Saturday, April 28, 2012

Top-20 IDP Rookies...So far

Yesterday was dedicated to the offensive guys, today it's the defensive guys getting some love.
1LUKE KUECHLYCARLB19Kuechly is a tackling machine who will be in the middle of a 4-3 defense. 100+ tackles is not too much to expect in year one
2MARK BARRONTBS17Barron made plays at Alabama and will be asked to do the same at TB. Will come up and support the run to get tackles while also being able to cover and make plays intercepting the ball
3HARRISON SMITHMINS129Another player that can come up in the box to make tackles, but will also make tackles due to Minnesota's ineffectiveness at defending the pass.
4MORRIS CLAIBORNEDALCB16Will constantly be left on an island in man-to-man coverage leading to tackles/pass def./int and may be asked to blitz on occasion, leading to sacks in Rob Ryan's system.
5MELVIN INGRAMSDDE/OLB118San Diego desperately needed a pass rusher and they got one in Ingram. The plan is to line him up opposite Shaun Phillips and see which one gets to the QB first. Could land a decent amount of sacks/forced and recovered fumbles/tackles if utilized correctly.
6CHANDLER JONESNEDE/OLB121New England has only picked defensive players thus far in the draft, with Jones being the first of them. Very versatile and can line up at many positions in Belichek's defense. Should get plenty of tackle/sack opportunities. Along with the next guy on the list.
7DONT'A HIGHTOWERNEILB/OLB125See Chandler Jones and substitute Hightower's name
8STEPHON GILMOREBUFCB110Did anyone look more dejected about being drafted than Gilmore? Seriously, he does not look pleased that he'll have to suffer Buffalo winters. Anyway, in a division that features shoddy QB play outside of Tom Brady, could lead all rookies in INTs
9COURTNEY UPSHAWBALDE/OLB23Baltimore may have gotten the best value pick in the draft here. Upshaw will replace what the Ravens lost in Jarrett Johnson at a discounted price. Very shrewd.
10MYCHAL KENDRICKSPHIILB 214Another pick with tremendous value. Could move way up this list if DeMeco Ryans gets hurt, but should still be productive nonetheless.
11BRUCE IRVINSEADE 115If, and this is a big if, Irvin stays out of trouble off-the-field, he could be very productive as a pass rusher for Seattle. Terrible value at 15 overall, though.
12LAVONTE DAVIDTBOLB226David can fly from side-to-sideline and can make plays against the run. Should have a high tackle count.
13SHEA MCLELLINCHIDE/OLB119Would be higher on this list if he went to a 3-4 defense, but will still be productive in Chicago
14OLIVIER VERNONMIADE/OLB39Should line up opposite Cameron Wake and meet him at opposing QBs. Great local value pick from MIA for MIA
15QUINTON COPLESNYJDE/OLB116If there's anyone that can light a fire under Coples, it is Rex Ryan. If Coples becomes more consistent, he will be a pass rushing force, but not a steady source of tackles in the Jets' system.
16JANORIS JENKINSSTLCB27Needs to cure off-the-field issues, but represents a dangerous double-threat for fantasy points as a shut down corner and kick returner.
17TAVON WILSONNES216New England looks like it will continue to struggle against the pass, which could lead to tackles/INTs for their safeties. Also, should be in the lead in most of their games, causing opponents to pass early and often.
18BRANDON TAYLORSDS310Won't get many INTs but will play as an extra linebacker in run situations and should pair nicely with Eric Weddle to get a decent amount of tackles
19ANDRE BRANCHJAXDE26Aaron Kampman was a huge disappointment last year for JAX, but he can teach Branch how to maintain his 'one-year wonder' success last season at Clemson.
20FLETCHER COXPHIDT112Only draft DTs if you have to, for they are an unreliable source for both sacks and tackles. If you do have to draft one, however, Cox should lead all rookie DTs in fantasy points due do the prospect that he will be the least focused on player on Philly's d line that features the likes of Trent Cole, Jason Babin, and Cullen Jenkins

Friday, April 27, 2012

top-20 Fantasy Football Rookies...So Far

Day 2 of the NFL draft is over. These are the top-20 players that will make an impact in fantasy football in 2012. Many of these picks reflect the draft order, but that is to be expected at this point. Enjoy!
1ROBERT GRIFFIN IIIQBWSH12Unfair comparisons will be made to Cam Newton, but will be asked to run a lot more in Washington than Luck will be in Indy, which makes RG3 the first player I'd draft out of this class
2ANDREW LUCKQBIND11Will start day one and has a punchers chance to score a ton of points right out of the gate.
3MICHAEL FLOYDWRARZ113Main knock was route-running. His mentor is now Larry Fitzgerald. Could be magical.
4COBY FLEENERTEIND22Luck will rely on Fleener heavily early in his career and they already have a chemistry.
5TRENT RICHARDSONRBCLE13Is a 3-down back who will be asked to start right away. Fantasy gold as a FLEX option
6DOUG MARTINRBTB131May split carries to begin the season, but will eventually be the feature back due to his versatility in passing situations compared to incumbent LaGarrette Blount
7JUSTIN BLACKMONWRJAX15Slips in the rankings because JAX is so inept offensively.
8BRANDON WEEDENQBCLE122All indications are that he will start from day one considering the fact that the Browns are shopping Colt McCoy.
9BRIAN QUICKWRSTL21He has a lot of developing to do, but STL has no one to stop Quick from being a starter early in the season. His size will make him a valuable endzone target.
10AJ JENKINSWRSF130Good talent, but may be 4th on the depth chart this year behind Moss, Manningham, and Ginn
11KENDALL WRIGHTWRTEN120Barring injuries, will at best be 3rd in the pecking order to get touches behind CJ2K and Kenny Britt. Jaret Cook may also get more touches this year.
12STEPHEN HILLWRNYJ211Very raw, but will likely be replacing Plaxico Burress. Size and speed combo is the best in the draft.
13ALSON JEFFERYWRCHI213Needs to improve consistency, but can be very dangerous opposite Brandon Marshall
14RYAN BROYLESWRDET222If he recovers from his ACL injury, will be very dangerous opposite Calvin Johnson.
15RUEBEN RANDLEWRNYG232Needs to beat out Ramses Barden for the 3rd wide receiver spot and Mario Manningham's replacement
16RONNIE HILLMANRBDEN34Darren Sproles-like talent at Peyton Manning's disposal, may also return kicks. Potential duel threat for fantasy points
17T.J. GRAHAMWR/KRBUF36Can challenge for a slot receiver spot similar to the one he played at NC State, but his real value will be in the return game.
18T.Y. HILTONWR/KRIND330Fastest guy in the draft goes to Andrew Luck…on turf. Dual threat as a slot receiver and kick returner
19DEVIER POSEYWRHOU35Adam Schefter reports that Posey's arrival will spell the likely departure of Jacoby Jones. I expect similar numbers.
20RYAN TANNEHILLQBMIA18Don't think he'll start much this year, but if he does, there's potential there with his running ability to have a Tim Tebow-like year in terms of fantasy production.

2012 2nd round NFL Mock Draft: The Aftermath

Eight trades, two players selected from Boise St. (Shea McClellin and Doug Martin) for the first time ever, two players selected from Notre Dame (Michael Floyd and Harrison Smith) for the first time since 1994, Dontari Poe's hair, Fletcher Cox's man hug, Melvin Ingram's choreographed handshake with Goddell?! Oh yeah, and Seattle's brass just made it a little more cloudy in gloomy in Seattle with its selection of Bruce Irvin from West Virginia (good luck with that). As we learned yesterday, any effort to predict the trades in the draft were proven futile so this draft will not try to do so. This draft is so deep that there will still be great values in round 3 and 4 so do not fret if your team has not performed up to snuff quite yet. Enjoy this round two mockery.
STLCORDY GLENNOG/TGEORGIAGlenn can play guard or tackle and the Rams need both
INDCOBY FLEENERTESTANFORDLuck reunited with Fleener and it feels so good!
BAL(from MIN)COURTNEY UPSHAWDE/OLBALABAMANeeded a pass rusher and got one
DEN(from TB)JEREL WORTHYDTMICHIGAN ST.Biggest need and good value
CLESTEPHEN HILLWRGEORGIA TECHGives new QB Brandon Weeden a deep threat. Great value, as well.
JAXLAVONTE DAVIDOLBNEBRASKACan't go wrong with a tackle magnet here on a team that couldn't tackle at all.
STL(from WSH)RYAN BROYLESWROKLAHOMAFellow Sooner Bradford should be pretty happy with this pick.
CARKENDALL REYESDTCONNECTICUTVersatile and fills a need in the middle of the D-Line
BUFJONATHAN MARTINOTSTANFORDDraft faller fills a huge need for the Bills
MIARUEBEN RANDLEWRLSUHow bout a nice, talented receiver to go with Tannehill. Especially since Brandon Marshall is gone.
SEAALSHON JEFFERYWRSOUTH CAROLINABig possession receiver to compliment Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin
KCJEFF ALLENOG/TILLINOISCan play guard or tackle. Will probably play guard for KC
STLTRUMAINE JOHNSONCBMONTANAGreat value on a lesser-known CB talent
PHIMYCHAL KENDRICKSILBCALIFORNIAGood tackler to pair with DeMeco Ryans in the middle of the defense.
NYJBRIAN QUICKWRAPPALACHIAN STNot as Quick as his name suggests, but is a nice, big target for Tim Tebow…yeah, I said it.
NE(from OAK)JANORIS JENKINSCBNORTH ALABAMA2nd best cover skills in the draft, but has serious baggage. NE is a perfect fit.
SDAMINI SILATOLUGMIDWESTERN ST.Fills a huge need after Kris Diehlman was forced to retire.
CHIZACH BROWNOLBNORTH CAROLINAGreat value pick on a burner at LB.
PHI(from ARZ)KIRK COUSINSQBMICHIGAN ST.Philly likes the guy and Vick needs a legitimate backup not named Vince Young.
TENPETER KONZCWISCONSINTennessee needs a center, and Konz is the best in the draft.
CINBOBBY MASSIE OTMISSISSIPPIHas first-round talent, but needs a little development.
DETCASEY HAYWARDCBVANDERBILTSmart corner with great anticipation to make up for average height/weight/speed
ATLVINNY CURRYDEMARSHALLNeeds a pass rusher and Curry was a very productive one.
PITDEVON STILLDTPENN ST.Many thought would be a first-round pick, but will be groomed as Casey Hampton's replacement
DENBROCK OSWEILERQBARIZONA ST.Insurance policy for Peyton Manning who needs time to learn and who better to learn from than Peyton Manning.
HOUMIKE ADAMSOTOHIO ST.Big time draft faller finds a home protecting Matt Schaub.
GBLAMAR MILLERRBMIAMIAn explosive threat for an already explosive offense.
BALANDRE BRANCHDECLEMSONWill most likely play 3-4 DE in run situations. Direct replacement for Jarrett Johnson who departed in free agency.
SFKELECHI OSEMELEOGIOWA ST.SF fills its second-biggest need at guard in the second after filling its biggest need with a WR in the first
NEBRANDON TAYLORSLSUNE is using its picks wisely this year to improve what was a terrible defense.
NYGZEBRIE SANDERSOTFLORIDA ST.Beattie was disappointing. Need to upgrade the Tackle spot for Eli Manning.

Friday, April 20, 2012

NFL Mock Draft: Version 4

NFL Mock Draft: Version 4


This mock draft will be filled with what other people are saying about the prospects.  I promise that Michael Floyd will be in this version of the mock draft, as well.  Feel free to praise my genius or my stupidity.  I encourage feedback.


1.     Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck (QB) Stanford: "I've talked with (NFL) guys who say, 'He's it - a guy who comes around once every 10-15 years.' It's not going to be a quick fix, especially with the (players) they had walk out the door. But (Luck) is the biggest piece of the puzzle."  -Stanford Head Coach David Shaw in the USA TodayPrevious: Andrew Luck

2.     Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III (QB) Baylor: In case you haven't heard,Bob McGinn wrote in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal "As much as is written about his athleticism, his athleticism under duress in the pocket isn't even close to Cam Newton's. This guy, the only way he gets big plays with his feet is if he's got a wide-open field and the sea opens for him. He's got a little bit of a selfish streak, too. Everybody was laying on Cam, but for some reason this guy has become gloves off. He doesn't treat anybody good." Another scout also questioned the way Griffin deals with people."  This is simply a smokescreen put up by some anonymous scout for some anonymous team who desperately wants Washington to pass on the Baylor star (even though the Skins already mortgaged their future to trade to the #2 spot).  McGinn quoted another scout who more accurately said that "He's going to need technique work and fundamentals. But you cannot lose the fact that he's got feet, touch downfield with accuracy, a strong arm. He's charismatic and smart as (expletive)."  Previous: Robert Griffin III

3.     Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil (OT) Southern Cal.: "NFL scouts believe he is as close to perfect as they can expect and one of the most complete offensive tackles to come out of college since USC's Tony Boselli" -CBS SportsPrevious: Matt Kalil

4.     Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson (RB) Alabama: "If you're not gonna take a quarterback, I think youhave to take Trent Richardson," -Mike Mayock.  This is not an indictment on my previous predictions of Tannehill here, it is a testament to the second tier quarterbacks like Brandon Weedon, Nick Foles, Kirk Cousins, and Brock Osweiler (not to mention Russell Wilson in the third tier).  Previous: Trent Richardson

5.     Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne (CB) LSU: "He's a good kid. He looks good. He looks the part. Everybody's high on him." - Rhonde Barber on NFL . com Previous: Morris Claiborne

6.     St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon (WR) Oklahoma St.: "If you don't like Justin Blackmon, you don't like football," -Jon Gruden.  Previous: Justin Blackmon

7.     Jacksonville Jaguars: Melvin Ingram (DE) South Carolina: "Ingram, if he can do anything, can rush the passer. The guy is wonderfully versatile, and even with his short arms he disengages really well and falls back on an arsenal of moves." -Mel Kiper Jr. Previous: Melvin Ingram

8.     Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill (QB) Texas A&M: "Tannehill's potential is enormous, his ceiling as high as the Sistine Chapel's. I have heard all the negatives, including his 1-4 record vs. ranked opponents last year. Ironically Tannehill's literal hand in A&M's disappointing 6-6 season is what got head coach Mike Sherman fired and landed him here as Dolphins' offensive coordinator." -Greg Cote of the Miami Herald. Previous: Ryan Tannehill

9.     Carolina Panthers: Fletcher Cox (DT) Miss. St.: "The light-footed Cox played both defense end and defensive tackle and his versatility will be an asset in the NFL, where scouts think he is similar to San Diego's Corey Luiget, an 18th overall pick out of Illinois last year." -CBS SportsPrevious: Fletcher Cox

10.  Buffalo Bills: Riley Reiff (OT) Iowa:  "Reiff is an impressive tackle prospect. He started every game in his career and was very durable considering how heavily Iowa relied on its run game."  -NFL. com .  Previous: Riley Reiff

11.  Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Kuechly (ILB) Boston College: "Despite his consistency and the fact that he proved significantly more athletic during Combine testing that expected, Kuechly's position could lead to a surprise drop on draft day." -CBS Sports Previous: Luke Kuechly

12.  Seattle Seahawks: Quinton Coples (DE) North Carolina: "Coples, at 6-6 and 284 pounds, has drawn physical comparisons to a former Tar Heels defensive end who went on to a stellar pro career:Julius Peppers, now with theChicago Bears. Quick, strong and freakishly athletic are a few of the terms that describe both." -Bob Velin of the USA Today Previous: Quinton Coples

13.  Arizona Cardinals: Michael Floyd (WR) Notre Dame: "He has great hands, he's fast, he ran a 4.36 in Indy, there are a lot of great things about that player we like."  -Joey Clinkscales, VP of College Scouting for the New York JetsPrevious: David DeCastro

14.  Dallas Cowboys: Mark Barron (SS) Alabama: "But I don't see many weaknesses. He does everything pretty well. You can pick on how much range does he have. Is he your classic Ed Reed center-fielder type? No. But he's instinctive enough, gets in position, and I think can cover enough ground to easily."  -Todd McShay. Previous: Dontari Poe

15.  Philadelphia Eagles: Dontari Poe (DT) Memphis: "Some scouts have said they're not impressed with Poe's motor or his production in college, but it's impossible to overlook his talent."  -Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk Previous: Michael Brockers

16.  New York Jets: Courtney Upshaw (DE/OLB) Alabama: "a talented, smart pass-rusher who could be scheme-versatile on the edge. And he can get to the quarterback" -Mel Kiper Jr . Previous: Chandler Jones

17.  Cincinnati Bengals: Stephon Gilmore (CB) South Carolina: "Gilmore excelled in South Carolina's zone defense, and he's considered a great leader with a tireless work ethic on the field and in the film room, which gives him the awareness to know his teammates' defensive assignments. Gilmore has good speed and ball skills, and he plays hard in run support and tackles well."  -Jeff Howe of NESN Previous: Mark Barron

18.  San Diego Chargers: David DeCastro (OG) Stanford: "When you get him, you're going to plug him in Day 1 and he's going to be your starting guard" -Mike Mayock Previous: Cordy Glenn

19.  Chicago Bears: Cordy Glenn (OG/T) Georgia: "Glenn looks like a Cowboys guard from the 1990s glory days: Look closely and you see Nate Newton."  - Mike Tanier of Yahoo ! Sports Previous: Jonathan Martin

20.  Tennessee Titans: Dre Kirkpatrick (CB) Alabama: "From Alabama, like most Alabama kids, he's got a strong football IQ. He's physical and he tackles and he can play zone. He's instinctive and he's tough."  -Mike Mayock Previous: Stephon Gilmore

21.  Cincinnati Bengals: Kendall Wright (WR) Baylor: "Wright adjusts well to the ball and tracks vertical passes at a high level. He ran by many college cornerbacks who gave him a cushion, without the aid of trickery."  -Matt Waldman of the New York Times Previous: Dre Kirkpatrick

22.  Cleveland Browns: Stephen Hill (WR) Georgia Tech: "Wow does he have upside, but you're betting a lot on athletic ability and not a lot of college production." -Mike Mayock .  Previous: Kendall Wright

23.  Detroit Lions: Chandler Jones (DE) Syracuse: "I think the most underrated player maybe in the entire draft and certainly among defensive linemen is Chandler Jones" - Todd McShay Previous: Janoris Jenkins

24.  Pittsburgh Steelers: Dont'a Hightower (ILB) Alabama: "Hightower is "high-floor" player. With his size, athleticism, and Saban training, he is all but guaranteed to be a productive starter who can contribute right away."  -Mike Tanier of Yahoo! Sports Previous: Dont'a Hightower

25.  Denver Broncos: Coby Fleener (TE) Stanford: "Between Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck, Fleener was a major target for the best college quarterback in recent memory, in an offense designed (and used after the coach's departure to San Francisco) to be as mistake-proof as possible."  -Mike Tanier of Yahoo! Sports Previous: Jerel Worthy

26.  Houston Texans: Jonathan Martin (OT) Stanford: "You look at (Martin's) skill set, he strikes me as a strong left tackle prospect given his ability to move. … He's not the most aggressive player or the nastiest player, but you have to be tough and physical at Stanford." -NFL Network Analyst Bucky Brooks Previous: Stepehen Hill

27.  New England Patriots: Michael Brockers (DT) LSU: "While he played defensive tackle at LSU, he is viewed as being versatile enough to play at end in a 4-3 defense and provide a big-time boost to a team's pass rush, which happens to be one of the biggest needs for New England."  -Paul Kenyon of the Providence Journal .  Previous: Courtney Upshaw

28.  Green Bay Packers: Nick Perry (DE/OLB) Southern Cal.: "As a sophomore and junior at USC he developed into an elite pass-rushing prospect, and has the size and athletic ability to be successful working against NFL tackles." .  Previous: Nick Perry

29.  Baltimore Ravens: Peter Konz ( C ) Baltimore: "His anticipation and alertness compensate for average quickness, so he still gets in position in time to take on defenders. Konz is more of a persistent, wall-off type of blocker than a physical mauler." -CBS Sports Previous: Peter Konz

30.  San Francisco 49ers: Jerel Worthy (DT) Michigan State: "Worthy's lackluster workout results underline just how enigmatic he is as a prospect. His greatest attribute, besides brute strength, is something that cannot be easily showcased in a drill." -Mike Tanier of Yahoo! Sports Previous: Coby Fleener

31.  New England Patriots: Kendall Reyes  (DT) Connecticut: "At 6-foot-4 and 299 pounds, Reyes is the prototypical 5-technique in a base three-man front. In addition to his frame he has the arm length (33.3-inches) and upper-body strength (benched 225 pounds 36 times) to lock out and control blockers making him an effective two-gap run defender at end." -Steve Muench of Scouts Inc .   Previous: Kendall Reyes

32.  New York Giants: Mike Adams (OT): "Nebraska outside linebacker Lavonte David looks like one of the best pure football players in the 2012 draft class, but he's really undersized for his position, which means he'll be lucky to crack the first round."  - Jeff Howe of NESN



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

2012 NFL Mock Draft: Version 3

2012 NFL Mock Draft Version 3: The Risers and Fallers


1.     Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck (QB) Stanford: No Change here

2.     Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III (QB) Baylor: Or here

3.     Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil (OT) Southern Cal.: The Vikings will be entertaining trade offers, but if they are forced to stick at this pick, it won't change and will continue to be Matt Kalil

4.     Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson (RB) Alabama: I've gone back and forth with this pick but this week I improved the stock of the second tier quarterbacks like Nick Foles, Brock Osweiler, and Brandon Weedon, which can ultimately cause the Browns to pass on a QB in round 1 despite the obvious need.  Richardson is one hell of a consolation prize, too.  Previous Pick: Ryan Tannehill

5.     Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne (CB) LSU: Tampa Bay may be one of the teams calling Minnesota at pick #3 because the Bucs really want Richardson to finish the revamping of its mediocre offense last season, and may have to move ahead of Cleveland to do so.  If they stay at 5, Claiborne is one of the elite players in this draft and it fills a position of need so they won't be too upset.  Previous Pick: Trent Richardson

6.     St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon (WR) Oklahoma State: No changes here.  St. Louis got exactly what it wanted in its trade with Washington.

7.     Jacksonville Jaguars: Melvin Ingram (DE/OLB) South Carolina: Fast riser alert!  Ingram has catapulted himself up people's boards due to his tenacious pass-rush abilities.  He has also displayed elite work ethic; something his counterpart Quinton Coples has yet to do.  Previous Pick: Morris Claiborne

8.      Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill (QB) Texas A&M: Miami, in the end, may have to trade up to acquire the former wide receiver turned quarterback.  If they are able to stay at eight and still get Tannehill, a celebration may ensue.  Previous Pick: Michael Floyd

9.     Carolina Panthers: Fletcher Cox (DT) Miss. State: Fast riser alert!  Cox has steadily climbed my (and others) board, but Carolina will have serious thoughts about local product Quinton Coples (UNC).

10.  Buffalo Bills: Riley Reiff (OT) IOWA: The Bills desperately need to keep newly inked quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick upright.  Reiff can start right away at right tackle and could develop into a left tackle over time.  Previous Pick: Quinton Coples

11.  Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Kuechly (ILB) Boston College: With this pick, Kansas City may have the best ILB combination in a 3-4 defense with Kuechly and Derrick Johnson.  The AFC West better beware.  Previous Pick: Riley Reiff

12.  Seattle Seahawks: Quinton Coples (DE) North Carolina: The Seahawks probably never thought that Coples, a top-ten talent, would ever fall to them at pick 12.  Either way, they will take the Julius Peppers esque defensive end, and put up with his inconsistent motor if it means that their pass rush will be improved.  Previous Pick: Luke Kuechly

13.  Arizona Cardinals: David DeCastro (OG) Stanford: No change here.  DeCastro may be the most talented of the entire lineman class.  He's that good.  Arizona will have found their starter for the next decade here.

14.  Dallas Cowboys: Dontari Poe (DT) Memphis: This isn't necessarily a pick of need for the Cowboys, who desperately need help against the pass, but Poe is rated by some (including the Cowboys) as a top-ten talent.  Plus, the corenerback/safety class is pretty deep compared to the DT class.  Previous Pick: Dre Kirkpatrick

15.  Philadelphia Eagles: Michael Brockers (DT) LSU: The Eagles were not happy that Cox has been rising so quickly, and may be interested in calling teams like the Dolphins (if they don't get Tannehill) to see if they'd be willing to move back in the draft to ensure that Cox is an Eagle.  Brockers is next on the DT board so he is slotted in here.  Previous Pick: Fletcher Cox

16.  New York Jets: Chandler Jones (DE/OLB) Syracuse: As a Syracuse alumni, I was surprised to see anyone from the pathetic football team had any talent.  Jones is not the ideal pick for the Jets, but Jones is versatile and built like a dump truck.  Rex Ryan could easily turn him into the best rush end in the draft.  Previous Pick: Melvin Ingram

17.  Cincinnati Bengals: Mark Barron (S) Alabama: The Bengals have a tough choice here between two talented Alabama players (Barron vs. Dre Kirkpatrick), but elect to go with their bigger need at safety, which is also a shallower class.  Remember, Cincinnati picks four picks later and could still get Kirkpatrick then.

18.  San Diego Chargers: Cordy Glenn (OG) Georgia: No change here, huge positional need.  Would love it if DeCastro fell to them here.

19.  Chicago Bears:  Jonathan Martin (OT) Stanford: No change here, desperately need to keep Cutler upright in pass protection, and to provide huge holes for Matt Forte.

20.  Tennessee Titans: Stephon Gilmore (CB) South Carolina:  Same position as last time, but different player.  CB is the team's biggest need and Gilmore is very talented with the added bonus of zero off-the-field baggage when compared to Janoris Jenkins and Dre Kirkpatrick.  Previous Pick: Janoris Jenkins

21.  Cincinnati Bengals: Dre Kirkpatrick (CB) Alabama: Draft faller alert!  Couldn't have worked out better for the Bengals, though, who need to retool their defensive backfield.  Kirkpatrick has top-15 talent, but comes with some off-the-field baggage.  Something the Bengals know very little about, right?  Previous Pick: Stephon Gilmore

22.  Cleveland Browns: Kendall Wright (WR) Baylor: If they choose to build around Colt McCoy by not drafting Tannehill at pick four, then they NEED to get a playmaker on the outside.  Wright made big play after big play for Baylor and has more impressive game tape than combine performance.  In the end, the Browns need someone who performs well when the pads are on…not shorts and a t-shirt.  Previous Pick: Mike Adams

23.  Detroit Lions: Janoris Jenkins (CB) Northern Alabama: This is a gamble for the Lions due to Jenkins' off-the-field woes that got him kicked out of Florida two years ago.  He is, however, the second-best cover corner in the draft behind Claiborne, and (can you believe it?) the Lions have solid leadership on both sides of the ball.  Could be the biggest steal of the first round or a colossal failure.  Previous Pick: Courtney Upshaw

24.  Pittsburgh Steelers: Dont'a Hightower (ILB) Alabama: No change here.  Perfect fit for the future of the Steel Curtain.

25.  Denver Broncos: Jerel Worthy (DT) Michigan State: Draft faller alert!  Once considered one of the elite DT in the draft, Worthy has seen the likes of Brockers, Poe, and Cox leapfrog him on people's boards.  Denver's biggest need is in the middle of the defensive line and Worthy is the best available DT (strongly considered Devon Still, too).  Previous Pick: Michael Brockers

26.  Houston Texans: Stephen Hill (WR) Georgia Tech: No change here, the Texans need a WR to go on the other side of the oft-injured Andre Johnson.

27.  New England Patriots: Courtney Upshaw (DE/OLB) Alabama: Draft faller alert!  Bill Belichek will pinch himself for he would never have imagined such a talent falling to him this late in the draft.  The Patriots may even use both picks in the first round this year!  Yeah, right.  Previous Pick: Chandler Jones

28.  Green Bay Packers: Nick Perry (DE/OLB) Southern Cal.: Perfect fit here.  No need to change.

29.  Baltimore Ravens: Peter Konz ( C ) Wisconsin: The Ravens will want to trade out of this pick, for Konz is not a tremendous value here, but if they're stuck here they will take him for he is the best player at their biggest position of need.   Previous Pick: Whitney Mercilus

30.  San Francisco 49ers: Coby Fleener (TE) Stanford:  No change here, would be lucky to get him (look for Denver to give Fleener serious thought).

31.  New England Patriots: Kendall Reyes (DT) Connecticut: No change here, but no one really expects the Patriots to pick twice in the first round, right?

32.  New York Giants: Mike Adams (OT) Ohio State: Draft faller alert!  Adams looked terrible at the combine, but the Giants have a need at OT with Kareem MacKenzie still unsigned.  Previous Pick: Lavonte David

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

2012 NFL Mock Draft: Post Pro Day Version

2012 NFL Mock Draft: Post Pro-Days


The evaluation process is over.  All of the NFL prospects have been thoroughly poked and prodded by scouts, doctors, coaches, and media personnel around the country.  Now, it's down to the picking.  After the combine, pro days, and now double-secret probation private pro days (like the one the Colts had with Andrew Luck and did not have with Robert Griffin III), no more forty-yard dash times or shuttle runs or bench presses will be recorded.  Now, it's just good, old-fashioned hearsay and smoke screens.


1.   Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck (QB) Stanford: I expect that the contract will be signed sooner than later given the new rookie weight scale and its ability to dictate contract terms with the #1 overall pick.  Plus, the Colts cannot give Luck the playbook until they sign him and with offseason programs already starting, now would be a good time. Previous Pick: Andrew Luck

2.   Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III (QB) Baylor: After trading all the picks they traded, the term "on the clock" is not nearly as stressful when you know who you are going to pick.  I'm setting the Over/Under on time used for the pick at 15.5 seconds.  Previous Pick: Robert Griffin III

3.   Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil (OT) Southern Cal.: Before, I debated between Kalil and Claiborne, but after Claiborne's staggering 4 on the wonderlic exam, Kalil seems like the smarter pick (see what I did there?).  To reiterate, Kalil is the best tackle prospect since Jake Long in 2008.  Previous Pick: Matt Kalil

4.   Cleveland Browns: Ryan Tannehill (QB) Texas A&M: The Browns need help everywhere, but Colt McCoy is obviously not the franchise quarterback of the future.  Some scouts argue that Tannehill is an improvement to McCoy already and has one of the higher ceilings of all the QB prospects in the draft.  It would not surprise me to see Cleveland trade out of this spot to acquire more draft picks and choose one of the second-tier quarterbacks (like they did with McCoy) like Kirk Cousins or Brandon Weeden.  Previous Pick: Trent Richardson

5.   Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trent Richardson (RB) Alabama: It was not long ago when Trent Richardson was paired with Mark Ingram in Alabama, bruising running back, in the same backfield.  Tampa Bay has obviously focused on improving its offense surrounding their franchise quarterback Josh Freeman (who is vastly underrated) by signing Vincent Jackson and Carl Nicks (eliminating Justin Blackmon and Riley Reiff as possibilities) and Eric Wright to provide some insurance for their defensive backfield (eliminating Morris Claiborne as a possibility upon second review).  Pairing Richardson with bruising incumbent running back LeGerrete Blount will benefit both players and, most importantly, Josh Freeman.  Previous Pick: Morris Claiborne

6.   St Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon (WR) Oklahoma State: This could not have worked out better for St. Louis, who has reportedly enamored with Blackmon to the point where they were considering taking him with the second overall selection when they were picking second once upon a time.  Now, they acquired a myriad of extra picks and still get the guy they wanted.  The Jeff Fisher gets off on the best foot possible.  Previous Pick: Justin Blackmon

7.   Jacksonville Jaguars: Morris Claiborne (CB) LSU: By far the best cornerback in the draft, Claiborne's draft stock slipped slightly, but not too much.  Who would've thought that his wonderlic score would be a nice over/under for when he's going to get drafted this year?  For Jacksonville, they need everything so taking the best player on the board is a great idea, and that's what they did here.  Previous Pick: Quinton Coples (DE) North Carolina

8.   Miami Dolphins: Michael Floyd (WR) Notre Dame: Quick, name the #1 wide receiver on Miami's depth chart after the departure of Brandon Marshall to Chicago?  Exactly.  Michael Floyd is a suitable replacement for Marshall even though Miami desperately needs a quarterback.  Only problem is that there is not a quarterback worth taking here, so look for Miami to move back and acquire some extra draft picks and take their QB later.  If they stay here, however, Floyd makes some sense.  Previous Pick: Ryan Tannehill

9.   Carolina Panthers: Dontari Poe (DT) Memphis: No reason to abandon this pick from last week considering that nothing has changed on either for the Panthers or for Poe.  Previous Pick: Dontari Poe

10.    Buffalo Bills: Quinton Coples (DE) North Carolina: The Bills hybrid 4-3, 3-4 defense needs some more threats on the edge, and Coples is the best player to do so in the 4-3 format.  Buffalo would have one of the more formidable pairs of outside rushers with Coples and newly inked Mario Williams.  Previous Pick: Melvin Ingram

11.    Kansas City Chiefs: Riley Reiff (OT) Iowa: The Chiefs will get the two skill players back from injury they desperately missed last season in Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki, but they have not had a solid offensive tackle since Willie Roaf.  Reiff is ready to start week 1 for the Chiefs protecting Matt Cassel and creating running room for Charles.

12.    Seattle Seahawks: Luke Kuechly (ILB) Boston College: Seattle signed its quarterback for their offense in Matt Flynn, now they get the quarterback of their defense in Kuechly who has the best instincts of any linebacker in this draft.  Couple that with his impressive combine and it would not surprise me if teams start trying to trade up to get him.  Previous Pick: Luke Kuechly

13.    Arizona Cardinals: David DeCastro (OG) Stanford: Arizona lost out on Manning, so they really need to keep Kolb upright in order for any chance of him having success.  DeCastro can start week 1 and contribute in both pass and run blocking.  Previous Pick: David DeCastro

14.    Dallas Cowboys: Dre Kirkpatrick (CB) Alabama: How long can the Cowboys wait until they realize that they need help in the defensive backfield?  Kirkpatrick has the size, speed, and experience to play in the NFL.  Only worry is his attitude and his off-the-field baggage, but Dallas has to take the risk to reap the reward of Kirkpatrick's talents.  Previous Pick: Dre Kirkpatrick

15.    Philadelphia Eagles: Fletcher Cox (DT) Miss. State: Scouts keep saying that Cox is the most underrated player in the draft and that he will be able to consistently play in opponent's backfields.  If that's the case, the Eagles will now have the scariest defensive line in the NFL with Jason Babin, Trent Cole, Cullen Jenkins, and Fletcher Cox.  Will they ever blitz?  Previous Pick: Michael Brockers

16.    New York Jets: Melvin Ingram (DE/OLB) South Carolina: The Jets made the most noise this offseason, but not for anything truly spectacular (looking more like the New York Mets of the NFL by the day) by bringing back last year's locker room cancer in Santonio Holmes and the media circus surrounding Tim Tebow (however the Jet-Bow sandwich at the Carnegie Deli sounds delicious).  Ingram has previously been near the top-10 but has slipped a little bit due to team needs weighing higher than his talent.  The Jets, however, need his talents in New York rushing the passer.  Something they have not been able to do consistently in all of Rex Ryan's years running the show. Previous Pick: Michael Floyd

17.    Cincinnati Bengals: Mark Barron (SS) Alabama: Corner is the more pressing need since the departure of Jonathan Joseph last season, but the Bengals know that they pick again at #21, and there are more CBs of value available than safeties so the Bengals play the numbers game that they will get a valuable corner at pick #21.  Previous Pick: Janoris Jenkins

18.    San Diego Chargers: Cordy Glenn (OG/T) Georgia: The Chargers have a glaring offensive line need since Kris Dielman's sudden retirement, and Glenn fits the bill as his replacement.  Previous Pick: Cordy Glenn

19.    Chicago Bears: Jonathan Martin (OT) Stanford: Offensive line coach Mike Tice's mouth may foam over knowing that he has both Martin and 2011's first round pick Gabe Carimi as his bookends for the foreseeable future.  Jay Cutler will now have two solid tackles to keep him upright in pass protection and two fierce run blockers for Matt Forte and Michael Bush.  Throw in the recent acquisition of Cutler's old running mate in Denver Brandon Marshall and you have one hell of a revamped offense from the team that limped to the finish last season.  Previous Pick: Jonathan Martin

20.    Tennessee Titans: Janoris Jenkins (CB) Northern Alabama: Based on talent alone, this is a steal.  Jenkins rivals the talents of Claiborne, but will slide down in the draft due to his off-the-field concerns that got him dismissed from Florida.  Tennessee added Kamerion Wimbley as a pass rusher this offseason, but lost Cortland Finnegan, so Jenkins would serve as a nice replacement.  Previous Pick: Courtney Upshaw

21.    Cincinnati Bengals: Stephon Gilmore (CB) South Carolina: The strategy of waiting on a cornerback worked for Cincinnati as they grab one of the fastest late-risers in the draft in Gilmore.  He does not have the pure skills that Jenkins, Kirkpatrick, and Claiborne have, but he has the size and speed to keep pace with NFL receivers.  Previous Pick: Kendall Wright

22.    Cleveland Browns: Mike Adams (OT) Ohio State: Adams did not have the best of combines and lacks what scouts call the "killer instinct" but he has the size and quick feet to play at left tackle to protect Cleveland's newest investment, and number four pick of this draft, Ryan Tannehill. Previous Pick: Stephen Hill

23.    Detroit Lions: Courtney Upshaw (DE/OLB) Alabama: The Lions do not have a long-term solution at the defensive end position.  Cliff Avrill is playing under the franchise tag and Kyle Vanden Bosch is 34, so Upshaw will provide great depth plus a long-term solution at defensive end to go along with the beasts in the middle in Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh.  Previous Pick: Stephon Gilmore

24.    Pittsburgh Steelers: Dont'a Hightower (ILB) Alabama: James Farrior is gone and the defense, as a whole, is aging.  Hightower is a perfect fit to be the quarterback of this defense for years to come.  Previous Pick: Dont'a Hightower

25.    Denver Broncos: Michael Brockers (DT) LSU: By far Denver's biggest need, the interior of the defensive line gets a young boost here.  Brockers is a perfect fit for John Fox's defense and will eat up blockers for Von Miller to run wild.  Previous Pick: Fletcher Cox

26.    Houston Texans: Stephen Hill (WR) Georgia Tech: Hill is an absolute matchup nightmare as a six-foot-four wide receiver that can run a 4.36 forty-yard dash.  Throw him on the other side of the field as Andre Johnson and you have put opposing defenses in quite the bind.  Previous Pick: Reuben Randle

27.    New England Patriots: Chandler Jones (DE) Syracuse: Jones is a versatile player that can play on the end of either a 3-4 or a 4-3, which is perfect for Bill Belichek and the Patriots' system.  Jones isn't that flashy so he'll blend right in with the hoodie.  Previous Pick: Lavonte David

28.    Green Bay Packers: Nick Perry (DE/OLB) Southern Cal.: Perry can rush the quarterback.  Green Bay struggles with that unless your name is Clay Matthews, but he can't do it by himself.  Perry isn't getting the love other pass rushers in this draft are getting, but that's just fine for Green Bay who will be getting a discount double-check on Perry.  Previous Pick: Mark Barron

29.    Baltimore Ravens: Whitney Mercilus (DE) Illinois: Mercilus isn't exactly the best fit for a 3-4 defense, but his pass-rushing talents are too much for the Ravens to pass up, with no offensive lineman of value being available here.   Previous Pick: Nick Perry

30.    San Francisco 49ers: Coby Fleener (TE) Stanford: I'm the only one who thinks this, but the matchup nightmares San Francisco would create with a potent two tight-end set like this one with Fleener and Vernon Davis are very similar to the matchups the Patriots create with their offense.  Throw in the field-stretching Randy Moss on the outside, and you have no more excuses for Alex Smith.  Previous Pick: Coby Fleener

31.    New England Patriots: Kendall Reyes (DT) Connecticut: Another versatile player for Belichek's defense to go along with Chandler Jones at pick 27.  Reyes projects nicely as a nose tackle in a 3-4 or a defensive tackle in a 4-3.  More fun pieces for Belichek to play with.  Previous Pick: Devon Still

32.    New York Giants: Lavonte David (OLB) Nebraska: David flies from sideline-to-sideline and will allow Michael Boley to move back to his more comfortable inside linebacker position.  The Giants have a bigger need on the offensive line and running back, but can address both later in the draft.  Previous Pick: David Wilson