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2016 NFL Draft: Round 4, Picks 99-104

Pick 99 (Round 4, Pick 1) - Cleveland Browns select  


Pick 99 (Round 4, Pick 1) – Cleveland Browns select  Joe Schobert, LB, Wisconsin

Pick analysis: He can rush the Quarterback, but can always play coverage. Very determined to win and is a tackling machine. He has the production and the statistics to back his ability. He will be brought in early to rotate into the line up but it shouldn’t be long before he starts. Player analysis: Schobert was our 23rd-ranked linebacker in this year’s draft. Grade: B-  

Pick 100 (Round 4, Pick 2) – Oakland Raiders select Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State

Pick analysis: Wow. Of all the teams to finally pull the trigger on Connor Cook I would not have picked the Raiders. I’d imagine they want him to develop into an eventual piece of trade bait. He only completed 58% of his passes in college, but he went 34-5, that’s impressive. There are questions about his leadership and that will; have contributeds to his draop, but this is certainly intriguing. Player analysis: A sequence of plays right at the end of the first half in the playoff semi-final loss to Alabama summed things up. After making two consecutive beautiful throws and completions to the sidelines from the far hash to put his team in position to score a much-needed touchdown, Cook makes a horrendous interception to kill the drive, firstly staring down his receiver the whole way before throwing clearly into tight coverage on a play that was just never there. Cook is excruciatingly inconsistent in his technique, his accuracy, his decision-making. Scouts love the measurables with his big frame and pro-style experience; he absolutely looks the part of an NFL quarterback. But there is good reason that his completion rate in his three years as a starter read as 58.7%, 58.1% and finally a new low as a senior with 56.1%. While the team has had plenty success under him on his way to becoming the winningest QB in school history, his game has always come with major flaws in his footwork and rhythm. It was a big reason for his at-the-time wise decision to return for his senior year rather than enter the 2015 draft, to improve those areas. Part of his accuracy issues come from throwing too much from his upper body, rarely setting his feet right and stepping properly into his throws, leading to some very bad looking balls that sail off target. Despite the efforts to improve, it remains a big issue. The target on the previously mentioned interception was his top receiver Aaron Burbridge, highlighting another problem. Throughout his career with the Spartans, Cook has consistently forced passes into his favourite receiver game after game even when not open. The first two years that was to Tony Lippett, this year it was the same with Burbridge. His tendency to lock onto one player led to said receiver having to frequently bail Cook out by coming down with the ball in tight coverage. In addition to not managing to resolve his on-field issues after choosing to play in college this year, his character has taken a big hit, deservedly so or not. The team captain thing isn’t a big deal though; his center Jack Allen is a true leader and worthy captain, and plenty teammates have said Cook is also a leader despite the lack of the official title. An embarrassing moment with Archie Griffin in receiving the Big 10 title game MVP award led to much criticism as well. While his reasons are based on (arguably poor) advice from his agent not to attend the Senior Bowl and finishing recovery on some shoulder soreness, it’s frustrating for scouts that they weren’t been able to see him in a practice setting, and interacting with teammates. His leadership and personality have been questioned, but it’s the very hit or miss on-field play that is the actual main concern. A third round selection seems a much more fitting grade, but talk continues that he could still go in round one ultimately. Grade: C  

Pick 101 (Round 4, Pick 3) – Dallas Cowboys select Charles Tapper, DE, Oklahoma

Pick analysis: Cowboys needed to address the defensive line and they did with this pick. Willing to play across the line and doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty. Long and talented, with some real speed, he is a very good pass rusher. Questions surround his technique, however that can be taught, athletic ability can’t. Player analysis: The former five-star recruit didn’t stand out much over the majority of his college career with the Sooners, but it could certainly be argued that part of that was the team not using him properly to maximise his ability. Deployed primarily as a run defender, edge setter and to occupy blocks that allowed the likes of Eric Striker to take the glory was more the norm. He definitely excelled in that role, no question, and Tapper is a fantastic physical prospect at 6ft 3 & 271 lbs with power and natural functional strength that he importantly also knows how to use properly with ideal leverage and technique. However, he also has speed and fluidity to his movements to do so much more than just set the edge. He proved that with a fantastic late season run where his ability to do damage in the backfield was allowed to flourish a bit more, that saw Tapper rack up seven sacks in a four game stretch in the critical run of late season Big-12 conference games, including a huge performance is the crucial win over Baylor that helped them on their way to the conference championship as well as the national playoffs. Tapper may not be a regular double-digit sack guy in the pros, but has the desired size and skill set to be very effective. His post-season has been going very well too, opening some eyes with a blazing 4.59 dash time at the combine and looking good when teams have asked him to go through linebacker drills, a possible conversion that Tapper might make at the next level. He’s got the talent, athleticism and hardworking intense style to likely make that work as well if asked. Grade: C+  

Pick 102 (Round 4, Pick 4) – San Diego Chargers select Joshua Perry, LB, Ohio State

Pick analysis: Yet another Ohio State Buckeye off the board, making it 11 so far. He is another old-school linebacker for this draft. He will definitely be able to play strongside linebacker for the Chargers and is great coming downhill against the run, and he can get sideline to sideline. But he does need to improve his coverage to become a 3-down backer. Player analysis: If you love Reggie Ragland’s game, there’s no reason not to also love Perry’s, who also brings a similar big impact and high production particularly in the run game, doing so with better length and athleticism arguably too. On such a stacked team on both sides of the ball, it’s easy for some talent on the Buckeyes’ defense to go relatively unnoticed. Perry is far from the first name that comes to mind when thinking of Ohio State stars, yet Perry led the entire defence in tackles with 124 in 2014 on route to a title, and was second only to sophomore phenom Raekwon McMillan in 2015, but still with 105 in another big year. Perry has a big body for the position at 6ft 4, 254 lbs, and is all-go every snap, his effort getting him in on additional plays. He plays steady, consistent and reliably, but not one who will necessarily make too many of the flashy, highlight plays. That does limit his upside somewhat, but Perry has next-level size, a great work ethic and attitude, and gets the most out of his abilities each and every game. He wasn’t thought of as particularly fast or athletic, yet he tested rather well at the combine with 4.58 speed as part of some very solid numbers all round. In addition to his tackles and primary job on the 2nd level, Perry broke up 4 passes, as well as making a solid impact in the backfield with 7.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks, and 4 quarterback pressures. He may not appear on the highlight reel too often, but there’s no holes in Perry’s game. Grade: B+  

Pick 103 (Round 4, Pick 5) – Jacksonville Jaguars select Sheldon Day, DT, Notre Dame

Pick analysis: Inside rusher with big time ability to affect the pass. He struggles with the run and doesn’t seem to be able to handle the rigors of that side of the game. He will be a sub package guy, purely on passing downs. The Jaguars have gone for obvious pass rushers on two picks now and this helps to prove they are going after the QB. Lacks length, but this helps to keep him low in the passing game. Player analysis: He may not fit the prototype look for a defensive lineman at 6ft 1 & 293 lbs, neither quite looking like a tackle, end or linebacker, but there’s no denying the level of disruption that Day can bring with his excellent athletic abilities and non-stop motor that revs full speed every snap.  He shown that regularly over the last few seasons for the Irish, not just going forward and into the backfield, but also even when dropping back and pursuing to the sidelines that has had some speculate that he could take on a very versatile role within the defense he joins.  However, to go with the tricky position fit, and despite how energetic and disruptive he can look, his numbers haven’t always reflected that, indeed having just 1.5 sacks combined over his 2013 and 2014 seasons.  He upped the stats this time around though.  The 4 sacks still aren’t eye-popping, but the 15.5 TFLs looks much better, coming close to matching his combined career total from the three previous years in that category.  Injuries and durability are a little bit of a concern as well with ankle and knee issues over the years.  That history, along with his size, fit and production could limit his stock to some degree, but could be a superb mid-round addition to any roster. Grade: B+  

Pick 104 (Round 4, Pick 6) – Baltimore Ravens select Tavon Young, CB, Temple

Pick analysis: Young is a little undersized, doesn’t have great speed and isn’t exactly twitched up. However, he has good ball skills and is a competitor. He’ll be looking to make an impact as a nickel corner and could be able to do that pretty soon. Player analysis: Young is very small at just 5ft 9, 180 lbs, but is extremely polished in his technique and has a great mental game.  His man coverage skills are NFL-ready, even if he doesn’t come with an ideal NFL build to go with it.  Young was one of the few corners this season to keep Notre Dame’s Will Fuller relatively quiet for the majority of their encounter mid-season in a particularly standout performance by the talented defensive back. Grade: C+


2016 NFL Draft: Round 4, Picks 99-104

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