Round One: OLB Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue)
A defensive end/pass rusher who will have to convert to outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. Smart, great work ethic, team captain, a high-motor player who strives to improve his game. Played special teams in the Senior Bowl and stood out on game tape. One of the safer picks in the draft. A player who most likely will be there at No. 18. Similar to Connor Barwin of the Houston Texans, who made the switch to OLB.
Round Two A: DE Cameron Heyward (Ohio State)
Son of Ironhead, he may drop due to recent elbow surgery and a lack of consistency. A best-player-available case, Cameron could be a base defensive lineman in a 30 front. Versatile, strong at the point of attack, solid run defender. He could be a valuable player in a rotation up front.
Round Two B: OLB Sam Acho (Texas)
He has a similar background to Kerrigan, an Academic All American, recipient of the 2009 Arthur Ashe Award for minority student-athletes. A regular member of the school's honor roll. Plays with a high motor, very smart, strong work ethic, committed to the game. He has very high character marks and never quits on a play. At the NFL Combine, he showed good athleticism to switch to outside linebacker.
Round Three A: ILB Kelvin Sheppard (LSU)
GM A.J. Smith has a history of picking LSU and Purdue players. Put this player on the target list of prospects. He did well in the Senior Bowl. Versatile, lined up at all three linebacker spots as a junior, played special teams early in his career. A good run stuffer, Sheppard is this year's Donald Butler. Looks to be a base inside linebacker on running downs, plus play special teams. Kevin Burnett, Stephen Cooper and Brandon Siler are free agents in waiting.
Round Three B: DL Jarvis Jenkins (Clemson)
Productive three-year starter. Athletic for his size, controls blockers, stacks the run and pursues down the line. He needs technique work and work on upper body strength. Will disrupt the line of scrimmage, he lacks pass-rush moves but the 'backers make the tackles in a 3-4. With additional weight and strength, Jenkins could eventually move to nose tackle.
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