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2016 NFL Draft: Round 7, Picks 230-237 grades & analysis

Pick 230 (Round 7, Pick 9) - Chicago Bears select Daniel Braverman, WR, Western MichiganPick analysis: 


Pick 230 (Round 7, Pick 9) – Chicago Bears select Daniel Braverman, WR, Western Michigan

Pick analysis: The Bears need production with the loss of Bennett, they will look to get some here. Player analysis: Daniel Braverman is our 50th-ranked receiver in this year’s draft. Grade: C  

Pick 231 (Round 7, Pick 10) – Miami Dolphins select Thomas Duarte, TE, UCLA

Pick analysis: With Sims and Cameron both injury prone, bringing in Duarte is there is an insurance policy. Player analysis: A difficult fit at the next level; some will list him at tight end, but at 6ft 2, 231 lbs, he might not fit that role too well, and the slot receiver position might be where he makes his plays. He may lack ideal straight line speed, but changes direction sharply and quickly, playing faster than he tests, in particular in short areas. Duarte has been a great red zone target, and piled up 17 touchdowns the past two years combined. He won’t fit every scheme, but is a playmaker over the middle. Grade: C-  

Pick 232 (Round 7, Pick 11) – Washington Redskins select Steven Daniels, LB, Boston College

Pick analysis: At this stage in the draft is where the depth picks are, and this Linebacker brings production and depth. Player analysis: Steven Daniels is our 39th-ranked linebacker in this year’s draft. Grade: B-  

Pick 233 (Round 7, Pick 12) – Philadelphia Eagles select Jalen Mills, S, Louisiana State

Pick analysis: The Eagles pick up a depth Safety in the 7th round, who brings a disruptive presence to the backend. Player analysis: One prospect who did start to perhaps indicate where his best fit could be for the pros is Mills. The LSU defensive back is another who has played at both corner and safety, as well as having a “tweener” build. Running a 4.61 dash time at the combine could well see some teams decide that that defines him as a safety. His size is marginal for the position however, hence the problem of not ideally fitting either spot. That said, he plays with solid speed on the field in pads, with his fluid movements helping to reduce some issues with the straight line speed. The problems that limit Mills’ stock extend beyond just where to play him though. He’s struggled to stay healthy, missing a lot of games over his time with the Tigers. That included missing time at the start of his senior season while continuing to recover from a leg fracture and damaged ankle ligaments. Even more concerning that will put off some teams, is the incident in 2014 where he was charged with battery leading to probation, bringing up character red flags. The on-field play, while healthy, has been at a high level though, joining the tradition over the last decade of LSU providing next-level talent from their secondary. He has football smarts, being referred to by teammates as being like having an extra coach on the field. He shows good vision and understanding of playing in a zone scheme, as well as good anticipation and timing to make plays in the backfield on corner/safety blitzes. There’s a heck of a lot of traits and skills that absolutely translate to the NFL game, provided he eases concerns in both his interviews and with his medical. Grade: B    

Pick 234 (Round 7, Pick 13) – Oakland Raiders select Vadal Alexander, G, Louisiana State

Pick analysis: The Raiders Offensive line needs help and this player will attempt to get reps to help with blocking for Carr. Player analysis: Yet another who is going to enter the NFL with a lot of playing time under his belt already. Alexander began at right tackle as a true freshman, started 25 games over the next two years at left guard, before finishing off back at right tackle again for his fourth and final year. He certainly fits the interior much more than playing on the edge, where he clearly had his struggles this season. Alexander lost weight entering 2015 with the intention of helping his movement at RT, but despite this he still struggled to handle quick pass rushers off the edge who regularly took advantage of his heavy feet and lack of a smooth kick slide. Keeping in good condition and at a consistent weight is a question, as something that appears to fluctuate too much. He is much more at home playing at guard where he can win in a phone booth, using his greatest strength – his strength. Once he locks on to an opponent, his long arms and big body can stonewall would-be pass rushers, something that he displayed well during Senior Bowl weak. He can also be a bit hit or miss in the run game. When he gets it right, his blocks are hugely impressive, often flattening linebackers to clear a path. A big concern for me is the mental side of the game. Alexander’s overall football IQ, and his adjustments and awareness are all in question at times. Late reactions to blitzers and the likes catch him out and can be forced into false starts and holding calls. While it’s certainly a good thing to have, I’m not sure he offers a great deal out-with his size, and would argue he doesn’t truly offer versatility either, as he doesn’t look to be trustworthy out at tackle. Grade: B+    

Pick 235 (Round 7, Pick 14) – New York Jets select Lachian Edwards, P, Sam Houston State

Pick analysis: A huge Punter drafted with over 30 punts inside the 20, which will help a lot Player analysis: At 6ft 4 and 209 lbs, with an extremely strong leg, Edwards has the potential to make it in the pros. He’s had a very strong career for the Bearcats, in particular during 2014 where he averaged a superb 44.1 yards per punt. He finished with a solid but lower 41.5 in 2015 in what was his poorest year, which makes him more of a borderline draft selection than he could have been if he’d continued with another strong year. A worry was his poor performance in the FCS playoff encounter with Southern Utah. It was a game played with high stakes and in poor weather conditions. Under those difficult circumstances he didn’t manage to step up, and badly shanked a couple of his punts. There’s no doubt that he has the skill set though, and has a good chance of coming off the board before the end of the draft’s final day. Grade: C    

Pick 236 (Round 7, Pick 15) – Detroit Lions select Dwayne Washington, RB, Washington

Pick analysis: A Running Back for the Lions to work on special teams and has some big play ability. Player analysis: Dwayne Washington is our 35th-ranked running back in this year’s draft. Grade: C-    

Pick 237 (Round 7, Pick 16) – New Orleans Saints select Daniel Lasco, RB, California

Pick analysis: A back who can come in to help out Ingram to stop the load becoming too much. Player analysis: Goff and the pass game is the focus of the Bears offense but Cal did have a run game as well, led by Lasco. However, after an impressive junior campaign that saw him rush for 1,115 yards and 12 touchdowns (with 2 more through the air), injuries significantly limited his senior season to just 331 yards across eleven games. The pre-draft process has therefore been of great importance to Lasco to firstly prove that he’s healthy, but also to remind those who may have forgotten what he has to offer at the next level. He begun well by standing out at the East-West Shrine event in both practices and the game, but it was at the combine that he really blew people away with his athletic capabilities. Lasco was easily one of the top all-round performers in terms of the physical testing drills, blazing a 4.46 dash, showing the lower body explosion with a 41.5” vertical and a huge 11ft 3 broad jump, as well as showing good strength with 23 reps in the bench press. He’s more than just an athlete though. His overall totals in 2014 prove that, but he particularly stood out that season with a big time game against USC that nearly saw an unlikely comeback late on. He had bigger games statistically but in his 105 total yards he demonstrated the NFL level qualities with speed, power, fighting for extra yards after contact, his threat out of the backfield and the vision to maximise space in front of him. While very athletic, Lasco is at his best going straight forward, a one-cut type runner. His lateral moves and jumps do not generate the same kind of results. The pass protection at times can also be pretty ineffective and needs work, and ball security has let him down on a number of occasions. His upright running style isn’t the most efficient; he could better use his 6ft frame than he currently does. Grade: C+


2016 NFL Draft: Round 7, Picks 230-237 grades & analysis

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