Friday, April 27, 2012

2012 NFL Draft, The best of the rest (After Round 1)

Wow, what a crazy first round that was.

Guys flying off the board who were rated much lower, and over a half dozen trades, and all of that in 3 hours.

Damn that was fun.

I am going to hold off on the draft grades, even a preliminary one would be silly at this point.

So, what can we talk about?  Well, how about we talk about who is left.....So, here are my best 32 left and the grade I had them with coming into the draft. 

1. Coby Fleener TE Stanford-8 overall
2. Courney Upshaw OLB Alabama-9 overall
3. Lamar Miller RB Miami (Fla.)-13 overall
4. Jonathan Martin OT Stanford-17 overall
5. Peter Konz C Wisconsin-21 overall
6. Devon Still DT Penn State-22 overall
7. Dwayne Allen TE Clemson-24 overall
8. Zach Brown OLB North Carolina-26 overall
9. David Molk C Michigan-30 overall
10. Vinny Curry DE Marshall-31 overall
11. Brock Osweiler QB Arizona State-32 overall
12. Brandon Boykin CB Georgia-33 overall
13. Cordy Glenn OL Georgia-34 overall
14. Jerel Worthy DT Michigan State-35 overall
15. Alshon Jeffry WR South Carolina-37 overall
16. LaMichael James RB Oregon-38 overall
17. Nick Foles QB Arizona-39 overall
18. Tank Carder ILB TCU-40 overall
19. Ladarius Green TE Louisiana Lafayette-41 overall
20. Mike Adams OT Ohio State-42 overall
21. Lavonte David OLB Nebraska-43 overall
22. Bobby Wagner ILB Utah State-44 overall
23. Kirk Cousins QB Michigan State-46 overall
24. Alfonzo Dennard CB Nebraska-47 overall
25. Markelle Martin FS Oklahoma State-48 overall
26. Jake Bequette DE Arkansas-49 overall
27. Russell Wilson QB Wisconsin-50 overall
28. Kellen Moore QB Boise State-51 overall
29. Dan Herron RB Ohio State-52 overall
30. Frank Alexander DE Oklahoma-53 overall
31. Joe Adams WR Arkansas-54 overall
32. Nate Potter OT Boise State-56 overall

As you can see, there are good number of players at the top of this list who I, for one, expected to go much sooner.  I expect that we will see more teams moving around to pick them up like they were free.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2012 NFL Mock Draft v. 2

Well, most of Free Agency has passed, as well as the combine and the Pro Day workouts.  As it always does, this series of events has decimated the initial Mock Drafts.  This is why they are admittedly more Mock than they are Draft.

So, now for round 2.

As always, I am not going to speculate too much on what trades may occur because there is no way to know.  I am going to make the picks that I think a team should make, without taking into account rumors and past history. 

So....without further ado, here is round 2 of my 2012 Mock draft, which custom team icons provided by our friends at Gridiron League.


PICK 1: Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck QB - Stanford

This is the one pick that everyone "knows".  Luck would have likely been the first pick last year and will likely be the first pick this year.  He has all the tools, but most of all, he has the big, beautiful, brain that Colts fans have come to expect from their QB.  And to make things better, the Colts have tried to improve the rest of the roster while they wait for draft day.  Seriously stop and take a look at their proposed depth chart.  A combination of young talent with a sprinkling of leadership.  Reggie Wayne and Austin Collie to lead the receiving corp with depth behind them.  Solid beef to free up their converted speed rushers on defense.  They look better already, though they will miss Dallas Clark.  That said, they were BAD last year, so looking better is not a huge statement.  Luck has a chance though.
PICK 2: Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III QB Baylor

This one is also no great secret.  There is no other player worth trading up to 2 for since everyone knows the Colts will be taking a QB at #1.  So, it's luck unless the Colts shock the world and take Griffin.  Then it's Luck, pun intended.  Griffin is the athletic QB that Shanahan loves to have.  The bootleg keeps the defense honest, making the rushing attack behind their near-patented zone blocking scheme even more effective.  That and Griffin gets the ball deep in a hurry, which will keep the safeties off, giving yet another synergy for their desired rushing attack.  They will need to shore up their Offensive Line a bit, but his mobility may hide some of those shortcomings while they improve there.  That said, O-Line better be pretty high on their shopping list.

PICK 3: Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil OT Southern California

The Vikings have 2 young QB's who are fighting for the job, the best running back in the NFL with a good backup, and a decent defense.  But none that matters if your OT's are getting owned.  They had to kick Mt. McKinnie to the curb since he insisted on being a knucklehead and he was really all they had left.  Kalil will start from day 1 and with some luck should start for awhile.  Not exciting, but an easy, and smart, pick for the Vikings.  The only real option at this point would be Wide Receiver, but this is a much deeper draft at Receiver than it is at Tackle, so Kalil should be the choice.

PICK 4: Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson RB Alabama

The Browns need playmakers.  They have made some nice picks the last few years and I like their move to a 4-3 as with more teams playing a 3-4 the players necessary for that defense are harder and harder to find.  But they don't have people who are difference makers to carry and catch the ball.  I am one of the people who think that Colt McCoy can win in this league.  He is smart, athletic, and gutsy.  He also has a better arm that he is credited with, but he is a bit small in stature.  He needs to be able to facilitate and get the ball in playmakers' hands; which means he needs some playmakers.  Let's start at Running Back, but this is purely the best available skill position player.  Blackmon would also be a solid pick here.

PICK 5: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama

You can call me crazy all you want, but I have had Dre K ahead of Claiborne the whole time and I am sticking with it.  They have comparable speed.  Both of them have considerable ball skills, but Kirkpatrick is a killer in press coverage.  Claiborne is not much smaller but did not come across as near as physical in the games I saw him play.  Either is a fine choice, but Dre is mine, and should be Tampa's. 

PICK 6: St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State

This trade down with the Redskins was a GREAT move for the Rams.  They need players all over the field and for them, 6 is as good as 2, since they are taking Blackmon regardless.  They need a #1 receiver for Sam Bradford, and Blackmon is the guy who can step up and be that.  He ran well, which was a concern, for some reason.  He is physical, and has INCREDIBLE ball skills.  He is used to being the man, and plays bigger than his 6'1.  One of the best things about him is that his combination of skills and physical attributes will allow him to play outside or in the slot, so that the Rams can make the most of what else they have.  Don't expect for him to be the only receiver drafted to St. Louis.

PICK 7: Jacksonville Jaguars: Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame

The Jags recognized that they need to be more than MJD when they drafted Blaine Gabbert last year.  The problem there is that the Quarterback was not the only problem and Gabbery needed some time.  Now he's had a year and they are expecting a big step forward, but they need to get him some weapons.  Laurent Robinson has shown flashes, but he will never be a #1.  Floyd could be.  He is big, fast, and wants the ball more than you do.  He is a pretty pure deep threat and red zone guy, as he is not going to out quick as much as he will outrun, and outjump defenders.  That said, this guy is a stud, and Gabbert needs a stud.

PICK 8: Miami Dolphins: Quinton Coples DE/OLB North Carolina

The Fish would love to have a quarterback here, and there will be some fans screaming for a Quarterback here, but in the draft you have to be smart.  There is not enough difference between Tannehill and the next guy, whether it's Weeden, Osweiler, or someone else, to justify spending a top 10 pick on a guy who should not be starting this year.  Just look how well that sort of situation has worked out recently (see Blaine Gabbert).  The Fins will have a chance at a new, young QB in the second and third, and the second tier of QB's in this draft is solid and deep.  Coples is a difference maker who could start at either OLB or DE in Miami's 3-4 front.  Their defense is very close to being a strength, and sometimes it's smartest to embrace a strength than worry about a weakness.

PICK 9: Carolina Panthers: Morris Claiborne CB Louisiana State

The Panthers need a lot, and frankly they can take best available anywhere outside of their offensive backfield.  Claiborne can play from day one and they can't afford to draft players who can't right now. Offensive help for Cam would be nice, but let's be frank, that offense will produce because it has Cam.  They need to go best available and get this lockdown corner.

PICK 10: Buffalo Bills: Jonathan Martin OT Stanford

There are some out there who are going to think this is a reach, but the Bill shave ignored left tackle for too long.  They have talent all over the field, are loaded on defense, and should be trying to make a run at the division.  BUT, you have to do something on offense and you have to put a legit left tackle out there to do that.  Martin kept Andrew Luck awfully clean at Stanford and he'll do the same for Buffalo's version of the smart man's Quarterback.  This may be a good spot for the Bills to trade down as Martin may be available a few picks later, but left tackle has to be the pick.  I would have said that before they lost their starter to the Eagles as well, just in case you were wondering.

PICK 11: Kansas City Chiefs: Dontari Poe NT Memphis

The Chiefs are the reason that the Bills may not trade down with Martin sitting there.  Chiefs fans are tired of having a crappy O-Line and even with the Eric Winston signing, they are screaming for the O-Line to be addressed.  There is some logic there too, since Brandon Albert could easily move inside to guard, giving them a very solid line.  But, they are good enough now up front, with the Winston signing, that they will not need to reach.  Looking elsewhere for now, they are married to the 3-4, but have never had a stud Nosetackle to lead it.  Dontari Poe is a rare athlete at 6'5" 350lbs.  He could be a game changer when he keeps the young KC linebackers running clean.

PICK 12: Seattle Seahawks: Nick Perry DE Southern California

Pete Carroll believes in a couple of things.  The first 2 items on the list are competition and defense.  His defense played well last year, but he has done a bit of house cleaning in the off-season.  He has a good young secondary led by the uber-talented Earl Thomas.  He has young linebackers who pushed out a group of high draft picks, but he hasn't made many moves on the front yet.  They need a pass rusher, and Nick Perry is a talented one that Pete is very familiar with, having recruited him to USC.  He could be a cornerstone to lead the front of the Seattle defense going forward.

PICK 13: Arizona Cardinals: David DeCastro OL Stanford

The Cardinals need a few things.  They need a quarterback, people to protect him, and perhaps a second wide start.  With the top couple quarterbacks off the board, DeCastro is the way to go.  He can definitely start at guard, and perhaps at one of the tackle spots.  He is that kind of a talent, and would improve the running game regardless of the position that he lands in.

PICK 14: Dallas Cowboys: Mark Barron S Alabama

The Cowboys are starting over in their secondary, bringing in Brandon Carr and releasing Terrence Newman.  They are still a couple pieces short on the back of their defense, starting with a Strong Safety and a Cornerback.  Mark Barron is a do-it-all safety who led a defense that may very well have been more complicated than the one the Cowboys run.  This is a week draft for safeties, but Barron is a stud.

PICK 15: Philadelphia Eagles: Fletcher Cox DE Mississippi State

The Eagles are loaded with talent, but they badly need to shore up the middle of their defense.  They were gashed by every decent running game they came across.  Their wide gap defense with small defense ends and poor middle linebacker play allows teams to avoid the strengths of the defense.  Cox can step in at any position on the line and play, immediately improving the rush defense, while providing a strong rush from Defensive Tackle spot on passing downs.

PICK 16: New York Jets: Lamar Miller RB Miami

The Jets want to run the ball down people's throats.  It makes life easier for Sanchez and playing from ahead and rested is the best possible situation for the attacking defense.  To do that, you need to running back who can make plays, and they don't have that guy.  Lamar Miller is lightning in a bottle, the latest great running back to come out of Coral Gables.  Quick as a hiccup, he is the man to bring the Jets offense back to life.

PICK 17: Cincinnati Bengals: Brandon Boykin CB Georgia

This is a reach if you look at most of the boards, but the Bengals need to get young at cornerback.  Bringing in Terrence Newman was another veteran stopgap.  Veteran players are a good thing, but what happens when the other team lines a burner up on the outside?  Boykin can run, and he can contribute in extra DB packages and on special teams right now.  If you have any questions about his athletic ability, find some tape of the Georgia-Boise game, oh or any other game he played in for that matter.

PICK 18: San Diego Chargers: Coby Fleener TE Stanford

The Chargers' offense is a much weaker animal when Antonio Gates goes out.  That is an issue they need to address immediately.  Phillip Rivers needs that weapon over the middle of the field.  The Eddie Royal signing is an interesting wrinkle with San Diego running out a plethora of big receivers over the past few years, but that big body that can stretch the seam is incredibly valuable.  Coby Fleener is fearless, fast, and catches everything.  Toss in that he can block having been part of the blocking squad for the Stanford power rushing attack, and you have a complete, old-school Tight end.

PICK 19: Chicago Bears: Cordy Glenn OL Georgia

The Bears team is going to go as far as Jay Cutler can carry their offense, which means he needs to be on the field.  Gabe Carimi was a nice pickup in last year's draft, but they need more pieces for that O-Line.  Glenn can start at 3 positions right now, and could turn out to be the bookend tackle to pair with Carimi.  As a rule, the first round is for drafting starters, and Glenn will be just that for Chicago.  The only question is which position.

PICK 20: Tennessee Titans: Alshon Jeffry WR South Carolina

Jake Locker and Chris Johnson are looking like 2 pillars for the Titans going forward.  Who is going to be the third?  Kenny Britt was looking like he might be that guy until he was lost for the season.  So now, there are 2 questions about Kenny.  First, will he come back as a #1 or has he lost something?  Second, are his troubles with the law a thing of the past?  Remember, he was on the police blotter a couple times the year before his injury.  Alshon Jeffry showed up and ran a 4.5 time, settling concerns about his long speed and conditioning.  Locker needs a deep threat, and the Titans need a #1.  Most years, Jeffry would be a top 10 pick.

PICK 21: Cincinnati Bengals: Riley Reiff OT Iowa

The Bengals have drafted very well the last few years and have put themselves in a position that they can draft for depth and improvement, rather than dire need.  They lost some players at the interior of their O-Line and could stand an upgrade at one of their tackle spots.  Reiff is considered a solid Left-Tackle prospect, but played up and down the line at Iowa.  If Whitfield can hold on to his spot at left tackle, Reiff can move to the inside and start at guard.  Regardless, the Bengals line will improve with Reiff on board.

PICK 22: Cleveland Browns: Dwayne Allen TE Clemson

The Browns need weapons and the value of a quality tight end can not be over stated.  Allen was the Mackey award winner as the best Tight End in college football.  Fleener is better, but Allen is an asset in the passing game.  He would give McCoy a security blanket and Allen could be so much more than that.  A former basketball player, Allen has great ball skills and has worked hard to develop his craft.  A spread offense will focus on his strengths.

PICK 23: Detroit Lions: Mike Adams OT Ohio State

Flat out, the Lions need Matt Stafford to be on the field.  With him on the field, Megatron is unstoppable.  But, Stafford can't continue to take hits like he has been, and Jeff Backus is not getting any younger.  Mike Adams was tarnished by the scandal at Ohio State, but he has the talent to be a stud at left tackle.  This is a reach, but will start in Detroit.

PICK 24: Pittsburgh Steelers: Doug Martin RB Boise State

With Mendenhall down and maybe done, the Steelers need a runningback right now.  Martin is a blue collar guy who was hidden away from the nation a bit playing on the smurf turf.  He is a spark plug with wheels, who is will show the league that Boise isn't just full of system guys.  This is the normal Boise back who has great patience and change of direction, but he has the power to run through tackles and the speed and acceleration to run away from them as well.

PICK 25: Denver Broncos: Joe Adams WR Arkansas

Peyton is going to need weapons and with Eddie Royal a Charger, the Broncos need a slot guy.  Joe Adams is a 6'0" blazer running sub 4.4's.  Throw in that he is produced, consistently, in a pro-style offense and you have to like what he brings to the table.  Peyton will make him a star.

PICK 26: Houston Texans: Devon Still DT Penn State

With Amobi Akoye leaving town, they need players for their front line on defense to keep it where it is.  They will take a top Offensive Tackle if there is one here, but with them off the board, the will go front of the line for defense in the first.  Still is a beast, and Penn State players have been successful moving into a 3-4 in the NFL.  It's a projection, but the Big 10 Defensive Player of the year is never a bad thing.

PICK 27: New England Patriots: Courtney Upshaw OLB Alabama

Count em up.  Look at all of those Bama players flying off the board.  With the Pats, as always, it's best available.  Upshaw happens to fit a need as well.  The Pats need a pass rush, and Upshaw can straight up bring the heat from the OLB position.  Throw in that he is used to a Pro-Style defense and this pick is easy for the Pats.

PICK 28: Green Bay Packers: Zach Brown OLB North Carolina

The Packers need their D to catch up to their O.  Brown opposite Clay Matthews is a beautiful and scary proposition.  Brown is a machine, running sideline to sideline and will compliment the beast that is Matthews perfectly. 

PICK 29: Baltimore Ravens: Melvin Ingram DE/OLB South Carolina

Ingram is the kind of hybrid player that the Baltimore defense has thrived off of for a decade.  He projects as an OLB but was a stud at DE and DT for South Carolina as well.  Look for the Ravens to move him all over the field along with Sergio Kindle as they return their D to what it was.

PICK 30: San Francisco 49ers: Alfonzo Dennard CB Nebraska

The Niners defense is one of the best in the league, but if there is a weak spot, it is at corner.  Dennard is a feisty, physical corner who fits the mold of what the Niners do perfectly.  They need an infusion of youth on the back of their defense, and it starts here.

PICK 31: New York Giants: Luke Kuechly ILB Boston College

Kuechly was incredibly productive at ILB, but was perceived to be a hard-nosed player who may not have the wheels to play at the top level.  Then came the combine and his blistering workouts.  He knows the game, and and he has speed to lead a defense.  Tom Coughlin is partial to BC players having coached there, and this is his kind of guy.

PICK 32: New England Patriots: Dont'a Hightower ILB Alabama

The Pats need players and Hightower is the best on the board.  Bringing him in sets them up to have one of the best linebacker corp in the league instead of one of the worst. 



PICK 33: St. Louis Rams: Kelechi Osemele OL Iowa State

The Rams have spent picks on tackles over the past couple years, but there are still concerns, no small part of which has been the inability of their 2 young tackles to stay on the field together.  Osemele allows them to hedge their bets, bringing in another potential NFL tackle, who also projects well at Guard.  If their tackles are healthy and playing well, Kelechi will be a road grader to spearpoint the Rams rushing attack.  If they are not available or playing well, he gives quality depth at tackle, which allows Sam Bradford to survive the season. 

PICK 34: Indianapolis Colts: Michael Brockers DE/DT Louisiana State
The Colts are moving to a 3/4 and that ,combined with Brockers being at the top of the board's remaining players, makes young Michael the perfect pick.  He is an incredible athlete for his size and appears to be custom molded to play DE in a 3/4.  He will be more than a space eater, that is for sure, and has the potential to give this defense a chance to be something special.

PICK 35: Minnesota Vikings: Jerel Worthy DT Michigan State

The days of the 2 Williams filling the middle of the Vikings' defense are over with one of them already gone, and the other soon to be.  It's time to restock at DT and Worthy was one of the best in the country last year.  Getting him in the second round is a steal, and he will make an immediate difference.

PICK 36: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Wilson RB Virginia Tech

The Bucs need a change of pace back to go with the power of LeGarrette Blount.  Wilson is more of the prototype kind of back coming in at 5'10" 200+.  But, he has been timed as low as a sub 4.3 and has shown the ability to get tough yards.  He is not as polished in the passing game, but will be immediately productive running the football.

PICK 37: Cleveland Browns: DeVier Posey WR Ohio State

The Browns need playmakers, and Posey dropped like a stone after the scandal at Ohio State.  That said, this will be a popular pick in the state, and a good one for the Browns.  Coming into the year, Posey was in the discussion as the top Receiver in the nation, and he would have likely been a first round pick if he had left last year.  If McCoy can't hit this guy, the Browns will have their answer.

PICK 38: Jacksonville Jaguars: LaMichael James RB Oregon

Jacksonville needs playmakers, and they need some depth behind MJD.  James is not going to be an every down back in the NFL due to lack of size.  That said, he is explosive and knows how find the seam.  He can spell, especially in passing situations immediately, and will give some interesting options for the Jags.  Let alone if they want to implement any spread concepts.  If they do that, he will be in his natural situation and should thrive.  Also, I can see him being used from the slot and in the screen game much the same as Darren Sproles was used to spell LaDanian Tomlinson in San Diego.

PICK 39: St. Louis Rams: Coryell Judie CB Texas A&M

The Rams need players and a bookend for Cortland Finnegan is as good a place to go as any.  Judie is relatively late to football making the transition from track, but he has made steady progress and brings excellent athletic ability and decent size for the corner.  There will not be many in the league will be able to run by him, and they need to upgrade opposite Finnegan because people are likely to throw away from his side of the field.

PICK 40: Carolina Panthers: Lavonte David OLB Nebraska

The Panthers need help all over, so I am going best available here.  Lavonte David is a sideline to sideline tackling machine who can cover.  There are rumors that he could be looked at as a strong safety, which says all I need to know about his ability to cover in the passing game.  Toss in 285 tackles in 2 years and you have a playmaker.

PICK 41: Buffalo Bills: Tank Carder ILB Texas Christian

Tank is a winner.  He is a team-first guy who will plug right into the Bill 3-4 scheme.  He probably won't start immediately on what is a solid Buffalo defense, but this is a potential long-term leader for this defense. 

PICK 42: Miami Dolphins: Brock Osweiler QB Arizona State

Miami fans are clamoring for a Quarterback and this is the one they will get to boo.  Well, on draft day anyway.  Osweiler is a unique prospect.  Coming in at 6'8", he is surprisingly mobile while having the big arm that you would expect from a QB of his height.  He is a bit raw, but he has all the tools and played in a more pro-style offense than a lot of his cohorts, which may make for an easier transition.  I really like his tools, especially when framed up against Ryan Tannehill.  To my mind and eye, they are comparable kinds of talents.  He will be best served by sitting for a bit to adjust and get coached up as, like Tannehill, he only started one season.  If Miami is willing to do that, there is a lot of upside here.

PICK 43: Seattle Seahawks: Dan "Boom" Herron RB Ohio State

Herron's nickname is a big misleading.  You would expect a nickname like Boom to belong to a power back, and though Herron is not scatback, and just over 200 lbs. he can't be considered a power back either.  What he can be considered is productive.  He knows how to play the position and is wicked in the open field.  He uses blocks well and is known for making defenders miss with very good quickness and agility in space.  He needs work on his pass protection and has shown average hands in the passing game, but should fit the pro-style Seattle uses very well.  With the wear on Marshawn Lynch's tires, bringing in a backup RB is a good move for Seattle.

PICK 44: Kansas City Chiefs: Cliff Harris CB Oregon

The Chiefs brought in Stanford Routt to replace Brandon Carr, but Routt is not a star.  If he was, the Raiders would have kept him in house.  He is, at best, a solid #2.  Harris has the potential to be a lockdown corner, give the Chiefs one of the best and deepest secondaries in the league.  Let alone his kick return ability. 

PICK 45: Dallas Cowboys: Peter Konz C Wisconsin

The Cowboys have 2 need areas: their defensive secondary and their offensive line.  They have made some moves in the off-season and first round to shore up the defensive secondary, but they still need help up front on offense.  Konz is one of the best centers in the country and is an NFL-caliber run blocker right now and is experienced at multiple positions.  He will contribute immediately, if not start at either C or one of the guard spots for the Cowboys.

PICK 46: Philadelphia Eagles: Nate Potter OT Boise State

Kellen Moore is one of the most prolific QB's in the history of college football.  You don't get to say that about a guy who was sitting on his butt.  Potter was the anchor of the line in Boise for an offense that scored on everyone they played.  Noone touched Moore, and I don't remember seeing their rushing attack getting slowed down either.  The Eagle need depth and a future at left tackle, and Potter is it.

PICK 47: New York Jets: Billy Winn DE Boise State

The Jets whole concept is built around facilitating their front 7 to attack the offense.  In order to do that, you need guys who can cause issues by being 1. better and 2. multi-faceted.  Bill Winn is a 300 lb defensive lineman who can run a sub 5.0.  He will be an immediately contributor at DE and can spell at the nose on passing downs. 

PICK 48: New England Patriots: Jonathan Massaquoi

The Pats need starters all over their defense and Massaquoi is a tweener who can really bring the heat off the edge.  With the hybrid front that the Pats have implemented, he is the kind of player that can be moved all over a formation.  A new toy for Bill.

PICK 49: San Diego Chargers: Chris Polk Washington

The Chargers have been hemorrhaging running backs the past 3 years and it's time to restock.  Polk is a power back with bulk who has been well coached.  Don't be surprised to see him push for the starting position in San Diego.

PICK 50: Chicago Bears: Ladarius Green TE Louisiana Lafayette

Green is a pure receiving tight end at this point, but he is a weapon, which is what the Bears need.  He is a beast who dominates against defensive backs with great size, body control, and hands.  What he is not at this point, is a good blocker.  The size and strength are there however, so it should just be a matter of coaching him enough to turn  him into a serviceable blocker.

PICK 51: Philadelphia Eagles: QB Ryan Tannehill Texas A&M

I know, everyone thinks I am crazy here.  I profess that, wrong as I may be, I am not crazy.  I saw a lot of this guy being in Big 12 country, and I believe that he has the potential to be a starter in this league.  That said, he is not ready now.  This is not about him only starting one season.  This is not about him playing a lot from the shotgun.  This is not about his mechanics.  This is about him not being able to finish out games.  He needs to learn to see things from the big picture and to help his team finish.  Frankly, he needs to be coached up, which means he needs to sit.  And there are few better developers of QB's the staff in Philly.

PICK 52: Tennessee Titans: Vinny Curry DE Marshall

The Titans need players, they are just mediocre at way too many spots.  I like the Kamerion Wimbley signing, but he has some wear on the tires, so bringing in a young bookend makes a lot of sense.  Have a player like Vinny Curry on the board, makes it a done deal.  Admittedly, he did not play in a BCS conference, but he was dominant on a defense that didn't have many other threats. 

PICK 53: Cincinnati Bengals: Isaiah Pead RB Cincinnati

This will be a popular pick locally, and with Cedric Benson being shown the door, it fills a need too.  Pead was the MVP on the Senior Bowl and brings home run ability to the Running Back position.  He does a good job of getting North and South so that he can use his acceleration to his best advantage.  He is also good out of the backfield, but need to improve his footwork on change of direction. 

PICK 54: Detroit Lions: Stephon Gilmore CB South Carolina

A physical specimen at Cornerback.  He has great size and agility who was very productive.  Could very well find himself drafted in the first round, but will be exactly what the Dr. ordered for the Lions.

PICK 55: Atlanta Falcons: Jake Bequette DE Arkansas

The Falcons have been trying to find a pass rusher in the draft for a few years and they will take a shot again with Jake Bequette.  Bequette has prototype size for the DE spot and is known as a hard worker with talent.  Shows the kind of effort which has become a staple of these Falcons teams.

PICK 56: Pittsburgh Steelers: Levy Adcock OT Oklahoma State

Adcock has been below the radar largely, but he was first team OT in the pass-first Big 12.  The Steelers need Tackles right now, and Adcock is a quality one. 

PICK 57: Denver Broncos: Orson Charles TE Georgia

The Broncos need to provide some playmakers for Peyton.  One position that Peyton is accustomed to having a playmaker at is TE and Charles is that kind of player.  He is a bit of a hybrid between TE and WR, but he has proven himself to an enthusiastic and capable blocker as well.  He could very well spend some time split out in the NFL.

PICK 58: Houston Texans: Kendall Wright WR Baylor

People have been comparing Wright to DeSean Jackson.  For a team looking for a second WR to pair with the big beast known as Andre Johnson, that's really all you need to know.  Wright is a home run hitter with great agility and eats single coverage alive.

PICK 59: forfeit by Saints for bountygate

PICK 60: Green Bay Packers: Cam Johnson DE Virginia

A DE who was recruited to play in a 3/4 defense, Johnson has the size and athletic ability to play right now in the Packers' defense.  They need players on that side right now and putting another quality lineman beside B.J. Raji is never a bad idea.

PICK 61: San Francisco 49ers: Alameda Ta'amu Washington

The 3-4 defense makes run plugging Nose Tackles like Ta'amu invaluable.  When you can find one, like him, that moves easily and can provide pressure on the passer, you get him.  He needs to do a better job of absorbing double teams to keep the linebackers clear, but the coaching staff in San Fran can handle that.

PICK 62: Baltimore Ravens: David Molk OL Michigan

The Ravens lost Ben Grubbs and need help on the interior of their O-Line.  Molk is a center by trade, but at worst should be able to free up someone to move over to guard.  He was 1st team all Big-10 and 1st team All-American.  He is smaller than some of the other prospects but is very strong and coordinated, making him capable of pulling and getting to the second level as a blocker.

PICK 63: New England Patriots: Bobby Wagner ILB Utah State

The Pats continue their rebuilding of their defense, and are looking at, potentially, putting out one of the most talented linebacker corp in the league again.  Is a very solid linebacker with good measure ables who should compliment Brandon Spikes very well. 

PICK 64: New York Giants: Brandon Thompson DT Clemson

The Giants need DT's that can stay on the field.  Thompson has the pass rush to allow the Giants to get pressure without their 'NASCAR' package.  He is primarily a player to attacks a gap to get penetration whether it's a passing down or a rushing down.  He is not big enough to collect double teams, which prevents him from being strongly considered at Nosetackle, but he should perfect for the Giants.

PICK 65: Indianapolis Colts: Michael Egnew TE Missouri

Now, coming out of Missouri, Egnew is definitely a receiver oriented tight end.  That said, Andrew Luck is used to having a tight end that he can go to, and with Dallas Clark not in town anymore, let alone his backup Jacob Tamme, the Colts don't have anyone who can fit that mold.  He has great size and speed to get up the seem and challenge safeties and shows great effort and willingness to block, especially down the field.  Flat out, he is a better talent than the Colts have on their roster at tight end. 

PICK 66: St. Louis Rams: Chris Rainey RB/WR Florida

Demps is small, but he was easily the quickest player at the combine.  The Rams need to add explosive athletes if they want to compete sooner than later.  Rainey is a smaller back who won't live in the I-Formation, but this is the kind of athlete that gives the spread concepts coming up from college football, the possibility to work.  He is lightning in a bottle and will allow the Rams to steal some points against more talented competition.

PICK 67: Minnesota Vikings: Tommy Streeter WR Miami

There will be plenty of jokes about the Vikings drafting another Hurricane, but Streeter is not Mt. Mckinnie.  Streeter is a raw talent, but there is a lot of talent there. He is as big as many of the receiving tight ends in this draft, but burnt off a 4.4 flat which definitely separates him into the Wide Receiver category.  He does need to be coached up a bit, but this is a steal in the third round and will give Christian Ponder someone to develop with.

PICK 68: Cleveland Browns: Markelle Martin FS Oklahoma State

Martin's strong showing coming back from a January knee injury has solidified his spot as the #2 safety in this class behind Mark Barron.  He played a lot of strong safety for OSU due to his tackling ability, but in the Big 12 he got plenty of chances to show his ability in coverage and he is being projected as a Free Safety.  What that tells me is that he can play either and Cleveland needs players.  Martin is best on the board and on his way to be a Brown.

PICK 69: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ben Jones C Georgia

The Bucs would love to find an OT at this point, but Jones is a quality player would continue to improve the middle of their line.  Jeremy Zuttah has not been overwhelming to this point, but solid.  That said, quality competition is good and Jones can play at the 3 middle positions and is the best on the board.  Best player, not best OL.

PICK 70: Washington Redskins: Andrew Datko OT Florida State

The Redskins need linemen, and Datko is a Shanahan kind of guy.  He comes from a Zone Blocking scheme and has experience at multiple positions.  His shoulder is a bit of a concern, though a full recovery is expected.  He may not be at full speed for all of the OTA's.  His ability to block and cover the blind side of the quarterback is not a concern, but his injury history is.  A bit of a gamble, but a gamble on a quality player with high character.

PICK 71: Jacksonville Jaguars: Michael Brewster C Ohio State

Another best on the board pick.  Brewster was a highly talented kid coming into Columbus who made good on his talent.  He is smart, talented, tough, and experienced.  He will be an understudy to Brad Meester while potentially filling in at a guard spot and likely finishing off a solid O-Line for the Jags.  That is assuming that they can keep their players on the field.

PICK 72: Buffalo Bills: Nick Foles QB Arizona

This is a future value pick that would work out very well for both the Bills and Foles.  Foles is a traditional-style pocket passer who can make all the throws.  He needs to work a little bit on refining his throwing motion, especially on short and intermediate throws that need to be snapped off, but he has all the arm you could want and the Bills can afford to wait a year or 2 having given Fitzgerald an extension.

PICK 73: Miami Dolphins: Antonio Allen SS South Carolina

The Fins have a good young defense, but they have a few weak spots.  SS is one of them.  Allen was forged in the battles of the SEC, chasing receivers like A.J. Green and Julio Jones.  He is a lanky player with good range who still has room to grow and get stronger.  A good player with potential for improvement.

PICK 74: Miami Dolphins: Greg Childs WR Arkansas

Childs was the big receiver in the Arkansas trio coming out this year.  He was the star prior to a knee injury that he is just now nearing a full recovery from.  That said, he played all of last year and was productive, and ran a 4.5 at the combine which may prove to be slow for him as he continues to come back.  Even at that 6'3" will good ball skills and a 4.5 and great work ethic will get him on the field in Miami.

PICK 75: Kansas City Chiefs: Brandon Washington OL Miami

The Chiefs have made some nice moves to shore up their O-Line, but they can still improve.  They have their Tackles in place, but need to have a replacement in place for Ryan Lilja who is nearing retirement.  Washington was All-ACC as a sophomore and is a road-grader of a blocker.  He will be in the rotation immediately.

PICK 76: Seattle Seahawks: Mychael Kendricks ILB Cal

Kendricks is being knocked for being a little on the small side, but he is one of the most athletic linebackers in this class who played both outside and inside for Cal.  He is fiery, which is Pete Carrol's kind of player, and the Seahawks have room for new blood at linebacker, having cleaned house over the past few months of some high draft picks and their salaries.

PICK 77: Houston Texans: Janoris Jenkins CB Florida via North Alabama

The Texans have made some nice moves to give themselves a solid secondary, which had been a weakness for years.  What they don't have, is a #1 cornerback.  Jenkins has well-documented issues off the field, which cost him in a big way.  That said, he has the talent to be worth a gamble, especially if he lasts this late.

PICK 78: New York Jets: Emmanuel Acho ILB Texas

The younger Acho brother is an athletic inside linebacker who was a leader on a young Texas defense.  He has played in multiple systems, including the new attacking defense that was implemented in Austin last year.  The Jets need some leaders in their locker room, and when you can get one with NFL talent, you take it.

PICK 79: Used in Supplemental Draft by Oakland Raiders

PICK 80: San Diego Chargers: Bruce Irvin OLB West Virginia

The Chargers have not had good luck finding a rush linebacker since Shawn Merriman was injured and then suspended.  At this point, Irvin doesn't do much else, but he was built to be a rush linebacker in a 3-4.  A great burst off the edge and a relentless approach, he could be plug and play which is great to find in the third round.

PICK 81: Chicago Bears: Cyrus Gray RB Texas A&M

Gray is a weapon wherever you put him.  He played runningback in an NFL offense (under Mike Sherman), played receiver, and returned kicks.  He has ok size, and is wicked space.  Should be a nice understudy to Matt Forte, giving them the same kind of skillset if/when Forte needs a breath or is injured.

PICK 82: Arizona Cardinals: Brandon Weeden QB Oklahoma State

Weeden is a ready made QB, or at least he better be.  His shelf-life is bound to be shorter than his classmates, after spending a handful of years trying to play baseball.  That said, outside of Andrew Luck, he appears to be just that.  He has as good an arm as you will find in this draft and is possibly the most accurate passer as well, while showing a surprising amount of athleticism (4.8 40 yard dash).  The Cardinals need someone who can play now and who can put Larry Fitzgerald to use.  Weeden can make all the throws and is used to playing with a clear #1.  A steal for the Cardinals.

PICK 83: Dallas Cowboys: Chase Minnifield CB Virginia

If Chase is half the corner his dad was, the Cowboys are set.  They have been chasing cornerbacks forever, it seems like.  So, if Chase can push Orlando Scandrick to the nickle, they should be in good shape for a few years.  That said, there are questions about whether Chase has the wheels to be a #1, which is why he will be available this late in the draft.

PICK 84: Tennessee Titans: Jayron Hosley CB Virginia Tech

An aggressive, physical corner who caused a lot of turnover in college.  He is a little undersized and needs to do some work on footwork.  That said, his gambling style was very successful in college and if he can pick his spots, he could be the player to replace Cortland Finnegan.

PICK 85: Cincinnati Bengals: Jarius Wright WR Arkansas

And the third of the Razorback receivers is off he board.  He is the smallest of the Razorback receivers, but when you run a 4.3 40, it doesn't matter quite as much.  The same knock is on him as was on DeSean Jackson coming out of Cal.  Is he too small to play in the NFL?  Well, if you can run past anyone in the league, you can score.  A very nice compliment here to A.J. Green.  You want to keep the safeties honest, have the other guy run by them.

PICK 86: Atlanta Falcons: Tysyn Hartman FS Kansas State

The Falcons are a good team, and don't have a lot of glaring needs, but their secondary has been a work in progress for a few years.  Picking up a ball-hawking free safety will give them a solid group of starters across the board.  Hartman has been a thorn in the side of Big 12 quarterbacks for his whole career.  Hartman is rangy and creates a lot of turnovers with good instincts and closing speed.  When you throw in 4.6 speed, you have something.  Not many have heard of him, but when you are a successful DB in the pass happy Big 12, you are something.

PICK 87: Detroit Lions: Harrison Smith SS Notre Dame
Smith is the kind of player that will fit in perfectly on the physical Detroit defense.  He is a physically developed safety who likes to deliver blows and should pair well with Louis Delmas in the Detroit secondary.  This will give them half a secondary in one draft, shoring up the back of their defense, which should make for a devastating unit considering the pass rush they should be able to produce up front.  He does need to be coached to play with a little more discipline, as he is often looking for the knockout and that can cause him to miss tackles.

PICK 88: Pittsburgh Steelers: Josh Chapman DL Alabama

A stout, space eater with incredible strength.  It is doubtful that he has the size to play nosetackle in the 3-4, or the frame to add it, but he has the burst and strength and the point of attack to fit perfectly as an end in the Steel Curtain's version of the 3-4.  He will be able to absorb double teams, and can get to the QB if he is disregarded.  At minimum, he will be able to keep the linebackers running free.

PICK 89: Denver Broncos: Bernard Pierce RB Temple

The Broncos need a running back of the future.  Willis McGahee has a lot of wear on him and Knowshon Moreno has not worked out like the Donkeys were hoping.  With Peyton's success being due to his ability to lead a balanced offense in the most intelligent way possible, rushing the ball is paramount.  After all, if you cannot run, you do not have balance.  Pierce is a big, productive back, who works best in a one-cut or downhill attack.  This should translate to the shotgun or the stretch runs that the Broncos are expected to favor. 

PICK 90: Philadelphia Eagle: Jared Crick DL Nebraska

The Eagles need to be more physical and Crick is another step towards that.  He, like Fletcher Cox, is a player who can play up and down line in a 4-3.  He will most likely play primarily as an over tackle, but is very strong at the point of attack and has the chase speed to play end in rushing situations.  This is a combination pick.  It gives depth and flexibility, while also providing the best player on the board for Philly.

PICK 91: New Orleans Saints: Frank Alexander DE Oklahoma

The Saints are in the position to take the best available and Alexander is it.  Throw in Will Smith's age, and Alexander is a smart move.  He is an athletic player on the edge, who was very productive for the Sooner, especially on passing downs.  He has good size for a DE and give the Saints a solid rotation down the road with Cameron Jordan and Greg Romeus both having shown flashes.  It is not out of the realm of possibilities to see the Saints mimic the Giants' NASCAR package and move Smith to the inside on passing downs with all 4 of these ends on the field.

PICK 92: Green Bay Packers: Philip Blake OL Baylor

The Packers have had great luck the past few years drafting multi-purpose O-Linemen.  Blake is a former right tackle who became a stud for the Baylor Bears playing at C.  He has good agility and good size, though does not have the prototypical height to move to the outside in the NFL.  What he does do, is give a good option at 3-4 of the potential line spots so the Packers can put their best available linemen in their areas of need.  With the impending release of Chad Clifton, this becomes key because their tackles are going to have to be tackles.

PICK 93: Baltimore Ravens: Marcus Forston DT Miami

Forston has all the talent in the world, but had trouble staying on the field.  Ray Ray and Ed Reed will keep him in line, but the injuries are what have him still sitting here this late.  He is a perfect fit for DE in Baltimore, bringing great athleticism for his size.  If they can keep him on the field and motivated, this will be a steal.  I don't expect that motivation will be a problem with Ray Lewis standing behind him.

PICK 94: San Francisco 49ers: Chris Owusu WR Stanford

Harbaugh has done a great job of not falling in love with his former players.  That said, they need to groom receivers to replace the crop of veterans they brought in, and Owusu is the kind of player that can be around awhile.  Sub 4.4, the kid is a real talent.  The problem is the concussions.  He just had his 3rd, though he was cleared to pay after.  In Today's NFL, he may be untouchable.

PICK 95: New England Patriots: Whitney Mercilus DE/OLB Illinois

Mercilus was looking like a recruiting bust until he exploded this year.  He is a small end in a 4-3 who projects well to an OLB in a 3-4.  With the Patriots no longer married to either of those fronts, he is an excellent opportunity for a situational player.  He is very fast off the edge, and has played up and down the line.  You cannot have too many pass rushers, and if he can prove serviceable with his hand off the ground, the Pats will have another player.  Purely a best on the board scenario here.

PICK 96: New York Giants: Zebrie Sanders OT Florida State

Sanders stepped in for Andrew Datko and had a solid year at left tackle after having been in place on the right.  He has disappointed a bit in workout, which has caused him to drop, but he is a steal here.  He has great agility and mobility and showed the ability to move around the line and be successful.  He is likely not a premier LT unless he can get stronger, but he could play from day 1 at either guard spot or at Right Tackle, and his ability to pull and get to the second level will be welcome in the Giants rushing attack which has been getting by with less athletic linemen.

PICK 97: Oakland Raiders: Andre Branch DE/OLB Clemson

Branch is still a bit raw, but he is very talented.  He could legitimately play OLB in any front or DE in a 4-3.  If he stays on the line full time, he will need to put on a few lbs, but looks to have the frame to do that.  There are rumors around which front the Raiders are going to want to run going forward, but he is a pass rushing athlete that can play in any of them.