Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mock Draft: From the Back Bleachers

While Armin is clearly the class of this blog when it comes to NFL scouting and draft prep, I always like to throw out one mock draft the night before the actual draft begins.

Here’s a quick look-back at my attempt last season to peg, or not, the top ten.

[Note: I did this the Friday night before and had found out, after viewing United 93, that Mario Williams had signed a contract with the Texans.]

1. Houston – Mario Williams
New Orleans – Reggie Bush
Tennessee – Vince Young
New York – D’Brickashaw Ferguson
Green BayAJ Hawk
San FranciscoVernon Davis
Oakland – Matt Leinart
Buffalo – Michael Huff
DetroitHaloti Ngata
St. Louis [trade] – Jay Cutler

As you may notice, I did pretty well (for a while). As you will soon also notice with this year’s mock, I don’t harp on deadbeat accuracy as much as picks I would make or I would like to see be made (with some reality creeping through whenever possible).

And with that, with only the 1st-round, away we go…

1. Oakland Raiders select Jamarcus Russell [QB, LSU]
-It’s the right pick to make for the franchise who only has only heard the word wrong as of late.

2. Detroit Lions trade their pick to Atlanta who selects Calvin Johnson [WR, Georgia Tech]
-It’s time Falcon-owner Arthur Blank revitalizes a dying franchise by landing the top wideout prospect Mike Vick could use the most…even if it costs them nearly their entire 1st day (and then some).

3. Cleveland Browns select Adrian Peterson [RB, Oklahoma]
-Management doesn’t care if it has to fire Savage & Crenel next season; Peterson edges Quinn in a pick that is sure to go down to the last millisecond.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade their pick to Miami who selects Brady Quinn [QB, Notre Dame]
-It’s a big price for the Dolphins to pay, but they decide to nab Quinn before
Minnesota can move up to the #5 or #6 spot. Tampa, crying over their NFC South-rivals tabbing CJ in front of them, now may possess as many as six to eight picks in the top 100 to insert carefully into its rapidly-aging roster.

5. Arizona Cardinals select Joe Thomas [OT, Wisconsin]
-Tempting fate a little bit, the Cardinals can’t find a real trade-partner to move down and select the
Wisconsin man-eating left tackle (who can easily switch to the right side in order to protect Leinart’s back-side).

6. Washington Redskins trade their pick to Denver who selects Amobi Okoye [DT, Louisville]
-The Skins realize they need to trade down, despite Gaines Adams being on the board, and acquire some more picks. With an extra 3rd round pick (
Washington’s original pick) and a friendly 2nd rounder, the Broncos land a stud lineman who is only 19 years old. Wouldn’t it be ironic if Dre Bly somehow snuck back into the trade-talk mix (potentially with Shawn Springs in the mix). Now I’m going overboard.

7. Minnesota Vikings select LaRon Landry [S, LSU]
-The Vikes desperately need secondary help, almost enough said right there. While Gaines Adams would be an incredible boost to their pass rush, he remains the major name slipping thus far.

8. Detroit Lions select Gaines Adams [DE, Clemson]
-Huh? For once, Matt Millen seems to pull the right strings as he lands a coveted defensive end at a fraction of the cost he would’ve been at #2 or #4. [By predicting a positive move made by the Lions, my mock is now officially TKO’d.]

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Levi Brown [OT, Penn State]
-This team needs stability on offense and especially its offensive line. It’s an easy pick that drives the Houston Texans crazy. Luke Petitgout is nowhere near the answer to protect an aging (Garcia) and spleenish (Simms) pair of QBs.

10. Houston Texans trade their pick to Buffalo who selects Patrick Willis [LB, Ole Miss]
-Afraid another team may move up to #10 or #11, Buffalo rolls the dice, overpaying a bit, with their 3rd-rounder this year (they have two) and next year’s 2nd as Houston moves down another two spots; realizing a starting corner or wideout is a lock still.

11. San Francisco 49ers select Alan Branch [DT, Michigan]
-Sure he’s slipped from a potential top-6 pick over the past few months. Yet last year very similar stuff was being said, fair or not, about Oregon’s Haloti Ngata. While Carriker or Jamaal Anderson is a much more enticing pass-rushing threat, the Niners need an inside presence for the soon-to-be-retired Bryant Young.

12. Houston Texans select Leon Hall [CB, Michigan]
-With no real option at the offensive line and it still being too early to nab a wideout, the Texans solidify the cornerback position (alongside Dunta Robinson) with the Michigan-CB.

13. St. Louis Rams select Adam Carriker [DE/OLB, Nebraska]
-No need to reference anything about Grant Wistrom. The Rams, who could easily tab Anderson, will take the hybrid 3-4 guy and try and mold him into the heir-apparent for Leonard Little.

14. Carolina Panthers trade their pick to Jacksonville who selects Jamaal Anderson [DE, Arkansas]
-If enough enticing prospects seem available, Carolina should try and shop down four or five slots (especially if an Anderson or Leon Hall drops a bit). Since Anderson is here, Jacksonville can offer up just enough to sneak up and grab the Razorback.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers select Darrelle Revis [CB, Pittsburgh]
-Seemingly one of the more predictable picks of the entire 1st-round, the Steelers really needs a consistent performer at CB and can afford to pass up on a hybrid linebacker.

16. Green Bay Packers select Marshawn Lynch [RB, California]
-Almost too easy, isn’t it? While Ted Ginn Jr. would offer a ton of electricity (remember, Hester excelled in a cold-weather climate)…the Packers need immediate help at RB and Lynch is a dynamic playmaker (potentially).

17. Carolina Panthers select Reggie Nelson [S, Florida]
-Very likely their pick at #14, they quickly realize he’ll be around at #17. It’s just too early to take Posluszny or Timmons here, even with much-needed LB-depth seemingly available.

18. Cincinnati Bengals select Jarvis Moss [DE, Florida]
-With David Pollack’s future uncertain and the team not wanting to take any of the available ILBs, another 3-4 hybrid guy with freakish athletic talent seems the right pick in this slot.

19. Tennessee Titans select Robert Meachum [WR, Tennessee]
-Ginn’s best selling point may be kick-returning. The Titans lost their big-target in Drew Bennett and need another big-body to catch balls from Vince Young. The Vol is the choice.

20. New York Giants select Joe Staley [OT, Central Michigan]
-One of the last true-first round talents on the offensive line. The Giants have to take all the help they can get for a decimated front group.

21. Washington Redskins select Justin Harrell [DT, Tennessee]
-So many options for a team not very likely to be in this spot. Ginn Jr. is an option, so is Michael Griffin, ditto for Anthony Spencer, and even Jon Beason. In the end, the run-stuffer wins out. [Armin is gonna kill me for this.]

22. Dallas Cowboys select Ted Ginn Jr. [WR, Ohio State]
-Despite not spending a first-round pick on an offensive player in nearly ten years, Dallas needs some added electricity and a replacement for Terry Glenn ASAP. Dwayne Jarrett was just a smoke-screen…I think.

23. Kansas City Chiefs select Dwayne Jarrett [WR, USC]
-All the Dwayne Bowe-lovers can sit down. This USC product will be a steal in the late first-round, even for the Chiefs who can’t ever seem to tab a productive wideout.

24. New England select Paul Posluszny [LB, Penn State]
-An easy, savvy move for the Patriots [who I doubt very much would package their two first-round picks and risk adding two new starters].

25. New York trades their pick to New Orleans who selects Greg Olsen [TE, Miami]
-With Aaron Ross safe at #27, the Jets trade down again, allowing the Saints to tab the tight end they desire. While the Jets nabbing Olsen at #25 might be a steal, cornerback help is a little more of pressing concern, at least in the eyes of Mangini, for Gang Green.

26. Philadelphia Eagles select Michael Griffin [S, Texas]
-Another too-easy pick, right? Despite constant attention on the defensive line, a replacement for Michael Lewis (Brian Dawkins isn’t getting any young either obviously) appears to be 1a for the Iggles.

27. New York Jets select Aaron Ross [CB, Texas]
-Thrilled to see one of their top three wish-guys [Ross, Olsen, & Spencer] almost a lock two picks down, the Jets have their new starting CB and an extra 3rd round pick to enjoy.

28. New England Patriots select Brandon Meriweather [S, Miami]
-Potentially moving up to get Ross ahead of the Jets, the Pats can’t without a second-rounder [Wes Welker-deal]. Instead, they “settle” on Meriweather from Miami [remember the Vince Wilfork pick surrounding a 50/50 character-guy from the U].

29. Baltimore Ravens trade their pick to Chicago who selects Dwayne Bowe [WR, LSU]
-With Staley gone and plenty of talent waiting a few picks below, Baltimore will easily grab an extra 3rd and 4th-rounder to add depth to their aging offensive line. Chicago knows the Chargers will take the last true 1st-round wideout right in front of them.

30. San Diego Chargers select Dwayne Bowe [WR, LSU]
-One of the better physical wideouts in this year’s draft, Bowe should be the last of the 1st-round tier wideouts to go. Although, Anthony Gonzalez may be the possession-guy who sneaks into the late first-round if a run on wideouts unexpectedly occurs on Saturday afternoon.

31. Baltimore Ravens trade their pick to Tampa Bay who selects Lawrence Timmons [LB, Florida State]
-One FSU linebacker soon to be on the outs (Derrick Brooks) has a new heir apparent (Timmons). Realizing the pass-rushers early in the 2nd-round aren’t all that amazing, the Ravens add more picks (only sliding down ten slots or so from their original 29th pick) while the Bucs only give up some of the draft picks they just received (see earlier trade above).

32. Indianapolis Colts trade their pick to Cleveland who selects Trent Edwards [QB, Stanford]
-So now I am just reaching. Yet, I feel a little Patrick Ramsey-esque trade going down (last pick in the 1st-round) or perhaps a Losman-ordeal (reaching big-time to tab a QB you couldn’t take earlier in the 1st). While several teams could do this, Cleveland will part with their high second-rounder and next year’s as well to entice the Colts into waiting to select interior line or secondary help.

So there we have it. Anthony Spencer is the ONE and ONLY guy I wanted to find the right spot for. Because of that, he’ll go top 20 now. I didn’t know how to treat guys like David Harris, Chris Houston, Marcus McCauley, Ben Grubbs, and Daymeion Hughes any other way than pushing them into the second round.

What probably sticks out the most is rather obvious: an insane number of trades…most of which SIMPLY WON’T HAPPEN. Yet, I think each of the trades honestly could happen (on some distant planet). I can’t admit I got our my calculator, but I will honestly say I had my NFL Draft Value Chart very close by (most of the time).

In the end, the draft usually is impossible for anyone to actually peg. It’s like March Madness in a way, more fun to make the mocks than it is to actually see how you panned out in the end.

One way or another though, some big moves are going to be made and the 2007 NFL Draft should be one of the more interesting ones (despite several pundits calling it out as being mediocre or talent-deprived) in recent years, especially in the mid-to-late first round.

Until next time…


Armin said...

Not gonna kill you for it. But, I will say, Harrell is a wild card. He's pegged as the #3 DT in this draft behind Okoye and Branch, and it's a need pick for the Skins.

However, if I had my choice...I'd go with one of the names you mentioned as a possible pick, Anthony Spencer. Him and Patrick Willis are my favorite defensive players in this draft (with McCauley a distant third).

Regardless of what happens, I will probably be disappointed with what our non-GM team will do.

Great stuff Clement. Today's gonna be exciting. By the way, did you see that the Broncos reportedly swapped picks with the Texans, moving to the 10 spot?

Chris Clement said...

It wouldn't surprise me. Houston knows it can get CB help throughout the first 25-picks. They could always fall into taking a Marshawn Lynch (flier), one of the wideouts in the 20s (a lot cheaper), or potentially an LB to compliment Ryans.

Don't even get me started on the pass rushers around at 21. Especially your boy Spencer.

As for Denver, they probably wouldn't move up again...or would they? Selling 10 looks a lot better than 21. If not, a guy like Willis would look great with Wilson and DJ Williams. Or potential a Jamaal Anderson/Alan Branch/Carriker selection looks nice.

I love this time o' year!