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Green Zone League Articles

2015 Draft Spotlight: Defense (Part 1 of 2)
By Anthony Fernandez
Special to gzl-football.com

The Defensive Edition (Part 1 of 2)
AF, GreenZone Media Committee
Friday, May 3rd, 2013

CB Travis Murphy | Tennessee | 6’1” 200lbs
Breakdown: 95SPD, 92AGI, 95ACC, 68CTH, 50STR, 60TAK, 81INJ
Travis has the makeup of a sure-fire Top 10 pick, and I would be highly surprised if he made it out of the Top 3 picks. Murphy looks a lot like last year’s top pick, Dee Milliner. Murphy did have a few injury concerns coming out of Tennessee, but that didn’t hurt Milliner’s stock last year so I don’t anticipate it to hurt here either. There are some interesting CB prospects in this draft class, but I suspect when the smoke clears Murphy will be the consensus #1 CB on most draft boards, and we all know CBs don’t last long on draft day.
Comparison: DeMarcus Milliner, Baltimore Ravens
Initial Grade: Top 10 Pick.

CB Braylon Bender | Penn State | 6’4” 213lbs
Breakdown: 88SPD, 87AGI, 89ACC, 66CTH, 73STR, 64TAK
Height is always at a premium in GZL, and Bender is the most towering prospect in the draft. We mentioned in the Offensive addition, there are FAR more tall WRs entering the league annually than there are CBs, so eventually this is going to pose a real problem for defenses. That should move Bender right up draft boards, as we’ve routinely seen big targets go early even if they are speed deficient. In Bender’s case, he has solid enough baselines that if you put the work in over 3 years of training camps, he’ll be able to cover anyone in GZL. He’s big, strong, and tough – and someone will make him a 1st Round Pick.
Comparison: Sean Smith, Miami Dolphins
Initial Grade: 1st Round Pick.

DT Sheldon Richardson | Missouri | 6’3” 294lbs
Breakdown: 70SPD, 70AGI, 78ACC, 90STR, 80TAK
Sheldon Richardson was one of the most highly touted defenders when the class first came out, but he is beginning to slide. As far as a prospect, he’s rock solid – great baseline speed, good speed, and good tackle. Unfortunately, most GMs don’t put a high premium on DT, and the class is surprisingly deep at the position. I would not be surprised to see a DT needy team snatch him up in the Top 10 picks, but he won’t last too long into the 20’s if he slides.
Comparison: Fletcher Cox, San Diego Chargers
Initial Grade: 1st Round Pick

MLB Kenrick Nielsen | Portland St. | 6’1” 244lbs
Breakdown: 87SPD, 84AGI, 85ACC, 76STR, 65CTH, 83TAK
There really are a couple LBs in this class that are almost interchangeable, but Nielson is one that will surely garner a lot of attention. While he’s a little shorter than you like in the middle, he is very quick for someone with a frame that can support 254lbs. He’s a surefire tackler, is very strong, and is almost a lock to go in the 1st round.
Comparison: Antwan Barnes, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Initial Grade: 1st Round Pick.

DE Tank Carradine | Florida State | 6’4” 276lbs
Breakdown: 80SPD, 79AGI, 87ACC, 78STR, 73TAK, 70INJ
What’s not to like? Well, maybe the concerns about his surgically repaired knees, but outside of that he’s an outstanding prospect. Tank has the size, speed, and strength to fit in any defensive system. There is perhaps not another prospect with more uncertainty as to WHERE he will be playing on the defense than Tank. For our system in Tampa, he’d be an ideal LDE in the 3-4 with Dion Jordan rushing behind him from LOLB. In some systems, however, he himself might be the 34 OLB. That said, he’s also got the size and strength to give you defensive production from RE, perhaps even kicking inside to 43DT on passing downs. The status of his knee has him in limbo a bit, but Tank will be taken in the first 32 picks.
Comparison: Trevor Scott, Oakland Raiders
Initial Grade: 1st Round Pick.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for the two Defensive installments! Would love to hear your thoughts!

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