage also to go w/ an arsenal of moves & counters. I do agree he needs to build on becoming more stout in the run game. I can’t complain about the pick. Well in RD2 if Miami ends up w/ Tankersly you know Armando wasn’t putting out smoke screens.

  10. dbolt48 says:

    Tonight & tomorrow is when the draft becomes really fun!

  11. son of a son of a shula says:

    Told you guys Lamp wasn’t a first rounder.
    You accessorize later.

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