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NFL Draft 2016: Round 6, Picks 200-207 grades & analysis

Pick 200 (Round 6, Pick 25) - Green Bay Packers select Kyle Murphy, OT, StanfordPick analysis: 


Pick 200 (Round 6, Pick 25) – Green Bay Packers select Kyle Murphy, OT, Stanford

Pick analysis: Smart player to rotate in and protect Aaron Rodgers. Player analysis: It’s personal preference, but Christian McCaffrey really ought to have won the Heisman in this writer’s opinion!  Much of the success of the uniquely talented runner came through running behind the left side of his offensive line, who were fantastic all year in opening up so many of the holes McCaffrey flew through.  Left guard Joshua Garrett was rewarded for that by winning the Outland Trophy this year awarded to the top interior lineman in the country.  His teammate outside at left tackle though deserves plenty of credit himself for all that success.  Murphy was hugely successful at creating running lanes and clearly took a lot of pride in being physical, driving, and finishing every block he made.  He isn’t the most naturally strongly built offensive lineman, but that aggressive style and passion in his run blocking helps makes up at least partially for any questions in that respect.  While not quite as impressive in pass protection as he is blocking in the run game, Murphy is still solid at keeping his QB clean as well.  Having said that, his footwork does have a tendency to let him down at times, and consequently his balance too.  Murphy joined the Cardinal as a highly touted prospect out of high school, but took a while to emerge as a starter and deliver on that potential.  After a couple starts during his first couple years and seeing minor action in certain packages, Murphy became a full time starter at right tackle in 2014, and followed that up this year with the move to left tackle, replacing the departed Andrus Peat. Grade: C+  

Pick 201 (Round 6, Pick 26) – Jacksonville Jaguars select Brandon Allen, QB, Arkansas

Pick analysis: Jaguars draft Allen to back up Blake Bortles as an insurance policy. Player analysis: He’s not the biggest, and that goes beyond the talk about his hand size to his relatively smaller frame at 6ft 1, 217 lbs. That could indeed be limiting to his draft stock, but outside of that, there is little not to like about his game, in particular as a senior. While he did flash some nice touch throws before this year, his accuracy was poor and highly inconsistent, far too often being way off target under no pressure. He finished below 50% completions in his first two years, and even his improved junior year ended at just 56%. The difference in his final season in 2015 was huge though as he became one of the top quarterbacks in the SEC in 2015. Along with an excellent 66% completions, his touchdown to interception ratio of 30 to 8 was also highly impressive. When in the zone he seemingly couldn’t miss, as was the case against Mississippi State which saw him throw for 7 scores in that one contest in a career day for Allen. There seemed to be a confidence in Allen this year with new offensive coordinator Dan Eno that saw him flourish. One thing to love about him, and key in quarterbacks, is his mental game. Allen faced a lot of heavy criticism from fans and the media for his play before this season that could have crushed others, yet he showed great strength to ignore all that, rise above it and play to a very high level this campaign. He’s found a way to become much smarter in his decision making, and quick to spot the openings to deliver on time. There’s excellent zip and velocity on his throws, and doesn’t lose any of the quickness or accuracy when releasing on the run. His scrambling outside of the pocket has become a solid part of his game to extend plays and create. There’s just a great calmness and presence about his game now that wasn’t necessarily there in previous years. The size will remain a concern for some teams, as will his performances outside of one strong year, but few senior QB’s played better in college during 2015, and Allen ought to make a solid backup early on, with the potential to start. Grade: C  

Pick 202 (Round 6, Pick 27) – Detroit Lions select Anthony Zettel, DT, Penn State

Pick analysis: The Lions continue to address their Defensive line since the loss of Ndamukong Suh. Player analysis: The best part of Zettel’s game is that initial burst off the snap that regularly sees him as the first to react off the snap and can result in gaining an early advantage to make his way into the backfield.  Conversely, his balance is just awful, constantly tumbling to the ground, losing momentum and careering off balance that frustrates so much.  His effectiveness went down this year too.  After 17 TFLs and 8 sacks in 2014, those numbers dropped to 11 and 4 this time around.  His tweener size at 6ft 4, 277 lbs might not fit every scheme, but he has potential to make an impact at multiple spots but should be at his best inside in a 4-3 or perhaps as a 3-4 end. Grade: B  

Pick 203 (Round 6, Pick 28) – Kansas City Chiefs select Dadi Nicolas, LB, Virginia Tech

Pick analysis: The Chiefs are old at Linebacker, and Nicolas can be groomed to eventually take over. Player analysis: Nicolas was a popular name entering the season after a productive 2014 year that included 18 TFLs. However, he was very poor throughout 2015. While he looks electric with his initial burst off the snap, he is hugely lacking in the core strength needed at the NFL and was an easy matchup to handle this year, only managing 7 TFLs and 2.5 sacks this time around. His awareness and football IQ both don’t appear to be there either that often sees him out of position, exploitable versus the run, and miss opportunities to disengage and make a play. He could be worth a late round shot to try and develop, but the early round talk is rightfully long gone. Grade: B+  

Pick 204 (Round 6, Pick 29) – Miami Dolphins select Jordan Lucas, S, Penn State

Pick analysis: Lucas picked by the Dolphins will help out in a secondary that struggled mightily last season. Player analysis: Jordan Lucas is our 22nd-ranked safety in this year’s draft. Grade: B+  

Pick 205 (Round 6, Pick 30) – Arizona Cardinals select Harlan Miller, CB, Southeastern Louisiana

Pick analysis: The Cardinals don’t need starters, but they need backups and that is what Miller is. Player analysis: Harlan Miller is our 25th-ranked cornerback in this year’s draft. Grade: B-  

Pick 206 (Round 6, Pick 31) – Los Angeles select Mike Thomas, WR, Southern Mississippi

Pick analysis: The Rams continue to build around Goff, but is more better? The more wideout they pick the more wasted picks they seem to rack up. Player analysis: Mike Thomas is our 32nd-ranked receiver in this year’s draft class. Grade: D  

Pick 207 (Round 6, Pick 32) – San Francisco 49ers select Jeff Driskel, QB, Louisiana Tech

Pick analysis: 49ers are not settled at Quarterback and adding Driskel won’t really fix it, but it should at least push Gabbert and Kap. Player analysis: All credit to Driskel for managing to turn his college career around. A year ago there seemed to be no chance that he would be considered a potential NFL draft selection following a rather dire fall during his time in Florida with the Gators. The most worrying part of all that was his mental collapse under the pressure that doesn’t bode well for an NFL level quarterback, and will likely not be easy to shake for some evaluators despite the re-birth this year at LA Tech. Some of the decisions he was making led to some awful interceptions as his confidence plummeted. The fresh start was exactly what was needed, and Driskel found it with the Bulldogs. He was able to get back to basics, make the most of his best assets, his physical game with outstanding size and athleticism with a strong arm. That saw him put up excellent numbers in 2015, throwing for 4,033 yards at a 62% completion rate and 27 TDs to 8 INTs. He’s to be commended for that, and the fact that he was on the 4th offensive coordinator of his career, something that has to be factored in to his previous struggles as well, that lack of consistency in the offense he was running. Despite the positives from his season with Louisiana Tech, there remains a lot of questions. The system he ran this year was fairly simplistic, and involved a lot of pre-determined throws that took a lot of the decision making away from Driskel. Given that one of his biggest deficiencies at Florida was the decision making side of the game, that question remains for his upcoming pro career. He continues to have a bad habit of staring down his receivers, telegraphing his throws to defenders to read. Despite the strong arm, his accuracy on the deep ball is more miss than hit. Scouts continue to be intrigued by the possibilities though, and as it was when he was a coveted recruit out of high school, it continues to centre around the physical measurables. Driskel was by far the best athlete at the QB position at the combine, made all the more impressive given his 6ft 4, 234 lb frame. His mechanics and arm strength are of an NFL calibre too. He helped himself with a decent showing when he got his chance late in the 4th quarter of the Senior Bowl game as well to continue the momentum built over the past year. Grade: D+


NFL Draft 2016: Round 6, Picks 200-207 grades & analysis

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