An ideal cure for rookie immaturity can be the right mentor within an NFL locker room. NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein revisits five draft prospects with character questions, and which NFL veterans or coaches could be a strong locker-room match for them:
Match:Arizona Cardinals (head coach Bruce Arians). There don't appear to be ideal mentor fits for the former Heisman Trophy winner in Tampa Bay or Tennessee, which will have the first two chances at him. But the right club with the right personality to click with Winston could always move up in the draft. Arians mentioned he was familiar with the Winston family and knows him from high school at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Zierlein says: "There is no possible way they draft Winston from where they are (No. 24 pick), but that doesn't matter. And Larry Fitzgerald just signed a contract, and he is the ultimate mentor."
One more:Chicago Bears (offensive coordinator Adam Gase).
Match:Oakland Raiders (WRs coach Rob Moore). A potentially dynamic weapon to aid in the development of second-year quarterback Derek Carr, Green-Beckham would bring some excitement to what was the worst total yardage offense in the NFL last year.
Zierlein says: "I don't really think there's a great mentor for him on that team because it's a young team, so that might have to come from a position coach, and Rob Moore is a guy who played the position. ... But (Moore) would have a ton on his shoulders."
One more:Carolina Panthers (WRs coach Ricky Proehl).
Match:Kansas City Chiefs (LB Derrick Johnson). The Chiefs have a definite need for help at the linebacker position. Johnson could provide a steadying influence on Dawson, although the veteran pro is facing the challenge of rebounding from a torn Achilles.
Zierlein says: "Andy Reid's never been afraid of taking guys who have a little bit of an edge to them."
One more:Green Bay Packers (LB Clay Matthews).
Match:Pittsburgh Steelers (CB William Gay). Having overcome some significant childhood obstacles, the 30-year-old veteran cornerback could be a positive influence in Peters' ear. Peters is one of the draft's top cover talents, but his relationship with coaches at UW was strained enough for him to be dismissed from the team last year. Peters and the Huskies staff have reconciled enough that Peters will participate at the UW pro day.
Zierlein says: "The Steelers are known for having a pretty good culture, and Mike Tomlin is a former defensive backs coach. He's a former defensive coordinator, and William Gay is playing good football."
One more:Seattle Seahawks (safety Earl Thomas).
Match:Atlanta Falcons (RB Devonta Freeman, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan). The Falcons certainly could use a running back with the departure of Steven Jackson, but like the Philadelphia Eagles, the first round won't likely be their time to invest in that position. Williams is more likely to be drafted in the fourth-round range, perhaps ideal value for a Falcons club with higher draft priorities.
Zierlein says: "You have a former (FSU) teammate with Freeman. Kyle Shanahan was there (with the Houston Texans) with Arian Foster ... he got to see Arian Foster as a rookie, and here is a guy in Karlos Williams with some of the same traits and attributes."
One more:Arizona Cardinals (WR Larry Fitzgerald, RB Andre Ellington, RBs coach Stump Mitchell).