2018 NFL Draft: Picks 236-240

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236 Cowboys: RB Bo Scarbrough

Looks the part of an NFL workhorse with an imposing, broad-shouldered frame and Mr. Universe-like build. Quicker to the hole than his bulk suggests and accelerates smoothly with good top-end speed that could turn heads during workouts. Attacks holes when they are there but shows good vision and lateral burst to bounce it outside or through cutback lanes. Doesn't keep his shoulders turned for long, lowering them and barreling forward to get what he can rather than dancing. Good balance and body control for a bigger back, staggering his steps to throw off defenders' pursuit angles and showing the stop-start quickness, leaping ability and lateral agility to let them slip by, showing than he can elude opponents as well as bludgeon them. Powerful downhiller who can lower his shoulder and bulldoze through would-be tacklers. Very good leg drive to get the tough yards after contact, consistently pushing with second and third efforts and showing good awareness of the line to gain. Reliable receiver out of the backfield, fluidly gathering and securing passes with little wasted movement. Attentive, physical pass blocker with the bulk and strength to anchor against NFL defenders. -- Rob Rang 1/13/2018

Possesses a relatively high-cut frame with long legs and too often runs with poor pad level, providing defenders with a massive target. Needs to do a better job of anticipating defenders shooting for his knees, incorporating more leaps and stiff-arms into his game to avoid being cut down. Comes with significant medical red-flags after missing four games as a freshman due to a knee injury, suffering a broken leg against Clemson in the 2016 national championship game and played through various injuries as a junior - each of which warrant a close look at the Combine. The injuries raise plenty of concerns about Scarbrough's ability to hold up in the NFL, especially given his physical playing style. Some will question his motivation in electing to leave early for the NFL despite admitting that he didn't accomplish his personal goals in 2017. - Rob Rang 1/13/2018

COMPARES TO: Derrick Henry, Titans - From their imposing frame to their surprising lateral agility (despite long legs) and good build-up speed, it is easy to see why Saban and Co. viewed Scarbrough as a logical candidate to replace the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner at Alabama and why - if drafted into a system that will feed him the ball - that he could be quite successful in the NFL, as well.

IN OUR VIEW: The perception by many is that the Crimson Tide simply hammered opponents with Scarbrough but he only logged 288 touches over his three years in Tuscaloosa, significantly less than virtually all of the "other" top backs in the 2018 draft. If teams are confident in his health, Scarbrough is likely to earn a Day Two pick and an opportunity to start at the next level, projecting as a potential workhorse and at minimum serving as an effective short yardage specialist in a committee.

237 Lions: FB Nick Bawden

STRENGTHS: Physical mindset and looks to tune up linebackers…drops his pads and rolls his hips to explode at contact…consistent finisher and constantly looking for his next victim until he hears the whistle…drives his feet at contact…displays soft hands and looks natural catching the ball out of the backfield…made the selfless transition from quarterback to fullback…pushed himself in the weight room to transform his body…adapted the contact-driven attitude needed for the position, changing his personality “dramatically,” according to his SDST head coach Rocky Long…experienced on special teams.

WEAKNESSES: Has only been playing the position for three years…sacrifices balance at contact…more of a battering ram than technique-driven blocker…needs to use better lower body mechanics to strengthen his anchor…used in the screen game, but not an experienced route-runner…carried the ball only once since his transition to fullback and lacks experience as a ballcarrier in short-yardage situations…one fumble on 31 offensive touches as a fullback…missed one game due to injury (Oct. 2017) as a senior and didn’t participate at the Scouting Combine after a Jones fracture on right foot (Feb. 2018) was found during examinations – was cleared prior to his pro day.

SUMMARY: A two-year starter at San Diego State, Bawden was the lead-blocking fullback in the Aztecs’ pro-style scheme, lining up primarily in “power” and “off-set I” formations. He made the uncommon position switch from quarterback to fullback, embracing the new role and blocking for a pair of 2,000-yard rushers (Donnel Pumphrey and Rashaad Penny) the last two seasons. Bawden transformed his body and mentality and those unaware of his past would be surprised to know he started two games at quarterback in 2014. While toughness isn’t an issue, he still has plenty of room to improve his blocking technique and doesn’t have experience as a ballcarrier. Overall, Bawden needs to tidy up the holes in his game, but his head-of-steam blocking style and pass-catching ability could land him on a NFL roster.

238 Ravens: DE Zach Sieler

STRENGTHS: Broad-shouldered, filled-out frame…powerful hands to stun blockers with his push-pull…grip strength to physically remove bodies in his way…active with arm-over moves to swim into gaps…adequate first step quickness…skilled sidestep rusher to cross the face of blockers before they can react…makes himself skinny through gaps, staying balanced through contact…collected two blocked kicks on special teams…added nearly 70 pounds since he arrived on campus, committing himself to the weight room…former walk-on who earned a scholarship…remarkable starting production with 50.5 tackles for loss and 26.5 sacks over his 28 starts the past two seasons.

WEAKNESSES: Lacks athletic twitch in his hips or joints…stiff-legged…upright player in everything he does, sacrificing pad level from the get-go…leans into blocks, but doesn’t have ideal arm length for the position…relies on upper body power and needs to incorporate more diversity into his pass rush…counter measures are sporadic and undeveloped…hyper-focused on the ball and doesn’t consistently anticipate blocking schemes or play design…can get caught up in the trash, losing his footing…played at a lower level of competition, rarely facing NFL-caliber blockers.

SUMMARY: A two-year starter at Ferris State, Sieler was the starting field defensive end in the Bulldogs’ four-man front, kicking inside over the B-gap on passing downs. With few options out of high school, he blossomed at FSU once he committed himself to the craft, going from walk-on to scholarship to All-American – no college football player had more tackles for loss (50.5) the last two seasons than him. Although he can be a tad mechanical in his movements, Sieler shows an understanding of how to finesse gaps before finishing with power. He can bull rush and sidestep blockers, but needs to expand his bag of tricks and field awareness to become a better all-around player. Overall, Sieler looks like a young, undeveloped JJ Watt vs. Division-II competition and posted staggering backfield numbers, but it won’t be as easy vs. NFL blockers, projecting as a base end with back-up potential.

239 Packers: LS Hunter Bradley

240 49ers: WR Richie James

STRENGTHS: Efficient catch-and-go athlete…speedy and finds his top gear quickly…innate vision and feel to weave through enemy grounds…tough cover in space, using false routes before cutting away from coverage…small, but gutsy and doesn’t lack for toughness…consistently working back and isolating the football…averaged 6.9 yards as a punt returner (24/165/0)…averaged 9.0 yards per rush (60/542/5)…high volume target with at least four catches in 30 of his 31 games played (played in only 10 snaps due to injury in the one game he failed to reach four catches)…named a team captain in 2017…production is a reflection of the work he puts in…set the school records for career catches (244), receiving yards (3,261) and touchdowns (23) – second player in school history with back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

WEAKNESSES: Undersized frame and body features…offers very little run power with minimal impact after first contact…can be slowed by physical defensive backs mid-route and unproven vs. press coverage…small catch radius…concentration drops were an issue on film, losing focus and thinking about impending contact…struggles to finish with a crowded catch point…tends to drift instead of snap at the top of routes…high percentage of his catches came within 10-yards of the line of scrimmage…slight tightness when redirecting, limiting his ability to separate…durability will be questioned after missing most of the 2017 season due to a high ankle sprain (Sept. 2017) and broken collarbone (Oct. 2017).

SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Middle Tennessee, James served as the “H” receiver in the Blue Raiders’ offense, lining up all over the formation, mostly in the slot and backfield. The most prolific wideout in school history, he was an extension of the MTSU run game with a high number of slip/bubble screens and targets near the line of scrimmage. James doesn’t show attention to detail as a route-runner and catches will need to be manufactured for him (like in college), but he flashes creativity with the ball in his hands due to his quick feet, toughness and run instincts. While he stayed healthy as a freshman and sophomore, he spent most of his junior season on the sidelines, leading to durability questions. Overall, James is a speedy slot receiver with gaudy on-field production, but his lack of size/reliability and raw routes are concerns that could keep him from carving out a NFL role.


Frank Cooney
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Rob Rang
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Ric Serritella
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