Todd McShay 2012 Mock Draft: Biggest Mistakes ESPN Expert Made in Latest Update

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIApril 19, 2012

STARKVILLE, MS - NOVEMBER 12:  quarterback AJ McCarron #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide scrambles away from pressure from defensive lineman Fletcher Cox #94 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs on November 12, 2011 at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Mississippi. Alabama won 24-7. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
Butch Dill/Getty Images

ESPN NFL Draft expert Todd McShay has released his latest mock draft, and there are a few spots where he is way off in his thinking.

For the most part, McShay's projections and his reasoning for each pick are sound, but there are three places where I think he went terribly wrong. 


9. Carolina Panthers: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State

The Panthers need a defensive tackle because head coach Ron Rivera knows the importance of having a dominant player on the interior of his defensive line. Cox is a solid player, but at this point there is a guy with a much higher ceiling available.

Memphis tackle Dontari Poe probably has the most upside of any defender in this year's draft. At nearly 6'4" and 346 pounds, not only is he massive but he's the strongest player available. His workout at the Combine was a sight to behold, as he showed himself to be a once-in-a-decade athlete.

Some are worried about his lack of explosion on tape, but with the right coaching Poe will be a force who will make a big impact at the NFL level soon. Rivera and company simply can't let a guy with that much ability go by.


SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 11:  Chandler Jones #99 of the Syracuse Orange looks on during the game against the Washington Huskies on September 11, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

16. New York Jets: Chandler Jones, DE/OLB, Syracuse

I agree with McShay that the Jets will take an edge rusher here but it won't be Jones. They have experimented with a raw prospect off the edge before, his name was Vernon Gholston and he was a complete bust.

Jones is extremely athletic, but is an unpolished prospect who will likely take time before he contributes. New York needs an upgrade to its pass rush now.

The perfect fit for Rex Ryan's system in this draft is Alabama's Courtney Upshaw. At 6'2" and 272 pounds, Upshaw is a tough, rugged player who is equally solid against the run or rushing the passer. He is the kind of immediate impact guy that Rex Ryan and company will need to help contribute next season.

He makes much more sense than Jones at this spot.


ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31:  Stephon Gilmore #5 of the South Carolina Gamecocks against the Florida State Seminoles during the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl at Georgia Dome on December 31, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

19. Chicago Bears: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

Yes, Chicago could use a cornerback, but the team's biggest needs exist along the offensive line. In McShay's projection both Stanford's Jonathan Martin and Ohio State's Mike Adams are still on the board and either one could come in and start immediately. 

Gilmore is a nice player, but he doesn't fill as pressing a need as an offensive lineman would. The Bears need to get better at protecting quarterback Jay Cutler. They got him a receiver this offseason by trading for Brandon Marshall, but Cutler won't be able to throw the ball to his new target from his back. 

The Bears need to get better along the offensive line and that must be their first priority in this year's draft.