SportingNews Bloggers NFL Mock Draft
I was asked by Bartolis, a pal from the SportingNews blog community, to participate in a two-round NFL Mock Draft along with SN bloggers wiltfongjr and 3rdStoneFromTheSun. We rotated picks and provide a little rationale behind the pick.
1. 3rdstonefromthesun, Detroit Lions, Matthew Stafford
3. Lester, Kansas City Chiefs, Aaron Curry – Curry is the best defensive player in the draft and he’d impact that unit immediately
4. Bartolis, Seattle Seahawks – I’ll play it safe with Tackle Jason Smith
Side note: With Curry gone, the Brownies might trade down. The slots they most need filled (RB, LB, DB) aren’t good values.
7. Lester, Oakland Raiders, Brian Orakpo – Jeremy Maclin is the popular pick, but the Raiders need help on D, and adding one of the top pass rushers would be a good start.
8. Bartolis, Jacksoville Jaguars, B.J. Raji – The Jaguars really suffered stopping the run last year after losing Marcus Stroud. John Henderson is also not the same player he once was. Adding Raji will instantly upgrade the DL, and his big body in the middle might even help Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves so the Jaguars can finally get someone who gets after the Quarterback.
9. 3rdstonefromthesun, Green Bay Packers, Michael Jenkins
10. Wiltfongjr, San Francisco 49ers - Mark Sanchez – The 49ers can’t pass up the potential of a California bred franchise QB. Trading down is a posibility, but Sanchez could end up the starter by mid season.
11. Lester, Buffalo Bills, Aaron Maybin. The Bills need a Pass Rusher big time. Penn State’s Aaron Maybin fits the bill. He recorded 12 Sacks last year for the Nittany Lions
12. Bartolis,Denver Broncos, Everett Brown – The Denver Broncos need help anywhere they can get it on defense. I think Chris Wells or Moreno is tempting, but with both QB’s off the board and help all over the defense the Broncos take the best Defensive player left, Everett Brown, DE Florida State University.
14. Wiltfongjr, New Orleans Saints, Chris Wells – N.O. wanted Jenkins to plug in at FS, they’ll highly consider Brian Cushing, Clay Matthews, and Jeremy Maclin, but they won’t pass up the big Ohio State RB to pair with Reggie Bush. This will make a great RB tandem.
15. Lester, Houston Texans, Brian Cushing – Houston adds the versatile LB Brian Cushing to replace Morlon Greenwood.
16. Bartolis, San Diego Chargers, Tyson Jackson - There are a couple of different directions the Chargers could go with this pick, but I’m going to throw one out there that isn’t getting much play. The Chargers will pass on talented Running back Moreno, and talented OT Michael Oher and select the vastly underrated Tyson Jackson DE LSU. The Chargers lost Igor Oshlansky this off season and Jamal Williams will be thirty three this year. They need more depth along their defensive line and Tyson Jackson could be an anchor along the front 3 in the 3-4 the Chargers run.
18. Wiltfongjr, Denver Broncos, Vontae Davis – Denver needs help on defense, and after taking a DE with their 12th pick they address their secondary with the best corner in the draft. The former Illinois corner could step in and start on the Denver D.
19. Lester, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Josh Freeman – Tampa needs a long-term solution at QB. Freeman could be that guy. He has a big arm and some athleticism.
20. Bartolis, Detroit Lions, Michael Oher – This pick will literally take three seconds as the Lions select the best prospect left in the draft as well as a position of need when they grab OT Michael Oher.
22. Wiltfong – Minnesota Vikings, Eben Britton – Arizona’s Britton will be the starter from the get go at RT and help out Adrian Peterson immensely. He’s a high character guy and a talented player.
24. Bartolis, Atlanta Falcons, Brandon Pettigrew -The best pick of the draft. Brandon Pettigrew to the Falcons. They desperately need another Tight end in their system. And they love to run, enter the best blocking TE in the class and a good Receiver.
26 Wiltfongjr, Baltimore Ravens, Jeremy Maclin – Missouri’s Maclin has really slipped of late, but Joe Flacco will be thrilled to see some offensive punch added. He’ll give the Raven offense a dimension they haven’t had.
27. Lester, Indianapolis Colts, Peria Jerry -The Colts regressed in their ability to stop the run last year. Plugging Jerry in not only would help there, but he also has the ability to get to the Quarterback. Indy was middle of the road in terms of Sacks last year.
28. Bartolis, Philadelphia Eagles, Wililam Beatty. The Eagles should address their offensive line here so they will take Wililam Beatty, but I think a very intriguing player is DE Robert Ayers out of Tenessee who might be the best 4-3 end in the draft.
29. 3rdstonefromthesun, New York Giants, James Laurenaitis - The Jints can go a few places. WR seems to be the consensus, but Antonio Pierce’s production has gone down in each of the last 3 years. He is getting old too. The replacement is sitting right there, and could be a MLB in the same breath as Huff and Carson when it’s all said and done : Ohio State MLB James Laurenaitis.
30. Wiltfong, Tennessee Titans, Darius Butler – The Titans will gamble and hope they can find a receiver in the 2nd round. Butler could push to start opposite Corner Cortland Finnegan. This Connecticut product has been climbing draft boards of late.
31. Lester, Arizona Cardinals, Donald Brown - The Cardinals need a Running Back in the worst way. They missed out on Moreno and Beanie, but Brown has the ability to get it done in the NFL. He ran for 2083 yards and 18 TDs last year. Donald Brown would be a nice compliment to Tim Hightower.
32. Bartolis, Pittsburgh Steelers, Alex Mack
33. 3rdstonefromthesun, Detroit Lions, Alphonso Smith
34. Wiltfongjr, New England Patriots, Sean Smith – The Patriots stay with defense and take the 6’4″ 214 pound Sean Smith. He played corner at Utah, but could make the switch to safety in the NFL.
35 – Lester, St. Louis Rams, Percy Harvin – Rams add some excitement to their offense.
36. Bartolis, Cleveland Browns, Larry English - The Browns have to address pass rusher at some point in this draft English is from a small school but has big time upside.
38. Wiltfongjr, Cincinnati Bengals, Robert Ayers – While DE isn’t a huge need for Cincinnati, they can’t pass up this 1st round talent from Tennessee. He has the frame to add on some additional bulk, but his speed is what has scouts taking notice.
39. Lester, Jacksonville Jaguars, Darrius Heyward-Bey - The Jags clogged up the middle with their first pick. With their second they grab WR Darrius Heyward-Bey.
40. Bartolis, Oakland Riaders, Michael Johnson - Defensive End was terrible for the Raiders last year. Al Davis like speed and explosion and there is no player in this draft with as much speed, explosion and upside as DE Michael Johnson out of Georgia Tech.
41. 3rdstonefromthesun, Green Bay Packers, LeSean McCoy - Pack have a luxury pick here, after a solid draft last year. They will get better, and deeper, in the running game by tabbing LeSean McCoy of Pitt.
42. Wiltfongjr, Buffalo Bills, Jared Cook – Head Coach Dick Jauron is on record as saying he would like a TE that can make plays in the passing game, and after running a 4.55 40, Jared Cook of South Carolina will be the pick here. He’ll have to hit the weight room and work on his blocking, but Cook is too good to pass up.
43. Lester, San Francisco 49ers, Jamon Meredith – the Niners need help on their O-Line.
44. Bartolis, Miami Dolphins, Brian Robiskie - The Dolphins can go a few directions here. Rush OLB is one, best available guard is another one, but I think the Dolphins should take a WR I have rated very high in Brian Robiskie. Robiskie is the WR in this class that is the safest bet, he has a good pedigree, solid hands, great route running, good size, above average speed. Good player. His ceiling is not as high as a Percy Harvin or Kenny Britt, but I think he’ll be a T.J. WhosYourMomma worst case scenario kind of player.
45. 3rdstonefromthesun, New York Giants, Mike Thomas - This mock is working great for the G-Men. They get their MLB (move Pierce to his natural SLB slot), who can be very special, and now have two second round picks to play with. Mike Thomas of Arizona is sitting right there. The all time PAC receptions leader is fast, runs excellent routes, and is fearless over the middle with great hands. He also returns kicks. He will get plugged into the slot as a (at least) 4th WR behind Hixon, Toomer (or Manningham), and Smith as he is groomed. He improves an already decent group. (I rate him higher than Robiskie, Britt, Harvin, and maybe Heyward – Bey…I called Avery last year…so might be right here too). He will help stretch the seams.
46. Lester, Houston Texans, Max Unger – The Texans need help on their line. Unger gives them greta versatility.
47 - Wiltfongjr, New England Patriots, Connor Barwin - Picking for the Pats again in the 2nd round, I’m staying with defense, and taking versatile DE/OLB Connor Barwin from Cincinnati. A 4.47 40 at 6’4″ 256 pounds is impressive.
48. Bartolis, Denver Broncos, Ron Brace - The Broncos are going all Defense in this draft. The Broncos so far have already drafted Everette Brownand Vontea Davis in this mock draft, and now are going to continue building their defense when the select Ron Brace DT out of Boston College. Brace is probably the third best DT in this draft and at 6-3 330 pounds can anchor the middle of the 3-4 defense. This will allow the Broncos to cut a lot of dead weight along the DL and try to anchor the front of their 3-4 with players like Brace, Marcus Thomas, Tim Crowder, while they try to find a fit for Jarvis Moss and Elivus Dumervil (maybe the back end of the 3-4 on the weakside for Dumervil) Moss might be stout enough to play up front. Another good option would be Safety like Patrick Chung or Louis Delmas, or Wililam Moore.
49. 3rdstonefromthesun, Chicago Bears, Clay Matthews III - Da Bears have a few areas that need attention. The OL could use more quality players, the WR area is pretty weak, and RB needs another guy. There there is defense. Perhaps no other slot needs help more than Safety. The question is whether to gamble on Will Moore, who could be real special, or get the versatile Pat Chung. Both are Strong Safeties. They could look at Macho Harris, Coye Francies, Mike Mickens, Darius Butler, Ryan Palmer, or Jarius Byrd at CB for needed depth. Louie Delmas is a FS who could go here too. My best guess is they get the cerebral Chung. He is a big hitter who loves supporting the run, and is a special teams star. Lovie (and Chicago) loves defense, and especially smart defenders. YET, OUR mock still has Clay Matthews III on the board. He has the bloodlines. Dad was an All Pro LB, uncle is a Hall of Famer, and grandpa played in the NFL too. He is a huge upgrade over Nick Roach at SLB, and can get in a three point stance and rush the passer too. NO WAY Da Bears pass on this kid if he somehow is here.
50. Wiltfongjr, Cleveland Browns, Patrick Chung - After addressing WR and DE, the Browns can look at their secondary, in particular, safety. Do they go free or strong safety? I think they go SS and take Patrick Chung from Oregon.
51. Lester, Dallas Cowboys, Louis Delmas - The Boys need Safety help. They target Western Michigan’s Louis Delmas.
52. Bartolis, New York Jets, Pat White – The Jets need Offense in the worst way. In this mock draft they already grabbed Kenny Britt (come on Giants get him in real life) so that could take care of the WR problem but they could still use some offense. With Moreno, Brown, Wells and McCoy off the board they should avoid running back. TE is deep and they can get a good player in the third round. Here they take a chance on a guy who can provide instant offense on any given play from multiple positions when they reach for Pat White WR/KR?/QB?
53. 3rdstonefromthesun, Philadelphia Eagles, Chase Coffman - The Iggles have a few spots to fill on offense. Westbrook is not an every down back, so depth is needed. Yet, they may gamble guys like Goodson, Sheets, Jennings, etc will be there the next round or so. Tight End has been an issue in Philly, and McNabb likes to use the TE as a target. Donovan wants weapons too. Rice’s Casey will get a look because he is so versatile and perfect for an offense like Philly employs. Colorado State’s Sperry is a good receiver who should get a look. But, IF his foot checks out = Mackey Award winner Chase Coffman is a guy who can catch a ton of balls right away.
54. Wiltfongjr, Minnesota Vikings, Eric Wood - Center and Receiver are two big needs for the Vikes. They’ll have to gauge which position can they find quality at in the 3rd round. Taking a Center here makes the most sense as there are only a handful that are rated as 2nd or 3rd round quality, while a solid receiver can be had in the 3rd. The Vikings take Eric Wood of Louisville. He is ready to play at the NFL level after starting 49 consecutive games.
55. Lester, Atlanta Falcons, William Moore - The Falcons need help in the secondary. Missouri Safety William Moore should be able to help.
56. Bartolis, Miami Dolphins, Chris Baker - I’m going to throw a name out here not often talked about, but the Dolphins’ Jason Ferguson is 32 years old and they need an anchor at NT for the 3-4. Some of the more talked about DTs aren’t big enough to anchor the 3-4, so I think they’ll pass on Evander Hood, Fili Moala and Sen Derrick Marks and instead a pick a guy who weighs 326 pounds, but runs a 5.02 40 and has a 35.5 inch vertical. That player is Chris Baker DT out of Hampton.
57. 3rdstonefromthesun, Baltimore Ravens, Lee Robinson - Anyone notice Baltimore had to sign geriatric Center Matt Birk last month after losing their All Pro (and young) starter? With a need for depth, they may go A.Q. Shipley of Penn State. Then there is the depth issues at LB, CB, and DL. Robinson of Alcorn St. fits the Ravens LB mold. Ozzie will have to use this pick very wisely.
58. Wiltfongjr, New England Patriots, Andre Brown - I’m starting to feel like a Patriot employee making my 3rd pick for them here in the 2nd round. So far this has been all about defense for New England. Not any more. Running Back Andre Brown of NC State had some injury issues in college but had a real good combine. 4.37 40, 24 reps on the bench, and a 37 inch vertical. Most appealing to the Pats is his versatility, he caught 70 balls in his college career and he can return kicks.
59. Lester, Carolina Panthers, Paul Kruger - Carolina needs to prepare for life after Peppers. They go with Utah DE Paul Kruger
60. Bartolis, New York Giants, Phil Loadholt – Finally I get to pick for my beloved G-men. I personally think the Giants should target WR, RB, OL, OLB, and Safety help. The way this draft has worked out so far the New York Giants have selected James Lauranitis and WR Mike Thomas (who 3rdstone thinks will be special). Now it all comes down to best value. Luckily for the Giants in this mock the offensive line has been neglected in the second round (after a huge run off in the first round). The options come down to who the Giants think is the best OL prospect. At Center-Antoine Caldwell remains. At OG Andy Levitre still is there as well as Massive Herman Johnson. For my money though they need to get a player that can at the very least be a good RT in this league and that player is the big Phil Loadholt out of Oklahoma. 6-8 332. Not the most athletic Offensive linemen, but could be a hell of a run blocker in the NFL and should be able to at the very least, play RT in the long term. He could also slide inside to give the Giants the OL Depth they sorely need. I also LOVE Marcus Freeman, but hopefully he’ll be there in the third round.
61. 3rdstonefromthesun, Indianapolis Colts, Bernard Scott - Let’s face it. The Colts RB situation is not very good. Addai cannot seem to stay healthy, Rhodes is nearing his end, and Hart is coming off a serious knee injury. Local product Sheets, of Purdue, will get a look because of his versatility and possible high ceiling. BUT, the guy sitting on the board (who I think could be special) with a highest ceiling is Bernard Scott of Abilene Christian. He is a fantastic receiver, and runs excellent routes. This is an important characteristic in the Indy O. I don’t think the Colts can afford to gamble that the Harlon Hill Award winner will still be there next round.
62. Wiltfongjr, Tennessee Titans, Louis Murphy - I had Tennessee in the 1st round and went CB gambling that a quality WR would be here in the 2nd, and my patience is rewarded with Louis Murphy of Florida. A 4.32 40 at 6’3″ is too good to pass up. He has the ability to stretch the field and has good enough hands to make plays. He needs to bulk up a bit and improve his route running before he’s able to start, but he’ll help that offense this year.
63. Lester, Arizona Cardinals, Jonathan Luigs – The Cards could use help at Center and Jonathan Luigs is the best available.
64. Bartolis, Pittsburgh Steelers, Coye Francis – CB San Jose State.