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2016 NFL Draft: Round 5, Picks 146-151 grades & analysis

Pick 146 (Round 5, Pick 7) - Baltimore Ravens select Matt Judon, DE, Grand Valley StatePick analysis: 

Pick 146 (Round 5, Pick 7) – Baltimore Ravens select Matt Judon, DE, Grand Valley State

Pick analysis: You can never have enough Defensive linemen, and the Ravens are showing this, looking to help the aging linebackers behind them so they are free to rush the passer. Player analysis: Any step up to the NFL all the way from Division II college football isn’t the easiest to make, but when you absolutely dominate at that level as Judon has, you’ll get the chance to do so. Playing where he did was just too simple for someone of Judon’s talents where he had more sacks than anyone in the country regardless of level with 20 in 2015. While playing is another matter, he didn’t look out of place at all among some of the nation’s best at the combine, where his numbers matched up, including putting up one of the more impressive bench press numbers with 30 repetitions, which at least helps with the idea that he has the strength to go up against bigger and better opposition. As a pass rusher, he has good variety, sometimes using that strength to over-power and bull rush his way through, other times using his burst and very well-developed hand use to deflect blockers and turn the corner. He looks the part, both technically and physically with his broad, muscular frame. Grade: B-  

Pick 147 (Round 5, Pick 8) – Seattle Seahawks select Quinton Jefferson, DT, Maryland

Pick analysis: Defensive tackles on a rotation are the way forward and Seattle have added a pass rusher to that rotation. Getting pressure on the QB is the way to win and Seattle know how to win. Player analysis: After suffering a season ending knee injury just three games into the 2014 season, Jefferson has returned to form superbly this year, contributing 12.5 TFLs, 6.5 sacks, an interception and a forced fumble along with 39 tackles to finish his college career.  His game is more about power, but his athleticism at 290 lbs should not be under-estimated by any means.  Jefferson has played all across the defensive line to great effect, including lining up over the nose on obvious passing downs, and should continue to offer that versatility at the next level too. Grade: B    

Pick 148 (Round 5, Pick 9) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Caleb Benenoch, OT, UCLA

Pick analysis: Winning the battle in the trenches is key and so is protecting your Quarterback. The Bucs have added depth here to help them out and keep their young gunslinger upright. Player analysis: He’s athletic and quick, moving well to the second level to play in space, but is extremely thin-hipped and slight.  The biggest issue is that he has played better at guard than at tackle, but lacks the build to hold up inside, often being out-muscled wherever he’s played over the past couple years. Grade: C+    

Pick 149 (Round 5, Pick 10) – New York Giants select Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA

Pick analysis: Very Productive Running Back and can protect Eli Manning against oncoming runners as he isn’t afraid to block anyone. Very helpful on third downs. Player analysis: Perkins has had a great couple of seasons, including leading the PAC-12 conference in rushing in 2014. He had another big year this past season with 1,343 yards (5.67 YPC) and 14 rush TDs. He’s a nice factor in the pass game too with 30 catches, 242 yards and 1 touchdown. As great as the numbers are, Perkins is one where it’s important to consider the scouting concept of “traits over production”. As great as the numbers are, he’s a very average athlete with average speed, and really just lacks any elite traits that wow you. What is impressive is his ridiculously uncanny ability to sneak through traffic and squirm his way between gaps that seem to not even be there. The number of “how did he get through there?” moments in his film is unreal. Part of it is his exceptional balance and good vision, which help him get the most out of his abilities. Unfortunately, what makes me hesitate with Perkins is that the things I like about his game, and his flaws that come with it, are almost identical to what you could see in Bishop Sankey coming out of another PAC-12 school in Washington. The same concerns dismissed last time are present again, that would make me hesitate on taking before the final day of the draft. Grade: B+    

Pick 150 (Round 5, Pick 11) – Chicago Bears select Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana

Pick analysis: Player analysis: The Hoosiers didn’t miss a step in transitioning past the loss of 2,000+ yard back Tevin Coleman to the NFL. After the UAB football program shut down, Howard chose Indiana to transfer to. Howard had been a great player his first two seasons for the Blazers, but playing for a school that receives little attention in a lesser conference meant he was not very well known to most. He will be now, after another excellent productive year against significantly better Big-10 opposition. Though he missed a fair bit of time over the course of the season with some injury troubles, he totalled 1,213 yards on just 196 rush attempts (6.18 YPC), and including his one through the air, contributed 10 touchdowns. The highlight performance that makes his case to NFL teams came versus the Michigan Wolverines. At the time of that game in week 11 of the season, Michigan ranked third in the nation in run defence, allowing just 80 yards per game on the ground. The junior back pounded away at them all game for 238 yards at 6.8 YPC, 2 rush TDs, and the afore-mentioned receiving TD. A lot of the runs weren’t pretty, churning out 3 yards here, 4 there, but he wore down a defence packed full of NFL-sized front seven players. The game epitomised his style. Howard is a bigger back at close to 230 lbs, and he uses that to his advantage. He doesn’t make the sharpest cuts or threaten too much hitting the edges, but is a force up the middle. His effort is on show every carry, battling for the maximum yardage after contact each play, keeping his legs moving to drive for additional distance. He may not make defenders miss, but he does have the knack for breaking tackles, and at the very least always falls forward for positive gain, even in a crowded box. He is a back built for the next level, and with 17 career games of over 100 yards, has plenty of production to back it up. Grade:    

Pick 151 (Round 5, Pick 12) – Detroit Lions select Joe Dahl, G, Washington State

Pick analysis: Matthew Stafford is a brilliant Quarterback when given time. Dahl is the third lineman they have picked and he will come in and help in this protection. He is very smart and very tough and will see the field soon. Player analysis: Seeing his first significant action at left guard in 2013 for the first 12 games of the season after joining the team from Montana, Dahl switched to left tackle for the season ending bowl game and has stayed on the blindside for the two seasons since. He’s performed well on the edge, including giving up just the one sack in 2014. That said, he plays in an offensive scheme with the Cougars than involves a lot of quick throws that doesn’t require the O-line to maintain blocks for too long. On top of that, the team rarely runs the ball so there isn’t great experience or practice gone into working at run blocking duties. That made it all the more important to his stock that he have a strong post-season, and mission accomplished. Dahl looked great at the Senior Bowl event, and went on to perform as one of the better athletes at his position at the combine as well. While his job in college isn’t ideal for transitioning to the NFL, Dahl is technically proficient in his pass protection, helped by how fluidly he moves in space. Were he a bit longer than his 6ft 3 size he might have had an opportunity to remain outside. Toughness is not in question, continuing to play through a broken foot for four games before he finally admitted defeat and taking some time off at the end of the year to let it heal. That toughness extends to the power he puts behind his hands when engaging contact, and shows the traits to be able to develop fairly quickly as a run blocker too. Grade: B-

2016 NFL Draft: Round 5, Picks 146-151 grades & analysis

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