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Monday, March 25, 2013

One month out mock draft

With a month remaining before the NFL holds its draft April 25-27, things are starting to take shape and the subterfuge being put out is heavy.

There's no clear-cut No. 1 player in this year's draft and there's no a clear line of separation as their usually is between the can't-miss prospects and the second tier.

With that in mind, here's a look at how the first round could go in a month - though things will certainly change.

1. Kansas City, Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M - It's not a flashy pick, but it's a safe one for a team in need of help up front. Sharrif Floyd could sneak in here as well.

2. Jacksonville, Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon - Jacksonville has been searching for a pass rusher for the better part of the past decade. Jordan has extreme speed coming off the edge.

3. Oakland, Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida State - As mentioned, Floyd could be the top pick. If he's not, the Raiders could use help on the interior of their defensive line.

4. Philadelphia, Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia - Chip Kelly needs a QB that fits his offense. And Dennis Dixon won't be the answer, while Nick Foles is a bad fit. Smith isn't a big runner, but he ran the spread extremely efficiently at WVU.

5. Detroit, Dee Millner, CB, Alabama - The Lions could go for Eric Fisher, the big offensive tackle from Central Michigan, but Millner fills a big need as well.

6. Cleveland, Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State - Cleveland signed Paul Kruger to match with Jabaal Sheard on the outside and doesn't need linemen. The Browns would have liked Millner here, but settle for a big corner in Rhodes.

7. Arizona, Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan - Some had Fisher rated just as high or higher than as Joeckel. The Cardinals were a mess up front last season.

8. Buffalo, Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee - With Smith gone, the Bills will wait a round to take a QB or make a move up into the latter parts of the first to get the guy they want. Patterson will give that young QB a weapon.

9. N.Y. Jets, Ezekial Ansah, OLB, BYU - He's raw, but the Jets have been in search of a pass rush for years. Ansah might be too good to pass up.

10. Tennessee, Chance Warmack, G, Alabama - A nice safe pick for the Titans.

11. San Diego, Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma - The Chargers need to protect lead-footed Phillip Rivers.

12. Miami , Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina - The run on offensive linemen continues.

13. Tampa Bay, Star Louteleli, DT, Utah - His heart condition isn't as big of a deal as originally thought. Louteleli wasn't the sure-fire first pick that some thought, but he's not bad, either.

14. Carolina, Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington - With the release of Chris Gamble, the Panthers need help at CB.

15. New Orleans, Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU - Jarvis Jones would be a consideration as well for the Saints, who are moving to a 3-4. But the Saints keep Mingo in the Bayou.

16. St. Louis, Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia - Austin will look good running on the turf in St. Louis.

17. Pittsburgh, Kenny Vacarro, S, Texas - With both Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark on the wrong side of 30 and no backups at the position with any experience, the Steelers need help at safety. Austin would have been a serious consideration, but he's gone. Jarvis Jones also gets some consideration - if his neck checks out. Arthur Brown also has a shot here.

18. Dallas, Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri - The Cowboys would love to get their hands on Vacarro, but are thwarted and settle for defensive line help.

19. N.Y. Giants, Bjoren Werner, DE, Florida State - Werner doesn't wow you with his athleticism, but he gets after the passer. The Giants love pass rushers.

20. Chicago, Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State - Alec Ogletree is a knucklehead and Manti Te'o was overrated all season. Brown is the top middle or inside linebacker in this draft.

21. Cincinnati, Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia - The Bengals take a chance on a pass rusher to add to their stable of young pass rushers.

22. St. Louis (from Washington), Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia - The Rams ignore the character risks and take another speed player. The NFC West teams are all building that way.

23. Minnesota, Keenan Allen, WR, California - Heading into the draft process, many had Allen rated the top receiver in this draft class. But he hasn't been able to work out much. The Vikings will reap the benefits.

24. Indianapolis, Jesse Williams, NT, Alabama - It's not a high-profile pick like last year, but the Colts get a solid, if unspectacular player, to plug in at the nose.

25. Minnesota (from Seattle), Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina - Having addressed the WR position, the Vikings add an interior lineman.

26. Green Bay, Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama - Another Alabama player in the first round. Lacy gives the Packers a running game, something they haven't had - or tried to use - in years.

27. Houston, Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee - Hunter is an Andre Johnson clone who struggled through injuries in his college career. But his size, speed and ability cannot be ignored.

28. Denver, Damontre Moore, OLB, Texas A&M - Once thought to be a top-10 pick, Moore falls to the bottom of the round due to his lackluster 40 time. After losing Elvis Dumervil, the Broncos have a need here.

29. New England, Robert Woods, WR, USC - After flirting with Emmanuel Sanders, the Patriots go with Woods to help revamp their receiving group.

30. Atlanta, Datone Jones, DE, UCLA - The Falcons have holes at CB and DE.  The top three corners are gone and Jones is the best defensive end available.

31. San Francisco, Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State - Carradine tore his ACL in November, but the 49ers don't necessarily need him to play right away.

32. Baltimore, Kevin Minter, LB, LSU - The Super Bowl champs have an obvious need at linebacker.


kyle said...

I don't usually comment much on who will go when because really nobody has any real idea but...if five wide receivers go in the first round I'll eat my hat. I guess I could see such an unsettled class of players resulting in wild variations in ratings but I would be surprised if it played out like that.

Dale Lolley said...

I wasn't looking at positions as much as I was need. The need was there for those teams.

datruth4life said...

Dale, do you think the Steelers can afford to pass on a pass rusher in the 1st round? Woerner or J. Jones would look good in a Steelers uniform. Ogletree might be the best LB I've seen play all year and would be a good tag team partner for Timmons.

Pistol said...

Give me Werner! I know what im getting with him and he can bring it. Vaccaro will be a nice player too but there are plenty of good safties in this draft imo. Brown can fly but im not sure about his instincts to play Buck in a 3-4.

Dale Lolley said...

There's no way they are taking Ogletree with a drug suspension at the beginning of the season and a DUI just before the combine. No way.

I agree that a pass rusher is a need, but I'd rather have the top safety in the draft, a guy who's got size and great instincts. Yes, this is a good crop of safeties. And he's the best of the bunch. And they have nobody behind Polamalu and Clark.

But, remember, this is just the first one I'm doing. Things change.

Patrick said...

yeh Ogletree could walk on water - hes not getting picked by the Steelers.

I'm starting to temper on Jarvis Jones. Besides his medicals and sub par Pro Day, he is kind of lanky. He just doesn't seem like he will fit in this scheme.

Someone educate me, is Arthur Brown not a lot like Timmons? Seems like a nice player and all, but don't know if the Steelers need two of those types.

Steve-O said...

Not a bad first mock draft. Although I'm not sure I agree that Buffalo will pass on a QB given their obvious need..... Besides I've got Patterson going to the Steelers ;-)

Anonymous said...

A safety at #17 overall better have Earl Thomas / Troy Polamalu / Ed Reed type skills. Is Vacarro that guy, or just the best of the bunch? If the latter I'll take the same guy in the 2nd and a pass rusher or CB in the first.

Pistol said...

Arthur Brown is a flat our freakish athlete. Check out some youtube on him. IMO, I think Timmons is a good comparison in that when he isnt thinking and just playing could be a pro bowl type. Dale gets to see these guys field level so he would know better than me though. Not totally sure about his character, had a few issues if i remember.

datruth4life said...

Arthur Brown weighed 228 lbs. at the combine. I'm sorry folks, but he is a will LB in a 4-3. I think Woerner would be a good pick as an OLB. He could play in a nickel or dime look when the Steelers are in 3rd down, still has a lot of upside and have none of the character or medical red flags that some of these other prospects in that range does. I don't know enough about Vacarro to vouch for him one way or the other, but I do know that good pass rushers are a lot harder to come by in this league than safeties. Give me someone who can hit the QB consistently over a FS who had 5 picks his whole career while starting as a freshman. C'mon Dale, U know better than this.

Dale Lolley said...

How heavy do you think Foote and Farrior have played at? The days of big hulking inside linebackers are gone. The inside guys have to be able to run and cover.
The Steelers thought they had a similar guy in Spence.

As for Werner, I don't know that he's the kind of athlete that can play standing up in a 3-4. Doesn't have a lot of explosiveness. He's a football player, to be sure. But I just don't see any coverage abilities.

Vaccaro has ball skills, maybe not on par with the three you mentioned. But he also has something Polamalu, Thomas and even Reed don't - size.

Pistol said...

I agree coverage is not his best asset but i am positive he can cover just as well as Woodley.

I wouldnt mind Vaccaro at all his versatility is awesome. I just am in the mindset i want a 1st round pick to play right away. Old School i know.More than anything this year i want character guys that love football.

kyle said...

Arthur Brown is about the height and weight that Timmons was at the combine. They ran about the same 40 time (Timmons was a little bit faster), had similar bench reps (Timmons did a few more), and had similar shuttle and cone times. Timmons jumped much better in both vertical and broad. I don't know if that definitely means Brown isn't as explosive, just mentioning the difference. And I'll take two Timmons-type players any day. Those kind of athletes don't fall out of the sky.

Dale Lolley said...

Mike Tomlin was at the Texas pro day today. Wonder who he was taking a personal look at?

marc said...

if vaccaro is there, which he should be, they will take him. i get the feeling the steelers are happy with the LB's coming back. they will probably pick another one in 2nd or 3rd round and go from there.

first 3 rounds: Safety/LB/WR would be just fine.

Pistol said...

Is Colbert w/ him too???

Eric T said...

Mike Tomlin was at the Texas pro day today. Wonder who he was taking a personal look at?

Okafor, since they brought Coach Butler along?

datruth4life said...

Dale, Polamalu & Thomas have something that Vacarro doesn't have - 4.4 speed. Vacarro ran a 4.63. Reed's stopwatch speed doesn't matter since he's a first ballot Hall of Famer and probably the best FS in football history.

For what it's worth, Gil Brandt of believes Vacarro will be a future All-Pro. I don't think it matters who you have at safety if you can't get any pressure on the QB. I think you can get a good safety in the 2nd round.

Dale Lolley said...

What pass rushers have they drafted in the first round? They just don't do it. Defensive linemen, yes. Outside linebackers? No. Haven't taken one in the first since Huey Richardson. We know how that worked out.

Because what they ask their OLBs to do and because most of them are guys who are transitioning to the position, it's a bit of a crap shoot. You THINK somebody can do it. But until you get them into camp and work them out, you just don't know.

Pistol said...

Dale Lolley = Dream Killer

Damn i really liked Werner too!! Ok Vaccaro in the 1st and then Swope,Patton or Woods at WR in the 2nd and J.Simon in the 3rd.

datruth4life said...

I think the move is to trade down a few slots and try to pick up an extra 3rd round pick if you're going to take Vacarro. That's the round the Steelers usually take their WR's anyways. Maybe the Steelers are a lot higher on the pass-rushing trio of Worilds, Carter and Robinson than I am. I think I'd rather have a combination of Woerner or J. Jones & a T.J. McDonald or Eric Reid at safety in the 2nd rather than Vacarro and a 2nd round LB. But then again, that's why the scouts & K. Colbert get paid the big bucks and we Monday Morning QB. I wonder if that LT from Oklahoma somehow dropped to 17 would the Steelers be interested. I am skeptical that M. Gilbert or M. Adams have the feet to play LT in this league.

Dale Lolley said...

I don't see them spending another high pick on an offensive lineman - particularly a tackle - when they've spent two second round picks in the past two years on offensive tackles.

Anonymous said...

Taking a tackle in the first would be a huge step backwards in the development of Gilbert and Adams. It'd be like admitting we missed on those picks (which I think is too early to call).

Patrick said...

as soon as I posted my comment, I knew someone was going to post "I'd take two Timmons". Of course it was kyle, ha

And Timmons had a great year, though he seems to alternate on those and I still say he is a 4-3 guy playing in a 3-4, but nonetheless kyle, you don't agree that you would rather have someone a bit more physical to compliment Timmons as opposed to a LBer just like him?

kyle said...

The difference between a 4-3 MLB and a 3-4 ILB is virtually nil at this point. The days of the slow-footed thumper are over. If by a bit more physical you mean a slow-footed thumper who takes on pulling guards then no, I don't want someone who is more physical. If by a bit more physical you mean someone with strength and speed and the ability to make tackles behind the line of scrimmage and go sideline to sideline and drop into coverage, then yes, if only because that means the player is Lawrence Timmons just a bit better.

For the record though, I think if they go after Arthur Brown it should be later than 17 but I don't know how many willing dance partners they'll find for that trade back.

Viktor said...

I think Vaccaro would be great IF we had a young DL. Keisel and Hampton have lots of miles on them; I think we draft a DL then either the best DB or WR left.

Anonymous said...

Steelers should take Jarvis Jones if he falls to them

Dale Lolley said...

Don't see them taking another DL in the first Viktor. That would be three defensive linemen in the past four years in the first round.

They need a difference maker there. I think it's a defensive back or WR, with pass rusher being the dark horse - though as I said, they haven't take a rush linebacker in the first since Huey. If there were a RB worthy of 17, that would be a strong consideration, but there's not this year.

marc said...

inevitably, a player or two falls more than they should in the draft. picking at 17, the steelers could be in a spot where they may need to choose between selecting BPA versus "BPA at position of need."

imagine lotulelei sliding down to 17. what do you do then?

Viktor said...

Ok, but I'm just wondering who Hampton's replacement will be. We lost Allen today. So Vaccaro is making more sense, but wonder what they will do if there's a stud DL or OL that fell to them.

Anonymous said...

I don't get into the numerology of the past. In don't think any of that matters or is in any way an indication of what they value or don't value in R1. They did draft Timmons to be a ROLB. Apparently that doesn't count. And Cowher had to be talked down from talking Zo Jackson in R1. Wexell said they had a R1 grade on Worilds. Just because it's rare doesn't mean much. Might just be the way things work out in any given year. There are ~20 other positions to choose from.

Steelers never took a saftey in R1. Ever. Until 2003, and traded up for that one.

More teams are running a 34 or 335. And the way the Steelers run their 34, there isn't a great deal separating it from a 43. Just one guy up or down. There are a handful of players in this draft that already do many/all of the things the Steelers require of an OLB. A few of them will go R1, not that I'm stumping for any of them. But I do think it's possible they go OLB R1. Whoever it is will be a considered playmaker. That's WR, RB, CB, S, OLB. Can rule out RB due to absence of R1 talent. Seems then that OLB odds are 1 in 4. Far better than 1 in Huey.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't losing both backup safetys (Allen and Mundy) kind of put the Steelers in a tough position? I know Colbert said there would be change, implying rookies could/would start, but wouldn't you like to keep one of them around, preferably Allen?

Safety is now a glaring weakness and will perhaps tip their hand in the draft.

Dale Lolley said...

Timmons was drafted to play ILB. They had their outside backer - James Harrison - on the roster.
As soon as they got Woodley, there was no more talk of Timmons outside.

McLendon will be Hampton's replacement, though I'm not writing off another year of Casey at this point.

Joe Jones said...

Very nice pick Dale. I applaud you on this mock draft, as far as the steelers are concerned, in a situation where Vaccaro, Jones, and Eiffert are all still on the board.

However, who is your pick if Cordarrelle is still on the board?

And is not Keenan Lewis the most proven wideout in this draft class?

Tavon Austin reminds me of Torrey Smith, so I'm not as big a fan of his for our system.

Jarvis Jones is the next generation of
Silverback, so don't forget what were passing on here as in terms of replacing James Harrison's prime value at pass rushing.

The steelers luckily have a lot of options this year, but you have definitely convinced me that Vaccaro is a worthy choice for the steelers, as our secondary could use a jump-start at safety.

Patrick said...


I respectfully disagree with you. I don't WANT a "slow footed" player, but a "thumper" (and maybe we disagree on the term) I think is a good compliment. I think thats more true now with the read option fad. Do you see Timmons crushing another teams' QB or RB? I don't. He might make an effective tackle but I'd like a little attitude in the middle, especially given the state of our D-line where there isn't an A Smith or possibly even a Hampton to set that tone up front.

I hear what you're saying, and I'm just arguing, and not getting nasty, but I think there is still room for those guys and would be a nice compliment to what they have in Timmons. He covers very close to enough ground in my opinion.

Joe Jones said...

Woods should be there round 2.

Round 2;
Justin Hunter WR
Robert Woods
Jonathan Hankerson NT
Manti T'eo
Zack Ertz TE

Anonymous said...

Non-special Safeties do not get taken in the top 20. Vacarro(and all the S in this class) are not special. Could get the same kind of guy a round, if not two, later. Would much rather have one of the rushers and Swearinger/et al later on.

Also...SEC honk here; Justin Hunter, who I love, is about the exact opposite of Andre Johnson physically. Hunter's a string bean, AJ is built like a tank. Hunter is built more like Randy Moss was at Marshall, if we're looking for a purely body type comparison.

kyle said...

I've seen Timmons make big hits. You're pretty much describing Larry Foote. I'm not hoping for another Larry Foote. Running quarterbacks aren't hamstrung by attitude. They are rendered ineffective by a defense that can get to the edge. Having complimentary players can set up what I think might be a problem for Baltimore this year: One guy is good against the run, one guys is a good pass-rusher, and there is almost no overlap in their skills.

Anonymous said...

Arthur Brown weighed in combine 240 lbs, he is the ILB in this class, I take him in #17.

Anonymous said...

*best ILB...

Anonymous said...

Doesn't a tight end have to be really special to go at 17? Freak of nature types.

I see very solid all around tight ends, but that is makes you more fit for the end of the first round.

Miller went in the thirties and he's better than any of these dudes.

-Z in Tempe

Mr. Fix-it said...

Vacarro at 17? I just don't see it... You take a safety that high, he'd better be a ballhawk. Give me either a)1.Jarvis jones/2.Da'rick Rogers/3.Jonathan Cyprien or b)trade down in the first and grab 1.Deandre Hopkins/2.Jamie Collins or Cornelius Washington in round three/best Safety still on the board in round 2 or 3 depending on which OLB prospect you grab.

Patrick said...

I'm not hoping for a guy with Larry Foote like limitations either. Obviously there can be a LBer who has overlapping skills with Timmons who isn't exactly Timmons.

Also Timmons had an insane year, so we aren't cloning him. But if we are talking about a guy with very similar skills, I think I'd prefer someone who compliments him rather than 100% overlaps him.

Timmons doesn't really blow plays up but is great in space, generally pursues well and is insanely fast. I think you could exploit two MLBers who play that style with a solid run game and good oline more so than you could with a guy who can really disrupt things.

kyle said...

Timmons keeps Chris Johnson from doing much of anything and I would bet Timmons is given a lot of "running QB" responsibility when the Steelers face that kind of offense. I won't be kicking rocks if they draft a Dont'a Hightower type of player but I think his limitations (movement, coverage) are easier for most offenses to exploit.

Patrick said...

thats all fine and well about Timmons, I agree. But my point was, and is, the Steelers don't need two MLBers with the same skill set.

Anyway, I see what you're saying and I think you get what I'm saying. I'm not trying to hijack a thread or go and on and on about something minor.

If Arthur Brown brings a different skill set that Timmons, then I am interested. But to me, he sounds like a bad fit next to him.

kyle said...

Yeah, like I said, I'm not beating down doors to get Brown at 1.17. I don't think he has the exact same skill set as Timmons but even if he did I think he would be an upgrade over Foote and having two similar players in the middle wouldn't be a disadvantage because those similar players would be very versatile.

But to go back to my very first comment on this post, I'll still eat my hat if five receivers go in the first.

Viktor said...

"RUSH THE QUARTER BACK!l" we are taking a DE or OLB in the first.

george said...

Steelers have a lot of needs.Personally I Would have no problem with Vaccaro being the pick.
But I hope the Steelers hit home runsin the first 4 rounds.
Would Love Arthur Brown as an ILB for the Steelers. Won't happen,but I wish the Steelers would trade down pick Brown and take T.J. McDonald in the 3 round.

Henigin said...

Dale - what's the word on Ahmad Bradshaw? Is he looking like a 1-year guy while a young RB from the draft is groomed or is he a 2-3 year solution at starter -- if he's signed, that is.

Phil said...

Thanks for putting up a mock draft, Dale! You have several interesting ideas. In terms of our beloved Steelers, I would be OK with Vaccaro, however, in this scenario, Jarvis Jones, Arthur Brown, Keenan Allen, and DeAndre Hopkins are still on the board. Those guys are difference-makers and I just don't think Vaccaro makes enough splash plays to justify taking him over the other guys I mentioned. I understand that 3-4 OLBs are a crapshoot, but I think Jones's tremendous productivity in the SEC warrants the pick.

I do not think the Panthers would pass on a difference-maker at DT like Sheldon Richardson.

Dale Lolley said...

Just remember guys, that this is one mock draft. I'll do more as we get closer, depending on what I'm hearing.

As for taking Da'Rick Rogers in the first round, somebody has been smoking dope with him to think he's going in the first.