Now that we're in the 5th round, the NFC North draft starts to heat up a lot more. I only had a couple of likely starters to do comparisons for, which will probably become something used on every player in the top 4 rounds. There's some real talent at the beginning and end of this round and a pretty good set of reasons for each pick. The NFC North looks like they are drafting pretty well.
5.1 - CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson 6'1" 195 lbs lbs, 92 SPD, 56 STR, 51 AWR, 92 AGI, 90 ACC, 56 CTH, 95 JMP, 59 TAK, 82 INJ
Being pretty tight against the cap and set at CB with 5 players I'd willingly start, Blidi Wreh-Wilson was calling my name. First off, he apparently has a parent who came out of a fantasy novel, who married someone with the last name Wilson and hyphenated, but still used a first name from their world. So the name was calling my name.
But maybe more importantly was the fact that Wreh-Wilson is 6'1" with athleticism that can actually play the position. He's a bit raw and not a speedster but no one could call him slow. After the skew he started looking like a possible starter, pretty amazing for the 19th CB taken in the draft.
Wreh-Wilson turned out to be an elite leaper, have better hips than expected for the 6'1" corner, and even was a bit faster and stronger. He still lacks worthy hands, awareness, and tackling ability but he's not hopeless at any of them. And since he can be progressed to 95 SPD, 95 AGI, and 93 ACC to couple with his already 95 JMP and 56 STR, he's physically within range of being a 1st rounder. Since the Packers drafted so many players, it'll be tough for Blidi to get some one-on-one time with coach, but he would be worth it.
To see what a little love would get you, check out his comparison, and what he looked like when he was drafted 1.5. Pretty much the same except for the better acceleration and an inch shorter than Blidi.
Best comparison(s): Prince Amukamara
5.4 - HB Jiles Anderson 6'0" 217 lbs, 89 SPD, 72 STR, 56 AWR, 84 AGI, 91 ACC, 50 CTH, 72 CAR, 76 JMP, 76 BTK, 34 PBK, 71 INJ
If Blidi Wreh-Wilson was calling to my inner Dragon-lover, Jiles Anderson was giving me dreams of Arian Foster. Big enough to approach big-back status, with enough speed and strength to be a legit #1 back, Jiles fell mostly due to concerns over being fumble-prone and injury prone. But oh, the places he could go.
Mr. Anderson turned out to be a bit of a sheep in wolves clothing, as the extra work he did for the combine turned out to be unsustainable. He is who we thought he was, coming out of N.C. State, and now looks like an above-average 3rd back. And I'm sitting on a couple of later-round gems that are trying to force me to carry 4 HBs, the bastards. As they say, "all's well that ends well." Seattle avoided losing their later picks to move up for Anderson, and alls well for the Packers too, who will feature prominently in future articles.
Roster Prognosis: Serves out three years as a Packers backup RB, a couple more years as a FA HB then retire.
5.6 - FS Josh Evans 6'1" 207 lbs, 90 SPD, 67 STR, 57 AWR, 91 AGI, 89 ACC, 67 CTH, 86 JMP, 63 TAK, 77 INJ
Safety is another position where in Seattle changes were undesirable. 3 of the 4 95 SPD safeties in the league are in Seattle, Earl Thomas and the two backups. But in the 5th-6th round I normally look for some decent backups, and Josh Evans was one (Paige was another) that I liked a lot.
The skew didn't do much to him, +2 STR and -4 INJ being the two major changes. He's still an above-average backup physically, with great hands for a rookie and good tackling ability. His biggest weakness is still his low awareness. But for a 5th round pick he can look like a starting FS out of the first three rounds, which makes him another fantastic Packers pick.
Roster Prognosis: Serves out 5 or 6 years as a Packers backup free safety, starting a couple times as an injury replacement for 4-10 games.
5.8 - LG Brian Winters 6'4" 320 lbs, 60 SPD, 86 STR, 65 AWR, 58 AGI, 67 ACC, 86 PBK, 87 PBK, 78 INJ
Winters is a good pick for a long term backup, but the Vikings needed his strength to get boosted to be a good prospect for starting. He's really a nice prospect outside of his strength, with very good size, athleticism, and nice blocking ability with good rookie awareness. His SPD and agility went up with the skew, as did his pass blocking. But -1 STR was not good, and the -3 ACC is still workable, but overall Winters is probably never more than a backup with 86 STR.
Roster Prognosis: 3 years with the Vikings, then he'll be too expensive to be a long term backup.
5.9 - HB Mike Gillislee 5'11" 208 lbs, 91 SPD, 60 STR, 70 AWR, 81 AGI, 91 ACC, 72 CTH, 83 CAR, 75 JMP, 78 BTK, 27 PBK, 88 INJ, 90 KR
Gillislee is a nice prospect that had one problem. He was weak. The skew made that worse, with a nasty -4 STR. Other negatives included -2 AGI and -4 PBK. But positives included +2 ACC, +2 CAR, +4 JMP, +4 RBK.
Overall, he's more clearly a backup HB that can catch and KR, with real good skills with the ball in his hands. Whether he ends up as the #2 or #3 for the Lions, they don't have to replace him as a nice backup that's just not very strong.
Roster Prognosis: 5 years as a Lion, maybe longer
5.11 - TE Dion Sims 6'5" 262 lbs, 81 SPD, 72 STR, 67 AWR, 66 AGI, 91 ACC, 71 CTH, 76 JMP, 45 PBK, 50 RBK, 70 INJ
Wowsers, Sims is a borderline prospect. On one hand, he got +4 SPD, +4 ACC, +4 CAR, and +4 BTK. Enough to make him a possible FB conversion. Which might be smart because with -4 AGI, -1 CTH, and -3 INJ TE might not be somewhere he can succeed.
His catch and blocking is pretty mediocre for a TE, while his ACC, size, SPD, and STR are pretty nice in combination. The Bears have a player on their hands, without great skills, and despite winning the skew they don't have a clear usable player.
I'll be watching to see what happens here.
Roster Prognosis: If I had to guess, I'd guess he has a home as a #2 TE for a while. But he may only start as a FB.
5.17 - LG Alvin Marshall 6'3" 312 lbs, 71 PSD, 88 STR, 53 AWR, 61 AGI, 76 ACC, 77 PBK, 81 RBK, 88 INJ
What to do with Marshall? There are two mindsets on offensive linemen who have great athleticism. Put them on the edge to let them deal with speed rushers. Or put them at guard to make your pulling guard resemble another FB coming out of the backfield. Of course, Marshall quite closely resembles the Texans Duane Brown, a tackle that plays in the type of ZBS that would use guards that can pull, so Marshall can be used at tackle in the same fashion.
I think I personally would love to put him at guard, but I'd be the type to play him at OT and let him play #2 TE for developmental purposes. Either way, the Lions scored on a great athlete that got even better during the skew process. As much as the Lions scouts were questionable with a couple of later picks, this is one that makes them look really good.
Best comparison(s): Duane Brown, Bruce Campbell