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Green Zone League Articles

GZL 2015 Draft Grades, 1-10.
By Keith Van Wagner
Special to gzl-football.com

1.1 – Texans, QB Kendall Irving. There have been some that have criticized this pick, though it’s hard to find fault with the best QB of the draft. Yes, the Texans have Bennett, but passing on Irving would have been too short-sighted. Irving has a cannon for an arm (96 STR) and outstanding awareness for a young signal-caller. GRADE: A+. KVW Player Ranking: 1.

1.2 – 49ers, CB Jamar Taylor. Another pick that received a great deal of condemnation, The Niners broke their streak of picking QBs with a fine young CB. Taylor lacks elite size but is also one of the faster CBs in the draft. Taylor also is a fierce tackler, which can be an underrated skill at the position. His high awareness makes him starter ready, but still second to CB Murphy. GRADE: B. KVW Player Ranking: 4

1.3 – Colts, CB Travis Murphy. Boy, did the Colts luck out! I’m sure they did not expect to see Murphy, who for some time seemed to be the consensus first overall pick, fall to them at 1.3. Murphy is the real deal – great size (6’1”), amazing speed (95) and fantastic jumping ability. It’s hard to find a flaw in Murphy’s game and he should be an All-Pro before too long. GRADE: A+. KVW Player Ranking: 2

1.4 – Bucs, OT Lane Johnson. The Bucs know value when they see it and jumped at the stud Oklahoma product. Tackles are rarely sexy pics, but Johnson’s crazy physical attributes proved too much. Johnson is fast (64 SPD) and strong (93 STR), but also comes with mind-blowing agility (68) and acceleration (83). All that, plus he’s already an extremely polished blocker. GRADE: A. KVW Player Ranking: 3

1.5 – Cowboys, MLB Kenrick Nielson. The Cowboys didn’t have need at MLB but were salivating at Nielson’s combination of speed (86) agility (84) and acceleration (85). Nielson has only average AWR, but will be groomed. Expect current starter Sean Lee to move to the outside. GRADE: B+. KVW Player Ranking: 5.

1.6 – Packers, OT Terron Armstead. Armstead is the only offensive lineman in the draft who has elite physical attributes across the board. Arguably he has the best combination of speed and strength of the rookie crop of lineman. The biggest knock on Armstead is his lack of football smarts (54 AWR). Initially this caused me to rank him a bit lower, but in a few years he will be a beast. GRADE: B+ KVW Player Ranking: 16.

1.7 – Dolphins, HB Le’Veon Bell. The first of four first rounders, Bell sets the tone for the Dolphins and their draft. Bell and Pittman were neck and neck on my draft board, with Pittman getting the edge. This however, is not a slight to Bell, as I kept going back and forth. Bell is bigger and stronger and better at breaking tackles, though lacks elite agility and acceleration. Ultimately, if you’re going HB, it comes down to preference between the two. The Dolphins preferred Bell and get a stud. GRADE: A-. KVW Player Ranking: 11

1.8 – Vikings, CB David Amerson. The Vikings grab the third of four CBs taken in the Top 10. I had Darius Slay rated a little higher here, but Amerson and Slay are a lot like Bell and Pittman above. Amerson has great size (6’1”, 205) and though he lacks elite speed (93) he’s still pretty fast. Amerson also has some of the best hands in the class. GRADE: A-. KVW Player Ranking: 12.

1.9 – Dolphins, MLB Hugh Harmon. Some had Harmon going before Nielson, so this may be a good value. Harmon is big and has a nice speed (84) and strength (75) combo. With 72 AWR, Harmon is also one of the most starter ready linebackers in the draft. The biggest knock on Harmon, however, is his injury risk (72 INJ). GRADE: A-. KVW Player Ranking: 13

1.10 – Packers, CB Cobrani Rogers. The pick of Rogers was a surprise to me somewhat, but mostly because I didn’t have a need at CB and hadn’t been tracking them too carefully. I had Rogers 5th overall on my board, though looking at his attributes, you can see why the Packers selected him – 6’1”, 95 SPD, etc. I had Slay higher on my board, which makes me drop the grade a bit. Still, Rogers will be a good player for the Packers for years to come. GRADE: B. KVW Player Ranking: 29
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