Nov 9, 2013; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A

Ben Natan's NFL Draft Twitter Mailbag


From @ArifHasanDN: If there was a prospect at every defensive position who was equally talented, which one would you pick first?

I think this is a bit scheme dependant, but I will always take the most dominant interior pass rusher. So much is made about edge rushing in the NFL, but there is ways to mitigate that, both through keeping in a tight end and the QB simply stepping up in the pocket. Interior disruption brings pressure right in the QB’s face while it can also disrupt the run game and free up the edge rushers. Teams like the Lions, Bengals, Texans and Buccaneers all have elite interior defenders and they elevate the defensive line and by proxy, the entire defense. I do not think there is an interior man in this class like that, but guys like Dominique Easley (Florida), Will Sutton (ASU) and Ra’Shede Hageman (Minnesota) are all big time talents in the defensive interior.

From @8three7six6zero: If the Buffalo Bills are picking 10, what would be a good target for them?

If I am Buffalo, I am taking a long, hard look at Linebacker Khalil Mack (Buffalo) . Mack is a movable chess piece who is a devastating pass rusher who is also a stud run defender and an athletic cover man. They could give themselves a dangerous linebacker to match with Kiko Alonso and Mario Williams.

Two from @CC_Rooster: What position do you see getting a lot of 1st round love?

This offensive tackle class has a ton of potential and the wide receiver class has multiple talents that could end up in the 1st round. With the popularity and impact of both positions, it is possible that those two positions are heavily drafted.

Question 2: Is (Derek) Carr worthy enough for the Browns to trade up for is they don’t get a top 3 pick?

In my view, Derek Carr (QB, Fresno State) is one of the best prospects in this class. He is a big, strong armed and athletic quarterback who has every ability to be a true franchise guy. I love his fit in a vertical Cleveland offense and I think the Browns should be aggressive in trying to get him.

From @Joe_Garcia49 Your thoughts about Jordan Matthews and Kelvin Benjamin?

Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt) and Kelvin Benjamin (FSU) are two of many talented wide receivers in this potential grouping. Matthews is a big target (6-3, 206) who has good speed, open field moves, solid hands and is a smooth athlete running his routes. There are questions about him “playing his size” which shows up sometimes but mostly is not a problem. He is one of the safer receivers in the class. Benjamin is a much bigger receiver (6-5, 234) and it absolutely shows in his play. He uses his size and leaping ability to box out defenders and make tough catches. He is a freak athlete who just needs to work on his focus a bit more when catching the ball. I actually like him more than Mike Evans (Texas A&M) but I think that Kelvin, a redshirt sophomore, will return for at least another season and come out with his QB, James Winston.

Two from @Jmcobern1: Who will the Cowboys draft in the first round?

Name any position on the Cowboy’s defense and I’ll give you a position that needs upgrading. 90% of the team’s woes fall on the horrible play by their defense and they could use a huge influx of talent on that side of the ball. I player they should take a look at, if his health checks out, is Florida defensive lineman, Dominique Easley. He suffered an ACL injury a few months ago, but the season he was having before hand displayed a Top 10 talent in this upcoming draft. If the Tampa-2 defense is still in place, Easley’s disruptive ability to get off the ball and penetrate from almost any defensive line shade will be valued highly by the cowboys and give them a great pairing next to Jason Hatcher.

Second Question: Will the Eagles draft Johnny Football (Manziel)?

The more I watch Manziel, the more I see things to like about him. However, I still don’t like the idea of him coming to Philly. One, Nick Foles has looked pretty good and I believe he deserves a full season under center to be evaluated before the Eagles make a true decision on the QB. Second, despite his athletic ability, I still don’t see Manziel fitting in Philly. Chip’s offense calls for a smart decision maker first and foremost and Manziel has to work on both his decision-making and how long it takes for him to pull the trigger. The improvisational playing style will only work for so long in Philly. Third, Manziel needs to bulk up to play in the NFL. The difference between him and another “small” QB like Russell Wilson is that Wilson has a good weight to him while Manziel is still way to lean to be taking the hits that he does. At first thought, Manziel in Philly sounds like an amazing idea, but I just don’t see it happening. I think the Eagles should consider bringing in a later round guy with upside who might push Foles, but not a first rounder.

From @realWillThrill: Is Jake Mathews (OT, Texas A&m) the best prospect this year?

Mathews has been incredibly good this year and projects higher than his former teammate Luke Joekel. Mathews is a smooth athlete and uses amazing technique and quickness to be a very good pass blocker and a solid run blocker. His skill set projects to a Top 3 talent but, in my opinion, he is still behind Jadaveon Clowney (DE, South Carolina) and Teddy Bridgewater (QB, Louisville).

From @OscarHazell: Highest bust potential in this class?

From the way people are projecting him, I would say AJ McCarron (QB, Alabama) is going to bust the most. If some team takes him in the first, which I doubt, they will be unpleasantly surprised by his lack of pocket presence when things break down and his inability to carry an offense. The talent at Alabama elevates him and when his team calls upon him, he rarely can deliver. He is a smart player who may be a valuable backup if not asked to do too much, but he is not an NFL starter.

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