The NFL draft is tomorrow, my level of excitment is somewhere between chicks with tattoos and all you can eat steak. So is our buddy the Sherpa of Camping, Tioga. He's so excited in fact that he has brought to us another mock draft! So enjoy bitches!
alot changes in a week and with what may be the most unpredictable draft in sometime, I'm sure alot more will come saturday. all that said, here goes.
1) Det - QB Mathew Stafford. There's some talk and speculation that it will be one of the top OT's but franchise QB's are way harder to find than lineman.
2) SL - T Jason Smith. Finally the Rams get a tackle. Smith edges out Monroe for his on the field disposition and brings a little bit of nastiness at the snap of the ball. Helps out in the pass and the run.
3) KC - * trade down. or LB Aaron Curry. Here's where the real drama starts. KC has several needs and would probably rather trade down and get better value than have to pay #3 money to a guy that would be a #10 pick in any other draft. With all the love flying around for Sanchez and with Seattle linked to be one of the teams with a man crush on him, it'd be wise to move ahead of them to get him. Washington would love to land this pick but probably doesn't have the ammo to move up. The Jets are probably the most likely to move up, but may not be willing to pay the cost of moving up from 17. If the Cheifs are willing to take less value than what the draft chart shows then a swap with NY could very well be in the cards. All that said, if KC stays then look for them to draft the best defensive player on the board with either Curry or Orakapo drafted to help start the new 3-4 the team is switching over to. With Curry being the safest pick and rated as the best player overall he edges out everyone else. LSU DE Jackson has been linked here aswell being that it's hard to find true 5 tech DE's, but he's not quite #3 material.
4) Sea - T Eugene Monroe. In what may be a smokescreen, Seahawks are rumored to be looking closely at QB Mark Sanchez to sit behind Hasselbeck. While it may be smart to do so, (Sea doesn't plan to be drafting close to #4 again anytime soon), their most pressing need is at T where Walter Jones is 35 and beat up. Monroe is a legitamate LT and with it rumored that he could go to KC, my hunch is that Sea is showing the Sanchez love in order to get someone to swap with KC and ensuring that Monroe drops to them.
5) Cle - DE/OLB Brian Orakapo. Another hard to nail pick; Cle could go se,veral different ways here. If they trade WR Edwards they could give a serious thought on WR Crabtree, maybe even if they don't move Edwards. They could also go with DE Jackson, (doubtfull though), or maybe even LB Curry if he falls. I've also seen DT Raji and CB Jenkins mentioned at this pick. In the end though, I feel that even if they do move Edwards that they'd be wise to find an explosive pass rusher to finally get some pressure on Roethlisberger, Palmer, and Flacco. Pressure would help their DB's out and rushers are far harder to find later in drafts than WR's are.
6) Cin - T Andre Smith. Yet another unpredictable pick here. The Bengals need all kinds of help, maybe none more that at OT. After loosing Houshmandzedah and maybe Ocho Cinco WR Crabtree would be a good addition, but without time or protection he'd be running for nothing on Sundays. DT Raji could go here due to the fact that he's a better fit in a 4-3 which the Bengals happen to run, but I feel they'd rather have DE Orakpo if he's available if they wish to ignore their line until later. In the end though, Smith makes the Bengals better from day one and prior to his mental meltdows was the top OL... a review of his tapes shows that he has rare talent to suceed at a high level in the NFL.
7) Oak - WR Jeremy Maclin. I've seen where DT Raji has been linked here; but why would you draft a soft player, who is on the ground a lot, and takes plays off regularly.. just to replace guys who are soft, on the ground a lot, and who takes plays off frequently. With WR and OT their most pressing needs, I see Davis grabing a WR who has produced at a high level. Maclin has the wheels that Al loves; thus I see him skipping over Crabtree for Oak. The only thing that would make Maclin not go here, would be if Davis goes for Heyward-Bey who runs just a little faster. If T Smith falls he could possibly land here.
8) JV - DT BJ Raji. A real boom or bust player, he is the big bodied DT that the Jaguars made trendy in their glory days. They've been linked to be in the Sanchez sweepstakes, but that'd be a vanity pick for a coach who's on the hotseat. They at least made an attempt at securing their biggest needs with the FA signing of T Thomas and WR Holt; so now they move on to making their front 4 more fearsome. If Del Rio doesn't feel comfortable with all of Raji's risk, then WR Crabtree would be a good pick here. They could also trade down if Sanchez is still around.
9) GB - *trade down. DE/OLB Aaron Maybin. The Packers are trying to switch over to the 3-4 and will be looking to find the players to fit it. One of their biggest needs would be to find a player to rush the QB from the OLB position and Maybin can do that well. He's an undersized DE who reminds some scouts of Jason Taylor. One plus is that he comes from the Big 10 so Lambeau winters shouldn't be a factor in his play. If Sanchez is still on the board GB should have several offers, esp from the Jets who can afford to move up here. With the Redskins at 13 the Packers should still be able to get the player they want aswell.
10) SF - WR Michael Crabtree. It's possible he could fall here, not likely but possible. If he's not then the 49ers should instead focus on their defense, the pass rush in particular. Either DE/OLB Everette Brown, or Aaron Maybin. DE Tyson Jackson is a possibility here aswell since he's suited for a 3-4, but they drafted Balmer in the 1st last year so they should go after the edge speed rusher to get after the potent passers in their division. If QB should by some unforseen circumstance fall here, the 49ers would most likely stop his plummet.
11) Buf - T Micheal Oher. In a move that was made necessary by moving LT Peters to the Eagles, the Bills get the last of the blue chip T prospects. With the pass rush and OLB play being poor in Buf last season, they could go for Brown or Maybin... but since they run the 4-3 that neither player is suited for, they'd be better served by waiting til #28 to grab a part time 3rd down pass rusher. Plus there's no legit OT's at 28 to replace Peters.
12) Den - DE Tyson Jackson. Jackson's stock has soared lately due to the fact that he's one of the few legitimate 3-4 DE's, and with the Broncos switching to it this year they need to grab the players to make it work. If Jackson falls here Den would love to snag him ahead of division rival SD who would be targeting him aswell. CB/S Malcolm Jenkins would be a good pick here also to play opposite old man Champ Baily or old man Brian Dawkins.
13) Was - DE Robert Ayers. One of the teams likely to really mortgage their future by trying to move up and draft QB Sanchez; it's concievable that either KC, Cle, Cin, JV, or GB would be picking here instead. With several team needs the Redskins would be wise to trade down and probably still land Ayers if they can find any takers. Ayers is a boom or bust type player in that he was a one year wonder in Tennessee, but he's the only true 1st round 4-3 DE... he also showed well at the Senior Bowl against OT's Smith and Oher. If Oher is still available here the Skins could look to take him to play RT until Samules hangs up the cleats.
14) NO - LB Brian Cushing. With needs at RB I've seen Benie Wells here, but with RB depth good later, and it being a part time position in NO, they'd be wise to address a different position with an impact player. Cushing would start from day 1 and could make a difference in a very vanila Defense. Without a 2nd round pick, the Saints would be wise to move down and aquire more players.
15) Hou - CB/S Malcolm Jenkins. The Texans have several needs on Defense with DE, DT, OLB, CB, and S all starting either underachievers or spare players. If DE Ayers or DT Raji fall here they could be intriguing as well as LB Cushing. As it is though Davis would be the biggest impact defender left to them. Jenkins is the top rated DB in this draft and is a very battle tested solid player from Ohio St that will be a very safe pick. His only knock is that he lacks elite speed... luckily for him he has the size to move to FS if he doesn't make it at CB. If he's gone then super talented but poster child for character risk Davis could be possible.
16) SD - RB Knowshown Moreno. I'm not real comfortable with this pick personally. SD needs a S, OL, DE, future NT, probably an ILB, and even possibly an OLB. So taking a RB with Tomlinson and Sproles around would be a luxury; but LT is on the decline and probably out the door after next season, and Sproles is a FA next season and very very small in size for everydown play. Moreno is the best RB and would make next seasons tough decisions easier. If DE Jackson falls here he could be a possibility. The Chargers could go for DE/OLB Everette Brown or ILB Rey Maualuga also.
17) NYJ - *trade up. QB Mark Sanchez. The team most likely to trade up as they have more picks than Washington. Built to win now after this and last seasons free agent hauls, they are now missing a QB with Favre's retirement. If they're unable to make a move up then they would most likely grab a WR here, most likely either Maclin or Heyward-Bey.
18) Den - ILB Rey Maualuga. Another bigger player to help switch over to a 3-4, Rey is a big physical pressence that would make an impact. The Broncos could also trade down in order to find a NT that would be a reach here at 18. Could be tempted by one of the defensive players mentioned earlier whom could fall or go for CB Davis.
19) TB - DT Perria Jerry. With needs everywhere, they'd be wise to trade down. They'd also be wise to shy away from the QB Freeman in that he's a very boom or bust prospect. When he's compared with QB's Cullpepper, Campbell, and Leftwich it doesn't bode well. Jerry is considered by some to be the best DT this year and would fill an immediate need.
20) Det - CB Vontrae Davis. With the rest of the OT's available to the Lions at the top of the 2nd they'd be better served by addressing the Defense that was mostly to blame for them going 0-16. If Jerry falls here he'd be welcomed with open arms as well as any of the Defenders who could slide. DT Ziggy Hood and LB James Laurinatis are possibilities as well if Davis's character deters the Lions.
21) Phi - *trade for either Boldin or Edwards. TE Brandon Pettigrew. Would be tempted by Moreno if he falls, and could also go for a WR here incase they don't land one of the veterans on the trading block. Pettitgrew is the top rated TE who has great size, blocks, and is a good reciever... would replace LJ Smith.
22) Min - T Eben Britton. The best of the 2nd tier OT's will sneak into the bottom of the 1st just like high 2nd T's do every year. The Vikings could also look at WR here.
23) NE - OLB Clay Mathews. Perfectly suited to replace Vrabel, very similar type player. His father also played for Beliceck.
24) Atl - LB James Laurinatis. With DT, DE, and SS bigger needs, the Falcons hate to see all the 1st round type players gone here. DE Everette Brown is a possibility here if he falls but he's a part time player due to his lack of size, same for DE Michael Johnson. Lauinatis would start and bring leadership. With so many holes to fill though, Atl would be best served by trading down.
25) Mia - LB Clint Sintim. Everette Brown would be tempting if still available, but Sintim played OLB in college for former Parcells assistant Groeh. WR Kenny Britt is also a possibility due to his size, but Bill opts for his favorite possition in order to make Brady's life difficult.
26) Bal - WR Darrius Heyward-Bey. Probably won't be available due to his 4.3 speed, but his production suggest he should be picked in this area. They could also look at other WR's such as Britt, Nicks, and Harvin here but each come with question marks. CB Davis or Butler could be possibilities.
27) Ind - DT Evander Hood. A bit of a reach, Hood is the best available DT and suits the upfield athletic style of Defense that the Colts play.
28) Buf - DE Everrette Brown. Not likely to fall this far, at 28 the Bills would feel better about him only playing on passing downs. If he's not available here then either DE Johnson or C Alex Mack would be strong possibilities.
29) NYG - *trade for WR Edwards or Boldin. If the Giants can't make a deal then WR Kenny Britt whom many scouts compare to TO and Brandon Marshall on and off the field could wind up replacing Burress. LB Laurinatis would be a good fit aswell if he falls here.
30) Ten - CB Darrius Butler. Super athlete with little production, in a class that's weak at DB, Butler has seen his stock soar. Ten does a good job at identifying needs down the road and grabbing players to have for them later... thus the CB pick here. CB Alphonso Smith, WR Hakeem Nicks, WR Percy Harvin, or a DT could also be the pick here.
31) Arz - RB Chris Wells. One of the top backs who has good speed for a big guy, he replaces Edge and keeps the Cards offense rolling. DE Jarron Gilbert or NT Ron Brace could be possible here as well as DE Fili Moala. DE/OLB Larry English could sneak in here also.
32) Pit - *trade down or C/G Alex Mack. The Steelers need a T badly but none available carry a 1st round grade; if Pit takes one it would be a Hou for Brown type reach. If they cant move down, (Dallas looks like a possibility here), then they'd go for Mack who is the best C in the draft and wait for a T next round. With an aging DL they could take a serious look at DE Moala or Gilbert or NT Brace. CB's Davis or Butler could be tempting if they slide as well as undersized but very solid CB Alphonso Smith.