Mock Draft! …by a complete sellout

I often make fun of mock drafts.  More often than not, they’re nothing more than the following line repeated 32 times: “Team A has needs at Position X, Y and Z. I think Joey Jo Jo Junior Shabadoo (the best available player at positions X, Y, or Z) would be a great fit for them here.”  Plus, I’m a fervent believer that it’s very, very difficult to really know all 32 teams inside and out.  I can’t even estimate how many times I’ve looked at a mock draft, went right to the Eagles’ pick, read the summary and immediately identified the author as a fraud.

I didn’t think I’d ever do a mock draft, or at least publish one, largely because I think they’re a waste of time.  Then yesterday morning, hung over after a wedding the night before, I started screwing around with a mock draft just for fun (not one that I thought I’d actually publish).  About 10 or so hours and over 5,000 words later, I had written my first full mock draft.

Before we get started a few disclaimers that nobody else makes:

  • I have next to zero inside information on who these teams are thinking about taking.
  • I know the NFC East inside out and upside down, and while I’m knowledgeable about the other 27 teams, I probably know less about them than their most hardcore fans.  So if you’re a fan of the other 27 teams and you think my pick for your team is dumb, you’re probably right.
  • Also, while I’m knowledgeable about the prospects in the upcoming draft, I’ll never try to pass myself off as someone that has watched a ton of tape on each player.  My scouting is limited to what I saw at the Senior Bowl practices, and various YouTube scouting reports.  So again, I’m admittedly a fraud.

With those important disclaimers in place, I, Jimmy Kempski, a complete sellout, present my first ever mock draft (for entertainment purposes only)…

1) Colts – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

2) Redskins – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

3) Browns – Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M (from Vikings)

*TRADE* Fearing the Dolphins may try to leapfrog them, the Browns move up from the 4th overall spot to 3rd, and give up the modest price of a 3rd round pick.  The Vikings get some interest from the Dolphins, but know that Matt Kalil will be gone if they move down to 6.  By moving down one spot, they still get their guy and pick up a 3 in the process.

As for the pick itself, in the NFL, you either have a QB, or you don’t, and right now the Browns don’t have a legitimate NFL starting QB.  Plus, we already know the Browns were willing to give up a package of picks for RG3 that was better than the Skins’ offer, which is an acknowledgement of sorts that they don’t feel like they have their answer at QB either..  Just about all the scouting reports same the same thing about Tannehill:

  • Good athlete
  • Strong arm
  • Not terribly accurate but good enough for the pros
  • Tendency to fire fastballs when more of a touch pass is needed
  • Comes from an offense in college that will require some time to adapt to the pro game

Think about those descriptions.  Kinda reminds me of Donovan McNabb a little, actually, although they are definitely two different players, and Tannehill is not the prospect that McNabb was back in 1999.  With an extra pick in the first round from the Julio Jones trade, the Browns feel comfortable enough pulling the trigger on Tannehill.

I know, I know, it’s a “reach,” and probably even a very big one.  But again… QB, or no QB?

Somebody is going to way overdraft Tannehill, and this is the extreme version of that scenario playing out.

4) Vikings – Matt Kalil, OT, USC (from Browns)

Kalil is so good that USC played him at LT over Tyron Smith.  The Vikes pick up an extra 3rd round pick in the process and get the exact same player they’d have gotten if they just picked at 3.

5) Buccaneers – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

NFL Films’ Greg Cosell thinks that Trent Richardson is the best player in the 2012 draft.  In a league that is rapidly putting more emphasis on acquiring defenders better suited to stop the pass, Richardson and LeGarrette Blount could give the Bucs a very dangerous 1-2 combo of physical runners that can wear down opposing defenses.

6) Rams – Justin Blackmon, WR Oklahoma St.

2010: 111 catches, 1782 yards, 20 TD

2011: 121 catches, 1522 yards, 18 TD

Ridiculous numbers, ridiculous player, good guy, severe need for the Rams. No-brainer.

7) Jaguars – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

While Patrick Peterson is a more dynamic player because of how he can change games on special teams, a lot of people believe that Claiborne is the better CB prospect of the two.  Claiborne ran a disappointing 4.50 40 at the Combine (although he ran a much better 4.39 at his pro day).  Doesn’t matter.  Remember Joe Haden? He ran a 4.60 at the Combine.  The Browns still took him 7th, and he looks like he’ll be a good pro for the next decade.  Be 100% certain that Claiborne isn’t getting past the Jags at 7 if he’s still on the board.

8. Melvin Ingram, OLB/DE/DT, South Carolina

Ingram is a really interesting player.  He can play 3-4 OLB, 4-3 DE, and even move inside situationally as a 4-3 DT.

The Dolphins have repeatedly failed to bring in a legitimate QB, but a consolation prize is pairing Ingram with Cameron Wake, which gives the Dolphins a couple of very good edge rushers in their base D, and they can move Ingram inside to be a disruptive force on obvious passing downs.

9) Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

My buddy Rafael Vela of Cowboys Nation has heard from multiple sources that Brockers wont get past Carolina:

He’s now a solid top-10 prospect.  He would make sense for the Rams if they dropped to 6 and passed on Richardson.   I’ve heard from more than one source that he won’t get past Carolina at 8.  The normal caveats apply, but he would make sense in Carolina blue.

It’s also noteworthy that Brockers was the first prospect… at all… to visit an NFL team.  Guess who he went to go see.  Obviously, smokescreens apply, yada yada, but let’s just pencil in Brockers for the Panthers here at 9.

10) Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

MOAR PASS RUSHERS! MOOOOAAAAAR!!!!!!!!

Here’s what the Bills have at DE:

  • Mario Williams – Signed a 6 year $96 million deal. 5 sacks in 5 games with Houston. 43.5 sacks the previous 4 seasons.
  • Mark Anderson – Signed a 4 year, $27.5 million deal. 10 sacks in 2012, although sporadic production otherwise.
  • Chris Kelsay – Last year, Kelsay signed a 4 year contract extension worth roughly 28 million. Turns 33 in October.
  • Shawne Merriman – The NFL’s version of Lattimer from “The Program” has missed 41 games over the last 4 seasons.  Is he really even a football player anymore?  The Bills signed him to a horrific contract a year ago.  Just cut bait, guys.

Combine the above group (sans Merriman) with DT’s like Kyle Williams, who should be healthy again in 2012, and Marcel Darius, and you really do have a great looking DL.  But it is “scary?”

To me, that DL is no sure thing.  Williams is coming off a serious injury.  Anderson had a great rookie season and a good 2011, but had minimal production in the 5 seasons in between. And while Kelsay is a nice player, he’s overpaid and maybe even a little overrated.

Look at the Giants.  They have 3 bona fide star pass rushers in Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, and Osi Umenyiora.  This current Bills group will never touch the production of the Giants’ trio.  That’s a scary DL.

Coples is an intriguing prospect.  He’s a supreme talent, but a mental oddity.  He chose to go back to school for his senior season when he would have been a Top 10 pick, then proceeded to give, as he said it, a “C effort.”  Still, I’m picturing Tom Brady in 3rd an 8 with Anderson and Williams on the edges, with Coples and Dareus on the interior rush.  That’s scary to me, if I’m Brady.

Obviously, the Bills have a ton of other needs.  DL is not a priority at this point.  But if Coples is still on the board at 10, I’m not passing him up.

Eff.  As part of the process, I checked every team’s free agent losses/acquisitions prior to choosing their player, and somehow missed (and forgot) that the Chiefs signed Eric Winston.  Effing eff.  More evidence that mock drafts, as noted above, are largely a waste of time.  Obviously, the Chiefs will not be taking Riley Reiff here unless Winston tears his ACL playing video games sometime between now and the draft.  Eff!  I mean… just… Eff.

11) Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

The Chiefs are a lot like the Jets (we’ll get to them in a few picks), in that they have a good OL, with one very broken piece.  Branden Albert, Ryan Lilja, and Jon Asamoah are all solid at LT, LG, and RG, respectively, and the Chiefs think they have something in 2011 2nd round pick Rodney Hudson at C, assuming Casey Weigmann retires.  The one weak link is Barry Richardson at RT.

Right Tackle is an underrated position, in my opinion.  There are no shortage of teams in the NFL with a pair of really good edge rushers.  You have to be able to block them all, not just the guy coming from the blind side.  While the Chargers and Raiders don’t have much in the way of scary dual threats coming off the edge, the Broncos do, and they may very well be the faves in the AFC West for as long as Peyton Manning is at the helm.  I don’t know if Riley Reiff can consistently block Von Miller, but I sure as hell know that Richardson can’t.

Reiff is a boring pick, but he’d instantly help stabilize the right side of the Chiefs’ line.

12) Luke Kuechly, MLB, Boston College

OK… Do me a favor.  Take a second to think of your Top 5 or 10 defenses in the league.  Did the Seahawks enter your head?  Well, maybe they did because you’re reading this under their pick, but otherwise, would you ever think of them?  A few quick facts about the Seahawks’ D:

  • 9th in yards allowed
  • 7th in points allowed
  • 4th in interceptions (4 of which they returned for TD’s).
  • 4th in time of possession (attributable to the defense forcing quick possessions).
  • 7th in yards per play
  • 8th in penalties (or lack thereof)

They’re fast, they swarm to the football, and the best part… they’re still very young and are only going to get better.  As of the publish date of this post, linebackers David Hawthorne and Leroy Hill both remain free agents.  It appears that Hawthorne won’t return, as he has had several visits to other teams.  He and Hill combined for 204 tackles last season.  That production will need to be replaced.  The 3rd linebacker, K.J. Wright, had an excellent (and perhaps overlooked) rookie season after being drafted in the 4th round out of Mississippi State.  Meanwhile, safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor may be the best duo of young safeties in the NFL.

Kuechly could start from Day 1, and be counted on to not make mistakes and rack up a ton of tackles, while the athletes surrounding him make big plays.  Kuechly would be an outstanding fit for that young defense, which could be around for a long time.

Here are the ages of Seattle’s “Back 5″ up the middle players, should they draft Kuechly:

There’s your defensive core for the next decade.

13) David DeCastro, OG, Stanford (from Cardinals)

*TRADE* The Bengals move up from 17 for the cost of a 3rd round pick. The Bengals lost Nate Livings and Mike McGlynn via free agency, and longtime Bengal Bobbie Williams is 35 and currently unsigned.  The Bengals need to address both guard spots this offseason.  In free agency, they signed Travelle Wharton away from the Panthers.  That’s one.  The other is DeCastro, who the Bengals feel they have to move up to get.

14) Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame (from Cowboys)

*TRADE* With nobody on the board of major interest to the Cowboys, they try to trade out, and find a willing partner in the Chargers.  The Chargers give up their 3rd rounder to move up from 18.

I covered the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last year.  I only covered the Eagles back then, so I had their potential targets in mind.  At the time, the Eagles didn’t have Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie or Nnamdi Asomugha.  They had Asante Samuel, and then a pile of garbage at CB.  And so, I paid particular attention to the interviews given by the CB’s.  A few of them were very complimentary to Michael Floyd.

Here’s what Utah CB Brandon Burton had to say about Floyd:

Reporter: Did you give up any touchdowns last year?

Burton: I did. I gave up one to Michael Floyd. He had one touchdown. I was responsible 100 percent for him. I played man to man on him the whole game.

Reporter: Who’s the best receiver you’ve faced?

Burton: Probably Michael.

That’s a kid that played against the following players the same year in college:

  • Jonathan Baldwin – First roun pick with the Chiefs
  • Titus Young – 48 catches, 607 yards an 6 TD’s as a rookie in the NFL
  • Vincent Brown – 329 yards and 3 TD’s as a rookie with San Diego
  • Jeremy Kerley – 29 for 314 and a TD with the Jets

So it’s not like Burton was facing mid-major scrubs all year.  He faced legitimate pro level receivers his entire senior season.

Here’s what Miami CB Brandon Harris had to say:

It was a learning experience playing against Notre Dame.  Unfortunately we came out on the short end of that game.  Michael Floyd had a couple good plays on us and he’s a talented receiver… I gave up one touchdown all season and it was to Michael Floyd.

I love the fit of Michael Floyd in San Diego.  He’s a big target at 6’3, 222 that the Chargers seem to like.  Snatches the ball out of the air with his hands, wins battles for the ball with defenders, great speed at 4.43 for a guy his size, and excellent production (100 catches his senior season at Notre Dame).  Floyd has 3 incidents involving alcohol to his credit already, so he’s a perfect replacement for Vincent Jackson.  I kiiid, I kiiid.  But seriously, if the Chargers feel comfortable with the investigative work they do on his background, don’t be surprised to see them move up to get him.  Newly acquired Robert Meachem is a nice player, but he’s not the kind of player that’s ever going to be “the guy.”  Combine the two tall, physical Floyds (Michael and Malcolm) with a field stretcher in Meachem and an underneath guy in Vincent Brown, and the Chargers really have something there.

As a bonus, it’ll be awesome listening to announcers repeatedly confuse Michael and Malcolm Floyd.

15) Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi St.

For an 8-8 team a year ago, the Eagles don’t really have many holes.  Cullen Jenkins is 31 years old, and while he has only been with the team for a year, the Eagles would be smart to find his eventual successor as the team’s under tackle in the Eagles’ wide 9.  In the meantime, Cox would serve as outstanding depth in the DL rotation.

Here’s what IgglesBlitz’s Tommy Lawlor had to say about Cox:

Cox measured in at 6’4, 298 at the Combine.  Unofficially, he ran 4.79 in the 40 and had a 10-yard split of 1.63.  Those numbers would be good for a DE.  For a DT, they are off the friggin’ charts.

Cox is officially now my prime target at pick 15.  He pretty much already was, but seeing that level of athleticism just solidifies things.

Tommy also posted the following video in a separate post. This was one of Cox’s better games last year, but check out the athleticism.  South Carolina basically couldn’t block him unless they double-teamed him:

I agree with Tommy that he’d be a great fit in Philly, an he could still be on the board when they pick.

16) Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

The Jets’ OL took a lot of heat for not playing as well as they had in previous years, but in my opinion, that was mostly on the shoulders of one player.  Jets RT Wayne Hunter was an absolute abomination last season.  The Cowboys abused him Week 1 this season, as did the Eagles Week 15.  Those are just two games that stand out in my head.  Here’s a post I did on how the Eagles exploited Hunter in pass protection.

Hunter (circled) in the process of giving up one of his many sacks during the 2011 season

Jonathan Martin reportedly had a rough day at his Pro Day a few days ago, as he ran a terrible 40 (5.33 first attempt, 5.43 second attempt), and put up just 20 reps in the bench press, an unacceptable number for an offensive tackle.  However, the game tape is what is most important, and Martin put up enough good film protecting Andrew Luck’s blind side that his poor measurables will likely be filed away in the “concern” category as opposed to the “I’m not touching this kid” category.

17) Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia (From Bengals)

Glenn was one of the 15 players that impressed me at the Senior Bowl practices a couple months ago.  Here’s what I wrote about him then:

He battled against Quinton Coples and Melvin Ingram all week, and more than held his own.  Massive player at 6’5, 346.  I don’t think he’ll have a chance against the better speed rushers in the NFL on the outside, but he can be dominant on the interior.

The Cardinals need help along their entire line.  Glenn starts from Day 1.

18) Peter Konz, C, Wisconson (From Chargers)

The C position in the NFL has become a joke of sorts in the NFL in recent years.  There just aren’t that many of them that are really good players.  At this spot for the Cowboys, I see two players that would be good picks – Konz, and Alabama OLB Courtney Upshaw.  There are plenty of good pass rushing OLB’s that can be found in rounds 2 and 3 in this draft, but there aren’t many other centers worth looking at if you pass on Konz here.  The Cowboys drastically upgrade their weakest position on the field, and find themselves their anchor along the OL.

19) Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

The game tape doesn’t match Poe’s absurd measurables from the Combine, but the upside is just too much for the Bears to pass up at this spot.  Here’s your updated Bears DL:

  • Julius Peppers: 6’7, 287
  • Dontari Poe: 6’4, 346
  • Henry Melton: 6’3, 295
  • Israel Idonije: 6’6, 275

That is serious size.  If the Bears can re-sign Amobi Okoye, they’ll have a nice, young rotation of DT’s with Poe, Melton, Okoye, and 2nd year player an 2011 workout warrior Stephen Paea.

20) Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

The Titans got a surprisingly good season out of Nate Washington, but that’s not enough.  Wright is yet another in a line of extremely productive receivers (108 catches for 1663 and 14 TD’s in 2011) to come out this season, and the Titans are more than happy to see him slip to 20.

21) Mark Barron, S, Alabama

This is maybe the worst attempt at a tackle I saw all season in 2011:

OK, so one embarrassing moment is no reason to replace a guy, but Barron would be an immediate upgrade over Chris Crocker.  Barron is a bit of polarizing figure.  Some people think he’s going to go in the early teens, while others think he won’t go in the first round.  Check out what I said above about Peter Konz and state of Center play in the NFL these days.  The same argument could be said for safeties.  There aren’t that many good ones anymore, and there is a huge dropoff in this draft once Barron comes off the board.  The Bengals get themselves a nice pair of defenders on the back end with Barron and the formerly disappointing Reggie Nelson.

22) Courtney Upshaw, DE, Alabama

As a quick aside, do people realize how good 2011 rookie 2nd round pick Jabaal Sheard was last season?  His numbers compared to a couple more high-profile rookies:

Player Tackles Sacks FF
Jabaal Sheard 55 8.5 5
Von Miller 64 11.5 2
Aldon Smith 37 14 2

Miller received 39 votes for DROY.  Smith received 11.  Sheard didn’t receive any.  I’m not saying Sheard should have received any DROY votes, but his season was comparable to Miller’s and Smith’s.  And yet, you don’t hear a peep about him because he plays in Cleveland.

Anyway, with Sheard one side, and Upshaw on the other, the Browns continue to improve their pass rush.

23) Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma St. (from Lions)

*THREE TEAM TRADE* The Dolphins move up from 42, while the Lions get a playmaker at CB for the price of moving down to the beginning of the 2nd round. Trade details here:

Lions get Dolphins get Eagles get
Asante Samuel 23rd overall pick Dolphins’ 3rd round pick
42nd overall pick from Dolphins

Read any scouting report on Brandon Weeden, and they’ll all have almost unanimous agreement that he has all the attributes of a stellar QB prospect: Big arm, good accuracy, intelligence, mechanics, leadership, and other intangibles. The one and only knock on him, which Weeden even acknowledged at the Combine, is that he’s 28 years of age:

That’s really the only knock on me is my age. I have fun with it. And here’s the fact, I can’t change it. I can change a lot of things, my footwork, throwing motion, release. I can’t change my birth certificate. I wish I could pull a Danny Almonte, but I can’t do it.

I happen to be a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles. I’m 34 years old. If I’m lucky enough to have a long, healthy life, I’ll be an Eagles fan for the next 50 or so years. As such, whenever the Eagles draft a player in the first round, I envision them playing for my team for the next decade plus. I think we all do. In the 2011 draft, the Eagles selected Danny Watkins, a player that will be well into his 30′s when his rookie contract expires. On draft night last year, I did not approve.

However, unless you’re a bandwagon fan, there’s a good chance your life expectancy of following a particular team is going to last far, far longer than the folks making your team’s personnel decisions.

Of the 32 NFL head coaches, the average number of years completed with their current team is a staggeringly low 3.7 years. The harsh reality of the NFL is… You better win… as in right now… or you’re gone.

But GM’s typically last longer though, right? Yes, they do, but not that much longer. The average number of years completed by the 32 NFL GM’s (the Pats don’t have a “true GM”) is 5.3 years. Take Jerry Jones and Mike Brown out of the equation, two GM’s that would have been fired several times over if they didn’t own their teams, and that average number drops to just 4.2 years.

The dynamics of who actually is making decisions varies from team to team, but here’s how long the GM and head coach has been in place on your team:

Team GM Tenure Coach Tenure
Cowboys Jerry Jones 23 Jason Garrett 1
Bengals Mike Brown 21 Marvin Lewis 9
Cardinals Rod Graves 15 Ken Whisenhunt 5
Steelers Kevin Colbert 12 Mike Tomlin 5
Saints Mickey Loomis 10 Sean Peyton 6
Panthers Marty Hurney 10 Ron Rivera 1
Ravens Ozzie Newsome 9 John Harbaugh 4
Chargers AJ Smith 9 Norv Turner 5
Packers Ted Thompson 7 Mike McCarthy 6
Texans Rick Smith 6 Gary Kubiak 6
Jets Mike Tannenbaum 6 Rex Ryan 3
Giants Jerry Reese 5 Tom Coughlin 8
Falcons Thomas Dimitroff 4 Mike Smith 4
Dolphins Jeff Ireland 4 Joe Philbin 0
Patriots Floyd Reese* 3 Bill Belichick 12
Lions Martin Mayhew 3 Jim Schwartz 3
Broncos Brian Xanders 3 John Fox 1
Buccaneers Mark Dominik 3 Greg Schiano 0
Jaguars Gene Smith 3 Mike Mularkey 0
Chiefs Scott Pioli 3 Romeo Crennel 0
Eagles Howie Roseman 2 Andy Reid 13
Seahawks John Schneider 2 Pete Carroll 2
Redskins Bruce Allen 2 Mike Shanahan 2
Bills Buddy Nix 2 Chan Gailey 2
Browns Tom Heckert 2 Pat Shurmur 1
49ers Trent Baalke 1 Jim Harbaugh 1
Bears Phil Emery 0 Lovie Smith 8
Vikings Rick Speilman 0 Leslie Frazier 1
Titans Ruston Webster 0 Mike Munchak 1
Rams Les Snead 0 Jeff Fisher 0
Colts Ryan Grigson 0 Chuck Pagano 0
Raiders Reggie McKenzie 0 Dennis Allen 0

Would a GM/coach prefer to draft an excellent prospect that’s 23 years old as opposed to 28? No question. But if they think they can win with the 28 year old, and potentially sooner than later, you can be downright certain that a number of decision makers care a hell of a lot less about the player’s age than you and me.  You can be especially certain that Jeff Ireland feels like he needs to win, right now, in order to keep his job.

24) Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

Ike Taylor turns 33 in May is now living on Regression Ave.  Lonely place for a CB.  The Steelers also just lost William Gay.  They could also use some help along the OL, but they also need to start developing a young CB to take over for Taylor in the near future. Like Taylor, Kirkpatrick has great size at 6’2.  The Steelers get an absolute steal this far down in the first round.

25) Devon Still, DT, Penn State

In any other year, Still would have probably gone much higher, but with so many good defensive tackles in this draft, he slips all the way down to Denver at 25.  I think Still really hurt himself by not competing at the Senior Bowl.  The Broncos traded for Brodrick Bunkley, got a great year out of him, an just as soon as he got there, he was off to New Orleans.  Devon Still can be a guy to help collapse the pocket while Von Miller an Elvis Dumervil attack from the outside.

26) Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

Gilmore is widely regarded as a team leader type.  Good size/speed combo that can push Kareem Jackson, who has not lived up to expectations since being a first round pick in 2010.  It’s also notewirthy that the Texans lost CB Jason Allen to the Bengals.

27) Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

Yes, the Pats just signed Brandon Lloyd, and no they’re not hard up for options in the passing game, but the one thing they are missing is legitimate top end speed out of their receiving corps.  They already have the best underneath options in the league, by far and away, with Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, and Aaron Hernandez working the middle of the field.  Enter Hill, a 6’4 215 lb. WR that ran a 4.36 at the Combine as a guy that can stretch the field, and Brady’s short to intermediate passing game becomes that much scarier.

28) Mike Adams, OT, Ohio St.

In the first Giants-Packers game this year (not the playoff game), I watched as poor Marshall Newhouse was abused the entire game by Jason Pierre-Paul.  It got to the point where I almost felt bad for him.  Luckily for Newhouse, his QB is Aaron Rodgers, and Rodgers’ greatness covered up Newhouse’s abhorrent play.  The Packers have to get better along the OL, specifically at OT.  Mike Adams has had crazy ups and downs since he was a junior at Ohio St., but he represents the last good OT on the board before a massive dropoff.

29) Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall

One of my favorite players during the Senior Bowl practices.  Here’s what I had to say about him:

Tremendous burst off the edge on the snap.  Outstanding first step.  In drills he was going 1-on-1 against interior offensive linemen, and it was comical watching them try to stay in front of Curry.  He was just too quick.  Curry has kind of a sleek build at 6’3, 265.  I didn’t get to see how he might hold up against the run, but at the very least, he could be a really good pass rusher at the next level.  Expect Curry to be a Combine star in Indy.

And then… his Combine numbers stunk.  Shows what I know.  (His Pro Day numbers turned out to be drastically better).  Anyway, with Jarret Johnson leaving Baltimore, I see a nice fit here for Curry as a strong side rusher.

30) Amini Silatolu, OG, Midwestern St.

I heard of this kid while preparing for the Senior Bowl, although he didn’t play.  This is just a nasty, nasty man.  Here’s an entertaining writeup from Scouts Notebook:

The top D2 prospect in this draft class.  Started off playing LT at a junior college.  Transferred to MW State and started there at LT for the last 2 seasons.  Absolutely dominant player at his level.  You won’t see a player throwing defenders around like this anywhere else.  Looks like something from an Incredible Hulk movie.  Silatolu’s mean streak is the size of the Grand Canyon.

Dominant run blocker.  Was used to lead on inside runs a lot.  Did a great job on them.  Flattened more than a few guys when he pulling to the inside.  Comes off the ball quickly on run plays.  Uses his hands to shove defenders around.  Strong enough to put them on the ground.  When blocking smaller guys, did one of two things.  Would just engulf the guy on some plays.  Other times would get low and really hit the defender.

Great motor.  Blocked multiple guys on a single play a lot.  Wasn’t satisfied with just punishing one defender.  Other times he sustained his block to the whistle.  Drove guys all over the field.  The kind of blocker defenders wanted to avoid.

It is hard to rate his pass blocking.  Silatolu wasn’t facing gifted athletes.  At his best, he moves his feet, stays under control, and mirrors the rusher.  Looks like his instinct most of the time is to pummel the guy across from him.  Clearly that won’t work in the NFL.  Doesn’t show the footwork to play OT in the NFL.  Too upright in pass pro.  Did show some potential with a good kick slide.

I actually felt sorry for the kids he went against after watching his game tape.  What do you do when there is a guy who is bigger, more talented, more athletic, and meaner than anyone you’ve ever faced?  Reminded me of the scene in Blazing Saddles when Gene Wilder told Cleavon Little not to shoot Mongo…”if you shoot him, it’ll just make him mad.”

I think he’s exactly the kind of player that would fit in with the kind of attitude Jim Harbaugh is trying to build in San Francisco, and with Adam Snyder departing, they have an opening at RG.

Watch these poor D2 kids just getting rag-dolled by this guy.

31) Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

*TRADE* The Colts move up from 34 to 31 here, and swap 4th round picks with the Patriots, who move up about 30 spots in the 4th.  The Colts don’t have any offensive players left.  They either cut them, or letting them walk in free agency.  It’s a true “blow it up” situation, so much so that below is the Colts depth chart that you’ll find on ESPN.  I crossed off all the players that were either cut, left via free agency, or are still free agents not yet re-signed by the Colts.

Fleener ran a 4.47 at his Pro Day a couple days ago.  That’s just ridiculous for a 6’6, 244 lb TE.  I think that the OL should be first priority for the Colts, but if Fleener is there to be had, why not get your golden ticket QB a great TE that can be his security blanket?  And as an added bonus, that guy happens to also be a player that caught 17 TDs the 2 years in college from your new franchise QB?  Done and done.

32) Andre Branch, DE, Clemson

Just because, they’re… you know… collectors.  Branch fits the profile of defensive linemen that the Giants covet.  Tall (6’5), and his long arms (34″) are just 3/4 inch shorter than Jason Pierre-Paul’s arms.  He’s considered raw by some, but that’s OK, since the Giants won’t particularly need him until next year, when Osi Umenyiora likely won’t be on the team anymore.  In the short term, the Giants can try to get him on the field in their DL rotation, with the idea of him eventually taking over as a starter.

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  9. Mustafa says:

    I’d pick Vince Young. It would be a huge boost for the organization. He’s young and the team could grow with him, the eeurnves generated would offset getting/affording better players. Zoolander (Carr)is about as good as Aikman with a concussion, he’s taken too many beating already. I’d buy season tickets if they sign him.

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  15. ipad 3 says:

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  17. D3Keith says:

    The best part about the D2 guy’s highlights is you don’t even have to find him pre-snap, just watch for a defender getting demolished, and there No. 57 is!

  18. D3Keith says:

    That disclaimer summed up everything I’ve ever thought about mock drafts. But since you admit yours sucks up front, it’s so much easier to digest.

  19. greenbean#twooh says:

    Isn’t Seattle’s base DEF a 3-4, not a 4-3…

  20. nadam says:

    Nice work Jimmy. Really in depth.

    1. Yes! Finally… Someone said it.

  21. Steve D. says:

    Just curious, and I don’t know very much about these teams, why do you think that the Cardinals would trade down with the Bengals and then take another guard rather than just take DeCastro with their original pick? Also, I’m not sure if it is true, but one of the things you always hear around draft time is that the Bengals have never traded up in the first round.

    Nice three team trade! Those happen all the time when teams are on the clock :)

    1. Just about every trade you see in the first round in any draft has been worked out far in advance.

    2. Rafael Vela says:

      @Steve D.,

      I’ve heard a lot of teams think Glenn can play RT. If not, he can be a
      dominant OG. It’s a swing for the fences type pick, with some cushion
      built in. Getting an extra 3rd adds some padding.

      On the whole, a very plausible draft. The Cowboys’ move makes sense.

      1. Steve D. says:

        Thanks. I know next to nothing about most of the prospects, so I was curious as to the reasoning behind that move and the drop off between players. I agree that it seems like a plausible mock draft.

        I know the first round trades are typically discussed before the draft, but I will be surprised if there is a three team trade in the first round. I can’t remember the last time there was a three team trade during the draft in the NFL. Can anyone think of a time?

  22. brisulph says:

    What happened to you Jimmy? You used to be cool (ie Uncle Jimmy)…

  23. Rika says:

    If I’m not mistaken, the Colts resigned Reggie Wayne, so his name shouldn’t be crossed off. Other than that, one of the better mocks I’ve seen. Should make more =P

  24. bula says:

    also, how can you say that the rams are wr needy? they just signed Steve Smith!!!

    1. D3Keith says:

      Like.

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  25. bula says:

    nice draft…i expect 10 more updated drafts between now and the draft

  26. One.cool.customer says:

    This is easily the longest mock draft I’ve ever read.

    Now I want one every week.

    1. Ha, yeah, it got a little out of control.

      1. Anders says:

        This is what seperates this one from the 1000 other mocks on the net. I personally wouldnt mind another just before the draft.

        1. Ok. Done and done.

    1. Ha, that’s funny. I promise I didn’t see that. Great minds and whatnot…

      1. BBI says:

        I know. Just my way of saying I totally approve of this pick.

  27. giants fan says:

    Damn dude, I want a linebacker but I’ll take another defensive end.

  28. Kyle S says:

    I really like this article dude. nice work.

  29. Euler.is.a.pimp says:

    Blogging the Beast just jumped the shark.

  30. Warren says:

    Didn’t the Chiefs pick up Eric Winston to be their new RT?

    1. Warren says:

      Should have refreshed before posting – oh well

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  31. slow burn says:

    Hmm…you might want to change the Chiefs pick as they just signed Eric Winston from the Texans a few days ago.

  32. RogerPodacter says:

    not a bad read, overall. surprisingly, most of the trades you listed seem to make sense. its the trades that make most of the mock drafts impossible to predict and start to turn things upside down so good job in adding in a couple that make sense.

    1. rima says:

      BS low – rationality high! Really good aesnwr!

  33. Johnboy0208 says:

    Eric Winston signed by chiefs means they’ll pass on Reilly, I’ll say decastro is best $$$$

    1. Wasim says:

      I was raelly confused, and this answered all my questions.

  34. Anders says:

    Jimmy this is one of the best and in depth mock drafts ever. This one is better then 99.99% of all mock drafts released.

  35. RogerPodacter says:

    wait, what?
    Mark Anderson – Signed a 4 year, $27.5 million deal. 10 sacks in 2012, although sporadic production otherwise.

    he got 10 sacks in january/february for the panthers or you are predicting his numbers for next season?

    1. Ha, oops.

      Excellent work catching that, buried deep within the 10th pick. Shows you’re reading everything.

      1. bula says:

        wasn’t going to say anything but since we’re bringing up mistakes, you have both the bengals and chargers moving up from the 17th pick. easy to figure out as you scroll down and see that the chargers actually moved up from 18. like i said, wasn’t going to bring it up but roger got the ball rolling

  36. The Purple Lion says:

    I still just dont see DT as a major need for us. I would still take a LB. We need more than one!

    1. Tracer Bullet says:

      Brown, Robinson and/or Kendricks will likely be there in the second. That’s probably not true of the top DTs. When in doubt, take a lineman.

  37. Tracer Bullet says:

    I do not get the fascination with Tannehill at all. He’s become a top 10 pick without throwing a pass since New Year’s Eve.

    I love Cox to the Eagles (and not that slob Poe).

    1. Lewis says:

      I am a Program Advisor at Amistad Academy MS in New Haven, CT. My team was selected by crnorpoiating writing into our process. Students had to write a one paragraph essay answering these questions:•What qualities do you have that you can bring to the FUTP 60 team?•How important is eating healthy and exercising to you?•Name two ideas/activities you have that will motivate students to participate in FUTP 60.•Why do you think FUTP 60 is so important?The purpose of crnorpoiating writing was to get the students to really think about “why” they wanted to participate in our group. When the students were selected (10 out of 15), we began planning events for the year and working with our Food Service Director. Here are some of the activities we have created over the past 5 months:•Created a 60 minute presentation at a school-wide Town Meeting as our Kick-off event. Parents were invited…big success•A food survey was created for the students to see what they liked about our breakfast and lunch menu, and what they would like to see changed.•We post monthly questions on the walls around our school building. They included fitness, science, nutrition and health questions that are rotated every 4 weeks.•Posted FUTP 60 stickers & posters EVERYWHERE in our building…you can’t miss us!•Fuel Up Fridays at breakfast (We dance, exercise and/or stretch for 5 minutes during breakfast to get our students moving for the day.•Taste tests – during lunch (new fruits, raw veggies, dips etc.)•Fitness breaks – teachers randomly use them when they feel the need…ex. if the energy level in class is low or students seem off task•Participated in the FUTP 60 School Spirit Challenge•Have a student representative that is now the CT State Representative for FUTP 60 by entering the state application process•Created a poster contest for National Physical Fitness & Sport MonthMy team of students have enjoyed creating fitness activities and making positive changes around our school. There is a great sense of pride in every activity that we participate in. We appreciate having the opportunity to engage our school in fun activities that challenge them to think about what they eat, and to include exercise into their daily lifestyle.Althea White (PE Teacher)

  38. Shutdown says:

    This some Bull!

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