Well, I decided to change things up a bit. I've decided to do my Gamma Mock as a standard article, to see how it turns out. That, and I don't have near enough time to go searching for pictures at the moment. So, I thought it would be easier to just find one picture and write my article this way.
As always, criticism is welcomed and encouraged, as long as it is constructive.
Note: I couldn't find any draft order based on standings, so this order is based on regular season standings, ties broken with preseason strength of schedule. Also, this version is only one round. I won't add a second round again until after the Senior Bowl.
- Cleveland - Jake Locker, QB, Washington
This pick has to be a quarterback if Cleveland is picking first overall. No one's denying that. I mean, Brady Quinn has been awful this season, but he gets the start tonight because Derek Anderson has been even worse.
Now it's a matter of Jake Locker or Jimmy Clausen. I went with the former because Locker has more upside, and even though I think Clausen's a better prospect, Cleveland won't be competitive for a while, so they can afford to go with upside over polish. Plus, in the wake of the Brady Quinn thing the Browns might be scared to invest in another Notre Dame QB.
- St. Louis - Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
Like Cleveland, St. Louis desperately needs a new QB. However, unlike Cleveland, St. Louis has pieces in place to be a legit team soon (Steven Jackson being a big part of that), so they can afford to go for polish over potential. Clausen is the most NFL-ready QB in this class. He has great accuracy and pocket presence to go with more-than-serviceable arm strength. The most impressive thing I've seen from Jimmy Clausen is he has steadily progressed each season at Notre Dame, improving his game at a steady rate. Plus, having been thrown into the fire his freshman year behind an awful offensive line, to be where he is today shows that he has elite intangibles such as mental toughness and football IQ.
If the draft order is like this, or similar to this, don't be surprised to see San Francisco using both of their first round picks to trade up to this pick and get Clausen.
- Detroit - Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma St.
Detroit already has their franchise quarterback, so it's time to protect him. Jeff Backus is not a LT. He' a good guard or RT, but an upgrade is needed. The only other option here is Eric Berry, but protecting Stafford should be Detroit's first priority this off-season.
- Tampa Bay - Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
The replacement for Warren Sapp the Bucs never found. If Nebraska wasn't so awful on offense, Suh could be in the running for the Heisman as a DT. He is one of only five elite talents in this draft class (Suh, Berry, Gerlad McCoy, Clausen, Okung), and he fills the Bucs biggest need, defensive line help.
- Oakland - Taylor Mays, S, USC
I've been mocking Travis Lewis here for a while, but I've decided to change it to Mays. Why? Al Davis. He loves height, weight, and speed. Taylor Mays runs a 4.36 (all 40 times projected) at 6'3, 235. Travis Lewis only runs a 4.48 at 6'2, 230. Plus, Travis Lewis addresses a need, and we all know that need means nothing to Al Davis. Taylor Mays could be converted to an OLB, anyway. In fact, Mays may be a better fit there in the NFL, anyway.
- Kansas City - Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
With Russell Okung gone, this pick is a no-brainer. The Chiefs just need to obtain talent. And, with Haley foolishly cutting Bernard Pollard, safety is actually a need now. Berry could be the Ed Reed- or Troy Polumalu-type difference-maker for a young but talented Chiefs defense.
- Seattle - Ryan Mallet, QB, Arkansas
This pick was a close call between Mallet, CJ Spiller, and Bruce Campbell. Spiller is eliminated because of the depth of talent/lack of need for the position. So, we're down to Mallet and Campbell. Campbell's injury history may scare some teams, especially teams who need a LT currently because their former LT was injury prone (i.e. Seattle). So, that leaves Mallet, who reminds a lot of people of Joe Flacco. I think his arm strength is slightly overrated, but I think with a year to sit behind Matt Hasselbeck (assuming he comes back for another year), he would get the learning curve he'll likely need to be successful.
- Washington - Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
A lot of NFL people (Bill Parcells, Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden, for example) are calling Tebow a first round pick. Dungy even went as far as to call him the best QB prospect in the draft. That leaves little doubt in my mind that someone will take Tebow in the top 10. But who? Daniel Snyder loves big names, and Jason Campbell is already in the doghouse. I considered Campbell here as well, but decided against it for similar reasons to Seattle.
- Tennessee - Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
Lucky Tennessee. Thanks to a couple idiots drafting ahead of them, they are able to get one of the top five prospects at nine. McCoy would make Tennessee soon forget about Albert Haynesworth. He's obviously not as big, but he is every bit as talented, and he doesn't come with all the baggage and character issues that Haynesworth did.
- Buffalo - Bruce Campbell, OT Maryland
Buffalo, along with so many other teams, desperately needs a quarterback. Unfortunately, there's no QB worth taking here. Plus, Buffalo's owner may be too cheap to pay a QB top-10 money. So, they get a replacement for Jason Peters, whom they wisely traded but foolishly failed to replace.
- Denver (from Chicago) - Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
It's time to start mocking a QB to Denver again. Kyle Orton has been serviceable, but has been exposed recently as a liability. Plus, his injury history is not a pleasant sight to behold. So, Mishandles takes "his guy" here. Mishandles' offense requires a QB to have little arm strength and check down, which is why Orton was successful early and Mishandles went after Matt Cassel (who, may I say, is an epic failure). Colt McCoy definitely fits that billing, although I don't believe McCoy should get drafted at all.
- San Francisco - Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
San Francisco needed tackle help before Staley got injured. Seriously, Adam Snyder and Tony Pashos? An upgrade is desperately needed.
- NY Jets - Jerry Hughes, RLB, TCU
Rex Ryan takes his new Terrell Suggs. I finally got to see Hughes against Utah and it was clear that he is far and away the most talented pass rusher in the college game. With a great combine and Senior Bowl, Hughes could climb into the top 10, maybe as high as top five if a team like Kansas City is picking up there and falls in love with him.
- San Francisco (from Carolina) - Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Once again, no QB worth taking here, so the 49ers draft for talent and depth with Joe Haden, who is my No. 1 in a relatively weak CB class.
- Miami - Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU
Brandon LaFell has done nothing this season that has made me question putting him as my No. 1 receiver this season. He's a better route runner than Bryant, has better hands than Benn, and has 5" on Golden Tate. Plus, 4.4 speed at 6'3, 210 is more than suffice for the NFL. It's been pretty clear this season that Miami has one of the worst WR corps in the NFL. When your premiere receiver is Ted Ginn, you have problems.
- Green Bay - Charles Brown, OT, USC
Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 41 times this season.
- Baltimore - Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma St.
The Ravens could go a lot of different ways with this pick. They could go CB and take a guy like Ras-I Dowling. They could get NT depth and grab Terrence Cody. They could get a running mate/replacement for Ray Lewis and take Rolando McClain. However, their biggest need is WR. Derrick Mason will likely retire this offseason, and even if he doesn't, help is needed opposite him.
- Houston - Brian Price, DT, UCLA
The signing of run specialist Bernard Pollard has improved the Texans' run D, but they still need help up front. A DL with Mario Williams, Amobi Okoye, Price, and Antone Smith would definitely help the Texans bring down the hated Colts in the division.
- Jacksonville - Ras-I Dowling, DB, Virginia
The Jags still need help in their secondary. Dowling would give them a versatile guy they could put in any of the four DB positions they chose.
- NY Giants - Earl Thomas, S, Texas
Kenny Phillips is good, but somewhat injury prone. Meanwhile, CC "Can't Cover" Brown is on the other side. The former Texans reject needs to go.
- Philadelphia - Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Jason Peters has done OK this season. Shawn and Stacey Andrews, however, epitomize failure and need to be replaced. They take the first replacement here. I considered Jermaine Gresham here as well, but Celek has been impressive this season.
- Atlanta - Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
With Greg Hardy's extensive injury history, I've moved him down my rankings a little bit, making Morgan my highest rated DE. John Abraham is a beast, but help is needed on the other side, as Jamaal Anderson was moved inside to DT recently thanks to a combination of ineptness at DE and lack of DT depth.
- Seattle (from Denver) - CJ Spiller, RB, Clemson
Julius Jones shouldn't be starting for anyone. Ever. The world knows now that Marion Barber was the reason Jones was successful, not vice versa. CJ Spiller is a borderline elite talent, but falls because of the lack of RB need in the NFL right now.
- San Diego - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd are both free agents at the end of the season. I doubt both are brought back. San Diego loves big receivers, and at 6'3, 235, Thomas qualifies. He's a little raw, but the potential is there.
- Arizona - Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
If Matt Leinart got another shot with Boldin, Fitzy, and Gresham, there's no way he could fail unless he had no talent. Which is possible.
- New England - Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
Randy Moss and Wes Welker are the best in the game at their craft. However, Moss is getting older (he'll be 33 at the start of next season), and Welker is best in the slot. Tate makes the most sense here because he has all the things a rookie WR needs to succeed right away: hands (strongest hands I've ever seen at his size), route running, production (two 200-yd games this season), and knowledge of a pro-style offense. He could be that elusive No. 2 starter that the Pats have been looking for.
Plus, the Pats have the Raiders 2011 first round pick, which could easily be top fiveThey could get Moss' replacement there, when Michael Floyd, AJ Green, and Julio Jones all come out. Which one? Whoever they like. Personally, I'd get Floyd to pair with Tate, because it just makes too much sense. Housh and Ochocinco were paired in college and in the pros, and looked how they worked out. Tate and Floyd, to go with Welker (who is only 28) would make Brady's twilight years seem easier.
- Pittsburgh - Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
I still can't believe the Steelers didn't find a replacement for Willie Colon. It was fun watching him get abused by Robert Geathers and Antown Odom in their first game vs. the Bengals this year. An upgrade is desperately needed.
- Dallas - Vince Oghobaase, DE, Duke
Dallas still hasn't found a replacement for Chris Canty. No, Igor Olshansky isn't it.
- Cincinnati - Trevard Lindley, CB, Kentucky
Without a whole lot of needs outside of TE, the Bengals can afford to go (BPA). Lindley is the BPA that isn't a linebacker, and with Dhani Jones, Rey Maualuga, and Keith Rivers, they're pretty set at LB.
- Minnesota - Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware
If he declares, the Vikings would be foolish to pass on Devlin. If Favre comes back, he could sit behind Favre for a year and learn the offense. If Favre retires again, then QB should be the Vikings top priority as they have no other QB on the roster that deserves a starting job.
- New Orleans - Travis Lewis, LB, Oklahoma
Far and away the BPA right here. Scott Fujita will be 31 next year, and is a free-agent at the end of the season. Even if they bring back the oft injured Fujita, Scott Shanle hasn't been terrible, but could stand to be replaced.
- Indianapolis - Kris O'Dowd, C, USC
Jeff Saturday will be 35 next season. An heir should be considered here, especially with no DT worth this pick. However, if there's one person who I wouldn't question their pick, no matter who it is, it's the Bill Polian.
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