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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mock Draft Part II

Here is mock draft II as we get a week closer to the actual thing. My final mock will be out Friday, March 24.

1. Detroit, Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia - The Lions seem to be settling in on taking the quarterback with the first pick.

2. St. Louis, Jason Smith, OT, Baylor - The Rams have a lot of holes, but the release of Orlando Pace may have tipped their hand.

3. Kansas City, Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest - The Chiefs are going to a 3-4 defense and Curry has the ability to play inside or outside.

4. Seattle, Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech – After suffering through a terrible season with injuries at the position in 2008, the Seahawks grab a stud.

5. Cleveland, B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College – They just gave a boatload of money to Shaun Rogers last year, but he already wants out.

6. Cincinnati, Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri – The Bengals like to score points in bunches. They just can’t stop anybody.

7. Oakland, Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia – With Crabtree and Maclin gone, the Raiders go for another big need.

8. Jacksonville, Andre Smith, OT, Alabama – The Jags allowed 42 sacks in 2008, a lot for a team that only throws it 20 times per game.

9. Green Bay, Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU – With the switch to a 3-4, the Packers need bigger defensive ends.

10. San Francisco, Mark Sanchez, QB. USC – The 49ers have all but given up on Alex Smith.

11. Buffalo, Everette Brown, DE. Florida State – The Bills were pitiful rushing the passer in 2008.

12. Denver, Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State – You didn’t think Kyle Orton was the long-term answer did you?

13. Washington, Brian Oropko, DE, Texas – The Redskins managed just 24 sacks in 2008.

14. New Orleans, Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State – The Saints were incredibly soft in the secondary last season.

15. Houston, Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee – The Texans need to get Mario Williams some pass rushing help.

16. San Diego, Rey Maualuga, LB, USC – Where else would Junior Seau Jr. go?

17. New York Jets, Percy Harvin, WR, Florida – If you don’t have a great quarterback, you’d better at least load up on wide receivers.

18. Denver, Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi – The Broncos’ run defense was non-existent in 2008.

19. Tampa Bay, Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State – Cadillac Williams just can’t stay healthy and Ernest Graham is, well, Ernest Graham.

20. Detroit, Ziggy Hood, DT, Missouri – The Lions could use help everywhere, but have to get better up front on both sides of the ball.

21. Philadelphia, Darius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland - The Eagles have been looking for a stud WR for seemingly forever.

22. Minnesota, Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois – The Vikings have a great defensive front but need help in the defensive backfield.

23. New England, Clay Matthews, LB, USC – Matthews fits the mold of New England linebackers and Bill Belichick coached his dad in Cleveland.

24. Atlanta, Brian Cushing, OLB, USC – The Falcons lost both OLBs in free agency. They signed Mike Peterson, but need another.

25. Miami, James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State – The Dolphins have plenty of holes for a team that made the playoffs in 2008. They hope Laurinaitis is the second-coming of Zach Thomas.

26. Baltimore, Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi – The Ravens have a need at RT.

27. Indianapolis, Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers – With Marvin Harrison now gone, the Colts need somebody to help take pressure off of Reggie Wayne.

28. Philadelphia, Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia – The Eagles don’t want to give Brian Westbrook the ball 30 times per game.

29. New York Giants, Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina – Plaxico Burress is gone and Amani Toomer is way over the hill.

30. Tennessee, Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut – The Titans lost pretty much all of their secondary depth this offseason.

31. Arizona, Aaron Maybin, LB, Penn State – Maybin could give the Cardinals a nice edge rusher for their 3-4.

32. Pittsburgh, Alex Mack, C, California – Mack will be given time to settle in at guard for a year before switching to center.


Anonymous said...

Hey Dale, So why the switch? Also, Unger, Woods, and Mack are the three players most draft mockers are having the Steelers take. Do you know which other teams are looking at these guys in the first round? It seems like the Steelers could choose from all three.

Dale Lolley said...

I do my drafts with different scenarios. The Steelers do several per day in the two weeks leading up to the draft so they can look at all of the possibilities.

Patrick said...

I think if Oher falls that far:

1) the Eagles will get him.
2) if the Eagles don't, the Steelers have to start considering moving up for him.

I don't see Oher making it past 20 anyway though. He is regarded as the last of the top shelf Tackles and last year people were trading back into the first round for much less rated tackles. I just don't see it.

Anonymous said...

harvin is a gator not a Seminole, do not put him with FSU

Dale Lolley said...

My bad. You always worry about making mistakes when dealing with so many players and so many schools.
I have some concerns about Oher.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's an unorthodox mock. I haven't seen many of these teams selecting these players on any other mock out there. You might end up looking like a genius, or very crazy!

If last year is any indication, I'd expect Britton and Beatty to sneak into round one.

Anonymous said...

If Gilbert is on the board, I wouldn't be surprised if he's the pick. I know he's not a safe pick like Mack, but there will be fewer chances to nab a good 3-4 DE later in the draft, while they should still be able to get a quality IOL after round 1.

Now maybe the team feels comfortable taking Sammie Lee Hill or Dorell Scott later in the draft, I don't know.

Anonymous said...

Your final mock will be march 24th? Hmmm but you must have a time machine.

datruth4life said...


Any chance of the Steelers trading up to get CB Darius Bulter from UConn? He could fill a lot of roles on this team, though he doesn't play DL or OL.

By the way, Mike Lombardi has the Steelers taking Jarron Gilbert at no. 32 while a lot of people have C/G Eric Woods. I think I'd be satisfied with either one. I do think I like Woods over Alex Mack. Woods seem to have a little more nastiness than Mack.


Anonymous said...

I honestly think the Front Office hopes that Vontae Davis drops to them at 32. I think that is their hope, and I have seen it play out that way in a couple of mocks, but we shall see.

Dale Lolley said...

I have some character concerns with Davis.
Typically, they've waited until later rounds to take defensive linemen because they're looking for something a little different than most other teams. Though more teams are going to the 3-4, they still don't play it the same way the Steelers do.

Obviously I meant April 24.

Anonymous said...

I posted about Gilbert earlier.

There is so much that we as fans don't know about (character, work ethic, how he looked in private workouts, etc.) that it's really a blind guess on my part.

That said, this is why I feel the Steelers may lean towards someone like Gilbert:

- I agree that the Steelers typically wait until later in the draft to draft DE, but it hasn't worked out for them lately, and finding some good young DL is fast becoming critical.

- I also think that Tomlin may be looking for a different type of 3-4 DE than Cowher did (someone who is more quick twitch, able to shoot gaps). Just a hunch.

- I also think that Tomlin may not value OL that highly. Obviously that doesn't mean that he will ignore the position. But I think that he may feel that he would rather strengthen the rest of the team while building an adequate (ie, functional) off line. Kind of like how the Colts devalue lb, the Broncos devalued rb, etc.

So if Gilbert somehow is rated equally with Mack/Wood, I think the pick will be Gilbert.

Then again, I have read that this year's draft may be somewhat deep in 3-4 DE. So who knows.

Anonymous said...

Here's a hypothetical scenario for you. Let's say at pick 32 there are six players on the board that all have identical grades by the Steelers: a WR, a CB, a NT, a DE, a C/G, and an OT.

Who would they pick in that situation? Trading down is not an option.

Anonymous said...

If the above question is directed at me (I'm the Gilbert proponent in 2 previous posts), I go with the CB or the OT.

By the way, I am assuming the grade is the same because the type of player is the same, without factoring in position. For example, comparing HOF types to each other or Pro Bowl types with each other, etc.

But I think Loadholt (who will likely be the best OT left at 1.32) is not a good OT option in the NFL, especially at LT. Think he'll be JaG (just a guy) at best in the NFL. Don't know so much about Beatty and Britton. Most mocks have them gone before 1.32, though it's possible one could fall to 1.32. Quality OT are tough to find, especially LT.

I admit that Gilbert could be a bust. But he has the athletic ability (73 KEI) along with the frame to play 3-4 DE in the NFL at a high level. Now whether he'll actually be a plus player in the NFL is up to the Steeler scouts to determine. If he had played against a higher LOC (level of competition) in college, he'd easily be a top 5-10 pick.

From most reports, Mack and Wood likely will be plus players in the NFL at their position. It's just that their position isn't as highly valued in the NFL. That's why elite LT go at the top of the draft and IOL like Faneca go towards the end of round 1. I can't even remember when a center has gone high in round 1. (BTW, I doubt Unger is the Steeler pick since I don't think he can anchor against the better 3-4 NT. If the Steelers are going to really go to a ZBS, than maybe. But I don't think the Steelers are really heading that way. But I admit that I've been a little confused with what they're trying to do on the OL over the past two years.)

An elite cb would trump all picks, but obviously an elite cb never falls very far. Vontae Davis, BTW, is not an elite cb. He's got good but not great athletic ability athletic ability, questionable character, and never really dominated even at the college level despite being a better athlete than almost every wr he probably covered in college.

So to answer your question, I would go CB > LT > 3-4 DL > WR > IOL if they are all the same caliber of player. In other words, I take Rod Woodson/Mel Blount before Anthony Munoz before Bruce Smith before Swann/Stallworth before Mike Webster/Dermontii Dawson. (I could be talked into moving Bruce Smith up on this list.) There were no Steeler HOF type players at LT and 3-4 DE so I had to import HOFers from other franchises.

Of the players that may be left at 1.32, I would go with Gilbert (depending on whether the Steeler scouts believe he has passion, good character and work ethic), then Mack (high floor, ie low bust potential, ability to play guard) or even Wood. If none of them are still on the board, I seriously try to trade down or even trade for picks in next year's draft. Davis is probably DND (do not draft) for me due to character concerns. There is no wr at 1.32 that would excite me (unless Heyward-Bey somehow falls and I'm not sure about his catching ability; a wr is of no use if he can't catch the ball, no matter how fast he is), and I probably would rather draft Brandon Tate (ACL/MCL tear) later on (round 3?), assuming that he should eventually return to full health at some point (he's young and ACL/MCL surgeries have such a high success rate now), even if that means that he'll sit most of his rookie year. I thought Tate was clearly better than his teammate Nicks before his injury and Nicks is being projected to go somewhere from late 1 to round 2.

Caveat: Not sure if Darius Butler interests the Steelers, and he could possibly be there at 1.32.

And I don't want Alphonso Smith at 1.32 either, regardless of his ball skills. If you're 5'9", you better run like Darrell Green, which he clearly doesn't.

VCTMbrian said...

I'm starting to wonder if Detroit isn't going to try and do what the Browns did a few yrs back... Get the lineman early and hope a QB falls to their 20th pick...

I agree with Denver getting Freeman and am surprised that almost zero analysts are predicting this.
I don't like the Eagles taking a WR again, and if the Giants grab Braylon Edwards i would imagine they don't draft Nicks.

I would love Alex Mack.