Brian Cushing, OLB, USC
I think the injury to Diles is going to be a big factor in our draft. While I don't think Diles is good enough, our staff does, so I will trust them. His injury, however, isn't to be taken lightly. Cushing brings a lot of athleticism to the LB unit. He has very good size for a rookie SOLB and has the lateral quickness to get the the sideline. Cushing closes OL depth quickly and takes a nice path to the outside. I don't understand the first round man-crush on Matthews. His value is in the second to third, when he started getting all the hype. He has esperience playing a standup or "hybrid" DE in 2006. He posted 4.5 sacks that year and was DMVP of the Rose Bowl against Michigan where he also posted 2.5 sacks. He has some injury history with his shoulder (2005) knee (2007) and ankle (2007).
Michael Hamlin, SS, Clemson
I would love to have Alphonso Smith here, but that isn't going to happen. I think we still need some help in the defensive backfield. I'm not a fan of Chung, but he may fit the style of SS our staff is looking for. He is certainly in the same mold as Barber. Hamlin has a ton of starting experience and has put up good numbers. He had 4 interceptions in 2007, and has good size. He has really produced in big games throughout his career, and he is somewhat flying under the radar.
Lawrence Sidbury Jr., DE, Richmond
He is an interesting pick. He shouldn't be an instant starter, but I feel that with the signing of Antoine Smith, we can push our DE need down the list. We still need a pass-rushing specialist at DE, and Sidbury is as good an investment as anyone else. A lot of the guys in this draft are 3-4 OLB's masking themselves as 4-3 DE's. When it's all said and done, Sidury will probably play close to 270 at 6'4. He has incredible arm length that just can't be taught (35.5 inches I believe). He's quick off the line and still needs to develop into an every-down player, but we don't need him to be that right now. This is an honest projection of where he should go.
Round 4, Pick A:
Andy Levitre, OG, Oregon State
One of the best OG's in the draft. He has been playing OT for OSU, though he won't play OT in the NFL. He is compact, but still has good size. His strength is in the lower body, and he will definitely need to improve his upper body strength. He is quick with his hands and has a good initial punch; he will need to work on re-setting himself as powerfully as he does out of his stance. I think he is an ideal RG in the NFL, and I think he has the talent to compete for the starting job from day one.
Round 4, Pick B:
Gartrell Johnson, RB, Colorado State
Well, to start off with, it's Colorado State. After that, Johnson had a great season with good numbers. He is a big RB, and has great hands for a RB his size. He isn't very fast. At all. So there will be some concerns, but I think he can make it in the NFL. His size is the big thing here, as he can step in and not be a liability to Matt Schaub's health. He shows good cutback vision, but isn't likely to ever have 40+ yard runs.
Mark Parson, CB, Ohio
He really had a great year the year before last year, but saw teams throw away from him. Wasn't invited to the Combine, but was hand-picked by Deion Sanders to train with. He also held Ohio State's Brian Robiskie to 8 yards on 3 catches. He has elite closing ability but I'd like to see him play a little tighter at times (game film - his practice highlights show him in a man-press). He's a preacher's son, and he seems to have a great head on his shoulders. Since not many will know about him, I've provided some video about him.
Kaluka Maiava, OLB, USC
What? 2 USC OLBs? Yep. He's a little short, but he is a true WOLB. His measurables won't blow you away by any means, but he has good production, especially considering the guys next to him at LB and on that entire defensive unit. He should be able to compete with Adibi for the starting spot, and at worst should be solid depth. In the sixth round, it's hard to not like this pick.
Austin Collie, WR, BYU
Why not? He produced at BYU while there, though he should have stayed for his last season. He doubles as a return man, averaging almost 30 yards per return. That ability will help him stick in the NFL. While he did play in a very open system, he had 15 TD's last year.