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2016 NFL Draft: Round 4, Picks 117-122 grades & analysis

Pick 117 (Round 4, Pick 19) - Los Angeles Rams select Pharoh Cooper, WR, South CarolinaPick analysis: 


Pick 117 (Round 4, Pick 19) – Los Angeles Rams select Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina

Pick analysis: Very much a big time play making, can line up anywhere on the field. He is all about getting the ball and he will compete all day every day. Not tall, and not particularly fast. He doesn’t need speed to make plays, but my struggle to keep up with the NFL game. Working alongside Tavon Austin, this offence will be anything but conventional. Player analysis: Given the horrendous play at quarterback and overall downturn for the Gamecocks’ offence this year, it really speaks to what an exceptional player Cooper is and how well he played despite the adversity that he still was able to earn all-conference selection in 2015 in the SEC. Cooper has been one of the most versatile playmakers since joining college football, with South Carolina using him in a multitude of ways to maximise his touches. On top of his primary role as a receiver (both in the slot and outside), he is just as dangerous as a runner out of the backfield, a returner on special teams, or even on trick plays throwing the ball, having thrown for 3 touchdowns in his career. Cooper has the skills of a receiver, but within a running back’s body, which helps him excel after the catch and in space, where he shows all the vision and balance of a true RB. The possibilities for a creative offensive coordinator are many, as he should continue to be a versatile offensive weapon at the next level too, especially with a more effective quarterback conducting the operation. Given that he ran fairly simplistic routes that involved a lot of quick screens and dump-offs or deep straight line go routes, he can become even more dangerous as he develops a more expansive route tree with time. He ought to be a very useful addition to any roster on day 2. Grade: B-  

Pick 118 (Round 4, Pick 20) – New York Jets select Juston Burris, CB, North Carolina State

Pick analysis: Burris looks like a defensive back. He has good lenght and movement and allowed just a 34.1% completion rate this season. He has a smooth back pedal and route recognition and he has good twitch to react. His coverage improved this season and he could be used as an outside corner or a safety for the Jets. Player analysis: Burris is very experienced with 41 straight starts for the Wolfpack.  In 2015 he allowed only 34% completions when targeted and gave up just the one touchdown.  Just as impressively he didn’t have a single broken tackle all year, using his sturdy 6ft 0, 212 lb frame effectively as a physical tackler.  Burris is smart with his positioning to work in tandem with safety help, in keeping outside leverage, using the sideline, all the little intricacies that can make a difference.  His lack of ideal deep speed is the primary negative issue, and might even see him considered for a move to safety given his heavy build. Grade: B-  

Pick 119 (Round 4, Pick 21) – Houston Texans select Tyler Ervin, RB, San Jose State

Pick analysis: Very quick but not particiularly fast. Can catch the football out of the backfield, and is very tough. Will drop his pads and hard. He doesn’t hang around in the backfield and wait, he hits the hole will real force. He is a great compliment to new starter Lamar Miller Player analysis: Ervin has been a versatile player for the Spartans and then some, having featured over his career at not just running back but at slot receiver, cornerback, special teams returner and in special teams coverage. He’s at his best as a runner though, and despite his relatively smaller size, speed and exceptional short area quick-twitch movement, he is more than just an outside runner and a guy to get into space. Ervin has been impressively productive between the tackles, creating good yards up the middle by showing the vision and patience to set up and follow his blockers. The creativity to make something happen though leads to some spectacular big yardage plays. Ervin was another combine, and indeed senior bowl star, with a 4.41 dash, 39” vertical and 10ft 10 broad. That translates to his film where he has the ability to make defenders miss, juking laterally with ease and exploding through running lanes. He’s a threat to hit the end zone on practically any touch. While San Jose State don’t always play the greatest competition week in and week out, Ervin has played big against the likes of Auburn this year. He can certainly continue to create in the pros as a runner, but also as a returner; during college Ervin has taken four returns back for touchdown. Grade: B+  

Pick 120 (Round 4, Pick 22) – New Orleans Saints select David Onyemata, DT, Manitoba

Pick analysis: Incredibly raw prospect with great tools. He has a huge, powerful body with a violent punch. He can be explosive off the snap and can move on the inside and outside. He is a project, but boy could he be good if he improves as expected. Player analysis: Love this kid’s film!  It’s tough to know how it will translate to a much higher level from where he played in Canada, along with his inexperience as he is still learning, but gotta love the upside.  The 23-year-old had never played football prior to moving from Nigeria to Canada four years ago, but has grown into the sport very well to this point, and this year was named first team all-Canadian and awarded as the best down lineman in the country.  His performances saw him earn an invite to the East-West Shrine event where he looked the part.  There’s no questioning the physical traits, with outstanding movement and quickness within his 6ft 3, 300 lb frame.  He continued to stand out with the measurables at his pro day, with numbers that included a 5.06 dash time, 33” vertical and churning out 33 reps on the bench.  His play on the field looks much less raw than his experience should suggest and he could be a bargain in a couple years. Grade: B  

Pick 121 (Round 4, Pick 23) – Minnesota Vikings select Willie Beavers, OT, Western Michigan

Pick analysis: Very fluid athlete in protection, moves very well in space and will happily block downfield. Extremely competitive and has great desire. Doesn’t have an ounce of quick in him. Over commits in plays too much though and unfortunately he isn’t patient enough to wait for the play to develop. Player analysis: The former Bronco lineman has the smooth fluid movement and athletic ability, combined with his 6ft 5, 324 lb build that is ideal to continue playing the left tackle position in the NFL.  He’s unsurprisingly a little bit under the radar coming from a MAC school that when he first broke into the lineup was one of the worst teams in the nation, finishing just 1-11 in 2013.  Head coach P.J. Fleck has turned the program around though, and for three years Beavers has been a key part of that improvement.  He looked a complete natural straight away in that redshirt sophomore year, playing with a quiet and understated confidence against strong opposition that included the likes of the Michigan State Spartans on the schedule.  His film is a little below his usual standard at times in his senior season, but reportedly has been carrying knocks over the course of 2015, and just getting on with it without complaints as expected from him.  His junior 2014 film is probably his most consistent and best of his college career therefore.  There’s work to do in his game for sure.  As accomplished as his footwork is, it’s not always matched by the upper body where he can over-reach and lose some balance, leading to him ending up on the turf a little too often.  Some of that is technique, some is over-aggression; the latter in a more controlled way should overall be a positive in his game though.  Beavers has the physical tools looked for at the NFL level, and offers plenty of upside value to potentially come from a mid-round selection down the road a bit. Grade: C+  

Pick 122 (Round 4, Pick 24) – Cincinnati Bengals select Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor

Pick analysis: It’s about time Billings came off the board. He is huge and is an absolute force against the run. He is a little undersized for a typical nose tackle, which could’ve led to his slide. But he is quick and powerful and should be an excellent combination with Geno Atkins. This is a steal and one who should develop. Player analysis: It was a little unexpected that Billings added his name into the 2016 draft class.  On top of the strength at his position this year, the Bears defensive star was keen to finish off his degree as a Senior.  Eventually, most likely due to a realisation of how high he could get selected, he made the tough choice to head to the pros now.  This is not hyperbole to declare Billings as possibly one of the strongest athletes to enter the NFL in some time.  On the field, Billings is near impossible to ignore being drawn to with his all-action, all-go play.  Rarely coming off the field, he must be a nightmare to have to deal with all game long without any let-up.  Requiring to be double-teamed constantly, Billings is still able to regularly beat that attention and cause disruption in the backfield.  There’s some real depth at defensive tackle in this 2016 class but in terms of playing as a true 3-4 nose tackle, Billings is the best and ideal fit in that particular role from this group.  Despite all the attention he draws, despite doing the dirty work and opening up opportunities for teammates rather than himself, he still piled up 14 TFLs this season.  That included being limited for part of the year by an ankle issue during a stretch in the middle of the season.  Despite how disruptive he can be, Billings can be fairly blinkered when charging, not always seeming to have the best awareness of what is happening around him as the play is developing.  There are a few too many missed opportunities where the play goes right by him with a chance to position himself to make the stop lost.  He really ought to finish more plays as well, often failing to do so when in position.  He is known mostly as a future run-stuffing nose tackle prospect, but his ability and potential to be an interior pass rusher is a little underestimated arguably.  Billings is very close to developing a truly dominant all-round game. Grade: A-


2016 NFL Draft: Round 4, Picks 117-122 grades & analysis

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