Mcshay Mock 4.0
03-16-2011, 01:20 PM
Mcshay Mock 4.0
Pair of defenders atop the boardDT and OLB players the new projection; offensive skill players take next three spots
By Todd McShay
Archive The NFL combine has come and gone and the final piece of the pre-draft process, on-campus pro day workouts, are in full swing with top prospects across the country are making one last pitch to NFL teams and hoping to boost their draft stock.
The combine and all the other goings-on have shuffled my latest mock draft, which has a new name at No. 1 and a pair of quarterbacks in the top five. I also have an offensive tackle in the top 10 for the first time and plenty of good values in the first round.
Here's how I see things shaking out over the first two rounds at this point in the process.
Record: 2-14 | Top needs: DT, QB, CB, OLB, DE
Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
I would think long and hard about passing on Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert with this pick, but general manager Marty Hurney drafted Jimmy Clausen last year and signed Matt Moore in 2007 so there might not be as much support in Carolina for drafting a quarterback as one would think. Dareus, CB Patrick Peterson and OLB Von Miller are the cleanest of the elite prospects in the 2011 class and defensive tackle is Carolina's top need so Dareus appears to be the most logical choice with his size, quickness and versatility.
Record: 4-12 | Top needs: DT, LB, TE, DS, DE
Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
The Broncos are transitioning to a four-man front under new head coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, and upgrading the defensive front seven tops their priority list. Dareus should be the pick if he's available and Peterson is a consideration as well, but I would rather take the pass rusher with an identical grade. Miller can provide an immediate upgrade at SLB and he also would team up with a healthy DE Elvis Dumervil to help resurrect a pass rush that had a league-low 23 sacks in 2010.
Record: 4-12 | Top needs: LOT, QB, DE (3-4), OLB (3-4), TE
Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
The Bills' biggest need is at offensive tackle, where they have not drafted a player earlier than the fifth round since taking Mike Williams in the first in 2002, but there isn't a tackle prospect in this class worth the No. 3 pick. There are also needs along the defensive front seven but Gabbert has a higher ceiling than current Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, and with his football intelligence, accuracy, size, arm strength and mobility Gabbert has all the tools to become a very good starter in the NFL. There is a lot of talk about Buffalo taking Auburn QB Cam Newton here, but I believe strongly that Gabbert is not only the safer choice but the better quarterback.
Record: 4-12 | Top needs: QB, WR, DT, OT, RB
A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
Using a top-10 pick on a wide receiver isn't always a wise move but Green is a special player. Lots of wideouts are big and fast, but Green's route-running savvy, toughness, body control and ball skills separate him from most other receivers. The Bengals could also deal with the reality of the Carson Palmer situation and draft Newton in this scenario or upgrade at defensive tackle, but with Terrell Owens gone and Chad Ochocinco likely on his way out, Green becomes the best value here.
Record: 5-11 | Top needs: QB, OLB, OT/OG, TE, CB
Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
Gabbert would be the pick if he's available and Miller would also be a consideration as an upgrade on defense, but Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt coached Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh and he knows what a quarterback of with Newton's size and mobility can do for an offense. If Arizona pulls the trigger on Newton expect its offense to be modeled after the system the Steelers have put in place for Big Ben.
Cleveland Browns Record: 5-11 | Top needs: DE, WR, DT, CB, OT
Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
New defensive coordinator Dick Jauron is leading the transition to a 4-3 scheme and needs to find the proper personnel along the front seven, and finding a traditional 4-3 end is a top priority this offseason. Bowers is an ideal fit, with the power, quickness an instincts to be an every-down end in the NFL. He might fall this far only because of lingering concerns about recent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee, but if the Browns can get Bowers they will certainly be happy.
San Francisco 49ers Record: 6-10 | Top needs: QB, NT, CB, OLB, WR (tall)
Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
The 49ers are looking for a quarterback to fit their West Coast system and would likely pass on Newton even if he were available, and in a dream scenario they would find a way to bring in Kevin Kolb from Philadelphia. That would allow San Francisco to fill a big need with one of the top three players on the board. Peterson's combination of size, athleticism and versatility are unmatched in this year's cornerback class.
Tennessee Titans Record: 6-10 | Top needs: QB, DT, ILB, OG, CB
Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
Fairley is one of the biggest boom-or-bust prospects in this year's class. One one hand he's the best interior pass rusher in the class, but on the other he takes a lot of plays off and there are plenty of questions about his football character. The more teams we talk to the more concern there are about how he has interviewed, and that's why he's falling in a lot of recent mock drafts. Fairley's quickness and athletic ability might be a worthwhile risk at this point, but given Tennessee's history with first-round picks like Vince Young and Adam "Pacman" Jones, it won't be surprising if they go with a safer pick.
Dallas Cowboys Record: 6-10 | Top needs: DE (3-4), OT, ILB, DS, OG
Tyron Smith, OT, USC
Three of the Cowboys' top four defensive ends from last year -- Marcus Spears, Stephen Bowen, Jason Hatcher -- played the 2010 season on one-year deals, so Dallas could very well look at Wisconsin's J.J. Watt here. However, it's better to be on the front end of a position wave than the back end, and this is the area where the run on the top four offensive tackles (at least four in the first round) could start. Smith has bulked up to 307 pounds after playing the college season at 285, and while he still has some developing to do he also has more upside than any other 2011 tackle prospect. He has the tools to step in at right tackle (where he played at USC) as a rookie and eventually move to the left side.
Washington Redskins Record: 6-10 | Top needs: QB, NT, WR, OLB, ROT/OG
Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
Washington has a lot of glaring needs, and while taking a quarterback here would be a reach, don't be surprised if coach Mike Shanahan and his offensive-minded staff take a playmaker who fits exactly what their offense looks for in a receiver. Jones is strong and creates after the catch, and he's also a good blocker in the running game. Yes, he's coming off surgery for a fracture in his foot, but his impressive combine performance should ease concerns about about his raw talent and the Redskins won't take him this high unless their medical team gives the okay. If Washington elects to go with defense DE/OLB Robert Quinn would be an intriguing fit as a pass-rusher opposite Brian Orakpo in their 3-4 scheme.
Houston Texans Record: 6-10 | Top needs: CB, FS, OLB, NT, SS
Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
DC Prince Amukamara is a possibility here, but my gut tells me the Texans will opt against using a first-round pick on a cornerback for the second year in a row. Upgrading the pass rush is another way to improve the secondary, and Quinn would be a solid fit at ROLB in defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' 3-4 scheme. Quinn could provide serious heat opposite LOLB Connor Barwin to go along with an exceptional inside tandem of DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing.
Minnesota Vikings Record:6-10 | Top needs: QB, FS, OT, DT, C
Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
The Vikings are said to be interested in Washington QB Jake Locker and even worked Locker out recently, but he's a reach here, and if Minnesota is that enamored with him the better play would be to trade back and try to get him later while also gaining an extra draft pick. If the Vikings stay put, Castonzo is the best option. I like Nate Solder's upside more but Catonzo should be ready to contribute right away and play on either side. Bringing him in would allow Minnesota to move Bryant McKinnie to right tackle and slide Phil Loadholt inside to guard.
Detroit Lions Record: 6-10 | Top needs: CB, WLB, SLB, OT, RB
Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
This is a dream scenario that allows the Lions to fill their biggest need with a top-10 prospect. Amukamara isn't quite as big as Peterson and is just a notch below in terms of speed and fluidity, but Amukamara has good size and top-end speed and is the most instinctive corner in this class. He's a plug-and-play prospect who would offer an instant upgrade.
St. Louis Rams Record: 7-9 | Top needs: WR OLB DT RB OG
Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
Jones is the Rams' dream pick here, but Liuget is the most underrated defensive tackle in this class and he makes the most sense as the next option. Liuget is quick, strong and has a relentless motor, and now is the time for the Rams to bring in a good young tackle with Fred Robbins on the back end of his career and Gary Gibson and Clifton Ryan both being free agents.
Miami Dolphins Record: 7-9 | Top needs: RB, OG, QB, FS, ILB
Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
*The Dolphins need to upgrade their interior offensive line but there isn't a guard or center worth drafting this high. Pulling the trigger on a developmental project like Locker doesn't make sense here, either. Ingram had a knee injury early in 2010 but recovered nicely and got stronger as the season progressed, and he is the kind of NFL-ready back who could give Miami a huge boost in the running game, even as part of a rotation. The Dolphins could then look for a quarterback and interior offensive lineman in the next two rounds.
Jacksonville Jaguars Record: 8-8 | Top needs: FS, OLB, WR, QB, DE
Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
Smith is a developmental prospect with excellent pass rushing potential who could provide production on passing downs as a rookie while being groomed to become Aaron Kampman's replacement. Jacksonville clearly has more pressing needs in the defensive backfield and at linebacker (particularly WLB and MLB), but no prospect at any of those positions is worth taking with this pick.
New England Patriots (from Oakland) Record: 14-2 | Top needs: OLB, DE, OT, OG, RB
J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
If history is any indication the Patriots will make a move with at least one of their two first round picks, but for these purposes let's assume they stay home at Nos. 17 and 28 overall. The front seven is a clear need area and there's plenty of talent to choose from at this point. Watt has the size and skill set to be a very good fit at defensive end in Bill Belichick's version of the 3-4 defense, and putting Watt and a healthy Ty Warren around NT Vince Wilfork would quickly turn the defensive line from a weakness into a strength.
San Diego Chargers Record: 9-7 | Top needs: DE (3-4), ILB, OLB (3-4), ROT, WR
Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple
The Chargers are also looking to beef up their three-man front and would be thrilled if Wilkerson was still on the board here. He's not as well-known as Watt but Wilkerson's game tape, particularly his performance against Penn State, show he has both the ability to take on blocks and anchor at the point of attack and also get off blocks and make plays in the backfield.
New York Giants Record: 10-6 | Top needs: LB, C/LOG, TE, RB, DT
Mike Pouncey, OG/C, Florida
The Giants don't have many big needs and taking Pouncey here would provide depth behind Shaun O'Hara, who made the Pro Bowl in 2009 but was nagged by injury all year and is on the downside of his career, and oft-injured LOG Rich Seubert. This might seem a little high for Pouncey but he is clearly the top interior offensive lineman in this class, and I've heard of at least three teams that are considering him in the top 20.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Record: 10-6 | Top needs: DE, MLB, CB, OLB, RB
Cameron Jordan, DE, California
Jordan spent most of his time at California playing the 5-technique in a 3-4, but the more tape I study the more convinced I become that he's a better fit at left end in a 4-3. Jordan is big and has adequate strength but he's at his best using his hands to get off blocks and pursue the ball. I don't see him being a double-digit sack guy at the next level but he would certainly upgrade a pass rush that finished 30th in the league last year with just 26 total sacks.
Kansas City Chiefs Record: 10-6 | Top needs: NT, WR, ROT, ILB, OLB
Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
Kansas City needs a centerpiece nose tackle for its 3-4 scheme and another playmaker at wide receiver but neither is available here. The Chiefs could trade back and try to get a player like Baylor DT Phil Taylor, but staying put would allow them to get a big upgrade at right offensive tackle in Carimi. He is a very good run-blocker and would help solidify an offensive line led by solid LT Branden Albert.
Indianapolis Colts Record: 10-6 | Top needs: OT, OG, DT, CB, SS
Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
The offensive line is definitely the top priority for the Colts, who had big problems at the end of 2010 because of their inability to run the ball effectively. Indianapolis has missed on recent O-line picks like Tony Ugoh and Mike Pollak, but Solder is the best available prospect and has a lot of upside if he can be coached up in terms of consistency and technique.
Philadelphia Eagles Record: 10-6 | Top needs: CB, OLB, ROG, OT, QB
Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
Ayers didn't have a great combine and a lot of people are down on him, but when you study the tape he's always around the ball, shows great versatility and has the ability to get after the quarterback. The Eagles have a history of drafting hybrid DE/OLB prospects and plugging them in at linebacker, and Ayers would offer an upgrade on the outside over Moise Fokou, who started 11 games as a second-year player in 2010.
New Orleans Saints Record: 11-5 | Top needs: DE, OLB, SS, DT, RB
Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams likes to blitz but was forced to bring pressure more than he wanted last season because of a struggling pass rush. DE Alex Brown is entering his ninth NFL season but is coming off his lowest sack and tackle totals since his rookie year, and finding pass-rush help is certainly the Saints' top priority. Clayborn is a powerful, effective pass-rusher who could fall this far because of the depth of the defensive end class and concerns about a nerve condition that could limit the range of motion in his right arm, but New Orleans would be more than happy to take him here.
Seattle Seahawks Record: 7-9 | Top needs: OT, OG/C, QB, OLB, CB
Jake Locker, QB, Washington
Matt Hasselbeck is a free agent but will be back in the fold in Seattle, but he's also 35 years old and the Seahawks need a quarterback to develop behind him because current backup Charlie Whitehurst is clearly not the long-term answer. Locker would be in an ideal situation sitting behind Hasselbeck and Whitehurst in 2011, giving him time to work out his mechanics and get the practice reps he needs to become more accurate and consistent. He needs at least a full year of grooming before he is ready to face the pressure of game action.
Baltimore Ravens Record: 12-4 | Top needs: CB, WR, OT, DE, FS
Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
Addressing their cornerback need with a player like Jimmy Smith is an option but Smith comes with character baggage and isn't worth the risk here. Heyward comes with some risks, too, after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his left elbow after the college season, but he's expected to make a full recovery and all you have to do is watch the tape of his Sugar Bowl performance against Arkansas to see how much potential he has. And something tells me Ray Lewis would take Heyward under his wing and teach him a thing or two about being a pro.
Atlanta Falcons Record: 13-3 | Top needs: DE (rush), OLB, TE, WR, ROT/OG
Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Georgia
Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan is also an option here but Houston has the size (6-foot-2, 270 pounds) and pass-rush skills to be an effective right end in a 4-3 system. He would also find himself in a good situation playing behind and learning from Falcons DE John Abraham, who had 13 sacks in 2010 but will turn 33 during the offseason. Houston could help keep Abraham fresh while preparing to become his replacement.
New England Patriots Record: 14-2 | Top needs: OLB, DE, OT, OG, RB
Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB, Purdue
After getting Watt earlier in the first round the Patriots would love to see Kerrigan still on the board at this point. He's not athletic enough to play on the outside in every 3-4 scheme but the Patriots like bigger, stronger outside linebackers who can get after the quarterback and Kerrigan has the instincts and motor to thrive in New England's system. The Patriots need to upgrade their pass rush and Kerrigan can do that.
Chicago Bears Record: 11-5 | Top needs: LOT, DT, WR, C, OLB
Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
This is a tough spot for the Bears and I struggled with who to project here. Chicago won't find a solid answer when it comes to upgrading at left offensive tackle or 3-technique on defense, and Sherrod is a bit of a reach here but he is the best available tackle and does offer the versatility to move inside to guard if needed. I can see the Bears sensing problems at No. 29 and trading up in an effort to get Pouncey, or they could offer this pick to a team targeting a specific player and looking to trade back into the end of the first round. If they're stuck, though, needs could go out the window and Chicago could simply take the top player on its board.
New York Jets Record: 11-5 | Top needs: OLB, NT, DE, WR, OT/OG
Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor
Taylor is a former Penn State transfer with some character baggage but he has done some maturing in the past year, and you simply don't find many 330-pounders who can move the way he does. He would make sense as a potential replacement for Kris Jenkins, and getting Taylor here would be a nice fit. The Jets could also use a pass-rusher at outside linebacker, but nose tackles are just harder to find and passing on Taylor would be a very tough call.
Pittsburgh Steelers Record: 12-4 | Top needs: OT/OG, CB, NT, WR, TE
Orlando Franklin, OG, Miami (FL)
Cornerback is a possibility here but Smith might be too much of a character risk, and Aaron Williams of Texas might be better at safety. There are also other options among offensive linemen but Franklin has experience playing guard and tackle, he plays with a chip on his shoulder and employs the kind of physical style the Steelers look for in their offensive linemen.
Green Bay Packers Record: 12-4 | Top needs: DE, OLB, OG, WR, RB
Brooks Reed, DE/OLB, Arizona
Reed was somewhat undervalued coming into the 2001 season because of an ankle injury suffered in '09, but he was fully healthy last season and showed the quick feet, violent hands and relentlessness it takes to succeed as a 3-4 outside linebacker. We've had a second-round grade on Reed since August, and because some feel he is just a notch below current Packers OLB Clay Matthews in terms of overall skills it won't be a surprise if he sneaks into the back end of the first round.
33. New England Patriots: RB Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech
34. Buffalo Bills: OT Benjamin Ijalana, Villanova
35. Cincinnati Bengals: DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State
36. Denver Broncos: DT Jurrell Casey, USC
37. Cleveland Browns: CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado
38. Arizona Cardinals: TE Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame
39. Tennessee Titans: QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
40. Dallas Cowboys: CB Aaron Williams, Texas
41. Washington Redskins: QB Christian Ponder, Florida State
42. Houston Texans: CB Brandon Harris, Miami (FL)
43. Minnesota Vikings: QB Andy Dalton, TCU
44. Detroit Lions: OG Danny Watkins, Baylor
45. San Francisco 49ers: DL Christian Ballard, Iowa
46. Denver Broncos: DS Rahim Moore, UCLA
47. St. Louis Rams: WR Randall Cobb, Kentucky
48. Oakland Raiders: CB Curtis Brown, Texas
49. Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh
50. San Diego Chargers: OLB Martez Wilson, Illinois
51. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: OLB Bruce Carter, North Carolina
52. New York Giants: RB Mikel Leshoure, Illinois
53. Indianapolis Colts: OG/C Rodney Hudson, Florida State
54. Philadelphia Eagles: OG William Rackley, Lehigh
55. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Tandon Doss, Indiana
56. New Orleans Saints: DT Terrell McClain, South Florida
57. Seattle Seahawks: OG Clint Boling, Georgia
58. Baltimore Ravens: WR Torrey Smith, Maryland
59. Atlanta Falcons: TE Lance Kendricks, Wisconsin
60. New England Patriots: OT/OG Marcus Cannon, TCU
61. San Diego Chargers: ILB Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina
62. Chicago Bears: DT Marvin Austin, North Carolina
63. Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Ras-I Dowling, Virginia
64. Green Bay Packers: DE Allen Bailey, Miami (FL)
03-16-2011, 01:31 PM
RE: Mcshay Mock 4.0
Not sure if I could pass up Hankerson or Young that far down in the second round.
03-16-2011, 01:34 PM
|RE: Mcshay Mock 4.0|
03-16-2011, 01:55 PM
RE: Mcshay Mock 4.0
(03-16-2011 01:31 PM)Polar Bear Jones Wrote: Not sure if I could pass up Hankerson or Young that far down in the second round.
Torrey Smith one pick ahead of us, Hankerson, Young not even off the board. That's nuts.
03-16-2011, 02:43 PM
RE: Mcshay Mock 4.0
No way I'm picking Kendricks over DJ Williams in the 2nd.
And again, as much as I love UGA & Houston, he's not a 1st round 4-3 DE, period.
03-16-2011, 02:49 PM
|RE: Mcshay Mock 4.0|
03-16-2011, 03:33 PM
RE: Mcshay Mock 4.0
If Kerrigan is on the board after the Ravens pick, TD will sprint to the podium himself and cry out "Kerrigan!"
03-16-2011, 03:35 PM
RE: Mcshay Mock 4.0
Its amazing how many of those top tier WR's dropped to the second half of the 2nd round.
03-16-2011, 03:35 PM
RE: Mcshay Mock 4.0
(03-16-2011 02:49 PM)Radical Wrote: I'm no fan of UGA, and I don't have any opinion of Houston. The general consensus about him though is that he's a 1st round pick, or at least a high 2nd rounder.
He's a tweener though, more suited for a 3-4. He's only just recently added weight. I just don't see him coming in year one & doing better than Biermann. I really just hate the thought of picking any DE at #27 to be honest. If we were top 10, I'd be ok with it. But getting the 5th ranked DE, which is historically a position that takes at least 3 years for a player to develop, isn't going to help us this year & that's just not what we need.
03-16-2011, 03:52 PM
RE: Mcshay Mock 4.0
(03-16-2011 03:35 PM)Beef Wrote: He's a tweener though, more suited for a 3-4. He's only just recently added weight. I just don't see him coming in year one & doing better than Biermann. I really just hate the thought of picking any DE at #27 to be honest. If we were top 10, I'd be ok with it. But getting the 5th ranked DE, which is historically a position that takes at least 3 years for a player to develop, isn't going to help us this year & that's just not what we need.
Good DEs don't only come from the top 10, or even the teens. The 9th DE taken last year contributed double digit sacks. Obviously it is unlikely, but I fail to see why we should completely avoid any type of player that doesn't translate to WIN NOW.
It really just depends on who's available at the time and what happens in FA.