from Connor Riley
Feb. 27, 2014, 6:37 p.m.
As some of you know, Nick and I are huge NFL Draft fans. We are the type of people who watch through Sunday. The type of guys who have watched tape on that fifth rounder from Akron. So we decided to do a mock draft over email. Nick gets the first and odd picks, I get the even picks. We thought about having rules, but rules are no fun. Trades for EVERYONE
First Selection: Houston Texans
NICK: 2/25/14 3:09PM I'm going to start something off with a little bit of a surprise. Let's be honest here. No one knows what the Texans are going to do with the first pick. They have every option they want to improve at every position they have a hole except for guard and DB and still get a strong positional value. That's why I'm going with a riser.
Selection: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
If the draft were today, everyone would be surprised to see Mack go first overall. But let his combine tape circulate and watch his pro day. I think he'll rise a lot like Eric Fisher did last season. He's a smaller school guy, but every measurable and mark of productivity is there. The kid measures in at 6-foot-3, has a ridiculous reach of 33 1/4 on each arm and weighs in at stout 251. He's quick and he's fast, but what I like most is his explosiveness and his production. Hell, Mack jumped 40 inches on his vertical leap and broad jumped 10'8". Those both placed in the top 10. Not among linebackers, of anyone at the combine. He's that explosive out of the blocks. Not to mention all of the records and accolades he earned at Buffalo. I think that Mack projects a lot like an Aldon Smith. He's a little shorter and thinner, but he's quicker and has the same sort of pass rush and TFL instincts. I think Mack is going to be a stud. Sorry to give him to the Texans.
Connor: 2/25/14 3:11 PM This would be like 2005 all over again when the Texans gm, Rick Smith I think, had to resign(The Texans correctly took Mario Williams over Reggie Bush. The GM resigned the day after the draft)
Can I trade the second pick?
Nick: 2/25/14 3:13pm 2006. And only if you're trading with me.
Connor: 2/25/14 3:25pm
Well too bad. I'm the Rams gm this time, and would you look at that. The Falcons are calling. I imagine this is how the call would go: Les Snead(Rams GM): Hello who is this? Thomas Dimitroff(Falcons GM) Hey Les it's Tom. We really want Clowney. Our fan base is desperate for a star player. Even though we went 4-12 this year because we gave up so many picks to get Julio Jones it ruined the bottom of our roster, I'm willing to make the same mistake again Les: I don't know it's going to take a big offer to get Clowney Tom:(Panicking) uh well um, what if we swap 1st rounders and I'll give you a 3 and a 4 this year, a 3 next year, and a Waffle House in St. Louis? Les: Make it two waffle houses and we have a deal Tom: Done(Tom sprints to the podium with Clowney-esque speed)
The second pick is Jadeveon Clowney. I know he only had three sacks last, and people question his motor, but guess what? ALL DEFENSIVE LINEMAN HAVE MOTOR ISSUES. He also had two four sack games as a sophomore against Clemson in Georgia. Get him to the league and he'll be fine. He also ran a 4.53 forty that will give me nightmares for weeks
Nick: 2/25/14 3:34pm So then the Jaguars are on the clock. It feels good getting to control the two franchises I hate the most right out of the gate. It just reminds that even with how crappy the season was, the Jaggies and the Texans did worse. Taking Clowney broke Shahid Khan's heart. The Jaguars are in such dire straits because as an organization they have a weird preoccupation with drafting defensive linemen in the first round. Eliminating the Jaguars ability to do so opens up the opportunity to make a classic Jaguar move by making a first round risk turn into a poorly-managed blunder. Enter Johnny Manziel. I think that it will be tough for the Jags to pick Manziel over the home product Blake Bortles and the Florida-born Teddy Bridgewater, but in the end, Manziel's upside is too large to go against for this organization in a desperate need of a fan base. Do I agree with the pick? No. Do I want to see it happen? No. Will it happen? I think so.
Connor: 2/25/14 3:39pm Cleveland is heart broken. John Football would have taken the Browns to the Super Bowl,lost, and then signed with New England in the offseason to team up with Billy B. Alas the Browns will pick Blake Bortles, who will flame out of the league in five years, because Browns. He's got talent, he has a good build to him, and he has a ton of upside, but his career will be shortened by injuries and the fact that God hates Cleveland. The Raiders are on the clock
Nick: 2/25/14 3:49 pm I think this pick is a no-brainer for Oakland. St. Louis is kicking themselves because they traded back one spot too far to get the wide receiver they really wanted all along. I think this is the spot Sammy Watkins slots in. I think Jared Veldheer is good enough at the moment to justify not going with a tackle here. The Raiders need the ability to stretch the field and take at least the eighth defender out of the box. I don't necessarily think Watkins has the most talent of any receiver in the draft, but I do believe he has more upside than any receiver since Michael Crabtree went back in 2009. This is a great fit for a team that historically covets this mold of player but hasn't had a showstopping receiver in recent memory.
Are the Rams trading again Mr. "I Break the Rules?"
Connor: 2/25/14 4:09pm
AJ Green thinks your #analysis of wide receivers is mediocre. The Rams are actually thrilled you took Watkins, leaving all three of the best tackles still on the board. All three tackles offer something different. Greg Robinson: Athletic Freak, best pure run blocker, highest upside. Jake Matthews: Most NFL ready and can play both right and left tackle. And we have Taylor Lewan: the best pure pass blocker, who did struggle at Michigan this year. I think the Rams take Matthews because he is in my opinion the most NFL ready, and he would be okay moving to the left side when Jake Long eventually gets hurt.
Tampa Bay is on the clock
Nick: 2/25/14 4:21pm First off, I don't care what A.J. Green thinks of me. He's already rich and he'll be richer. He probably doesn't care anyway. Second off, I agree completely. No way in hell Jeff Fisher passes on a Matthews progeny after working with the elder for so long.
If I'm Lovie Smith, I'm a little confused right now. The Bucs are a better team than their record has indicated in the past two years, but the team's biggest holes can't be filled here. They picked Glennon too recently to go quarterback here and no safety, cornerback or defensive end is a legitimate option. So I smell the seeds of a trade coming on. But who would want this pick?
Pittsburgh. That's who. The Steelers have tried, in vain, to fortify their exterior offensive line for years now. Ben Roethlisberger has never really had a reliable left tackle to protect him and now that he's reaching the twilight of his career, I think he needs a tackle to save him. He's not as mobile as he used to be. In a last ditch effort to get superior talent, the Steelers package this year's and next year's first rounders to Tampa in exchange for this pick and a fourth rounder.
The Steelers use the pick to take Greg Robinson from Auburn instead of Taylor Lewan simply because they see Robinson as a more refined run blocker. Because he is. The Vikings are on the clock.
Connor: 2/25/14 4:29pm
Darn it. It's gonna suck when Greg Robinson misses the first 12 games of the season like every other top Steelers lineman.
With the eighth pick the Minnesota Vikings will select Teddy Bridegwater. As disappointing as it is the end the Sam/Christian Ponder era in Minnesota, the Vikings will be thrilled if Bridgewater is still available. In my opinion he will be the best quarterback out of this bunch. I don't mean to go Skip Bayless, but he just makes plays. He's got the best arm, and good enough mobility to move around in the pocket which is essential in today's NFL.
The forever 7-9 Buffalo bills are on the clock
Nick: 2/25/14 4:42pm So, what you're saying, is that the Vikings want to replace Christian Ponder with a little faster version of Christian Ponder. Sounds like a good idea. I guess the team that hires Norv Turner is forced to act like they're the team that hired Norv Turner at all times. Needless to say, I'm not as high on Bridgewater as I once was. I want the kid to succeed, I think he's a good guy, but I just don't think he's a top-10 guy or a starter out the gate.
Now I am in the faction of football fans who believe that all the source of all of the Bills' woes in at least the last half decade is a lack of an offensive line unit. Lo and behold, the perfect right tackle for what the Bills are trying to do with their offense is sitting right in their lap. I understand that they might right now have bigger concerns than offensive tackle, but there is no positional value combined with sheer talent like Taylor Lewan. Taylor Lewan is good enough that he likely would have been a top-4 big last year. I think the Bills are satisfied with this pick. It's not a pretty pick or a franchise-defining pick, but it's a great start. Which brings us to the Lions. Detroit is on the clock.
Connor: 2/25/14 6:13pm
Ah the Lions of Detroit. The team that should've run away with the NFC North last year, yet they some how found a way to stink worse than a chicken-milk stink bomb.
For years Lions have neglected their secondary, and why they are thinking of taking a wide receiver to take pressure off of Megatron, the Lions have to take the best corner available
That's why the Lions will take Jason Verrett out of TCU. I think he is the best corner and has the best ball skills out of the group. Also he played most of the year with a torn Labrum. I like tough corners. I think this guy has real Ctrl+Alt+Delete potential. Another name you might see here is Justin Gilbert out of Ok. State.
Nick you get to make the next pick for whatever god-awful team is next
Nick: 2/25/14 6:42 Wow. Verrett? I've got him as my at least number four cornerback. Didn't see that coming in a million years. That just complicates this pick for the Titans even more.
With all of the three marquee tackles off the board, I think that this makes the pick almost cut and dry for the Titans though. Assuming Alterraun Verner walks (tears) in favor of greener pastures, the Titans will definitely be lacking a presence in the secondary that used to be there. That being said, young guys Coty Sensabaugh and Blidi Wreh-Wilson should be good enough to take over so that the team doesn't need to, necessarily, draft a corner in the first round. The Titans, however, have no excuse for the holes in the pass rush. Enter Anthony Barr.
A kid considered by some to be the most talented player in the draft - those some are wrong because Jadeveon Clowney exists - Barr is exactly what the Titans need to transition into Ray Horton's multiple-fronted defense. He can put his hand down in a 4-3 and stand up and rush or cover as in a 3-4. He'll line up opposite of Derrick Morgan and make the way-too young Titans defense even younger under new tutelage. He's a day 1 starter and a steal at number 11. Take that Giants.
Connor: 2/25/14 7:33pm For those that don't know Nick is a Titans fan. That is why he knows so much about an average team.
The New York Giants. The team that has personally tortured me for the past five years, along with the Baltimore Ravens. While I would love to give them Cyrus Kouandjio and his messed up knees, I will take my job seriously.
For some reason every year when the Giants draft, the random and innate fact comes up that the Giants have not drafted a linebacker in the first round since Carl Banks in 1984.(Side Trivia: can you name the only other Giants Linebacker drafted in the first round? It is a gimme). Any way this is the year we finally bring an end to that inane statistic. The Giants will select LB CJ Mosley out of Alabama. He isn't as good as Luke Kuechly who was drafted 9th, but he is a very good player who will start day one.
*I reserve the right to change this pick when we find out Mosley had nine surgeries in college while playing at Alabama. Sooner or later kids are going to realize if you go to Alabama you will come out as damaged goods
Nick: 2/25/14 8:42pm That pick by the Giants was a good one, but I don't think it affects my pick at all here. If I'm Rams GM Les Snead right now, I am licking my chops. I already got the best offensive player in the draft by way of Jake Matthews, and grabbed some extra picks to do so. Now I'm sitting pretty at 13 with two of the three best receivers in the deepest class of wide receivers I've ever seen falling directly into my lap. The class is so good, however, that I do genuinely consider grabbing a top safety here and grab maybe a Donte Moncrief or a Jordan Matthews or a Jarvis Landry with my pick in the second round. However, I then realize that there is a good chance Calvin Pryor could fall to me in the second and I snap out of safety mode.
Though it is tempting to take Marquise Lee here, he is the most pro-ready receiver in this draft, I have to take Mike Evans. He's a perfect foil to Tavon Austin and precisely the big target Sam Bradford has never had as a Ram and the kind of receiver Jeff Fisher always coveted in Tennessee. If I'm the Rams right now, I coast into autopilot. I just won the draft.
Connor: 2/25/14 8:52pm By I you mean me right? I brought the people of St Louis Waffle House!
Anyway I like Lee a little more than Evans if only because, give Lee Johnny Manziel and he puts up an all-time great season.
With the 14th pick I have Da Bears. Da Bears had one of the best offenses in the league last year, and there is a real possibility that DA Bears could have three players, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, and Alshon Jeffery, go in the top 15 in fantasy drafts. As great the Da Bears offense was, their defense was just as bad. Injuries decimated their front seven, and the defense is getting up their in age. The Bears could pick any defensive player and he would probably be an instant starter, with the exception of corner back.
So with that in mind, I am going to take the prospect that can have the biggest immediate impact. And that is Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald. He is the best DT in the class, and is a classic 3-technique. He isn't the tallest player, but he has an explosive first step, and might be the best pass rusher in the class. Go watch his film against GT. He ruined the triple option. He will be able to provide help from day one and apply pressure on Aaron Rodgers and Stat Padford. The Tampa Bay Bucs are now on the clock.
Nick: 2/25/14 9:01pm That's a savvy pick going with Donald there. He's a perfect fit for Chicago style. I mean defense, not pizza. Though he is thick. And he's a communication major. So maybe he's deep. Who knows?
Anyway, now that the Bucs are on the clock again, I think this is the time that they'll pull the trigger. Having gotten an extra first round pick, I think that the Bucs can now go after the guy who may actually be the team's true target in the whole draft. There is a lot of temptation to go defense here, or fortify the offensive line, but if the Bucs wanted to do that, I think they'd've gone there at 7. So here I have the Buccaneers selecting Eric Ebron, the tight end from North Carolina. The Bucs took a risk, banking on the fact that the Bills wouldn't snatch him up at nine. But with Lewan still on the board, the Bills couldn't resist. This allowed the true crown jewel of offensive athleticism in this draft, the freak of nature that is Ebron, to fall into Lovie and the new staff's hands. Of course, this pick immediately destroyed the dreams of three of the next five teams on the board, but Ebron is this year's representative to the new wave of NFL tight ends. I think the Buccaneers just helped themselves immensely with that pick. What do you think, Jerry Jones?
Connor: 2/25/14 9:10pm 1. On Ebron: It was either Mosley or Ebron for the Giants assuming Lewan is off the board. If Lewan is there at 12 the giants draft him in a heartbeat.
Now that I am Jerry Jones, I want to make a statement. First I call Atlanta. They don't want to give up Clowney? Fine. I'll call Jacksonville. What these guys don't want to trade Tony Romo for John Football? The hell is going on out here! Panicking he thinks long and hard about drafting Michael Sam just for the publicity, but than at the last second he drafts his teammate Kony Ealy out of confusion. Dallas needs help a pass rusher and I think Ealy can come in and play every down opposite Demarcus Ware. Jerry/ The Cowboys will be the team to draft Michael Sam though. HASHTAG BOLDPREDICTION
Nick: 2/25/14 9:18pm Now the Ravens are on the clock and have the opportunity to select one of my two favorite players that will likely go in the first round. I've already talked about Lee, and I'm surprised he hasn't come off the board yet honestly, so I'm thinking long and hard about taking him here. But here's the thing: Joe Flacco needs to be able to be upright in order to throw to a receiver. Had Ebron been on the board, I would have considered him, but I think that it is quite clear who the Ravens should select here: Zack Martin.
Martin has the rare potential to be both the best tackle and the best guard in the draft. I like to describe Martin as the good kind of tweener. You hear the word tweener lobbed around all the time about pass rushers, but I think it applies to linemen too. Martin doesn't quite have the arm length to be an elite tackle, but he is too big to be an elite guard. Too big is a good thing. He has the explosive qualities offensive line coaches covet and is smart enough to play all five offensive line positions. If you had told me in August I'd be higher on this kid than on Cyrus Kouandjio, I'd have called you a liar. But I'm high on Zack Martin. I think he has the potential to be good. I guess the comparison I'm going to go with is Matt Light. Light was a little too tall to play guard, but a little to small to play tackle. His career ended up just fine. I genuinely believe that Martin can be better than Light.
The Jets are now on the clock, rather happy that so many receivers are still on the board, no?
Connor: 2/25/14 9:27pm I know what you are doing! You only took Martin so that Lee would end up on the Jets that way he would haunt me for the next ten years! I AM ON TO YOU SUSS
But really the Jets are taking Lee. I think they would be thrilled if Lee was here, as he is more NFL ready than Evans is in my opinion. The Jets have no real threat on offense and will take the best offensive skill player available regardless of position IE Ebron, Lee, Evans.It just sucks for him that he will have to play with Geno Smith and Backup QB X when Smith gets benched in week six. Would love to see him with a functional quarterback/offense/team, especially after what he endured the last two years at the real USC.
The dippy dippy dysfunctional Dolphins and their messed up locker room are up next. What poor offensive linemen will they end up drafting?
Nick: 2/25/14 9:31pm I'd actually like to propose a trade as the Dolphins with a team that we agreed you can select for, if you don't mind. I have an offer for a certain team coached by a Mr. Bill Belichick if you catch my drift.
Connor: 2/25/14 9:33pm Bill Belichick DOES NOT trade up. I was actually looking forward to trading out of the first round with the pick. It is a no go, especially with Lee and Ebron gone. TRADE DENIED
Nick: 2/25/14 9:49pm You sure Mr. Belichick. The next Vince Wilfork won't be on the board for long. Someone might pick him.
Connor: 2/25/14 9:50pm BILL DOES NOT TRADE UP.
Connor: 2/25/14 9:53pm By the way it is going to be really disappointing when Draft Day, starring Kevin Costner, ends being exactly like our conversation
Nick: 2/26/14 11:27am How would that be disappointing? Are you not having fun? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? (I've never actually seen that movie. That fact surprises a lot of people. But then I tell them I've never seen Raiders of the Lost Ark and they get madder at me. Both of those facts are true.)
Okay. The Dolphins. I think the Dolphins are happy Zack Martin is off the board to answer your previous question. Martin's haven't really worked out for these guys recently. So I think with this pick, assuming it isn't traded to a team that needs a big-time interior defensive lineman, the Fighting 72s take the next best offensive lineman on the board, Cyrus Kouandjio. I know, I know. He has more red flags then a Chinese parade. His stock has fallen drastically. He was supposed to be a top-10 pick but now he's a risky pick. You know who else I'm describing? I'm describing Navorro Bowman. I'm describing Vontaza Burfict. I'm describing Alfonzo Dennard. Hell, I'm even describing Jonathan Martin. Sometimes, original instinct is right. I still think from a talent perspective, Kouandjio is the most talented offensive lineman in this draft. I think of him right now a lot like a young Randy Johnson. He might not be anywhere near the strike zone for the first three years of his career, but if he can put a few things together, he can end up being the most dominant, aggressive, fear-inducing player of a generation. It's a risk, but I think the Dolphins are up for it.
The Arizona Cardinals are on the clock with the single most disappointing selection of every season, pick 20.
Connor: 2/26/14 11:39am Ah yes the fringe zone. A place where teams are so close to making the playoffs and just need one or two key pieces, yet all the true impact players are gone.
I'm tempted to take a quarterback here because there is an obvious need. But hey when Carson Palmer can throw four picks in one game and still get you a win in Seattle, why change things up?
I'd also be tempted to go guard here, but the Cardinals will be getting back the No.7 pick from the 2013 draft in guard Jonathan Cooper. So the cardinals will essentially be getting two first round picks here.
But I'm going to pick a defensive lineman here. The Cardinals D line is getting up there in age and might be looking to add some younger replacements. That's why I have the Cardinals taking Auburn DE/OLB Dee Ford. He can play just about anywhere in Arizona's Hybrid front, and can contribute immediately on third down as a pass rusher. Plus he likes to talk. A lot. So he'll be a natural fit with that defense/team.
The Green Bay Packers are up next
Nick: 2/26/14 11:52am If I'm Ted Thompson right now, I'm laughing hysterically. For two reasons actually. First off, that pick by the Cardinals was a Tyson Alualu-ian reach, which makes me laugh. Secondly, so many teams have passed on elite safety talent that a ballhawk has fallen straight into my lap. Though it would be tempting to take Justin Gilbert off the board, I think Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is the easy pick for the Pack here. Putting him in the same defensive backfield with a rising star in Casey Hayward is a great fit and I think that Clinton-Dix is an instant starter. Can't wait to see him in State Farm commercials. Just imagine the jokes.
Connor: 2/26/14 12:13pm The Cardinals don't need a safety. And Nick if the Rams are going to make the playoffs someone is going to have to regress in that division. My bet is the cardinals, who will win six games next year.
Next up are the Philadelphia Eagles. Remember all those concerns about Chip Kelly's offense and whether or not it could last the whole season? Well it did. And the Eagles came pretty close to beating the Saints in the playoffs. I love Chip Kelly. I love that he doesn't care about quarterback competitions. I love that when asked what his plan is by Riley Cooper he retorts "F**king Score Points. What's your Plan" (Seen here) I love that Nick Foles saved me from coming in last place in my fantasy league. I love the Eagles so much that I am declaring them my way way way too early NFC favorites.
With all that being said, the Eagles need help on defense, especially in the secondary. Nnamdi Asomugha was a disaster signing. Patrick Chung was so bad he couldn't even stay on the Patriots roster. If Clinton-Dix were available he would be the pick, but since he is not I will take Justin Gilbert a CB out of Ok. State. In all honesty Gilbert will probably go much higher then this pick. He is the best pure cover corner in the draft, and while his ball skills are not great, he has great athleticism to make up for it, he ran a 4.38 at the combine.
The Kansas City Chiefs are on the clock. And no, you cannot draft a gallon of milk Andy Reid
Nick: 2/26/14 12:22pm I never said the Cardinals needed a safety, Connor. I said they didn't need Dee Ford, who I have graded out as third round prospect with second round positional value. But that does sound like something the Cardinals would do.
Now for Andy Reid. The way I look at it, the Chiefs can pick two ways, both of which would be luxury picks. The team's two biggest needs, by my assessment, are defensive line depth and a strong number 2 wide receiver in that order. Now if the Chiefs are really a good enough team that they are making depth picks in the first round, they'll be scary. As tempting as it may be to grab Odell Beckham here to recreate the Desean Jackson effect, I think the Chiefs tumbled into an impossbily favorable position in this increasingly ludicrous mock draft.
Because, as you see, Timmy Jernigan is still on the board.
Can you imagine putting Jernigan on this already-stacked defense? Can you imagine having to block Jernigan on the outside and Dontari Poe on the inside? Or vice versa? I think Jernigan actually projects more as a 3-4 defensive end than as a nose tackle, playing the position the Muhammad Wilkerson may moreso than the JJ Watt way, so this pick works out really well. But if he does need to play in the middle, Dontari Poe is about to enter his reign as the best interior defensive lineman in football. That means I think he's about to reach Haloti Ngata status of playing literally anywhere he wants and excelling at it. With this pick, the Chiefs may actually have just become the best defense in football. Take that Seattle.
Also, take your pick Cincinnati.
Connor: 2/26/14 12:32pm Ah the Bengals. A team that is so loaded at nearly every position except for the one that truly matters, Quarterback. You know it was once said, by UGA great Fran Tarkenton I believe, that you need a soul to be a good NFL quarterback. Andy Dalton does not have a soul(Yes it is because he is a Ginger Freak). The Bengals will have to draft a QB at some point in this draft, but I don't think they grab Zach Mettenberger in the first round. i think they draft a CB because of the injuries to Leon Hall, and the age Terrance Newman and Pacman Jones. The pick is Michigan State corner Daqueze Dennard. He is the most physical corner in the draft and played a similar defense to what the Bengals run in college. He will be a natural fit, and someone who might play right away. And yes I know this is the second CB taken by Cincy in the last three years, but they have no other real needs.
The San Diego Chargers are on the clock. Do you know what San Diego means?
Nick:2/26/14 5:16pm The Chargers are now on the clock, eh? I feel like the Chargers are in a position where they are a little too average to have holes. By that I mean, I can't tell you at which positions they are stout and which they need a fixing. So I think because of this, the Chargers are in a position to take the best player on the board. Though the biggest position need might be offensive guard, I don't think any guard is really a first round value unless you count Martin, who is off the board. Cornerback would be another concern, but I don't think there is ever a logical reason to pick a corner in the first round, let alone with the sorry state of this class.
That's why I think Louis Nix III works for the Chargers here. He is the truest NT in this draft, a position that you always try to add depth to even if it is a luxury. Don't undervalue the Manti Te'O connection here. I think the Chargers could go Martin here is he falls, Nix as I have them picking and even Stephon Tuitt if they fall in love with him more. Cheer cheer.
The Cleveland Browns are once again on the clock.
Connor: 2/26/14 6:25pm Do you think Indy wants this pick back? I mean Trent Richardson may not have been worth a sixth round pick, let alone a first round pick. With the Browns already drafting Blake Bortles, people have decided that the Browns need another WR, and I agree. That is why I am taking Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks. Cooks had one of the faster 40 times, and can run just about any route. Plus he is used to wearing orange. Really the wide receivers after Watkins,Evans,and Lee are basically a personal preference.
Nick will be making the next two picks as we have agreed to swap the 28 & 29 picks for Patriot reasons. The New Orleans Saints are OTC
Nick 2/27/14 1:24pm I've been rather vocal in saying that I believe the Saints are the most cohesive football team in the NFL. I don't think the team is more talented than any other, I just think that no team plays better together. All that being said, I really hate that you started us off so early by incorporating trades into this. Because this is the slot that I wholeheartedly believe a team will trade back into the first round to pick up a quarterback. The Raiders would be the likely option to trade in here, but I don't think they have the capital or the picks to entice the Saints out of the pick. So I think the Saints will try to bring in a freak.
That's why my pick here is Ryan Shazier. Shazier was extremely productive at Ohio State and tore up the field at the combine. The Saints need some depth and ability on the edge and I think Shazier, with his ridiculous 42 inch vertical and 130 inch broad jump, will really help the Saints. Honestly, any time a team as good as the Saints gets to use a first round pick in this deep of a draft, they will automatically get better.
As for the Panthers, I feel that this is a team that is much more deeply flawed than their record indicated last season. The Panthers have a really strong, really young defense, but I have a hard time banking on this offense to be successful in the future. The running game is contingent on older, average running backs and a quarterback and the passing game revolves around tight ends. With this pick, the Panthers definitely need to go offense. And since picking a running back makes no sense, I'm going receiver. As we've said 100 times before, this receiver draft is a pick-your-favorite-guy-and-you-aen't-wrong kind of draft.
For the Panthers, I think Odell Beckham from LSU is the next best receiver on the board. Though the temptation might be to go with a big receiver for Cam Newton to throw high to, but I think that Beckham is far more NFL ready than anyone else still on the board. He is a field stretcher who honestly projects to be a lot like Steve Smith play style wise. I watched a lot of good wide receivers in person this year through Georgia games: Sammy Watkins, Jarvis Landry, Jordan Matthews, Dorial Green-Beckham, but I was more impressed by Odell than any other. I think he could have stayed another year in college and been a dynamite top-10 pick, but he'll still go to a good situation here and get some instant play time. Great fit here for Carolina.
The Patriots are on the clock.
Connor: 2/27/14 2:04pm Billy B is doing back flips. For years the Patriots have traded down and out of the first round to add second and third round picks in the draft. And it is funny you mention the Raiders, because that is exactly the Team Billy B loves to trade rape. Over the years the patriots have trade twice with the Raiders. The Raiders got a past his prime Richard Seymour, and a fourth round pick that became Michael Bush, for a first round pick that became Left Tackle Nate Solder and Randy Moss. The Raiders give the Patriots their second round round pick, and a second rounder in next years draft. The Raiders need a QB and there have been rumblings that Eastern Illinois product Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo has lit it up at the Senior Bowl and combine. The ball flies out of his hand. The raiders will hope that he can take Tpezzy's job and hook up with Sammy Watkins for years to come.
The other Bay Area team, the San Francisco 49ers are on the clock. They probably should have beaten Seattle, and definitely have beaten Denver. This team doesn't have a lot of needs, and looks as if the team will resign Anquan Boldin, so that keeps WR off the list. The 49ers will look at the D-line as Ray Mcdonald is coming off a broken ankle and Justin Smith is getting up there in age. He can only rely on his country strength for so long. That is why the 49ers will select Ra'shede Hageman out of Minnesota. He's a good player and the 49ers will be able to play him right away. He has a big enough build to play that 3-4 defensive end. Get well soon Navarro Bowman's knee. Also this will be Jim Harbaugh's last season with the team
The Denver Super Bowl Bed Wetters are on the clock
Nick: 2/27/14 6:02pm Do you want to know why the Patriots are getting worse every year Connor? It's because of that philosophy. Belichick is too confident in his drafting ability. The guys he used to be able to get in the third round? They're going in the first now. Just look at the last few years. Justin Pugh? Kyle Long? Shea McLellin? These are high productivity players that Belichick definitely would have wanted - the fit his mold - but he's too confident that he'll find guys late. Other teams have taken notice. There's a reason first round picks are generally better than second rounders who are generally better than third rounders. And the Pats have nothing but third rounders. The Pats may still be a top-4 team in the AFC, but they sure as hell aren't in the top-10 in the NFL. And they're getting worse.
As for the Broncos. I think I remember the team having some trouble blocking in the last game they played. Like, a lot of trouble. So here's my guess: they might want to pick an offensive tackle. Blocking for Peyton Manning is a different strategy than blocking for most. All you have to really do is be athletic enough to not be beat off the punch and smart enough to keep up with him. That's why I think Peyton makes the push to bring some more Orange to Denver. Antonio "Tiny" Richardson is a work in progress. He doesn't have all of the tools yet to be an elite run blocker or pass blocker. But all of the potential to gain these skills are there. Not to mention he is probably the biggest tackle by height and weight combined in the draft, definitely among those with first-round potential. He isn't an immediate start, but he's a developmental player, a luxury the Broncos can afford to select in the first round.
Connor: 2/27/14 6:45pm You don't think I know this? To adjust to the rest of the league Bill has started drafting seventh round guys in the third round. You told me to be realistic, and I am. I already have the youtube video set up to when the Patriots disappoint me again. Here it is
As for the final pick of our first mock draft, the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks are on the clock. They have some needs on the d-line with Michael Bennett hitting free agency this year, and Cliff Avril next year. The depth at wide receiver is good enough to the Seahawks could wait to grab someone like Jarvis Landry, who I love, at the end of the second round.
The Seahawks' guards were terrible this year, and their running game succeeded in spite of that. You' will probably think this is a selfish pick, and it kind of is, but I am taking Centennial's own David Yankey for the pick. Sure he isn't as athletic as Xavier Su' a-filo out of UCLA, but guards don't need to be athletic. Yankey has incredible tape, and he can play multiple positions, which will matter when the Seahawks O-line gets injured. Also don't rule out the fact that he went to Stanford. Carroll would love to draft another guy Harbaugh recruited, just so the Seahawks could continue the Stanford to Seattle pipeline and rattle Harbaugh's cage.
Anything you want to say in closing?
Nick: 2/27/14 6:47 Nothing that isn't negative or defamatory towards you
That all for this edition. We might do this again at some point