I can't think of a better way to ease back into this whole blogging thing than asking a friend of ours, and guest columnist, The Sherpa of Camping, to help me out with one of my favorite things to do this time of year: Mock Draft!
Over the past week or so, me and sherp have been Emailing back and forth, taking turns drafting for the NFL teams we love to watch. He got the Odd numbers, I got the Even, and we both took a stab at the cowboys. Enjoy one of the more sports intensive things we do.
1. St. Louis Rams - QB Sam Bradford, OU. (Sherp)
Going against my earlier prediction Bradford has risen above fellow QB Clausen all though by a slim margin. Bradford's workout answered any questions teams had about his shoulder health thus springboarding him atop the list.
As a prospect he's been compared to Peyton Manning in accuracy and field IQ by some scouts; if that's close to true he becomes the next great Pro Bowl QB for whom ever drafts him. His arm is decent and better than average but far from elite so he isn't for everyone. The fact that he played in a spread shotgun formation in college also concerns some teams in that he's never even taken a snap from center not to mention make pro style reads.
What's very interesting to read about now are all the trade rumors regarding Bradford and the Rams, (I predicted they'd trade down but not like this). One interesting scenerio is involving the Redskins. They are very interested in Bradford which is humorous considering his Cherokee Indian ancestry. The Rams could draft Bradford and then depending on who's available when Washington is on the clock could pull a San Diego with Eli trade. I'd think that the Rams would take Campbell plus a Ditka/Saints draft for Ricky type thing for Bradford... esp with Clausen available at 4.
Big - I like the pick of Bradford for the Rams. The way they have acted in the off season almost guarantees that they take a QB early in this draft. If not here, then pick one of the second round. As for the trade talks, if anybody is really into Bradford, i think the rams need to listen. They have a lot of holes, and if somebody really wants to jump up to get Bradford, or even Suh (i'm looking at you Tampa Bay), then in my opinion, they should take it. Now on to the lowly lions.
2. Detroit Lions - DT Ndamukong Suh Neb (Big)
Suh is the best player in the draft. He showed it on the field last year, he didn't disappoint in pro days, this kid is good. As most teams at the top of the draft the Lions have lots and lots of holes, and one big one is at left tackle, so it wouldn't surprise me to see Okung here, but you can't pass on a player like Suh. He is too good. This guy could be A Bruce Smith or Reggie White type of D linemen, and those don't come along every year. The Lions need playmakers, and Suh is one hell of playmaker. They will also be able to move he along slowly, because they gave up a 5th round pick to Cleveland for Corey William.
(sherp) I agree with Big on this... Suh to Det is a steal! He is the #1 player in this draft and would be in the top 5 in any draft the last 5 years I feel. He is a monster on the field and not only displays the size, strength, and athleticism to be great; but he also shows great technique and hand placement to succeed on the next level. I've seen where many people are enamored with fellow DT McCoy but he's more of a penetrating 3 tech that uses quickness to slip gaps. In Det's scheme Suh fits better with his ability to engage OL protecting LB's, and then separate to make plays. Last parting shot for all the OT people asking for Okung; with the OL depth this year why would you pass on Reggie White for Flozell Adams?
#3 Tampa Bay (Sherp)- DT Gerald McCoy
With several holes to fill with the exception of possibly OL the Buccaneers get to select the 2nd best DL and top 5 overall player. TB was pathetic on the DL last season and McCoy could cure much of that for them. At OU he displayed freakish athletic ability and was a big time playmaker. He is a bit one dimensional and undersized so he isn't for everyone; fortunately TB incorporates a one gap philosophy on D so he's a no brainer here for them. With the new Sapp on board their defensive retooling is ahead of schedule and New Orleans should take notice that a new Saint killer is lacing up.
(Big)Tamp would love nothing more than to have either Suh or McCoy fall to them. Their defense that was so strong just a few years ago is in need of a retooling of sorts, and this pick is a fantastic add for them. The old adage of you build a team from the trenches is in play at this pick, and they could even go Okung if they don’t have faith in Donald Penn.
#4 Washington Redskins (Big)- Russell Okung, T, Oklahoma St. (McNabb trade when down after we picked this pick, but before we finished the mock)
Here is where things can really get interesting. For the longest time I have debated on whether or not the Skins take a QB here. They got a new coach, Mike Shannahan, who is an offensive guy who likes his QB’s, but I really think that he will give Jason Campbell one more shot to prove himself(edit: or trade a 2nd for an aging QB). Campbell was sacked 81 times over the past 2 years, yet he as steadily improved in the stat column, including completion percentage. The idea here is if you have a franchise LT, your QB will have more time to make good throws. Okung is my pick, with Campbell as the starter, and if he sucks again this year, Jake Locker will be their QB in 2011(Edit: or McNabb).
Sherp - The Washington pick makes sense but I still don't like it. LT vs QB is a chicken vs egg argument. Personally I feel that you ALWAYS grab a franchise QB when he's available since you never know when you'll get a shot at one again. I bet St Louis wishes they had Ryan, Flacco or Sanchez; or Cleveland would like a re-do on Sanchez. In this case I feel that Clausen is a franchise QB and I feel is in the same class as Sanchez and Ryan. He has a strong arm, good accuracy and poise, showed he was a gamer and playmaker for an undermanned Notre Dame team, and he's been trained in a pro offense by a former NFL offensive co-ordinator. That said, if the Redskins think the egg comes first then Okung is a great pick.
#5 Kansas City (Sherp)- Trade Down. or if not then S Eric Berry
What a crappy position the Chiefs are in. They need to revamp a shotty D as well as a pathetic OL and while they can do so here the value of the players doesn't exactly equal the money paid at #5. They would waste all of 2 seconds handing in the card for Okung but the Redskins screwed them outta that honor. The next best OL each have warts of consideration for a #5 pick; Baluga has 33 inch arms and for a LT that's like playing in the NBA under 6'0, Williams isn't much better at 6'4 with 34" arms and a poor attitude and work ethic. So turning their attention to Defense they decide to overpay a top notch player at a fringe position. Berry is a phenomenal athlete and playmaker who should start from day one. He's a next coming of Ed Reed and a few big picks later will quiet the rumblings from the detractors saying #5 is too high for a Safety.
(Big). Berry to KC is the best they can do there, unless they really like a player such Bulagra, JPP, Davis, or even Dez Bryant. The only real problem people seem to have with berry is that teams don't normally draft a Safety this high. I say if the kid can play, and Eric Berry most def can, than you take him. He could be Ed freakin' Reed part 2. And now we go on to the Seahawks, who have 2 picks early in this draft.
#6 Seatle Seahawks. Bryan Bulaga OT Iowa (big)
The Seahawks have picks 6 and 14 in the first round, a new coach, and lots of holes to fill if they want to be contenders in the near future. Walter Jones, the outstanding left tackle over the past decade is gone via retirement, so they take the big guy from Iowa. They already have their QB of the future (or so they hope) in Charlie Whitehurst, so Clausen is out, and there is no guarantee that another of the big OT will be available when they pick again. Bulaga is my pick for them.
Sherp - poor whitehurst, he better not be brittle since it looks like Hasselhoff (norm impersonation there) will be K.I.A soon. Don’t get me wrong, I like Bulaga... he's a good quality player with good size and athleticism, good playing temperament, nice technique. He just has one glaring flaw; his arm length is only 33 inches which at LT is a huge disadvantage. I know it sounds nit-picky but it's true. I feel that Bulaga would make a good RT, a pro bowl caliber LG, but an average to decent LT that teams will always be looking to upgrade. Overall he compares to Lions LT Jeff Backus whom also suffers from a short reach. At some point 2 or 3 years from now Sea will be looking for a LT again all the while paying a gaurd or RT #6 money. If Berry were still here he'd be a lock, but as is, I see Sea shoring up very poor DE play by grabbing Derrick Morgan. They could always grab WR Bryant here but he should still be available later.
#7 Cleveland (Sherp) - QB Jimmy Clausen Notre Dame
frost the mugs, grab the pretzels, and get ready to start sipping the hater-ade... folks do not like this guy. Once the Todd McDouche's get on the air with this pick Cle may move to Baltimore once again just to escape the Dawg Pound. All that said, I'll go out on a limb and say that QB is still a need even with Delhome. Clausen is a blue chip athlete with great accuracy and a good arm. He's proven to be a gamer who yearns to win and enjoys the game; he's also proven to be durable behind a poor OL and searing media spotlight. He's also very pro ready after being groomed by Weis at ND, good to know given that the over under on Delhome getting yanked is week 5. One parting thought here... the knock on Jimmy is that he's cocky, a punk some say; well whether it's the Phillip Rivers, Tony Romo, Brett Favre good kind of rock star, or the Rex Grossman, Jeff George, Ryan Leaf bad kind... the Hall of Fame is in Cleveland.
Big - I love the pick of Clausen to the Browns. Doucher or no, the kid can play, and the idea that he may not be a leader seems farfetched to me. Last year when playing for a porous ND, he played his best ball in the fourth quarter, which is when the winners play. I'm not saying he is the next coming of Joe Montana, but as a whole, I like him more than Bradford, and to get him at 7, is a steal.
8. Oakland Raiders - Bruce Campbell OT Maryland
Oakland needs a LT, Al Davis loves combine guys, Bruce Campbell preformed extremely well at the combine, This pick makes too much since. The thing about the Raiders is you never really know with them, and with the Corpse that still walks in Al Davis. Campbell should be taken about 10-20 picks latter, but he fits just about everything we THINK we know about the Raiders, who always seems to shock. IF they really want to shock, they should take McClain or perhaps even Davis from Rutgers, a "safer" tackle pick.
Sherp - this pick makes too much sense... I forsee Davis drafting the best Long Snapper to help his multi zillion dollar investment in his kicker and his punter. Campbell is by far the combine gold medalist, and while his film doesn't have him this high, his measurable even intrigue me compared to the rest of his peers after Okung. If he can be coached up 3 years from now he'll be the next Walter Jones; if not he'll be next in a long line of "retired on an island bought with Al Davis's wasted bonus money.
#9 Buffalo T Trent Williams
Fearful that Davis would grab the safer pick with upside? Not the Bills, they knew he'd get all starry eyed with combine results. Luckily for them they get "arguably" the 2nd best LT prospect to shore up their pop warner-esq OL. Williams was a dominant RT 2 years ago and an adequate LT this past fall, but he has the talent and potential to develop and become good there with Buffalo. Worse case scenario if he doesn't pan out he could always move to G or C after having some experience there. With multiple needs on the Bills OL they can take a chance on an upside prospect that has a contingency plan built in.
Big - Trent Williams is one of the guys that I have seen going everywhere from top 10 to second round. Buffalo is good to pick a guy like him with as many problems as they have. Half of me however expects that Chan Gailey will try and get a defensive player in this draft, and the best thing a 3-4 defense can have in a stud OLB/DE. I really like the freak JPP here, but you can never really go wrong with a guy like Williams.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars - Dez Bryant WR Oklahoma State
Jacksonville has many holes, but none bigger than fan apathy. Whats the best way to put people in the seats? Draft a skill player real high. Yes, they could use a DE, and yes they could draft Tebow, but he can be had later (i think). SO if you can somehow get Tebow by trading up, what a better way to sell tickets to your fans than saying "we got Tim Tebow, we got the best WR Dez Bryant, come buy a ticket!"
Sherp - I hate to admit it but I have to agree with Bigs logic a lot. I had Bryant and possibly JPP (whom I'm not a fan of) as the sexy pick for JV while shoring up a weak secondary was their biggest and most pressing need, (they do have to play Indy and Hou twice a year).
11 Den - LB Rolando McClain
with several holes for this team to fill, basically the top rated guy at this point would help. I'm very tempted to add CB Haden here, but there are several 2nd and 3rd round players vs maybe 1 or 2 ILB avail for 3-4 teams. McClain is a bon-a-fide stud at the position and is the most pro ready player at his position to come along since Willis for SF. McClain would bring a presence and identity to the Broncos D. Sure fire winner.
Big – McDaniel’s is a defensive guy, and he has already shored up the D-Line, their biggest need coming into this year, so a guy like McClain, is perfect for them, even more so since Bryant is off the board.
12. Miami Dolphins - Jason Pierre-Paul DE South Florida
Joey Porter is gone, Jason Taylor is old, and the 3-4 which Miami runs is in need of someone who can really put some pressure on the QB. JPP is a 6-6 260lbs freak that can they could mold into the pass rusher they really need. This was the hardest pick for me thus far, the dolphins don't really have need for the talent that is available here, thus a trade down and picking up somebody like Kindle and then another WR might be the way they go if the draft works out this way. They could also go corner here since Joe Haden is still on the board.
Sherp - I knew big would go there and while he's got some merit behind it... I'd personally opt for NT Dan Williams. 3-4 NT are harder to find than a sober sorority girl on spring break, while DE/OLB are all over the 2nd and 3rd round, many even later.
All that said I personally am not sold on JPP in that he's only had one year College exp (juco first 2) and it was at a mid major at that... plus he had little production for someone so talented. If one's looking past that and envisioning what is "possible" with his entire phenomenal God given athletic ability, then this pick is a steal. He has the tools to be the next D Ware... or V Gholston.
SF - CB Joe Haden
on tape he grades out as a top 10 talent but a poor combine (later corrected in pro day) dropped him. Instead of going to the athletes combine processing factories that so many others do, Haden opted to work out with his dad costing him millions in the process. His loss is SF's gain in that he's the top CB available and it is a top need for them.
Big - Joe Haden, probably the best CB in the draft, fell all the way to 13? Not bad at all. While Corner may not be their biggest need, the best part of having 2 first round picks is that you can take somebody who is falling and still have a pick that you can use to fill a need later.
14 Seattle Seahawks. Derrick Morgan DE Georgia Tech
Much like San Fran, they hawks have a 2 picks, and have already addressed a need at OT with Bulaga, they can take the BPA type here, as well as fill another hole on their d line with the end from Georgia Tech. Morgan is probably the best 4-3 defensive end in the draft, and will help out with Pete Carols move to Seattle, let us not forget, Carol is a defensive guy, always has been.
Sherp - love the Morgan pick as I had him in the top 8, esp since I felt Sea would grab him at 6. Even the ever tempting FS Thomas (Sea has 1 or 2 safeties on the roster) would be an option, but there are a lot more S in 2nd and 3rd then there are stud DE's
#15 NY-Giants DT Dan Williams
Damn the luck, Morgan goes one spot in front of them. Honestly I could see them moving up in front of Sea to either Mia or SF spots to go get him. But as is they take another sliding player in Williams whom I had going to Mia. (So a trade down here would net them a player they covet and another pick... hmm). Williams is a solid big bodied DT that would shore up a need spot for the g men. Next up, a MLB.
Big - There is no doubt that what made the gmen so great just a few short years ago was having the best d-line in all of football. Trying to get back to that makes perfect since for them.
16 Tennessee Titans - Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise St.
Here is another team that saw Morgan slipping and should really think about jumping up and giving up a pick or two to get him. They are in desperate need of help on the Defensive line, but with what’s here right now, and the fact that they need a corner to start from jump street, the high rising Kyle Wilson from Boise is my pick for them. It seems every day the stock of Wilson rises up, and what was thought of as a 2nd rounder just a few short weeks ago, is now a legit middle first guy. Some even have Wilson rated over Harden. The Titans still need some DE to rush the passer, but they may not need a number one corner for awhile after this pick.
Sherp - like this pick. Ten needs a DE, a CB, and did I mention a DE? Unfortunately for them at this pick it's either Griffen from USC who is an underachiever but is super talented, or the super talented but way super underachieving Dunlop from Florida. If they select either they are likely to be drafting a DE again this time next year so CB would be best and either Wilson or McCourty (who’s twin Jason was drafted by Ten last year) are the next best. An intriguing selection for them may be LB Kindle who played DE and LB. He'd stay at LB in the Ten 4-3 but as a SLB who can blitz or cover TE's on 1st and 2nd down, and then line up at DE on 3rd down situations.
#17 SF - T Anthony Davis
With a big need at RT the 49ers hit gold and get the last of the surefire 1st round LT prospects. He has great size and tremendous ability which have several teams feeling he can play LT. His down side is that he doesn't play to his potential and has some immaturity and accountability issues. All said, to get a top 15 talent who can become a top LT someday while being a very good RT in the mean time, is a steal for SF.
Big - so the 49ers get the best corner in the draft (Haden), and one of the first round grade LT's? That’s not a bad draft at all. I'm sure some Niner fans will be disappointed that the pick wasn't the flashy running back CJ Spiller to be the lightning to Frank Gore's Thunder, but with as deep as this draft is at RB, a burner can probably be had later in the draft. Davis isn't my favorite tackle, but he does have potential to be a nice LT in this league.
18 Pittsburgh Steelers - Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
I toyed with Earl Thomas the FS from Texas here, but if there is anything that I remember from last year, it’s that the Steelers did two things different last year than their championship past, 1 they passed a lot, whether due to lack of a running game, or emergence of a passing threat, and that when they passed a lot, Rothlisberger got hit. A Lot. So as much as I would love for this guy to slip, Iupati is the best O-Linemen on the draft board, and if you play him at guard, he can be the malling, nasty runblocker that this team needs.
Sherp - love this pick... Steelers have been playing with an adequate at best OL for a couple of years now and it has affected their running game and big Bens backside. Even with holes in their secondary Pit goes the smart route knowing the quality of DB's later is better than the depth at OL. It's pretty much either Iutupi who is the best G by far and even can play T, or Pouncy who is the best C in some time and can play G also. In the end Iutupi is rated higher and has more promise.
19 Atlanta - RB CJ Spiller
A flashy sexy pick that I feel makes the most sense for them. I know their defense is full of holes but I highly doubt who ever they pick at 19 will single handedly beat NO for them. On the other hand though... Spiller can be the game breaker they lack on offense and would be the dynamic player to put them over the top in their division on a good day. Spiller will never be a bell cow type, but Atlanta has that already. What Spiller will be is a change of pace home run threat who can also kill people in the passing and return game. I see the falcons using him in a Reggie Bush, Felix Jones, Percy Harvin kinda way. Finaly, for those screaming for D; would Atl fans rather lose to NO 33-31, or win 41-37?
Big - For me, the Spiller to ATL pick is something that makes since, but with no second round pick, and like you said, plenty of defensive holes, as strong as you offense would be with spiller, your defense would be just slightly upgraded with a 3rd and 4th rounder and Dunta Robinson. They need help getting to the passer, and with guys like DE Everson Griffen, DE Carlos Dunlap, and what would be my pick, Sergio Kindle, a guy who can play both OLB on 1st and 2nd and DE on third down, rushing the passer and helping from multi possessions.
20 Houston Texans - Earl Thomas FS Texas
the Texans need help in their secondary, as well as a guy to help spell Steve Slaton, who had one hell of sophomore slump, but RB's can be had later, and corner depth is good, but not worth the pick yet, unless they really like the Kid from Rutgers, so they take the best FS in the draft not named Berry, and a guy who at pick 20 is a very nice value. Thomas is a ball hawk, and can even play corner some if need be for the Texans, who lost underachieving, yet very talented CB Dunta Robinson.
Sherp - This pick makes a ton of sense; the Texans have been looking for a playmaking safety since they came into existence. And like big said, he rates higher than any of the CB options out there.
21 WKRP (another Norm moment) – LB Sergio Kindel.
The Bengals are in a pickle here with this pick, I've struggled with it for some time now. I've seen where most people have S Mayes going here to replace R. Williams, but that would be trading one hard hitting over sized S that can't cover for another hard hitting oversized S that can't cover. I've also seen where the OU TE is popular here, but he's more of a luxury pick I feel since he offers nothing in the blocking department. I know with late season injuries to DE Odom and DT Peko that DL has to be on the Bengals radar. The only problem is that you're looking at underachieving DE Griffen and Dunlop, or the DT Price who scouts have anywhere from 16 to 50. As much as Cincinnati loves the problem underachiever (Dunlop anyone?) I feel that they build off of last years success and go with...
LB Sergio Kindel. he will play SLB on 1st n 2nd and then kick down on 3rd.
Big - I agree the Bengals are in a tough spot here, but it would be a shame if Sergio Kindle, who has to be the best pure 3-4 olb speed rusher doesn’t go to a 3-4 team. Me personally, i go Dunlap.
22 New England Pats - Brandon Graham, OLB, Michigan
Graham was another guy who at the senior bowl and combine, he really helped himself. He played DE at Mich, and was just sick with rushing the passer. His 6-2 260 frame with a 4.6 40 means he will play OLB in a 34 type defense. New England really needs a rush type player to help them get after the QB, as they only had 31 sacks all of last year.
Sherp - if he's 6'2 he grew an inch. At the combine he measured in 6'1 and 3/8. That said, he should convert to a 3-4 OLB deluxe. I have Pitt, NE, and Arz all interested in his talent and playmaking ability. In fact I almost had him going to Cin as a DE. I agree with Big in that Kindle will be a pro-bowl 3-4 OLB but it's not the Bengals fault that he's the only DE/LB who can actually play a more traditional SLB role, can't fault them for taking the highest rated player who slid to them. As far as NE goes they need both LB and DE so in a close race between Graham and Odrick either could go there. Odrick is a beast at the 5 tech but Graham would make a bigger impact so he gets the nod. Besides, with like 10 of the 32 2nds NE can find their DE.
23 Green Bay - T Charles Brown
In a controversial pick, the Packers elect to protect their franchise. Last year Rodgers got destroyed behind the GB line. Brown is a converted TE for USC who played dominant in college and answered questions about his size at the combine coming in over 300lbs. He is an ultra athletic player who fits the Packers zone scheme. If GB goes another direction with this pick it could be for FSU CB Robinson who has the athletic ability and size to fare well in the Packers man coverage scheme. I just feel that there are far more CB's available later than LT with talent.
Big - Not a bad pick, and most def an understandable one when you think about how bad the packers were at protecting Rodgers last year. With the top tackles gone, Brown is one of the guys who sits atop of the 2nd tier of tackles that should go late first early second. I could also see them going after a corner like McCourty to eventually take the place of Charles Woodson, or Taylor Mays, to play Safety for them.
24 - Philadelphia Eagles - Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
So the "trade" has happened, which is a good thing for both team in my honest opinion (although as a cowboy fan, I hope it hurts both teams massively), now the Eagles have to start improving their team with youth, and they start by drafting the corner McCourty to play on the other side of Asante Samules. They need secondary help, and Taylor Mays might be a more "value" pick here, but I’m not sold on the guy as most people are. They could also use a LB like Jerry Hughes or Sean Weatherspoon, but if Andy Reid has proved anything over his 11 year run of this team is he likes corners, and he always drafts them high.
Sherp - hard to argue with the pick... Philly usually either drafts the O and D line or CB in the 1st. And even though they need a DE pretty bad, they also need a CB after trading away one. McCourty fits the Philly style of D, he is in the mold of the 5'11 195 CB's that can run and change direction quickly that the Eagles seem to love. One great thing about him is that his game films match up with his good combine; he has good route recognition and breaks on the ball well. He also was a big time special teamer for Rutgers playing the "gunner" on kickoffs and punts, returning kickoffs and punts, and has blocked 7 kicks in his career. Hard to do worse.
25 - Baltimore - CB Patrick Robinson
the FSU player is in the mold of Deion, Rolle, and Cromartie whom were all great athletes to suite up and play CB for the Seminoles. He has the ability to be mentioned with them, but not yet the feathers in his bonnet. Bal needs CB's badly and DL almost as much. Even though Odrick is tempting at this point as is Dunlop (bet Ray Lewis could get him going); but at the end of the day the Ravens NEED help in the secondary. Robinson is a very smooth athlete born to play man coverage on an island which the Ravens like to incorporate. His biggest knock is maturity and accountability issues as well as a lack of production for someone so talented. This late in the 1st though if he plays even close to his potential Baltimore gets a steal
Big - Patrick Robinson can play, but to me he's a second round guy. With the run on Corners that we have had, though, it’s no real surprise that he sneaks into the first round to Baltimore. It wouldn't surprise me if they go DT/DE in Odrick, like you said, and it also wouldn't surprise me if they go TE with Gresham from Oklahoma here as well. Todd Head hasn't lived up to his draft slot, and with the addition of Anquan Boldin, Joe Flaco could use all the weapons he can get.
26. Arizona Cardinals - Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU
Yes I know the birds signed Jerry Porter, but how much does he really have left? Jerry Hughes, who played DE in college, but will play outside linebacker in the pros is the type of guy that might need a little time to learn his new position, but when he does, he has all the tools to be a force in the this league for a long time. He was a 2 time Nauguski finalist, and performed very well at the combine, proving he is worth a late 1.
Sherp - great pick! Arizona lacked a pass rush from their hybrid version of the 3-4 and all of their top 3 OLB are in their mid 30's or older. Even though they need a new inside guy to replace Fox... I feel that Hughes would make a far larger impact and thus deserves the nod. Arizona also needs a new LT (or RT with Leinert being a southpaw), but the talent here is basically Guards with talent enough to consider at Tackle thus bumping them up half a round.
27 - Dallas - trade down.
BOOOOO! heard round the world. Every year Jerry gets all cute and fucks around and screws us out of a draft. (Instead of trading down for spares that wont make the roster last year, I screamed that we should have traded out ala Patriots. Now they have tons of 2nd round picks in a deep draft while we wound up with tons of 5th round picks in a crappy draft.) Anyways, this year I feel we should trade down. I think that the draft falls off to a lesser tier around pick 27 (unfortunate for us), and with the Boys needs not matching the talent at this spot it makes sense if we can harvest 2 talented prospects vs reaching for 1 right now. I feel that our biggest needs are at S, OL, and DL. It's been needs for some time as well, but now we finally do something about it. That said it's hard to pull the trigger here on one of them. I'll describe a few on my radar below...
FS- Nate Allen - a ball hawking centerfielder with great range on the back half. His knock is that he's the opposite of physical, almost Deion-esq. Also, it's predicted that he won't get much bigger or faster so his upside is lower than most prospects. That said he can play at a decent level and would most likely start, in nickel if nothing else. Sorta a 35 to 40 range guy that I like and would at least consider reaching for.
G/T- Vladimir Duccassee - a raw player with great size and athleticism from a small college. By seasons end he was read about in the "sleeper" articles as a poor mans Larry Allen in that he was a tremendously talented G who played T from a small obscure college. Not so much anymore after having a good senior bowl and great combine. Still 27 is steep for a guy who couldn't even start at G for a year or two and is at least 3 years away from manning the LT spot. That said though, he's a diamond in the rough and if coached up properly, could be good 3 years from now. If Flozell were still around I'd probably reach for him here, maybe even still.
C/G Maurice Pouncy - a huge physical C who can play G in a pinch as well. He is listed as the best C to come out in some time and I've seen him go as high as Pit in some mocks. While C isn't our strongest need, it's good to know there's a back up to Gurode who can line up next to him at G in the mean time.
NT's Terrence Cody, Linvell Johnson, and Cam Thomas - still too early, but doubt they'll be around later with all the new 3-4 teams taking root.
DE Jerrod Odrick and Carlos Dunlop - 1st round prospects that could bump out underachieving Spears.
..... (drum roll)... and the player is.... Quincy Carter, err I mean Maurice Pouncy. He should be a pro bowl caliber C and could either play G or bump Gurode to G. Solid player at a not so much need.
Big - Ahh, the vaunted trade down. The only way that works is if we can get 2 2nd round picks in this years draft, for our number one, or a 2nd this year and a first next. Anything other than that wouldn't be worth it. The teams with 2 2nd round picks are: Cheifs 36, 50, Bucks 35,42, Pats 44,47,53, and the eagles 37,55. To have a trade partner they have to have something that is available to you right then, that probably wont be when they pick again. The obvious player here is someone who is looking to get Tim Tebow. None of the team above would be interested. Maybe Indy gives you their first round and their late 2nd, but I am willing to bet that Tebow is still there at 31. Honestly, if they stayed here, I would have no problem with any of these guys, and my preference would be in this order.
Maurice Pouncy C/OG Florida
FS- Nate Allen USF
DE Jerrod Odrick
WR Golden Tate ND. Tate is the only one that Sherp didn't talk about. I know Miles did a great job last year, and i hope he can do it again, but there is a reason that Jerry hasn't made him a multiyear deal yet, he wants him to prove he was legit, not just a flash in the pan. This is a pick that will hedge that bet too. Tate is the clear number 2 WR in this draft, and if nothing else, he eases the pain of Roy Williams a bit.
Sherp - I just figured that if we're targeting Allen we may as well move down into top of 2nd and pluck him as well as getting another pick. Say a 3rd that we could then package with our 2nd to move up into the middle of the 2nd and grab a solid NT, DE, or Ducasse if he's still there. To trade it takes 2 to tango so it would pretty much be a team looking to grab a top talent (with Pouncy being the only one of note, possibly a team in love with RB Mathews or DE Griffen or Dunlop too I guess).
I also like the Golden Tate pick, he's a solid #2 who would at worse case scenerio push what's his name out of his slot receiver job.
Big - 28 San Diego Chargers - Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno St.
this seems to be one of the locks of the first round. The Chargers really need a RB, and they really like Mathews. He has decent speed (4.5), and can catch the ball out of the backfield, which is something backs in San Diego have to be able to do. They may have problems passing on Dunlap or maybe even Odrick as they are in need of D-Line help as well.
Sherp - I'm starting to come around to liking this pick. At first I felt that RB to SD was as cliché as OLB to NO used to be. But now after the combine performance by Mathews he all but guaranteed that he'd go in the 1st. His talent level suggests he'd be a successful back in a poormans version of the young LT. And unlike fellow combine heros Hardesty and Tate, Mathews has proven that he can carry 20+ times a game for several games in a row. Still, if the Chargers opt for DL or CB(though the run limits that), it wouldn't suprise me.
29 NY-Jets - DE Jared Odrick
Not a bad slide for the lucky Jets whom by having the Colts roll over wound up playing their way out of a upper teen/lower twenties pick. I could see Odrick going as high as NE, so for NY to upgrade their DL with the high motor playmaker that coach Ryan should love more than pork rinds and beer is a shrewd move. I could see them going with OL Ducasse as well since they have a couple of guys far past the good side of 30. A couple of years learning from the aging veterans would season him to step in down the road.
Big - Without a doubt this is a steal this late. With so many team switching to the 34, a guy who could play DE in a 34 or DT in a 43 with as high a motor as Odrick should have gone much higher, but alas, the Jets lucked out on this one.
30 Minnesota Vikings - Tim Tebow QB Florida
Look, somebody will reach for this guy. It would make since for a team like the Vikings, who will probably have Bret Favre back for one more year, and they can try and teach the young QB how to be an NFL QB. If he works out, they go from a 1 year window to a 7 year window. AD, Tebow, Harvin.......THATS a college probowl team!
Sherp - knew this was coming. I've actually seen it done by several Vik fans. I'm very iffy on this pick. Min needs a CB bad but they're off the board and the next best is a mid 2nd. They also need a DT but aren't likely to reach here either. I feel that they trade down or roll the dice big time on Tebow. At this point if all that's left are reaches or LB's then perhaps the Tebow thing is a good a shot as any. I like how the media circus will finaly not swirl around freaking Favre for once too with this pick. Best case scenario he's groomed to take over, worse case scenario he then gets traded for players/picks to a needy team. (Bet JV would give up a DT and a CB just to get Tebow.
31 Indianapolis - DT Brian Price.
In what is a tough call I went with a player I felt could start this year and have some upside. It was really between Price whom after the season was over was listed as a top 20 players do to his production (24 t.f.l. last season) at a good size 305 with decent athleticism... and G/T Saffold who is a fast riser due to his athleticism (another 2nd round G being bumped to the 1st due to having the physical tools to play T. I also debated the whole Taylor Mayes who could be moved to LB in the Colts fast D if he can't hack it at S. Indy could also go for higher rated LB Weatherspoon or DE Griffen.
Big - Price has good value here, and despite getting better against the run last, they still can have problems up the middle, and a big DT like Price is a nice get for them. The only thing that I might add is a WR. Yea, Pierre Garcon was a nice surprise last year, and we are all still waiting on Anthony Gonzalez to step up and play, but with good WR talent available, they might shock some people and take a WR.
32 - New Orleans Saints - Everson Griffin, DE, USC
One thing is for sure, the Saints NEED to get some pressure on the QB. Yea its fun to win games 35-28, but its even better for saint’s fans to watch their team knock some QB's on the turf, something they didn’t do at all last year. Griffin has warts, but he also has a lot of talent. He can step in and if his head is right, start at LE from day one.
Sherp - hard to argue this pick... physically he is a top 15 guy so purely this is a steal from an athlete point of view. Unfortunately from a production standpoint he's a 3rd round guy. As is it's a solid pick at a position of need and if the light goes off for him, and or he recieves good coaching; this pick could be huge looking back. Worse case scenario he provides depth for them much like any other player they could pick up here with the exception of possibly LB Weatherspoon. Pass rushers are far harder to find than LB's so Griffen should get the nod.
So Stay Tuned, round 2 and some thoughts about round one will be up when we get them.