Friday, March 14, 2014

Mock Draft 1.0: Featuring Rick and Coop (Part II)

1. Texans (TSB): Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
2. Rams via Redskins (Coop): Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
3. Jaguars (Rick): Blake Bortles, QB, University of Central Florida
4. Browns (Coop): Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
5. Raiders (TSB): Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
6. Falcons (Rick): Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
7. Bucs (TSB): Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
8. Vikings (Coop): Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma St.

See details of top eight pick from Part I here.

9. Bills (Rick): Khalil Mack, LB, University of Buffalo - This would be considered a steal to get Mack at #9; he’s viewed by some scouts as a the better overall talent than Jadeveon Clowney. Buffalo has hired Jim Schwartz as its new DC and has promised a ball hawking and attacking defense. Buffalo ran a bit of a hybrid defense last year with multiple looks and Mack would fit right in as a versatile piece to move around. Not to mention the obvious ties to Buffalo. Not sure if that would make Mack happy or really depressed.

10. Lions (TSB):Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State - Let's stick with the local theme here as Detroit nabs the MSU product who also happens to be a shutdown corner. Dennard paired with 2013 second round CB Darius Slay could give some stability to a secondary unit in desperate need of it. The Golden Tate signing alleviates the need to address the wide receiver position, not to mention that offense isn't the problem in Motown. This makes too much sense not to happen.

11. Titans (Coop): Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh - Donald has dominated his college competition for 3 years in a row now, and backed up his performance on the field by dominating the competition at the combine.  The biggest concern is that he is undersized at DT, but he makes up for it by being a disruptive force on the line. Last year he managed 28.5 tackles for a loss and 11.0 sacks, those numbers don’t lie. With the Titans possibly transitioning to some variety of a 3-4, they can use his versatility and possibly pencil him in at Defensive End. No matter where he lines up, he should immediately help the run defense and take some pressure off the linebackers.

12. Giants (Rick): Eric Ebron, TE, UNC - Five years, five different tight ends. Although the Giants have been developing Adrian Robinson I'm not sure they're totally sold on him as he's been unable to stay on the field. Ebron runs '6'5 250 with 4.5 wheels. He's an incredible athlete with sticky hands and he's a weapon Eli hasn't had since Jeremy Shockey was in town. With the Giants aggressively attacking their offensive line in FA and the top two corners off the board this seems like a logical pick for The Giants. If Robinson (6'5/270/4.56) does stay healthy enough to make a leap this season the Giants will have two matchup nightmares at TE.

13. Rams (Coop): Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama - Aside from having the top name in the draft, Ha Ha fills the 2nd biggest need for the Rams. Now they have someone to pair with TJ McDonald at the back end, giving them some good young talent at safety.  Clinton-Dix’s draft stock took a bit of a hit after receiving a 2-game suspension for receiving improper benefits, but his performance on the field never fell off. He could very well be a steal for the Rams at 13.

14. Bears (TSB): Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville - Freak athletes playing safety are all the rage these days. Just look at how the safeties in Seattle catapulted a very good defense into the league's best. The Saints made a big move to pair Jairus Byrd with 2013 first rounder Kenny Vaccaro to form another dynamic duo. It's time for the Bears to get involved. Pryor is the best safety in this class regardless of who Coop took with the last pick, and he's a huge upgrade over the shell known as Chris Conte.

15. Steelers (Rick): Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech - Steelers need help on defense. Yes. The staple of this team for so long has been aging and it's caught up to them. Ryan Clark is gone, Lamarr Woodley is gone, Larry Foote is gone, #43 has lost multiple steps and the once overwhelming strength of this team is now a weak point. Fuller's stock is starting to rise as evaluators start watching his film and seeing a physical and aggressive corner who won't back down to anyone. He's someone who would thrive from day one in Pittsburgh.

16. Cowboys (Rick): Dee Ford, DE/OLB, Auburn - Demarcus Ware was cut, time to bring in a younger and cheaper replacement. Ford has a lightning fast first step and should fit right into Ware's old spot and start harassing quarterbacks right away. The Cowboys need help all over their defense which seems to be the case every draft season.

17. Ravens (Coop): Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M – The Ravens are desperate for help at wide receiver, however there is no way they can pass up this value pick. Matthews is arguably the second best tackle in the draft, and has the ridiculous Matthews’ NFL pedigree (Bruce, Clay, Casey). He hasn’t shown the athleticism that Robinson and Lewan have displayed, but he has been rock solid in the SEC’s leading offense for the last two years (Ok, so Auburn outgained them by 19 yards this year). After re-signing Eugene Monroe, Baltimore can plug in Matthews at the other tackle position and not give the position a thought for another few years.

18. Jets (TSB): Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA - The "passing" offense the Jets put on display last year was one of the most painful things I've watched in sports. It was a complete trainwreck. Santonio Holmes? Awful (when he played). Stephen Hill? Has been a bust to date with little hope for the future. Jeremy Kerley? We can keep him as a #3 receiver in the slot but not as the alpha dog. As I have been saying for years: This. Team. Needs. Playmakers. The Jets just brought in Eric Decker for a surprisingly reasonable price. He can slot in as the new number two guy. Now, the Jets need a number one wideout and a pass-catching tight end to go along with a competent quarterback. Unfortunately, the Jets only have one pick at this spot and not three. Even worse, I don't love any of the players at these positions of need right now. I would have loved Watkins, Evans, Ebron, or any of the quarterbacks taken so far, but that's not how this worked out. Do I reach for a wide receiver? No, becuase I think this is a deep draft at the position and there will be options in the later rounds only slightly worse than what's available right now. I'll take a Troy Niklas-type tight end in round two rather than reach for Jace Amaro now. I'm not crazy about Derek Carr (David Carr 2.0?) either. I'm in a pickle so I am going a little bit off the reservation and taking a defensive player! It's painful in many ways to go this direction, but I think Barr is the best player on the board by a fairly wide margin. In the middle of the season, he was being considered with the top pick. Now, he's available at 18? I need to take him here to further solidy a defense that carried this team in 2013 and hope I can pick up my playmakers in the next few rounds and in free agency (still $40m of cap room). Michael Vick and James Jones, anyone? Barr gives the team an edge rusher and replaces Calvin Pace at OLB. Rex Ryan will have him motivated and put him in position to be successful.

Will Barr be Rex's newest toy?
19.    Dolphins (Rick): Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State - I love the fit for this guy in this offense. I thought quickly about Brandin Cooks but Benjamin's size cannot be ignored. 6 foot 5 inches at 240 pounds with gigantic 10.25 inch hands with 4.5 speed. This isn't a raw prospect either, he put up monster production last year scoring 15 touchdowns as a redshirt sophomore. Ryan Tannehill has been working with Brian Hartline and the gimmicky Mike Wallace. Benjamin would complement this WR corps and allow the other guys to do what they do best while he gave Tannehill a big target for once in his career. Wallace would be able to take the top off the defense running his fly patterns while Hartline did his work from the slot allowing Benjamin plenty of opportunities on the intermediate routes where he can dominate smaller corners on the outside. They still need to address their offensive line but can add later in the draft. Taylor Lewan may be too tough to pass up in this spot but I love Benjamin too much for Tannehill.

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