Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Kyle's Mock Draft

By Kyle Rota
Let me begin this mock by saying that while I like to think I have some talent at scouting players, that does not extend to mock drafts. In fact, if anything I am hindered by the fact that while Rob and Kip spend lots of time looking at draft stuff around the league and analyzing other teams, I'm sitting in front of my TV scouting players. I have no doubt that Rob and Kip's mocks will be more accurate than mine. Also, I understand and largely agree with Rob's picks for Seattle, but you don't want to read the same mock twice, so I am throwing a few curveballs to provide something different. However, I do believe that every pick I mock (except Oakland's) is justifiable and possible.

#1 St. Louis: Sam Bradford (QB, Oklahoma)
I am torn between Suh and Bradford here. I don't think St. Louis loves Bradford, and I would actually be surprised if he ends up a Ram. I think it will be Cleveland here, but I never project trades in mocks.

#2 Detroit: Ndamukong Suh (DT, Nebraska)
Another pick that could happen at the slot, but not necessarily to the same team. Detroit has started to build something on offense, they need to add to it and a franchise left tackle would do that. However, I don't think they would pick one at #2, Suh is BPA and should go here.

#3 Tampa Bay: Gerald McCoy (DT, Oklahoma)
This one actually makes a lot of sense, I will be surprised if it doesn't happen.

#4 Washington: Trent Williams (OT, Oklahoma)
I've never been a huge fan of Okung, and I can at least understand why a team would take Williams here. He has incredible potential and should fit their system.

#5 Kansas City: Eric Berry (S, Tennessee)
The first (mild) curveball in this mock. I am not sure if it will happen because it is 50/50 if the Chiefs like Berry this much, but after taking a DE #3 last year, it's clear Scott Pioli will take who he wants, no matter the public perception.

#6 Seattle: Derrick Morgan (DE, Georgia Tech)

According to rumors that I am inclined to believe, Seattle wants Berry or Williams. I wouldn't be surprised if the Front Office views this as a worst-case scenario. I would not, however, as I think Morgan will be a very productive LDE for the next decade.

#7 Cleveland: Jimmy Clausen (QB, Notre Dame)
I don't believe the talk that Holmgren is lukewarm towards Clausen. Clausen is nowhere near perfect, but he seems like the kind of quarterback that Holmgren just loves, no matter what he says to the press. I expect Cleveland to move up, but if the draft fell this way, this is who they'd take.

#8 Oakland: Bruce Campbell (OT, Maryland)

This is the first time in 3 years that I have felt doubt projecting Oakland's pick. My usual strategy is to make the dumbest pick possible and give it to Oakland (it almost always works), but in that case there could be two: Campbell and Jason Paul Pierre. Campbell wins out.

#9 Buffalo: Russell Okung (OT, Oklahoma State)
I have major reservations about Okung. I am afraid of what NFL DEs might do to him. That said, people who I trust think he will be a great player, and Buffalo could use a LT. I'd love to give them Rolando McClain, but the one part of their front-7 that I like is ILB.

#10 Jacksonville: Joe Haden (CB, Florida)
Jacksonville needs secondary help, and while I was tempted to make another unusual pick and give them Earl Thomas (which I think could happen), Haden is too athletic and presents too much upside to pass up here.

#11 Denver: Rolando McClain (ILB, Alabama)
Denver has a need at inside linebacker, McClain is a great player, and he interviewed well. With a coach (McDaniels) in charge, I wouldn't be surprised to see Denver grab McClain.

#12 Miami: Brandon Graham (OLB, Michigan)

Graham has some really intriguing positives on film. He definitely had some red flags that I would've liked to examine further, but I think Miami would make this pick and be quite happy with their choice.

#13 San Francisco: Bryan Bulaga (OT, Iowa)
Bulaga makes a ton of sense for San Francisco. The franchise seems confused as to whether they want a physical identity on offense or if they want to pass the ball from the shotgun. Bulaga is a good pass protector for a RT and will provide toughness running the ball.

#14 Seattle: Charles Brown (OT, USC)
I like Charles Brown a lot, and while I know this would be early for Brown, I think he makes the most sense if Seattle is unable to grab Williams. Brown has limited experience as a tackle and made big strides from 2008 to 2009, and is about as pure a fit for Alex Gibbs as you can get.

#15 New York Giants: Jason Pierre-Paul (DE, USF)
I'm not a JPP fan, but for New York this would actually be a good calculated risk. Pierre-Paul has tremendous upside, and New York would not be required to play him extensively his first year while he works on things like being competent against the run, using his hands, and instincts.

#16 Tennessee: Everson Griffen (DE, USC)
I was not terribly impressed by what I saw of Griffen, but Tennessee is in a tough spot here. They should compete for the playoffs next year, and might make a "need" pick in order to increase their chances. Griffen certainly has the talent to go here, but some teams will be put off by his inconsistency in college.

#17 San Francisco: Earl Thomas (DB, Texas)

One of those situations where a player falls more than he should. Thomas is projected by some as a safety and some as a cornerback, and SF could use either.

#18 Pittsburgh: Mike Iupati (OG, Idaho)
Iupati is one of my favorite players in this draft, just not for Seattle. He has the strength and nastiness that Pittsburgh will love, and the need for offensive linesmen... huge. I wanted to give them DeMaryius Thomas, but it was impossible to pass up Iupati here.

#19 Atlanta: CJ Spiller (RB, Clemson)
I kind of doubt Spiller falls this far, but if he does Atlanta will not complain one bit. They are a contending team that needs a spark, which is the right fit for Spiller, who I have serious questions about.

#20 Houston: Ryan Mathews (RB, Fresno State)
I believe that Mathews could be a great back. He has some risk, but he's a great fit in a zone system and can carry the load, important since Slaton seems to have wound up on Kubiak's bad side.

#21 Cincinnati: Taylor Mays (S, USC)
Mays has been miscast his whole collegiate career as a superstar-in-waiting, but he isn't that right now. Mays certainly has all of the physical tools, but has yet to put it together. Cincinnati is not against rolling the dice that Mays blossoms, especially since he should be a good S even if he doesn't improve.

#22 New England: Sergio Kindle (OLB, Texas)
While I may have some success guessing Oakland's picks, I whiff consistently when it comes to New England. Kindle makes a lot of sense here, as he is versatile and talented, but chances are it will be someone I left off this mock completely.

#23 Green Bay: Patrick Robinson (CB, Florida State)
I expect a run on cornerbacks to begin around here. While LT is certainly a big need for Green Bay, their corners are getting old and I don't like any of the remaining tackles for their system.

#24 Phildadelphia: Maurkice Pouncey (C, Florida)
I didn't want to project Pouncey here, but with Jamaal Jackson (who I really like) possibly missing time, I could see it. Pouncey is versatile enough to play guard if/when Jackson returns.

#25 Baltimore: DeMaryius Thomas (WR, Georgia Tech)

While Baltimore has Anquan Boldin, the rest of the WR position is in a state of disarray. Thomas gives Flacco a big, fast, physical target while also fitting in perfectly with the Baltimore emphasis on running the ball.

#26 Arizona: Devin McCourty (CB, Rutgers)

I really think Arizona will consider a TE or a OLB here, but at the same time I really like McCourty and the CB position could use some help too. I think there will be good options at TE and OLB later in this draft, that may not be true for cornerback.

#27 Dallas: Anthony Davis (OT, Rutgers)

Jerry Jones is just the kind of guy to take a risk on Davis. Davis has some serious problems with his technique, but it's hard to be less useful on passing downs than Flozell Adams, who Dallas seemed content with for years.

#28 San Diego: Dan Williams (DT, Tennessee)
I was not terribly impressed by Williams, but his combination of size and quickness would be really appealing to a "quick" 3-4 team like San Deigo.

#29 New York Jets: Ricky Sapp (OLB, Clemson)
New York has addressed their OLB position to a degree with Jason Taylor, but the long-term future of rush linebacker is pretty murky. Sapp needs to improve his strength, but he is a tremendous athlete. Dez Bryant was also considered, but I believe the Jets intend to keep Holmes long-term if he works out well.

#30 Minnesota: Tim Tebow (QB, Florida)
I really believe Tebow will win some team over in his interview and go in the first round, and I could see Minnesota being that team. He wouldn't be forced to start right away, and when he does take the field he has a strong supporting cast.

#31 Indianapolis: Kyle Wilson (CB, Boise State)
I have a hard time seeing Wilson fall out of the first round. Indy is willing to draft short or tall corners, but they almost always take strong corners. Wilson is quite strong for his size, and a good cover-man to boot.

#32 New Orleans: Sean Weatherspoon (LB, Missouri)
I'm not sure what it is, but I think Weatherspoon will be a very solid NFL pro. The Saints are in a good position to take who they want, but LB is probably the biggest need on the team and Weatherspoon should be at least a solid starter.


Anonymous said...

Not 100% sure about Cleveland. I believe one of their people inside the organization (could even be Holmgren himself, but I don't remember) said that they have TWO NFL DBs in their WHOLE secondary (S and CB). If that's not shouting Joe Haden or Earl Thomas, then I'm not sure what does.

And as much as I dislike Davis due to his work ethic, I do have a hard time seeing him fall THAT far. I've always disagreed with Rob's prediction of Davis in the top 10 (pass pro reasons), but I don't see him fall into the late 20s either.


Kyle Rota said...

I wouldn't be surprised if that's true with Cleveland. But the saying "You don't pass up a franchise QB unless you have one" is not just a media-spun saying. It's used in the NFL, too. Cleveland has Delhomme (who's terrible, but even if he has some life left he's not the long-term answer) and Seneca, who was traded for almost nothing at all. I doubt anyone expects the Browns to be competitive, but if they don't address QB at some point, they never will be. Holmgren is certainly willing to take a DB highly, so I wouldn't rule it out (and almost gave them Haden). I could also see Clausen falling a lot, this is one confusing draft.

As for Davis, the hard part was after Brown at 14 to Seattle, who takes him? Pittsburgh might, but with all the crap surrounding Big Ben I can't see them taking someone with work ethic concerns... Sure, it's not personal character, but try selling the difference to your fanbase. I suspect Pitt will be extra image-conscious this draft.

The only other team that was a threat was Arizona, but for some reason they don't seem terribly eager to address OL early. I half expect Dallas to move up to take Davis if he starts to slide. But most of the teams between 14-26 have their tackles, have reputations for underachievers, or tend to draft smaller linesmen. Davis can run zone, but he isn't made for zone... it'd be like putting Randy Moss in a WCO. Sure, he could do it, but he probably wouldn't dominate.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I think this is best-case scenario. Two biggest needs, DE and LT, filled with players who fit the scheme. I will be doing backflips if this is how our first round turns out.

Kevin said...

Kyle, So, are the Seahawks picks based on what YOU would pick for the Seahawks if you were the guy, or what you think THEY will pick, based on their needs/criteria/rating?

Rich said...

I really like your Mock (ultimately accurate or not). I've been thinking Seattle will have to pick Morgan at No 6 for weeks. I don't think he'll fall to 14. I also think taking Brown at 14 isn't bad value. It would be great to move down and pick him up but I don't think teams are going to want to give up picks this year (maybe next year's picks though).
I also think it's interesting that you have Brandon Graham going in the top 15. I think that could and probably should happen. He has "short" arms and lacks two inches in height. Otherwise he's a fantastic football player. I wouldn't care if Seattle had to take him at 14 if they miss out on Morgan and take a LT at 6.

Rich said...

What I've been thinking about a lot is what do the Hawks really need in the first two rounds? It's a great defensive tackle draft so next year may lack value there. Same goes for safety. DE's are hard to find. Next year is supposedly a stronger WR draft. Honestly the Hawks could benefit from about 7 picks in the first two rounds but that just isn't realistic. I can see immediate needs at DT, DE, OT, S, WR, G and/or Center. I've concluded they really need to draft 4 times in the first two rounds but only have three picks. OT, DE, and DT is where I would go. Really, really need a safety by round 2 though. I'd probably forgo safety if I had to. Your thoughts?

Someone said...

What happened to dez bryant? wouldnt he be a first rounder

Kyle Rota said...

Anon - I agree. For me, this would be a very solid 1st round. Not flashy, but it should be effective.

Kevin - Generally I try to make it what I think WILL happen. I try to look up info for each team and then decide what pick makes the most sense for them. The problem is, of course, I don't know each team THAT well and there is only so much last-minute research can do. I do think that if the draft unfolded this way and Seattle could not trade, those would be the picks.

Rich - I used to think Morgan could fall to 14, but I've begun to doubt that lately. I think Seattle is interested in Brown, and I think he will be good enough to justify the 14th pick - even if it looks bad now. I'd really expect them to drop back a few picks, but I can't do trades. That's if they don't just trade out of the first round altogether.

I think Safety in round 2 is one of my favorite spots. There should be some good talent (Nate Allen, Reshad Jones are two guys I know a bit about, and both look like solid guys). The problem is, our safety position is awful after cutting Grant. We could really use a bigger guy for SS and some depth all around. I'm a big believer that our current WR situation is a kicking timebomb, if we ignore, it will go boom.

My own strategy is to go BPA at OT, DT, DE, CB, QB with the first pick. Add S and WR to the list with the second pick. Add RB to the list with the 2nd rounder. Just to take into account positional value - I don't want to be like the Cardinals and releasing pro-bowlers because they signed a rookie contract that paid them too much.

Someone - I intentionally had Bryant falling out of the draft. I half doubt it will happen, but I think teams are going to be very cautious with him in the draft. Guys with questionable work ethics seem to fall in my mock, so perhaps I lend too much weight to that. I toyed with giving New England Bryant, but I can't decide whether New England would want to try to fix him or whether they'd stay far, far away.

Anonymous said...

I have never felt comfortable with people describing Iupati's play as nasty. I think the word aggressive is much more accurate because he doesn't play dirty. Furthermore, I went to school with Mike and he is a solid character guy who never caused any problems at Idaho, even when Nick Holt and Dennis Erickson were running Thug-a-palousa upon the program. I just feel describing him or his playing style as nasty conveys the wrong connotation

Rich said...

I hear ya on the WR position, Kyle. I would love to see the Hawks take a chance on Dez Bryant. His maturity issues don't scare me away (because there aren't criminal concerns). I just don't see how it's affordable to take a flier on a WR given all the other needs. If it happens though, I'll just roll with it and be drinking the kool aid. :-)