Welcome to another episode of Phly Phishing, which is a peek into the bottom of the draft in an effort to clarify the top of the draft. In this piece we look at the defensive side of the ball, where there are, IMO, some nice talent to be found late, so here we go.
Let's begin with the MLB spot where we find Avery Williamson with combine results of a 4.56/40 while listed at 6'1, 246lbs. As you will see below, Avery has the speed and athleticism, to play sideline to sideline. Avery is also adept at playing downhill taking on larger OLs while still getting in on the tackle. Avery has started in both his junior and senior seasons amassing over 100 tackles in each and nearly half as solo.
Avery Williamson (LB Kentucky) vs Louisville 2013 (via Aimal Arsalla)
As you can see, Avery Williamson, has the skill and tenacity of a traditional 4-3 MLB plus the athleticism of a 3-4 OLB even to the point of covering slot receivers in a spread offense. With his sure handed tackling and ability to make plays all over the field along with better DTs in front of him here in Miami, Avery Williamson could have a bright future in a Dolphin uniform.
Before we leave this position, you must meet the ultimate MLB, Max Bullough. Listed as 6'3 250lbs and running a 4.75/40, Max is a man's man at MLB. I think his father was a tree because Max has no problem laying wood on opposing players. Max Bullough has played in 53 games with 40 starts at the collegiate level, again I say 40 STARTS. So along with his great skills he also displays durability, a high motor and the ability to make guys around him better. Max has accumulated nearly 300 tackles in his career, with 9.5 tackles for loss in 2013 alone.
Max Bullough vs Michigan (2012) (via Josh DB)
I normally present game footage in these reports but for Max, I included a link to one of his highlight reels, check it out.
Both Avery Williamson and Max Bullough are 5th round projections. Avery is mostly due to not being from an "elite" program and Max due to a team decision suspension that kept him out of the 2013 bowl game but make no doubts these guys are top tier talent.
They say this draft is deep with talent, well that has to be true if this next guy is projected in the 6th round. Listed as 6'0 209lbs with a 4.70/40, Kenny Ladler of Vanderbilt is nice talent at the Safety position that is equipped with nice speed, a nose for the football and really good tackling skills. In 2013, Ladler accumulated 91 tackles with 60 solos. 60 solo, 'nough said. Ladler, also is known for interceptions as well as forced fumbles, a DB beast. 6th round?, say it ain't so. Whoever picks Ladler as low as the 6th round would get a true steal of a talent. Check him out.
Kenny Ladler 2013 Highlights (via All About Sports)
Finally we take a look at the cornerback position. Antone Exum is projected to go in the 7th round and, IMO, rightly so. Exum is a good size cornerback at 6'1 215lbs with a 4.50/40. However Exum only played in 3 games in 2013 due to missing most of the beginning of the year recovering from a knee injury and the final 3 games and bowl competition due to ankle problems. Therefore to see the potential value of Exum we must return to the 2012 season and I have chosen a clip with the "U", because I think that for many this will remind us just who is Antone Exum.
Antone Exum vs Miami 2012 (via JmpasqDraftjedi)
Is Antone Exum elite? Uhmm, not exactly. Is he a guy who at round 7 has slipped through the cracks? Uh, again I don't think so. But Exum was very good once, if not elite, he is a big CB who is able to cover huge TEs who line up in the slot and huge WRs on the outside. The biggest reason I like Exum is because of the guys that we have on the team already, like Finnegan, Grimes and Delmas. Exum has the skill set, athleticism, tenacity and size that will greatly benefit from the DB vets on our squad. If Miami can secure Exum as a 2nd 7th round pick or a UDFA the upside could be tremendous especially under a redshirt year where he has time to fully recover from any and all injuries, something similar to the Bills and McGahee scenario.
Well that's about it, for now. If you respect these picks here may I suggest you check out MLB Andrew Jackson, Safety Hakeem Smith and CB Aaron Colvin. Until next time, Phins One.