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Green Zone League Articles

2014 Draft Grades, Part III (21-32)
By Keith Van Wagner
Special to gzl-football.com

1.21 – OLB Casey Carter, Chargers. Casey Carter was probably the most talented natural OLB in the draft not named Jarvis. Carter is one of the bigger OLBs in the draft but has great speed (84 SPD), and only Jarvis Jones is stronger. Only area of concern is agility (73 AGI) where he’s one of the worst. GRADE: B+, KVW Player Rank: 32

1.22 – WR Josh Pietarila, Redskins. The Redskins upgrade their receiving corps dramatically with Pietarila and Patterson. Pietarila is 6’2” and has better attributes than both Hunter and Williams taken in the top 15. Great value pick. GRADE: A+, KVW Player Rank: 20

1.23 – FS Eric Reid, Rams. Safeties are often hard to justify in the first round, but the Rams hit a homerun with Reid. Reid is big enough to play strong safety and fast enough to play CB. In fact, if Reid played Corner, he’d have been a Top 3 pick GRADE: A, KVW Player Rank: 22.

1.24 – LT Austin Laurie, Steelers. Laurie has nice size (6’5”, 333 lbs) and some potential, but perhaps not enough to warrant a first round pick. Aside from his good strength (94) there’s nothing special about him, and he will require a lot of work as a pass blocker (79 PBK) GRADE: C, KVW Player Rank: 40

1.25 – SS Matt Elam, Chargers. The Chargers continue to shore up their defense by picking a SS in the first. Given his speed (93) and lack of strength (58 STR) he projects better as a free safety. A very real concern is his injury risk (79 INJ). While he may end up a decent starter, this feels like a big reach. GRADE: C-. KVW Player Rank: NR.

1.26 – CB Tyrann Mathieu, Seahawks. The Seahawks potentially stole a gem late in the first round here. Mathieu, if groomed, could be an elite CB. Though a bit undersized, he has off the charts potential. His low awareness prevented him from being a top 10 pick, but the Seahawks have the patience to nurture him. GRADE: A+. KVW Player Rank: 15

1.27 – SS Robert Lester, Colts. Lester was a big surprise here, as he wasn’t in my Top 50. Then again, I wasn’t targeting a safety so didn’t look that close. If looking for a strong safety, Jabari Jones would have been a better pick. GRADE: D, KVW Player Rank: NR

1.28 – WR Brad Edwards, Browns. Another bit of a surprise is the taking of Edwards here. I had Edwards as the 6th best WR overall, but I can see the appeal. Edwards is as fast as Austin but taller; shorter than Davis and Patterson, but much faster. Either way, hard to fault the Browns for bringing in the fastest WR in the draft. GRADE: B, KVW Player Rank: 40

1.29 – CB Leonard Johnson, Falcons. Leonard Johnson may quietly be a nice steal in the draft. There’s not much that strikes you about his game except that it’s consistently good across the board. Good, not great height, speed, and acceleration. But he also has great agility and very good hands. GRADE: B+, KVW Player Rank: 39

1.30 – HB Montee Ball, Colts. Ball has a combination of speed (90) and strength (75) that’s hard to find. Ball can likely step in and be an every down runner for the Colts, who desperately need some fresh legs to move the chains. GRADE: A-, KVW Player Rank: 43.

1.31 – CB Jamell Fleming, Saints. Fleming likely will end up becoming a solid starter for the Saints, though this feels like a reach, even at the end of the first round. Fleming has good size (5’11”) and great speed (94) so he’s not that bad of a pick. But he does enter the league with some injury issues (75 INJ) which may decrease his usefulness. GRADE: C+, KVW Player Rank: 49.

1.32 – RG Frank Capone, Chiefs. A great pick-up by the Chiefs at the end of the round. Capone is the best Guard on the board and the first one off. Capone has great strength (96 STR) and good speed and agility. The biggest knock on Capone is his size (6’2”) but this shouldn’t prevent him from being a solid starter from Day One. GRADE: B+, KVW Player Rank: 37[/b]
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