Plug and Play
By Robbie Lee Roach, profootballpersonnel.com
I’ve heard more than one draft analyst say of a player that is ready to start in the NFL – “he is a plug and play player.” That term has always stuck with me. There are several players that teams will be able to plug and play in this year’s draft. But I wanted to focus on some players that will be drafted after the first round and a half that will be plug and play players. So the following are 10 plug and play players that should be drafted after pick 50:
- Robert Woods, WR, USC – While not the biggest, fastest, or strongest, Woods has great hands and runs excellent routes – the best route runner in this draft class. I’ve seen some mocks with him going as high as top of the 2nd round and as low as the mid 3rd. He is smooth and fluid and should be able to help a team as a productive #2 receiver from day 1.
- Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas St – There are so many teams going to the 3-4 that a good, solid 4-3 OLB like Brown can be had in the mid rounds. Brown is extremely instinctive, explosive, and will be a tackling machine on the outside for one lucky team from the very beginning of his career.
- Barrett Jones, C, Alabama – Jones isn’t super gifted athletically, but gets the job done with smarts and excellent technique. He is also very versatile, having played G and even T during his career with the National Champs. Whether at C or possibly G, Jones should be a day 1 starter come September.
- Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina – This draft is deep in quality DTs and there are going to be some good players slip to the mid rounds. One should be Williams, who possesses quickness and explosiveness and a lethal swim move. He is a potential big play interior lineman, and for that reason, he should be a starter immediately at the next level.
- Alvin Bailey, G, Arkansas – There has been a lot of hype surrounding the Guards at the top of the draft, and Warmack, Cooper, and Warford are all plug and play offensive linemen, but they aren’t the only ones. Bailey is strong, versatile, has a quick first step, and has some nastiness to his game. All reasons he will be able to start for a team right out of the gate.
- Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno St – Thomas is tough, has great instincts, and is a true playmaker – he had 8 interceptions in 2012, 3 of which he returned for TDs. This productive Free Safety should be ready to make an impact immediately for an NFL team.
- Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford – Highly productive in college – leaves Stanford as the all time leading rusher and also holds the career TD record. Taylor has played in a pro style offense, catches the ball very well out of the backfield, and holds up well in pass protection. All necessary skills for a feature back and game 1 starter.
- Jon Bostic, LB, Florida – Very physical, has great instincts, and has played well against top competition. Bostic is a big hitter and strong against the run, and his ability to react quickly make him solid against the pass as well. These skills give him a great chance to start right away in the NFL.
- Dustin Hopkins, K, Florida St – Hopkins has a big leg – he can routinely hit from 50 yards. He can handle kickoffs and improved his accuracy every year he was in college. He should be the first kicker drafted and should be able to replace an incumbent kicker in training camp for the starting gig.
- Sean Porter, LB, Texas A&M – Porter is very versatile and could fit in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. He is very good at rushing the passer, and with his speed and athleticism, he is also good in coverage. Teams will have no problem finding a spot for him right away.