Thursday, February 13, 2014

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Post Super Bowl

Here is my Post Super Bowl 2014 NFL Mock Draft. It will be followed by updates before and after the NFL Scouting Combine up until the NFL Draft on May 8th.

My mock draft has been linked by The Football Fan Spot, Sports Jabber, DC Pro Sports ReportWalter Football, FF Toolbox,, The Football ExpertFantasy Football Help Desk, The Huddle Report, Niners Nation, EDS Football, NFL Mock Draft Central and NFL Pro Zach in their Mock Draft Databases.

This is not a mock draft where I attempt play general manager and substitute my own judgment for the 32 NFL teams.

I do my best to research what particular players or positions each team may be targeting based upon the opinions of reliable beat writers and NFL insiders in order to provide links and then my analysis as to why a team may be focusing on a particular player.

1st Round

1. Houston Texans – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A and M: The Texans have a new coach, who in turn needs a new quarterback. Sure, Matt Schaub had some good years, but you just don't ever come back from serious lisfranc fractures as the same player. Unfortunately for the Texans, there is no clear cut option at QB at #1, at least not yet. Watch for Cleveland as a potential partner for Houston to trade down with if they are not sold on local product Johnny Manziel's size or character issues.

2. Cleveland Browns (from Washington, via projected trade with St. Louis) - Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: Once again the Cleveland Browns and their front office are in turmoil. Not only did they botch their search for a new head coach, but they're tipping their hand through rumors that they would be willing to trade up for a high risk pick like "Johnny Football." However, they may have to "settle" for Teddy Bridgewater depending on what the Texans do. The Browns and their new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan also appear to have an interest in trading with the Washington Redskins for Kirk Cousins, although I'm not sure that he would be an upgrade over his former mentor at Michigan State, Brian Hoyer.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: Much like the Browns, Jacksonville owner Shad Khan has already disclosed that he intends on finding a new quarterback for the Jaguars somewhere in this draft. And while that's not a surprise, it does put another QB hungry team like Cleveland on notice to trade up if there's a player like Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater that they truly want. In that event, Jacksonville will either be forced to settle for a consolation prize at QB, or the best player available at another position of need. Fortunately, DE is also huge need for the Jaguars, making South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney a logical choice.;;;

4. St. Louis Rams (projected trade with Cleveland) – Jake Mathews, OT, Texas A and M: I look for the Rams to trade down, possibly with Cleveland at #4, and still have the opportunity to select the tackle or true go-to WR that Sam Bradford desperately needs. With St. Louis holding two first round picks and the draft deep at both positions of need, they can trade down and still go with their highest rated player available at either position of need.;

5. Oakland Raiders - Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson: Oakland has huge needs at key positions like QB, WR and DE. If Jadeveon Clowney is not available, the Raiders could add a playmaker at WR in Sammy Watkins and target an established QB like Michael Vick or Josh Freeman in free agency.;;

6. Atlanta Falcons – Greg Robinson, T, Auburn: Whether it's Jake Mathews, Jadeveon Clowney, or Greg Robinson, the Falcons desperately need help on the edges of their offensive and defensive lines. Auburn OT Greg Robinson would be an immediate upgrade over current LT Sam Baker.;;

7. Tampa Bay Bucanneers – Anthony Barr, DE/OLB, UCLA: The Buccaneers are going back to a "Tampa Two" defense under new head coach Lovie Smith, which means they will put a premium on getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks from their front four without the benefit of many blitzes from their LB's or DB's. There is some question as to whether Anthony Barr from UCLA projects as defensive end or an outside linebacker, but Tampa has some bigger defensive ends to utilize in run packages, and can use Barr at LB and as a situational rush end as he bulks up.

8. Minnesota Vikings – Blake Bortels, QB, Central Florida: Unless they really see something they like in Blake Bortels or Derek Carr, the Vikings could find themselves on the ass end of the QB lottery. As of right now, there's enough hype around Central Florida's Blake Bortels that could support him being a top ten pick. With Matt Cassel voiding his option for the 2014 season, I don't think they have any other choice.;;

9. Buffalo Bills – Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina: I'm not sure that Buffalo's biggest need is at receiver, but the other needs that they do have at S, G, OLB, and TE are all addressable in the middle rounds of the draft. In all honesty, the Bills are pretty mediocre across the board, and absent a veteran QB, some more help on offense for second year QB E.J. Manuel is their best chance for immediate improvement.

10. Detroit Lions – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State: The Lions two biggest needs are for an elite CB and a WR opposite Calvin Johnson. Because this is a deep WR draft, the Lions would be wise to get their lock down corner while they are still available in Round 1, while filling their need for a #2 receiver like Jordan Mathews of Vanderbilt on the second day of the draft. While local product Darqueze Dennard of Michigan State is an option at CB, the Lions have expressed an interest in bigger corners, making Justin Gilbert of Oklahoma State their more likely target.;;

11. Tennessee Titans – Stephon Truitt, DE, Notre Dame: With a huge need at pass rusher, Stephon Truitt would provide the Titans with a prototypical "5-Technique" pass rusher as they transition into more of a 3-4 defense. Anthony Barr of UCLA could also be a consideration as a pass rushing OLB should he fall out of the top ten picks.

12. New York Giants – Zack Martin, T, Notre Dame: The Giants offensive line is a complete mess, and LT is the best place to start to address that problem. Drafting a true LT would have a positive cascade effect, allowing Will Beatty to move to RT and Justin Pugh to G. With his performance at the Senior Bowl, Zack Martin may have propelled himself over Taylor Lewan, who never quite lived up to his hype at Michigan.;

13. St Louis Rams - Marqise Lee, WR, USC: In this scenario, the Rams have already landed their LT of the future in Jake Mathews, and they look to get an explosive #1 WR with their second pick of the first round. Alternatively, they could target Sammy Watkins with their first pick, and a LT like Taylor Lewan or Zack Martin with their second, but going LT first and WR second plays out as the better all around value.;

14. Chicago Bears – Ha Ha Clinton Dix, S, Alabama: The Bears aging defense has finally caught up to them, as they now must address major holes at CB, S, LB, and DT...And that's before a salary cap decision has even been made on Julius Peppers. For now, a S with cover corner skills like Ha Ha Clinton-Dix seems like a good start to fill one of those holes, but a DT to potentially replace Henry Melton or a LB could also be considerations.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame: The Steel Curtain is broken, and part of the reason is Ziggy Hood having been a disappointment at DE/NT. Cameron Heyward and Louis Nix III out of Notre Dame would be a nice start in re-establishing a defensive line that can shut down the run.

* Dallas Cowboys - Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State: Dallas realized the deficiencies in Monte Kiffin's "Tampa Two" defense, so they replaced him with....Wait for it....Monte Kiffin...I mean Rod Marinelli, who's an even more stubborn version of Kiffin. With that said, if Dallas wants any chance to compete to compete in the NFC East they need to find their version of Warren Sapp at the "3-Technique." While Timmy Jernigan is a bit undersized, he's not only quick, but he's very strong against the run.

* Baltimore Ravens – Taylor Lewan, T, Michigan: Baltimore still seems to have some interest in re-signing free agent LT Eugene Monroe. However, Monroe hasn't graded out well enough over the past few seasons to justify a big contract, so Baltimore may want to start from scratch with a young LT that new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak can develop in his zone blocking scheme.,0,7467608.story

18. New York Jets – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A and M: As of right now, the Jets are sticking with Antonio Cromartie at CB. Should that hold true following free agency and heading into the draft, it would free the team to pursue a player at a position of need like WR or TE. The question remains as to whether or not one of the top three receivers will still be on the board when the Jets select at #18, and if not, whether the next best WR is worth a mid 1st Round selection. In this case, Mike Evans slides past the Lions and down to the Jets at #18, giving Geno Smith the legitimate target he needs as a go-to WR.;

19. Miami Dolphins - Cyrus Kouandjio, T, Alabama: With Miami losing the entire left side of their offensive line due to the Ritchie Incognito-Jonathan Martin bullying scandal and potentially needing two more linemen on the right side, the Dolphins have little choice but to address LT with their 1st Round pick.,0,6671297.story

20. Arizona Cardinals – Morgan Moses, T, Virginia: Arizona finally cut ties with Levi Brown, who was a stopgap option at best at LT. With 2013 1st round G Jonathan Cooper coming back from an injury that caused him to miss his entire rookie season, the Cardinals can substantially improve their offensive line this season by drafting a new blindside protector to pair with him.

21. Green Bay Packers - C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama: Green Bay has needs across the board on defense, and their first round selection will ultimately be determined by which of their own free agents they are able to re-sign. Finding a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball is a must. C.J. Mosley would be the ideal compliment across from Clay Mathews that the Packers are looking for at OLB. After striking out with several collegiate defensive ends that they've tried to convert to OLB in their 3-4 defense, the Packers can try to go the other direction with an athletic linebacker who not only can pressure the passer, but drop into coverage and contain the edge as well, which was a huge liability for them in their NFC Divisional matchup against Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers.;;

22. Philadelphia Eagles - Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo: If Khalil Mack slips in the draft due to character and locker room issues, he would be an ideal fit for an Eagles defense that is in desperate need of an impact player. WR could also be an option, but in this scenario the better value is in Mack.

23. Kansas City Chiefs - Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State: The Chiefs could go in several different directions in this year's draft, whether it's S, CB, WR or TE. WR Kelvin Benjamin of Florida State is raw in terms of route running, blocking and discipline. However, his size, athletic ability and production last year are down right frightening. The question that remains is whether Kansas City is ready to take another chance at a high risk/high reward player at WR in the first round after the Jonathan Baldwin debacle?;

24. Cincinnati Bengals - Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State: On paper the Bengals look good at CB, but they are aging and injury prone. Leon Hall is coming off his second Achilles injury, and pro athletes aren't always lucky enough to even come back from one of those. Darqueze Dennard, the leader of Michigan State's top ranked defense, is a physical, lockdown CB who you can put on an island, which is a luxury/necessity as teams try to mimic the success of the Seattle Seahawks.

25. San Diego Chargers - Ra'Shede Hageman, DT/DE, Minnesota: With the versatility to excel at either DT in a 4-3 or DE in a 3-4, Ra'Shede Hageman could be the steal of the draft given the anonymity of the Golden Gopher's program. His presence opposite Corey Liuget in San Diego's 3-4 defense would give the Chargers a fearsome defensive line. OLB, CB and T could also be considerations depending on who might fall to the later part of the first round.

26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis) - Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State: This is not necessarily where I would go if I was Cleveland, but Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay and Tony Grossi all agree on the position, if not the player. CB also has to be a strong consideration for the Browns as well.

27. New Orleans Saints - Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida: With a need a CB, the Saints will have a plethora of options. Of the second tier CB's after Justin Gilbert and Darqueze Dennard, Loucheiz Purifoy has the biggest potential as a playmaker, which fits the the aggressive style of the Saints on defense.

28. Carolina Panthers - Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, LSU: The Panthers need more explosion on offense, and Odell Beckham, Jr. of LSU would provide them just that, especially when paired opposite of veteran Steve Smith. Should Carolina elect to let Greg Hardy depart as a salary cap casualty instead of electing to use the franchise tag on him, DE could also be a consideration.;; 

29. New England Patriots - Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville: New England has lacked an elite safety that can both cover and play downhill since Rodney Harrison retired. Calvin Pryor of Louisville is a little raw, but he's very coachable and could become the hybrid S that NFL teams covet in Bill Belichick's defense.

30. San Francisco 49ers - Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State: The 49ers biggest obstacle to returning to the Super Bowl are their division rivals, the Seattle Seahawks. The best way to counteract Seattle's super-sized secondary is with quickness, and that's where a playmaker at slot receiver could help negate the Seahawk's size advantage and possibly even turn it into a liability.

31. Denver Broncos - Dee Ford, OLB/DE, Auburn: Denver very may well have cost themselves a Super Bowl last season when they botched the Elvis Dumervil contract extension last season, especially when coupled with the loss of Von Miller. While the Broncos will get Miller back next season, they need another edge rusher to play opposite him, and Dee Ford of Auburn showed that ability by dominating the Senior Bowl. Help in the secondary will also be a consideration, but it looks as if star CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is willing to return with what would be a team friendly contract.

32. Seattle Seahawks - Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee: The Seahawks have very few weaknesses after winning the Super Bowl and still having plenty of room under the salary cap. DE Michael Bennett and WR Golden Tate could elect to leave via free agency, but both players have exhibited an interest in returning. That leaves offensive line as an area that the Seahawks could look to upgrade if their aren't any value bargains remaining at the end of the first round that the team can't afford to pass up.

Friday, April 26, 2013

2013 NFL Mock Draft - 2nd Round


33. Jacksonville Jaguars: Matt Barkley, QB, USC

34. San Francisco 49ers: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

35. Philadelphia Eagles: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia:

36. Detroit Lions: Menelik Watson, T, Florida State

37. Cincinnati Bengals: Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International

38. Arizona Cardinals: Terron Armstead, T, Arkansas Pine-Bluff

39. New York Jets: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse

40. Tennessee Titans: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A and M:

41. Buffalo Bills: Robert Woods, WR, USC

42. Oakland Raiders: John Jenkins, DT, Georgia

43. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue:

44. Carolina Panthers: Keenan Allen, WR, Cal

45. San Diego Chargers: Larry Worford, G, Kentucky

46. Buffalo Bills, Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise St.

47. Dallas Cowboys: D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina 

48. Pittsburgh Steelers: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee

49. New York Giants: Tank Carradine, DE, Fla. St.

50. Chicago Bears: Manti Te'O, LB, Notre Dame

51. Washington Pigskins: Johnathan Banks, CB, Mississippi St.

52. New England Patriots: Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, Virginia

53. Cincinnati Bengals: Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin

54. Minnesota Vikings: Kevin Minter, LB, LSU

55. Green Bay Packers: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama

56. Seattle Seahawks: Margus Hunt, DE, SMU

57. Houston Texans: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford

58. Denver Broncos: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas St.

59. New England Patriots: Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech

60. Atlanta Falcons, LeVeon Bell, RB, Michigan State

61. San Francisco 49ers: Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU

62. Baltimore Ravens: Khaseem Green, LB, Rutgers

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

2012 NFL Draft Grades: The Joey Harrington Project

Grading Scale:

A = Tremendous value for players who should make an immediate impact.
B = Good value for players who will immediately play a solid role.
C = Decent players who should contribute.
D = Players of questionable value, ability, character, or fit for team's system.
E = Tremendous reach for a players of questionable ability.


Arizona Cardinals

1 (13) Michael Floyd, wr, Notre Dame; 3 (80) Jamell Fleming, db, Oklahoma; 4 (112) Bobby Massie, ot, Mississippi; 5 (151) Senio Kelemete, g, Washington; 6 (177) Justin Bethel, db, Presbyterian; 6 (185) Ryan Lindley, qb, San Diego State; 7 (221) Nate Potter, ot, Boise State.

Comment: The Cardinals grabbed a receiver to play opposite Larry Fitzgerald in Michael Floyd, although for a first round pick he wasn't much of a game changer in college. Fortunately, after passing on a tackle in the 1st round, the Cardinals were able to land Bobby Massie as a bargain in the 3rd. While he may not be able to initially supplant Levi Brown at LT, he should stabilize the right side.

Grade: B-

Atlanta Falcons

2 (55) Peter Konz, g, Wisconsin; 3 (91) Lamar Holmes, ot, Southern Miss; 5 (157) Bradie Ewing, rb, Wisconsin; 5 (164) Jonathan Massaquoi, de, Troy; 6 (192) Charles Mitchell, db, Mississippi State; 7 (249) Travian Robertson, NT, South Carolina.

Comment: The Falcons were playing short-handed in this year's draft after trading their first round pick away last year in the Julio Jones trade. While they received great value at a position of need in 2nd round pick Peter Konz, they did little in the later rounds to help their team.

Grade: D+

Carolina Panthers

1 (9) Luke Kuechly, lb, Boston College; 2 (40) Amini Silatolu, g, Midwestern State; 4 (103) Frank Alexander, de, Oklahoma; 4 (104) Joe Adams, wr, Arkansas; 5 (143) Josh Norman, db, Coastal Carolina; 6 (207) Brad Nortman, p, Wisconsin; 7 (216) D.J. Campbell, db, California.

Comment: Carolina may not have directly addressed their needs at DE and DT, but they landed potential future stars in LB Luke Kuechly and G Amini Silatolu. Additionally, Josh Norman should immediately be an impact player in the return game, while Josh Norman could develop into a reliable corner.

Grade: A-

Chicago Bears

1 (19) Shea McClellin, de, Boise State; 2 (45) Alshon Jeffery, wr, South Carolina; 3 (79) Brandon Hardin, db, Oregon State; 4 (111) Evan Rodriguez, te, Temple; 6 (184) Isaiah Frey, db, Nevada; 7 (220) Greg McCoy, db, TCU.

Comment: I like Shea McClellin, just not as a DE in a 4-3 scheme. Apparently new GM Phil Emery doesn't realize that the Bears run a very traditional 4-3 defensive set. Alshon Jeffery went at about the right spot in the 2nd round, and gives the Bears a much needed receiver to play opposite Brandon Marshall. That should allow Devin Hester to move to more of a flanker back role in the next season or two. Unfortunately, the rest of their draft added little value.

Grade: B-

Dallas Cowboys

1 (6), Morris Claiborne, db, LSU; 3 (81) Tyrone Crawford, de, Boise State; 4 (113) Kyle Wilber, de, Wake Forest; 4 (135) Matt Johnson, db, Eastern Washington; 5 (152) Danny Coale, wr, Virginia Tech; 6 (186) James Hanna, te, Oklahoma; 7 (222) Caleb McSurdy, lb, Montana.

Comment: I love the deal to trade up for Morris Claiboren. Only 3 or 4 corners drafted in the first round since 2007 have become impact players, and you usually know who they are coming in. Claiborne is destined to become the next in that line. Unfortunately, the Cowboys draft after Claiborne was questionable at best. Tyrone Crawford was a reach in the 3rd round, and may not even be match for the Cowboy's 3-4 system.

Grade: B-

Detroit Lions

1 (23) Riley Reiff, ot, Iowa; 2 (54) Ryan Broyles, wr, Oklahoma; 3 (85) Dwight Bentley, db, Louisiana-Lafayette; 4 (125) Ronnell Lewis, de, Oklahoma; 5 (138) Tahir Whitehead, lb, Temple; 5 (148) Chris Greenwood, db, Albion; 6 (196) Jonte Green, db, New Mexico State; 7 (223) Travis Lewis, lb, Oklahoma.

Comment: The Lions filled a huge need at LT when Riley Reiff unexpectedly fell to them at #23. WR Ryan Broyles was a reach in the 2nd round when the Lions desperately needed a corner. However, they filled that position with quantity lead by Dwight Bentley, who could compete with Stephon Gilmore and Dre Kirkpatrick as the 2nd best corner to come out of this year's draft class. Ronnell "The Hammer" Lewis should play an immediate role on special teams and move in to the Lions DE rotation next year.

Grade: B

The Lions have minimized their busts like "Joey Blue-skies" Harrington after firing Matt Millen

Green Bay Packers

1 (28) Nick Perry, lb, Southern Cal; 2 (51) Jerel Worthy, de, Michigan State; 2 (62) Casey Hayward, db, Vanderbilt; 4 (132) Mike Daniels, de, Iowa; 4 (133) Jerron McMillian, db, Maine; 5 (163) Terrell Manning, lb, N.C. State; 7 (241) Andrew Datko, ot, Florida State; 7 (243) B.J. Coleman, qb. Chattanooga.

Comment: The Packers addressed two huge needs with players that weren't expected to be available when they were selected. Nick Perry is a rush threat from the OLB position in the 3-4 scheme who was expected to go in the top 20 picks. Jerel Worthy will be a disruptive force from the DE position in Green Bay's 3-4 defense who was expected to go in the first round. Throw in Vanderbilt Cb Casey Hayward along with strong armed and ultra competitive QB B.J. Coleman from UT-Chattanooga, and Green Bay added some depth with upside at key positions..

Grade: A-

Minnesota Vikings

1 (4) Matt Kalil, ot, Southern Cal; 1 (29) Harrison Smith, db, Notre Dame; 3 (66) Josh Robinson, db, UCF; 4 (118) Jarius Wright, wr, Arkansas; 4 (128) Rhett Ellison, te, Southern Cal; 4 (134) Greg Childs, wr, Arkansas; 5 (139) Robert Blanton, db, Notre Dame; 6 (175) Blair Walsh, k, Georgia; 7 (210) Audie Cole, lb, N.C. State; 7 (219) Trevor Guyton, dt, California.

Comment: I've got to give Rick Speilman props. After doing very little in his NFL front office career, he put the #3 pick up for bid knowing that Tampa and Cleveland were both competing for Alabama RB Trent Richardson...Okay, I don't think Speilman was actually smart enough to realize that Tampa and Cleveland were competing for Richardson considering he kept feigning interest in LSU CB Morris Claiborne, but he ended up getting lucky. Harrison Smith was a bit of a reach to trade up into the first round for considering that they could have drafted the #1 receiver they needed in Georgia Tech WR Stephen Hill instead. Josh Robinson was a solid pick in the 3rd round.

Grade: B

New Orleans Saints

2 Forfeited; 3 (89) Akiem Hicks, dt, Regina (Canada); 4 (122) Nick Toon, wr, Wisconsin; 5 (162) Corey White, db, Samford; 6 (179) Andrew Tiller, g, Syracuse; 7 (234) Marcel Jones, ot, Nebraska.

Comment: The Saints foolishly parted with their first round pick for slow RB Mark Ingram in last year's draft, which was a negative draft grade that keeps on giving. They also lost their second round pick as a result of "Bounty-Gate." Akiem Hicks of Regina (Canada) is a boom or bust pick, and Nick Toon's best case hope is to fill the role of WR Devery Henderson several years down the line.

Grade: D

N.Y. Giants

1 (32) David Wilson, rb, Virginia Tech; 2 (63) Rueben Randle, wr, LSU; 3 (94) Jayron Hosley, db, Virginia Tech; 4 (127) Andrien Robinson, te, Cincinnati; 4 (131) Brandon Mosley, ot, Auburn; 6 (201) Matt McCants, ot, UAB; 7 (239) Markus Kuhn, dt, N.C. State.

Comment: The Giants replaced Brandon Jacobs at RB, Mario Manningham at WR, and Aaron Ross at CB. I guess that means they broke even since last year. Coming off of a Super Bowl, that's pretty good. 

Grade: B-

Philadelphia Eagles

1 (12) Fletcher Cox, dt, Mississippi State; 2 (46) Mychal Kendricks, lb, California; 2 (59) Vinny Curry, de, Marshall; 3 (88) Nick Foles, qb, Arizona; 4 (123) Brandon Boykin, db, Georgia; 5 (153) Dennis Kelly, ot, Purdue; 6 (194) Marvin McNutt, wr, Iowa; 6 (200) Brandon Washington, g, Miami; 7 (229) Bryce Brown, rb, Kansas State.

Comment: The Eagles didn't have many needs, but they upgraded at several positions. Fletcher Cox is a nice addition to their DT rotation who will provide them with an added interior pass rusher. Mychal Kendricks will help solidify a weak LB corps from 2011 along with free agent signee DeMeco Ryans. Vinny Curry adds an immediate situational pass rusher ideally suited for their wide-nine scheme, while Nick Foles is a potential starter at QB down the road. On top of all that, Brandon Boykin is one of two playmakers at CB in this year's draft, and should be an immediate starter at the nickle to replace Assante Samuel. Very well done.

Grade: A+

St. Louis Rams

1 (14) Michael Brockers, dt, LSU; 2 (33) Brian Quick, wr, Appalachian State; 2 (39) Janoris Jenkins, db, North Alabama; 2 (50) Isaiah Pead, rb, Cincinnati; 3 (65) Trumaine Johnson, db, Montana; 4 (96) Chris Givens, wr, Wake Forest; 5 (150) Rokevious Watkins, g, South Carolina; 6 (171) Greg Zuerlein, k, Missouri Western; 7 (209) Aaron Brown, lb, Hawaii; 7 (252) Daryl Richardson, rb, Abilene Christian.

Comment: The Rams only had one mission in this draft, to draft Sam Bradford some impact receivers, and they failed miserably in that task. Brian Quick of Appalachian State is a developmental project at best, and was a huge reach in the 2nd round, especially with Stephen Hill still on the board. The more I watch DT Michael Brockers, the more I like him and his ability to blow up the run. Janoris Jenkins could be a good value talent wise, although he reportedly continues to smoke marijuana even after getting kicked out of the University of Florida for weed related offenses. Worse yet, he's said to have an infectious personality, making him less than ideal to bring onto a young team as a potential locker room cancer. Isaiah Peed of Cincinnati is not only an ideal compliment to RB Stephen Jackson, he should also immediately be an impact player in the return game.

Grade: C+

San Francisco 49ers

1 (30) A.J. Jenkins, wr, Illinois; 2 (61) LaMichael James, rb, Oregon; 4 (117) Joe Looney, g, Wake Forest; 5 (165) Darius Fleming, lb, Notre Dame; 6 (180) Trenton Robinson, s, Michigan State; 6 (199) Jason Slowey, ot, Western Oregon; 7 (237) Cam Johnson, lb, Virginia.

A.J. Jenkins of Illinois was a huge reach with Stephen Hill of Georgia Tech still available. LaMichael James has character issues and may not have the size to contribute on more than a situational basis like a 2nd round pick should. Trenton Robinson has great ball skills at safety, he's just not ready to tackle at the NFL level. The rest of the 49ers draft was average at best.

Grade: D+

Seattle Seahawks

1 (15) Bruce Irvin, de, West Virginia; 2 (47) Bobby Wagner, lb, Utah State; 3 (75) Russell Wilson, qb, Wisconsin; 4 (106) Robert Turbin, rb, Utah State; 4 (114) Jaye Howard, dt, Florida; 5 (154) Korey Toomer, lb, Idaho; 6 (172) Jeremy Lane, db, Northwestern State; 6 (181) Winston Guy, db, Kentucky; 7 (225) J.R. Sweezy, ot, N.C. State; 7 (232) Greg Scruggs, de, Louisville.

Comment: While Bruce Irvin was a reach, word on the street is that he would have been drafted in the mid to late first round by another team had Seattle not taken him, so I can't blame them too much if Irvin was rated as their top pass rusher. However, aside from Bobby Wagner, I don't see another player making an impact on this year's team, let alone in the long term future. Seattle GM John Schneider found some diamonds in the rough late in the draft last year, and he better do so again this year or his competency as GM is going to start to come into question, especially if Irvin doesn't immediately produce.

Grade: D-

Tampa Bay Bucanneers

1 (7) Mark Barron, db, Alabama; 1 (31) Doug Martin, rb, Boise State; 2 (58) Lavonte David, lb, Nebraska; 5 (140) Najee Goode, lb, West Virginia; 6 (174) Keith Tandy, db, West Virginia; 7 (212) Michael Smith, rb, Utah State; 7 (233) Drake Dunsmore, te, Northwestern.

Comment: While Tampa Bay got three good players and immediate starters, I think they could have played their cards better. The Bucs would have been better served giving up a third round pick and trading up for Trent Richardson (who would have been the perfect fit for new coach Greg Schiano's running attack), rather than trading back for Mark Barron, who may or may not become an impact player in the NFL. Boise St. RB Dough Martin was a questionable pick, especially when they could have used the pick they gave up to trade back into the 1st round to get him to secure the better back in Richardson. Lavonte David was a solid pick with the Bucs second pick in the 2nd round, as he should develop into an impact player at LB. 

Grade: B

Washington Redskinss

1 (2) Robert Griffin III, qb, Baylor; 3 (71) Josh LeRibeus, g, SMU; 4 (102) Kirk Cousins, qb, Michigan State; 4 (119) Keenan Robinson, lb, Texas; 5 (141) Adam Gettis, g, Iowa; 6 (173) Alfred Morris, rb, Florida Atlantic; 6 (193) Tom Compton, ot, South Dakota; 7 (213) Richard Crawford, db, SMU; 7 (217) Jordan Bernstine, db, Iowa.

Comment: The Redskins gave up the world to pick Robert Griffin, III, and it was probably the right move. They potentially got the best quarterback in the draft in terms of making bread and butter NFL throws like the deep out.  As a Michigan State fan, I think Kirk Cousins was a huge reach in the 4th round even though he was projected to go in the third round. That pick could have been used on another position of need, like safety.

Grade: B


Baltimore Ravens

2 (35) Courtney Upshaw, lb, Alabama; 2 (60) Kelechi Osemele, ot, Iowa State; 3 (84) Bernard Pierce, rb, Temple; 4 (98) Gino Gradkowski, g, Delaware; 4 (130) Christian Thompson, db, South Carolina State; 5 (169) Asa Jackson, db, Cal Poly; 6 (198) Tommy Streeter, wr, Miami; 7 (236) DeAngelo Tyson, de, Georgia.

Comment: The Ravens traded back into the 2nd round where they still landed a potential first round 3-4 LB in Courtney Upshaw. They also solidified a position of need at guard with Kelechi Osemele. However, their draft kind of fell off after that point.

Grade: B

Buffalo Bills

1 (10) Stephon Gilmore, db, South Carolina; 2 (41) Cordy Glenn, ot, Georgia; 3 (69) T.J. Graham, wr, N.C. State; 4 (105) Nigel Bradham, lb, Florida State; 4 (124) Ron Brooks, db, LSU; 5 (144) Zebrie Sanders, ot, Florida State; 5 (147) Tank Carder, lb, TCU; 6 (178) Mark Asper, g, Oregon; 7 (251) John Potter, k, Western Michigan.

Comment: Stephon Gilmore was a huge reach for the 10th pick in the 1st round, as not many first round CB's make an impact in the NFL. While Cordy Glenn was a great pick value wise in the 2nd round, Buddy Nix yet again ignored a a huge need at LT to select him. Fortunately for Nix, Zebrie Sanders fell to the Bills in the 4th round, although it may take a year or two before he's ready to protect the blindside in the NFL.

Grade: B-

Cincinnati Bengals

1 (17) Dre Kirkpatrick, db, Alabama; 1 (27) Kevin Zeitler, g, Wisconsin; 2 (53) Devon Still, dt, Penn State; 3 (83) Mohamed Sanu, wr, Rutgers; 3 (93) Brandon Thompson, dt, Clemson; 4 (116) Orson Charles, te, Georgia; 5 (156) Shaun Prater, db, Iowa; 5 (166) Marvin Jones, wr, California; 5 (167) George Iloka, db, Boise State; 6 (191) Dan Herron, rb, Ohio State.

Comment: The Bengals needed a young corner, and Kirkpatrick is a perfect match for their system. They also plugged a huge need at guard with Kevin Zeitler. The Bengals also solidified their DT position for years to come by drafting Devon Still of Penn State in the 2nd round and Brandon Thompson of Clemson of the 3rd, both of whom were at one point considered potential 1st round picks. However, my favorite pick of value was WR Mohamed Sanu of Rutgers in the 3rd round, who's the perfect possession receiver to play opposite A.J. Green.

Grade: A+

Cleveland Browns

1 (3) Trent Richardson, rb, Alabama; 1 (22) Brandon Weeden, qb, Oklahoma State; 2 (37) Mitchell Schwartz, ot, California; 3 (87) John Hughes, db, Cincinnati; 4 (100) Travis Benjamin, wr, Miami; 4 (120) James-Michael Johnson, lb, Nevada; 5 (160) Ryan Miller, ot, Colorado; 6 (204) Emmanuel Acho, lb, Texas; 6 (205) Billy Winn, dt, Boise St.; 7 (245) Trevin Wade, db, Arizona; 7 (247) Brad Smelley, rb, Alabama.

Comment: I love that the Browns cock-blocked the Bucs by trading up for Trent Richardson. However, they reached for Brandon Weeden in the second round and failed to land the go-to receiver they should have drafted in the first two rounds to complete their 2012 draft "Triplets."  None of their remaining picks appear to be difference makers, although Emmanuel Acho of Texas could develop into a nice player.

Grade: B-

Denver Broncos

2 (36) Derek Wolfe, dt, Cincinnati; 2 (57) Brock Osweiler, qb, Arizona State; 3 (67) Ronnie Hillman, rb, San Diego State; 4 (101) Omar Bolden, db, Arizona State; 4 (108) Philip Blake, c, Baylor; 5 (137) Malik Jackson, de, Tennessee; 6 (188) Danny Trevathan, lb, Kentucky.

Comment: Derek Wolfe is a high motor guy who can immediately contribute, but the Broncos would have been better served staying put at #25 and selecting Jerel Worthy. Osweiler seems to be a decent developmental project behind Peyton Manning, while Ronnie Hillman is a great value in round 3.

Grade: C

Houston Texans

1 (26) Whitney Mercilus, lb, Illinois; 3 (76) Brandon Brooks, g, Miami (Ohio); 3 (68) DeVier Posey, wr, Ohio State; 4 (99) Ben Jones, c, Georgia; 4 (121) Keshawn Martin, wr, Michigan State; 4 (126) Jared Crick, de, Nebraska; 5 (161) Randy Bullock, k, Texas A&M; 6 (195) Nick Mondek, ot, Purdue.

Comment: Whitney Mercilus was a great pick, as was C Ben Jones. DeVier Posey is no upgrade over Jacoby Jones at WR, although Keshawn Martin should immediately replace Jones adequately at KR.

Grade: B-

Indianapolis Colts

1 (1) Andrew Luck, qb, Stanford; 2 (34) Coby Fleener, te, Stanford; 3 (64) Dwayne Allen, te, Clemson; 3 (92) T.Y. Hilton, wr, FIU; 5 (136) Josh Chapman, dt, Alabama; 5 (170) Vick Ballard, rb, Mississippi State; 6 (206) Lavon Brazill, wr, Ohio; 7 (208) Justin Anderson, g, Georgia; 7 (214) Tim Fugger, lb, Vanderbilt; 7 (253) Chandler Harnish, qb, Northern Illinois.

Comment: I'm still not convinced that Andrew Luck and his unclosed mouth was the right pick over RGIII, but I don't think you can go wrong with either. The Colts have future bookends at tackle from last year's draft, plus a star receiver in Reggie Wayne returning. Giving Luck a two tight end attack in Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen provides the Colts with a cutting edge offense that should be able to exploit the NFL's smaller safeties in both the running and the passing game.

Grade: B

Jacksonville Jaguars

1 (5) Justin Blackmon, wr, Oklahoma State; 2 (38) Andre Branch, de, Clemson; 3 (70) Bryan Anger, p, California; 5 (142) Brandon Marshall, lb, Nevada; 6 (176) Mike Harris, db, Florida State; 7 (228) Jeris Pendleton, dt, Ashland.

Comment: The Jags traded up to get the #1 receiver that they desperately needed in Justin Blackmon, and still landed the elite pass rusher they coveted in Andre Branch in the 2nd round. Punter Bryan Anger was a huge reach, but at least the team filled their two biggest needs.

Grade: B+

Kansas City Chiefs

1 (11) Dontari Poe, nt, Memphis; 2 (44) Jeff Allen, g, Illinois; 3 (74) Donald Stephenson, ot, Oklahoma; 4 (107) Devon Wylie, wr, Fresno State; 5 (146) DeQuan Menzie, db, Alabama; 6 (182) Cyrus Gray, rb, Texas A&M; 7 (218) Jerome Long, dt, San Diego State; 7 (238) Junior Hemingway, wr, Michigan.

Comment: If Dontari Poe couldn't play NT at the Conference USA level, I have a hard time believing that he'll be an impact player in the NFL. I don't see an other players from this year's draft class that will help the Chiefs.

Grade: D+

Players were much more receptive to Commissioner Rodger Goodell this year now that the lockout has ended. Plus Dontari Poe just had bitchin' hair at the NFL Draft.

Miami Dolphins

1 (8) Ryan Tannehill, qb, Texas A&M; 2 (42) Jonathan Martin, ot, Stanford; 3 (72) Olivier Vernon, de, Miami; 3 (78) Michael Egnew, te, Missouri; 4 (97) Lamar Miller, rb, Miami; 5 (155) Josh Kaddu, lb, Oregon; 6 (183) B.J. Cunningham, wr, Michigan State; 7 (215) Kheeston Randall, dt, Texas; 7 (227) Rishard Matthews, wr, Nevada.

This was a mixed bag. Ryan Tannehill was taken too early, while Jonathan Martin was a bargain in the 2nd round. Lamar Miller was a nice pick at RB in the 4th round. WR B.J. Cunningham was a steal in the 6th round, and could make Dolphin fans forget about Brandon Marshall with his elite ball skills.

Grade: C

Something tells me that Ryan Tannehill's girlfriend, Lauren Ufer, is going to love South Beach.

New England Patriots

1 (21) Chandler Jones, de, Syracuse; 1 (25) Dont'a Hightower, lb, Alabama; 2 (48) Tavon Wilson, s, Illinois; 3 (90) Jake Bequette, de, Arkansas; 6 (197) Nate Ebner, db, Ohio State; 7 (224) Alfonzo Dennard, db, Nebraska; 7 (235) Jeremy Ebert, wr, Northwestern.

Comment: For all the talk about how well the Patriots do in the draft, I'm not sure they use their picks very wisely. The Patriots used multiple picks to trade up in the first round to trade up for OLB Chandler Jones of Syracuse and Dont'a Hightower at ILB of Alabama. Not only is Jones more of a 4-3 end than a 3-4 OLB, but the Patriots ignored major needs at DE and S.

Grade: B-

N.Y. Jets

1 (16) Quinton Coples, de, North Carolina; 2 (43) Stephen Hill, wr, Georgia Tech; 3 (77) DeMario Davis, lb, Arkansas State; 6 (187) Josh Bush, db, Wake Forest; 6 (202) Terrance Ganaway, rb, Baylor; 6 (203)-x Robert Griffin, g, Baylor; 7 (242) Antonio Allen, db, South Carolina; 7 (244) Jordan White, wr, Western Michigan.

Comment: Even if Coples flames out at OLB in the Jets 3-4 system, I can still see him adding 20 pounds and becoming a disruptive 3-4 DE given that he was at his best playing as an undersized 4-3 DT at North Carlina. Stephen Hill might be the best best WR to come out of the 2012 draft, so like moving up a few spots to select him. Terrance Ganaway just might become the Jets new starter at RB, while Jordan White could be a steal at WR, at least in terms of 7th round value.

Grade: A-

Oakland Raiders

3 (95) Tony Bergstrom, g, Utah; 4 (129) Miles Burris, lb, San Diego State; 5 (158) Jack Crawford, de, Penn State; 5 (168) Juron Criner, wr, Arizona; 6 (189) Christo Bilukidi, dt, Georgia State; 7 (230) Nate Stupar, lb, Penn State.

Comment: I thought things would have gotten better without Al Davis around. Of course, his ghost still haunts the team given that he posthumously robbed the Raiders of their first two draft picks in the Carson Palmer trade.

Grade: D

Pittsburgh Steelers

1 (24) David DeCastro, g, Stanford; 2 (56) Mike Adams, ot, Ohio State; 3 (86) Sean Spence, lb, Miami; 4 (109) Alameda Ta'amu, dt, Washington; 5 (159) Chris Rainey, rb, Florida; 7 (231) Tony Clemons, wr, Colorado; 7 (240) David Paulson, te, Oregon; 7 (246) Terrence Frederick, db, Texas A&M; 7 (248) Kelvin Beachum, ot, SMU.

Comment: The Steelers solidified their offensive line with David DeCastro at G and Mike Adams at T. NT Alameda Ta'amu also was a huge bargain at a position of need in the 4th round. Overall, the Steelers couldn't have hoped for things to go much better in the draft considering that they were faced with the prospect of rebuilding both their offensive and defensive lines.

Grade: A-

San Diego Chargers

1 (18) Melvin Ingram, lb, South Carolina; 2 (49) Kendall Reyes, de, Connecticut; 3 (73) Brandon Taylor, s, LSU; 4 (110) Ladarius Green, te, Louisiana-Lafayette; 5 (149) Johnnie Troutman, g, Penn State; 7 (226) David Molk, c, Michigan; 7 (250) Edwin Baker, rb, Michigan State.

Comment: The Chargers needed an OLB to rush the passer, and landed one of the best in Melvin Ingram. They needed help on their DL, and landed a 2nd round value in Kendall Reyes. They needed a safety, and found one in Brandon Taylor of LSU. They needed help on their OL, and nabbed David Molk at C of Michigan, who has a dirty/mean streak. 7th round pick of Michigan State RB Edwin "Rock" Baker could become Darren Sproles 2.0, as he was a pre-season All-American until fumbling issues cost him his job to another NFL caliber back in LeVeon Bell. It's obvious that A.J. Smith and the Chargers draft for need, and they did one of their best jobs this year..

Grade: A-

Tennessee Titans

1 (20) Kendall Wright, wr, Baylor; 2 (52) Zach Brown, lb, North Carolina; 3 (82) Mike Martin, dt, Michigan; 4 (115) Coty Sensabaugh, db, Clemson; 5 (145) Taylor Thompson, te, SMU; 6 (190) Markelle Martin, db, Oklahoma State; 7 (211) Scott Solomon, de, Rice.

Comment: Kendall Wright will be a great complimentary pick opposite Kenny Britt, but he wasn't necessarily a pick of reason or of need. Zach Brown may or may not pan out on the NFL level, while Mike Martin is undersized at DT. A defensive end in the first round would have raised this grade immensely.  

Grade: C-

Friday, April 27, 2012

2012 NFL Mock Draft: 2nd Round


33. St. Louis Rams: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech: After finishing as runner's up on Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd in the first round, the Rams almost have to go WR here. Hill could be the best wide receiver in this year's draft.

34. Indianapolis Colts: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford: They say that tight ends are a rookie quarterback's best friend, and none could be better than Andrew Luck's favorite target at Stanford.

35. Baltimore Ravens: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama: The Ravens love Upshaw, and are hoping that their former defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano passes on him at #34 now that he is the head coach in Indianapolis.

36. Denver Broncos: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State: See Baltimore above, replace offensive line with defensive line, drop the reference to Chuck Pagano...okay, I should have just typed it.

37. Cleveland Browns: Rueben Randle, WR, LSU: Wanting to make sure that they did not lose out on the quarterback they coveted, the Browns grabbed Brandon Weeden with their second pick in the 1st Round. Now is time to complete their 2012 draft class triplet.

38. Jacksonville Jaguars: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina: The Jaguars covet WR Stephen Hill. Since the Rams will be hard pressed to give up the 33rd pick, Jacksonville probably should have traded back into the first round to get him.

39. St. Louis Rams: Jonathan Martin, T, Stanford: While he may take a year or so to bulk up, the Rams could find their left tackle, which would allow Rodger Saffold to move to the his natural position on the right.

40. Carolina Panthers: Devon Still, DT, Penn State: After passing on an interior lineman in the first round, Carolina can continue to focus on upgrading their defense.

41. Buffalo Bills: Cordy Glenn, T/G, Georgia: Drafting a left tackle here makes so much sense, I fully expect GM Buddy Nix to pass on Cordy Glenn and select a player at another position instead.

42. Miami Dolphins: Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers: Now that the Dolphins have decided on their new quarterback, they need to find him a go-to receiver. Mohamed Sanu of Rutgers projects as Brandon Marshall, but without the baggage.

43. Seattle Seahawks: Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina: Having drafted Bruce Irvin in the first round, Zach Brown would combine with him to significantly upgrade the Seahawks speed on defense. I'm not sure that either one can play football, but at least they can suck fast.

44. Kasas City Chiefs: Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska: Having missed out on Luke Kuechly in the first round, the Chiefs find the next best playmaker at the LB position.

45. St. Louis Rams: LaMichael James, RB, Oregon: The Rams are definitely sniffing running backs, and LaMichael James would be an ideal compliment to power back Steven Jackson. Of course, with his history of domestic violence, St. Louis still might find it too soon after the Lawrence Phillips era.

46. Philadelphia Eagles, Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama: Having traded nickle back Asante Samuel, the Eagles are a strong organization that can gamble on Jenkins' off the field issues given his tremendous cover skills.

47. New York Jets: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State: Assuming the Jets are satisfied with Adams' off the field questions, they find their answer at right tackle for Wayne Hunter.

48. New England Patriots: Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana: The Patriots are said to be very interested in Trumaine Johnson at cornerback. He may even project as an ideal strong safety given his size and ability to tackle.

49. San Diego Chargers: Amini Silatolu, G, Midwestern State: The Chargers need to replace Kris Dielman at guard. While Amini Silatolu of Midwester State is a bit of an unknown commodity, he may end up being the best at his position behind David DeCastro in this year's draft class.

50. Chicago Bears: Bobby Massie, OT, Ole Miss: Having drafted a pass rusher to play opposite Julius Peppers, the Bears can give Mike Tice another piece to work with on the offensive line.

51. Philadelphia Eagles: Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State: The Eagles are looking for a back-up signal caller, and are said to be enamored with Cousins, who has every intangible that a coach could ever ask for...They almost make up for his propensity to throw interceptions in key situations.

52. Tennessee Titans: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama: The Titans likely would have considered Upshaw in the first round had they not elected to go with a wide receiver in Kendall Wright.

53. Cincinnati Bengals: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami: Having improved their offensive line by draft guard Kevin Zeitler, the Bengals will look to add some sizzle at the running back position to hit those holes.

54. Detroit Lions: Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia: The Lions filled one need by drafting T Riley Reiff in the first round, now they absolutely have to address the hole they have at cornerback. Boykin may be undersized, but he is an established playmaker who stands out when he's on the football field.

55. Atlanta Falcons: Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State: The Falcons are looking for an upgrade at LT over Sam Baker.

56. Pittsburgh Steelers: Alameda Ta'Amu, NT, Washington: Having grabbed David DeCastro to solidify the interior of their offensive line in the first round, the Steelers grab a NT in Alameda Ta'Amu to solidfy the interior of their defensive line in the second round.

57. Denver Broncos: Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State: While the Broncos now have Peyton Manning, they need to give him the back-up he never had in Indianapolis. Brock Osweiler has the skills to eventually develop into a starter, but needs seasoning, making playing understudy to Manning an ideal situation.

58. Houston Texans: Kelechi Osemele, G, Iowa State: The Texans need help on the right side of their offensive line.

59. Green Bay Packers: Kendall Reyes, DT, UConn: The Packers need a five-technique DE, and would have probably considered Reyes in the first round had they not gone with an outside pass rusher.

60. Baltimore Ravens: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin: The Ravens get their target on the interior of their offensive line even after trading out of the first round.

61. San Francisco 49ers: Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson: With Dwayne Allen of Clemson, the 49ers can set up a two-tight end attack that is starting to trend in the NFL to take advantage of undersized safeties.

62. New England Patriots: Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson: Thompson is a disruptive pass rusher who is ideally suited for new England's need at the five-technique.

63. New York Giants: Andre Branch, DE, Clemson: The Giants value pass rushers, and need to consider Osi Umenyiora's replacement.