Thursday, February 23, 2012

NFL Mock Draft with Swagstein (Part III)

Parts I and II can be found here and here, respectively.

1. (TSB) Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
2. (Swagstein) St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.
3. (TSB) Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC
4. (Swag) Cleveland Browns: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
5. (TSB) Tampa Bay Bucs: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
6. (Swag) Washington Redskins: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
7. (TSB) Jacksonville Jaguars: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
8. (Swag) Carolina Panthers: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
9. (TSB) Miami Dolphins: David DeCastro, G, Stanford
10. (Swag) Buffalo Bills: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
11. (TSB) Kansas City Chiefs: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
12. (Swag) Seattle Seahawks: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
13. (TSB) Arizona Cardinals: Michael Brockers, DL, LSU
14. (Swag) Dallas Cowboys: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
15. (TSB) Philadelphia Eagles: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
16. (Swag) New York Jets: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
17. (TSB) Cincinnati Bengals: Cordy Glenn, G,
18. (Swag) San Diego Chargers: Jonathon Martin, OT, Stanford
19. (TSB) Chicago Bears: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
20. (Swag) Tennessee Titans: Mark Barron, S, Alabama
21. (TSB) Cincinnati Bengals: Alshon Jeffrey, WR, South Carolina
22. (Swag) Cleveland Browns: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
23. (TSB) Detroit Lions: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
24. (Swag) Pittsburgh Steelers: Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State

25. (TSB) Denver Broncos: Devon Still, DT, Penn State - For my money, Still is the second best defensive tackle in the draft behind Brockers. I’m loving the idea of pairing Still with last year’s first rounder Von Miller to form a nice duo up front. Mix in some Elvis Dumervil and this becomes a very good line.
Commentary (Swag): Brodrick Bunkley didn’t have a bad season in there as the primary run stuffer, so to mix in someone like Fletcher Cox or Jerel Worthy, two DT’s with better pass rushing skills, would be a more valuable selection IMO.

26. (Swag) Houston Texans: Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers - Andre Johnson is a stud, but he’s aging and injuries are becoming more prevalent. Other than Johnson the Texans have no receiving threat on the field (Minus Arian Foster). Jacoby Jones has been extremely inconsistent, disappearing at times, and Kevin Walter can’t stay healthy. The Texans need another option opposite Johnson and someone primed to take the #1 spot when his time in Houston is done. Sanu was a monster at Rutgers, pulling in 115 catches in 2011. At Rutgers. He has great size at 6’2” 215 pounds and catching the ball in traffic is a strong point. He will be a valuable option opposite Johnson while he develops and learns from one of the games best.
Commentary (TSB): I would have taken Sanu here too. Not much to argue except maybe they could use help on the defensive side of the ball if Mario Williams is allowed to walk away.

27. (TSB) New England Patriots: Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois - The Patriots have an aging front line in desperate need of a youth infusion. Andre Carter, a guy I would have bet the farm was older than 32 years old led the team with 10 sacks in 14 games. Mark Anderson also had 10 sacks, but the Pats gave up over 411 yards per game. Mercilus who led college football in sacks last season (16) while forcing nine fumbles would be the situational pass rusher needed to bolster the line.
Commentary (Swag): The Patriots have obvious holes in their defense. I agree they need to target someone who can come in and help. Either along the DL or in the secondary because they’re pretty set at LB with Mayo and Spikes. They could use an OLB type like Mercilus as an edge rusher or someone like Fletcher Cox at DT to compliment Vince Wilfork.

28. (Swag) Green Bay Packers: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama - Hard to believe he’s still on the board, but he’s a perfect fit in Green Bay’s 3-4 defense. They badly need a compliment to Clay Matthews who was swarmed by constant double and triple teams all season long. Upshaw has been compared to a more athletic Lamaar Woodley, sure the Packers would love for this dream scenario to work out.
Commentary (TSB): With a big Combine, Upshaw could work his way into the top 10. When we do our mock draft 2.0 a few weeks from now, I would be willing to bet he will not be available for Green Bay here. Still, in this scenario, he’s a nice fit. Lots of talent still on the board, though.

29. (TSB) Baltimore Ravens: Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama - Back to back members of the national champs go off the board late in Round 1. Ray Lewis won’t last forever. The guy has to slow down eventually, right? It seemed like he lost a step in 2010 but regained his form last year. Either way, he can groom Hightower to lead this defense when he does decide to hang up the spikes.  
Commentary (Swag): Great fit for Baltimore, they need to start planning for life without Lewis whenever that may be, but at least they won’t be caught with their pants down. I could also see them taking Vontaze Burfict. He’s got a real mean streak which gets him in trouble on the field, but with a mentor like Ray Lewis and a lot of veterans, they could tap into the upside he brings while negating any character issues he may present. Both would fit nicely here.

30. (Swag) San Francisco 49ers: Reuben Randle, WR, LSU - Now this can be looked at as a stretch, but I like Randle as my sleeper this year. Plus we won’t know a whole lot until after the combine. I’d buy this guy now before his stock rises. He’s 6’4” and lean at 208lbs. He played in an anemic offense without much talent at the QB position and was still on the verge of 1,000 yards. The 49ers are in desperate need of a playmaker outside of Vernon Davis and someone opposite of the inconsistent Michael Crabtree. Alex Smith should now have another red zone target and a vertical threat to stretch the defense.
Commentary (TSB): I don’t see this as being a huge reach here. The defense had eight Pro Bowlers in 2011. Yea, that’s a pretty decent percentage. The offense couldn’t score to save its life in the red zone so they’ll be targeting offense early and often. I would be interested in seeing them take another tight end to pair with Davis to try to make themselves into the Pats of the West.

31. (TSB) New England Patriots: Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina - Physical freak. This dude is going to put up ridiculous combine numbers. Like most guys that played at UNC over the last few seasons, the bark has been bigger than the bite. His skill set would lead many to expect that Brown would have been more productive on the field, but maybe Belichick can mold him into a dominant force. His speed will fit in nicely on this defensive unit.
Commentary (Swag): Taking another edge rusher here really changes the dynamic of New England’s defense within two picks. To get two top speed rushers in the first round is a gift, and I’m sure the Patriots will benefit greatly from the infusion of young pass rushers.

32. (Swag) New York Giants: Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson – The Super Bowl was great for the Giants, just not their tight ends. Not one, but TWO of their pass catching tight ends went down with torn ACL’s and will likely sit out most of 2012. Good news is they weren’t as significant as Eli Manning made them. Regardless it still leaves a hole and really hampers the Giants flexibility with this pick. Dwayne Allen is an actual weapon at tight end, not only does this fill a huge hole on the roster, but it will make the Giants passing attack one of the toughest to defend in the league.
Commentary (TSB): Analysis of this pick will come in a future post.

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