New Faces in New Places: NFL Mock Draft Part 2
I've been putting this off for a while, so some players I had going in the first round may still be available.
A more prevalent occurrence however, was certain teams like Oakland rectifying a need that I thought they would see to through the draft, for instance, it now looks like Jake Long and Sedrick Ellis will switch places, with Ellis going to Oakland and Long going to KC.
For the sake of continuing my previous mock, I'll assume that all the guys I listed in my previous article are off the board for this one, despite the fact that guys like Lawrence Jackson will likely be available.So, here are my picks, tell me what you think.
32. Miami Dolphins: Chris Williams, Bill Parcells builds his teams through the lines and with the previous pick, Chris Long, he has addressed the defensive side of the ball, but with the releases of L.J. Shelton and Anthony Alabi recently, the Tuna needs a franchise LT. While Chris Williams' intensity has been brought into question, he is an outstanding athlete and at 6'6" 315lbs, he has the size of a prototypical LT, he also is very agile and possesses great footwork for his size, a trait that should help him with the arduous task of blocking Richard Seymour, Shaun Ellis, and Aaron Schobel 6 times a year.
33. St. Louis Rams: Carl Nicks, The Rams are riddled with holes all around their roster, except at QB and RB, so they could go a lot of ways here, Orlando Pace is aging and the rams need a successor. Carl Nicks is raw and inexperienced but he is also a beast at 6'5" 340 and is very quick for his size. He is also an extremely gifted run blocker due to his bulk and his technique can only improve, giving him the potential to be an unstoppable force for St. Louis for years to come. He has some problems with technique in the passing game but he will work at it and his upside is worth gambling on at this pick.
34. Atlanta Falcons: Early Doucet, The Falcons are rebuilding and Doucet is a nice piece to aid in the process, he is a high character guy and a viable weapon for Matt Ryan if Atlanta drafts him, besides, one can never have too many weapons. (Unless you’re Detroit) Despite his slight stature and mediocre timed speed, Doucet is a true playmaker with great burst and nice elusiveness. He is also a terrific blocker on running plays and a very hard worker. Not only will he add something to Atlanta's offense, he will provide some long term stability in the Falcons’ locker room with his level headedness and desire to win.
35. Kansas City Chiefs: Gosder Cherilus, Having already taken Jake Long in round 1, the Chiefs will look to solidify the other side of their line with Cherilus, the best RT available in this year's draft. He is a decent athlete but he won't blow anyone away, however, he works hard to sustain his blocks and will fight to keep his position in the running game, he is also nimble for a big guy and can play LT if given the chance. He is a great character guy, which will help the Chiefs, who have recently lost Will Shields and Will Roaf, both of whom lead the team in the locker room. Cherilus and Long will be the most solid young duo of tackles in the NFL for a long time.
36. New York Jets: Curtis Lofton, After trading Jonathan Vilma, the Jets need a replacement for him inside, Jerod Mayo may be the best available, but he does not translate to the Jets' defensive scheme as well as Lofton does. Although he is undersized, Lofton is a solid tackler who will deliver a powerful knockout blow if given the chance. His timed speed is average and he is not a good blitzer but he will work hard no matter what assignment you give him. His instincts in coverage leave a bit to be desired but they will improve, he will add some much needed punch to the weak interior of the Jets LB corps.
37. Atlanta Falcons: Kentwan Balmer, The Falcons have needed help inside for some time now and they get it with Balmer, who only falls because of his size and inability to read blocks. However, Balmer has great upper body strength and if he were to gain some weight he could play NT in a 3-4 as well as DT in a 4-3. While his size may make him somewhat of a liability upfront, he gains the ability to pursue running backs with far more efficiency then someone like Vince Wilfork or Shaun Rogers. Atlanta let up 4.2 ypc on the ground last year so this pick is a must.
38. Baltimore Ravens: Joe Flacco, The Kyle Boller experiment has been a total failure and Steve Mcnair is cooked. That leaves Baltimore with only the average Troy Smith, who, although he has shown flashes in the NFL, seems destined to be a career fringe starter or backup. The Ravens need a franchise QB and Flacco fits the bill. He has a cannon for an arm and surprising mobility for his size. He has also shown the ability to get out of trouble and make plays while running. Had Flacco not played againts mediocre competition at Delaware, he may not be available here.
39. San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Lee, San Fran has a mediocre secondary other then 34 year old Walt Harris and some youth in the defensive backfield is a dire need. Lee is tall and big for a corner at 6' 200lbs; he is also a fantastic athlete with considerable upside. Not only did he run a respectable 4.42, he is very physical and tough and will make any receiver rue the day he dared to cross the middle with Lee. He also shows the instincts to excel in the deep game and the ability to jump for the ball with anybody. His limited experience is his only real downside but a year spent learning from Harris will mold this kid into a solid corner at least.
40. New Orleans Saints: Kenny Phillips, Too put it bluntly, the Saints were miserable on defense last year, Josh Bullocks was especially mediocre. Having already spent a pick on a corner, the Saints will find Bullocks' replacement here. Phillips had a mediocre junior year and an average combine but New Orleans is getting an absolute steal here. Phillips is big, strong, and instinctive in coverage, his hands will net him a share of picks and his aggression will get him some more. His aggressive tendencies are sometimes a liability in the play action passing game however and he will get burnt every so often. The Saints should consider themselves lucky if Phillips falls this far.
41. Buffalo Bills: Tracy Porter, the Bills could use some speed in their secondary and Porter is just the guy to give it to them, Porter has nice hands and the speed necessary to recover from a mistake. He could also add some excitement to the Bills' special teams. He is a fantastic athlete and can run with anybody on deep routes. However, he is only 5'10" and may have trouble dealing with tall receivers, which could be a problem since he will cover Randy Moss for 2 games every year.
42. Denver Broncos: Mario Manningham, With Javon Walker now donning the silver and black, the Broncos need a replacement quickly. Luckily for them, this is a deep class for receivers and Manningham, although his timed speed is mediocre, is very agile and can make plays in the open field. He also runs well after the catch and has fantastic body control. Manningham is very elusive and will break some huge gains in the open field. His durability, his slight frame, and a mediocre combine drop this former first round pick’s stock just enough for him to land here.
43. Carolina Panthers: Chad Henne, Jake Delhomme's future in Carolina is questionable and David Carr was a flop, so the Panthers need someone to run the offense. Although Henne was somewhat streaky at Michigan, he seems to be one of the more NFL ready QBs in this year's draft, he has shown good arm strength and accuracy and decent decision making. Delhomme still has a year or 2 left and Henne can learn the ropes before he comes in to lead the offense.
44. Chicago Bears: Andre Woodson, Well, Rexie's back so what's not to love... everything. It's about time the Bears fixed their QB problem once and for all and although Woodson's stock has been falling, he is still good value here. He has a great arm and is an accurate thrower. He also shows the ability to move around in the pocket although he isn't much of a threat to tuck it in and run. Woodson easily has the most potential out of the QB class this year but concerns about his delivery and a mediocre Senior Bowl practice have cast doubt upon his ability to transition smoothly to the next level.
45. Detroit Lions: Eddie Royal, The Lions desperately need a compliment to Calvin Johnson, Roy Williams, Limas Sweed, and Shaun McDonald, and Royal will be a great 5th receiver in this league due his speed and the fact that Detroit only plays 3 receiver sets barring an emergency. Andre Caldwell ran a 4.37 40 so he is a possibility here as well.
46. Cincinnati Bengals: Marcus Harrison, So far this off-season, the Bengals have lost out on both Shaun Rogers and DeWayne Robertson, both times after each deal looked done, something tells me Harrison will hold out and demand a trade the way things are looking in Cincy. The bengals’ run D has been atrocious the last few years and while Harrison may not be a good pass rusher or a great playmaker, he is stout at the point of attack and can at the very least draw a double team when he doesn’t get to the backfield. His abilities against the run coupled with Cincy’s ineptitude in stopping it make him the pick over Red Bryant or Dre Moore.
47. Minnesota Vikings: Calais Campbell, At one point, Campbell looked like a sure first rounder with top 10 potential, but apparently he decided to get a reverse liposuction before the combine, his mediocre junior year makes him drop to Minnesota, whose awful ends will compel them to take a gamble on the mammoth Campbell. At 6’8” 290lbs, Campbell has the athleticism and size to be a force in the NFL but a disappointing junior year, and a bad combine make him fall here. Although his game speed is better then his timed speed and his pursuit is good, the 5.04 he ran at the combine was worse then some DTs.
48. Atlanta Falcons: Erin Henderson, The Falcons seem poised to lose Demorrio Williams and maybe Keith Brooking. Henderson would be a great replacement. He is quick, versatile, and has a mean streak that would help a soft falcons defense. Henderson also has ideal size to play any of the LB positions, which is a surprisingly rare trait among this year’s LB class. He doesn’t have the potential that NFL teams look for but he is a safe pick and will likely be a solid player for a long time.
49. Philadelphia Eagles: Sam Baker, The Eagles have already taken James Hardy in round 1, so the Eagles will replace Jon Runyan here. Sam Baker is a great value pick here, as he was once a 1st rounder in some mocks. Baker is smart, athletic, has good fundamentals, but questions about his toughness and durability cause him to fall into Philly's lap. Another possibility is a corner since Lito Sheppard is disgruntled and may hold out come training camp; Antoine Cason is surprisingly still available here and would be an absolute steal if he were taken.
50. Arizona Cardinals: Antoine Cason, Having already taken a corner, a running back to eventually supplant Edge is a possibility here but Cason is too good to pass up. Only the depth of this year’s CB class stops Cason from being a sure first rounder. Cason is a playmaker at corner who can also play safety, his knack for finding the ball makes him an attractive prospect but his lack of speed is still a question despite the 4.48 he ran at the combine. He may not be a true #1 at this point but he still has the ability to start alongside Mike Jenkins. Plus, he’s a hometown guy
51. Washington Redskins: Oniel Cousins, this pick may seem to be somewhat of a reach but Cousins would be a great fit for Washington. Jon Jansen and Chris Samuels have been solid anchors for the ‘skins O-line for nearly a decade but they aren’t getting any younger. Cousins may be raw at this point in his career, but he is very mobile and will stay with speed rushers at the next level. He also possesses great athleticism and the quickness to pick up LBs on the outside when needed. Given a year to learn the game behind Samuels and Jansen, Cousins could be a great lineman in Washington.
52. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cliff Avril, the Bucs are well known for their solid defense but they are getting older and could use a shot of youth at this point. Cliff ran a 4.5 40 at the combine, he is very athletic and is a hard worker who doesn’t give up on plays. If he lands in Tampa, he will also have the luxury of learning from Derrick Brooks for a couple of years. Avril’s only real weakness is the fact that he is heavily reliant on his speed and lacks other ways to get into the backfield. He is also weak against the run but if Avril is utilized as a rush LB, this problem will seem trivial at the next level. Avril has a lot of potential and could prove to be a steal late in the second round.
53. Pittsburgh Steelers: Chilo Rachal, the Steelers are aging all along their offensive line and although they got Jeff Otah in round 1, some questions remain along the interior of the line due to Alan Faneca’s departure. Rachal would seem to be a perfect fit in Pittsburgh, due to the mean streak with which he plays. He is very athletic and could make the transition to tackle if the need should arise. His durability is a looming question but the Steelers are deep along the O-line and could afford to play a few games with the backup guard on the field. His fundamentals are also unsound but his physical abilities make him worth the risk here.
54. Tennessee Titans: Donny Avery, This pick may turn some heads, since Lavelle Hawkins is still available, but Tennessee needs a bonafide deep threat to take advantage of Vince Young’s arm. Avery averaged 16 ypc during his senior season and has shown the ability to stretch the field with his speed. He isn’t a great option over the middle however and his fundamentals are questionable. He may never be more then a slot wideout but he has the potential to be a star if his talents are properly utilized.
55. Seattle Seahawks: Fred Davis, The Seahawks have had a hole at TE for a long time and could use a reliable pass catcher over the middle. Davis will never be a playmaker, but he has the skill and character to be a solid starter at the next level for a long time. He was the focal point of the offense at USC so his stats may have been somewhat inflated. Then again, he was the #1 option for a reason, his soft hands and route running skill make him a sure target when nobody’s open downfield. He should provide a nice safety blanket for the Seahawks’ passing centered offense.
56. Green Bay Packers: Jerod Mayo, Ted Thompson has done a good job of creating a well balanced franchise in Green Bay so the Pack can afford to take the best player available. The Packers have solid middle linebackers but Brady Poppinga will never be more then an average player and Mayo has the quickness to move outside. Mayo is very athletic and reliable as a tackler but he has not as of yet shown the ability to shed blockers well. He is great against the run but he is a mediocre pass rusher and should not play on blitz downs.
57. Miami Dolphins: Lavelle Hawkins, If the Dolphins do indeed decide to give John Beck another shot this year, he will need some weapons to get the job done, especially after trading Wes Welker and Chris Chambers last year. Hawkins’ timed speed is average at best but he is a playmaker who will get some nice yards after the catch. Hawkins is also a fine possession receiver despite his small frame and has shown the willingness to work the middle of the field and take a hit or two. He could stand to improve his route running and gain some weight but both of these problems are easy to fix.
58. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Laws, After trading Marcus Stroud, the Jags need someone to play alongside John Henderson. Laws is very athletic and can shed blockers with his hustle upfront despite his size. Trevor is a great tackler who racked up an astonishing total of 112 tackles during his senior campaign. He is average at best as a pass rusher and will not command the double team due to his deficiencies in the size department. Laws is smart and won’t give up on any play.
59. Dallas Cowboys: Brandon Flowers, Jacques Reeves was one of the worst nickelbacks in the league last year but even he was better then nothing. Terrance Newman is the only consistent player in Dallas’ secondary so any pick there would help. Brandon Flowers may be undersized, but he is very athletic and will go up for the ball with any receiver. His timed speed is below average but he has the instincts to prevent the serious mistake. He makes his share of plays but his aggression will cost him at times, he is similar to what Eagles corner Asante Samuel was at this point in his career.
60. Indianapolis Colts: Red Bryant, The Colts’ biggest need is at guard but Chilo Rachal is off the board so they will have to wait on that one. That said, the Colts are small on the interior of their D-line and could use some added bulk up front. Red Bryant is huge and strong and is able to get into the backfield quite well. He is also quite capable of occupying multiple blockers with his size and strength and will work hard at the point of attack. Red is a real leader and can really fire up his teammates in the huddle. Bryant is somewhat inconsistent. He can be a non factor at times.
61. Green Bay Packers: Dre Moore, The Packers traded starter Corey Williams to Cleveland and need a replacement at DT. Moore plays with an edge up front and will make his presence known. His strength will allow him to penetrate on running plays but his technique is still pretty lacking. He is surprisingly quick for his size and will chase down some plays from behind when he is beaten up front. He is somewhat of a workout warrior whose on the field determination has been brought into question.
62. New England Patriots: Ray Rice, Chris Johnson is still available here and he would seem to be the logical choice to compliment Laurence Maroney, but Johnson is a one year wonder and a workout warrior who hasn’t shown the toughness and durability of a starter in the NFL. Rice is small at 5’8” but he is hard working and incredibly productive. He is a hard nosed runner who will stay on his feet after initial contact and has the instincts to read plays consistently. He hits holes with authority and delivers a blow on contact, he seems to be the kind of hard working competitor that Belichick likes to have on his teams. Wear and tear on his legs may prevent Rice from being a feature back but he is a more then capable tandem back at the next level.
63. New York Giants: Phillip Wheeler, Kawika Mitchell took a mammoth contract from Buffalo so the G-men really need a replacement inside. Wheeler is a sideline to sideline defender who shows the instincts to read plays before the snap. He is also a big hitter who can lay the lumber when given the opportunity. Wheeler is a very good pass rusher, especially for an ILB, his skills in that respect make him incredibly versatile, as he has shown the speed to play rush LB on blitzing downs. However, he struggles in staying with TEs in man coverage and should consequently not be used on obvious passing downs.
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