With the draft upon us, it’s time for Doc B’s quasi-annual mock.
1. Oakland: It sez here that despite all signs pointing for months towards the Raiders picking the big LSU QB with the first pick, a guy with high “bust” potential, they will ultimately come to their senses and pick the Ga. Tech WR, who is the odds on favorite from this draft to someday have a bust in Canton.
2. Detroit: The Lions are hopeless and with WR Johnson gone, their #2 slot suddenly loses its luster. They had great hopes of auctioning it off once the Raiders took QB Russell. Now they’re stuck with the consensus safe pick, OT Thomas.
3. Cleveland: QB Quinn wants the Browns but do the Browns want him? Russell did a youth camp with current Browns GM. It’ll be one of the two.
4. Tampa: Chuckie can’t believe he won’t have Johnson. Takes DE Gaines.
5. Arizona: Really wanted Thomas but will settle for something on D, like DT Okoye or try to trade down and pick OT Brown.
6: New England: Yes, New England. They trade CB Samuel and one of their first rounders to jump up here and snatch S Landry (and still have one more pick at the bottom of the first round. Skins love splurging on the most expensive player-du-jour and that guy is Samuel. They also get another pick out of it, which is essential for them.
7: Minnesota: They’ll take the second QB.
8: Atlanta: Don’t really know but RB Dunn won’t last forever, so maybe they’ll take RB Peterson to take some pressure off QB Vick.
9: Miami: Don’t care.
10: Can’t even remember who picks here.
11: Frisco: I’m thinkin’ they take DL Carriker for his versatility.
24 or 28: New England: With any luck there will be a decent ILB still on the board (Miami, Fla.’s Beason?) or a tempting WR. Some think they’ll go OT if either Brown (unlikely) or Staley (maybe) is still available.
That’s all for this year. First pick might already be made by now…
3 thoughts on “Mock The Draft”
First day highlights from Rector-backed teams:
Pats had a great first day by looking to the future. This draft has been widely panned as one of the worst, talent-wise, in recent memory. The Pats filled a need at S with one of their first-round picks (the controversial “low-character” Meriweather of Miami, Fla. — I think they’re counting on veteran leader SS Harrison to keep him in line) and then got the hell out. Traded the 28th pick for the 49ers’ 4th-rounder this year and first-rounder next year (which figures to be a lot higher than 28th and in what will almost inevitably be a more talent-rich draft). Then traded their late 3rd-rounder for the Raiders’ 3rd-rounder next year (again, it figures to be higher value) and a 7th this year. The bottom line for the best-run team in football is they looked at this year draft and said to themselves “Let’s be really aggressive in free-agency this year, rather than trying to fill a lot of needs in the draft.” They’ve still got eight 2nd-day picks, so they’ll be able to bring in a bunch of guys to compete for back-up, long-term development, or special-teams roles. They’re pretty much set for ’07 otherwise.
49ers got the best LB of this year’s crop (Ole Miss’s Willis) and traded up to grab OT Staley of C. Mich., who was widely considered to be the third-best OT before a steep drop-off to #4. Staley was one of this year’s notable late risers, rocketing to first-round status just in the last couple weeks. The Pats were thought to be interested in him as well but obviously that wasn’t the case. Turns out their research indicates that small-school OLs rarely make an impact on Sundays. Indeed, while Staley likely had a fine college career dominating MAC DLs, only one of the 21 DLs selected in the first three rounds yesterday was from the MAC. However, film of this chap squaring off with Staley should be hard to come by since the fellow in question is Staley’s C. Mich. teammate, DE Baudin. Basically, the 49ers made their first-round picks from 2007 and 2008 yesterday, thinking that Staley was worth getting now compared to who might be out there next year. But wait! They were able to play the wait-til-next-year game too, by picking up the Colts’ ’08 1st-rounder in exchange for their high 2nd-rounder — one more reason for 49ers fans to hope for a big Colts collapse this year (maybe Peyton Manning will come down with a severe case of the flu that keeps him out for a couple months). 49ers also picked a big, speedy WR and a DE/OLB type in the 3rd.
Falcons played things much more conventionally but passed on new coach Petrino’s former Louisville stud DT Okoye to take a young DE with the 8th pick (Anderson of Arkansas). Also got highly rated OG Blalock and ball-hawkin’ CB Houston in the 2nd round as well as an obscure WR in the 3rd. Apparently the plan in Atlanta is to beef up the OL and Blalock should help there.
The Panthers pulled off the very first trade of the day, moving down from 14 to 25 in the first round, apparently not wanting to pay anybody they saw remaining on the board #14 money. They ended up with Miami, Fla. LB Beason, who was another late climber into the first round (and another guy rumored to be in the Pats’ sights altho he clearly didn’t rate as high as his teammate Meriweather on the NE board). They also grabbed a tumbling WR Jarrett, who had once been the consensus best-WR-after-Johnson before turning in sub-par numbers at the combine. He’s been compared to fellow Trojan Keyshawn Johnson and will now become his teammate. He started opposite WR Steve Smith at USC and will now pair with another (more famous) Steve Smith in Charlotte. You can’t make this stuff up. They also picked up the consensus best-C in the draft in the 2nd and a pass-rushing Georgia Dawg in the 3rd.
This wouldn’t be rectorsite.com if we didn’t include mention of the Browns (sorry W, no Bengals), who were among the biggest movers of the day. They famously passed on QB Quinn at #3, taking OT Thomas instead, but rushed back into the fray at #22 to trade their next year’s first-rounder to the ‘Boys for the opportunity to take the free-falling Golden Domer. Dallas has got to love that trade, as one can easily envision another rebuilding year on Lake Erie. But the Browns and Quinn love it too, feeling that their future is bright, although they’ve got a lot of holes to patch and no first-rounder next year. They also picked a CB in the 2nd and are without 3rd & 4th-round picks. Their remaining picks figure to all go to the D (unless injured Louisville RB Bush falls to them in the 5th). Good luck to them. Maybe they can trade one of their late picks for a lightning-bottling machine.
Instead of moving up to get Landry, they get another safety with their first first. Then they juked back into the second day which started with …
“…and with the 110th pick of the 2007 draft, the New England Patriots select Randy Moss of Marshall…”
I like this pick, especially because Moss is seriously restructuring his contract in order to play for the Pats. I don’t believe that Moss is the egomaniacal cancer that TO is. I think he’s a moody talent who really wants to win, a la Corey Dillon. As he said at his press conference: “I have never been a selfish ballplayer. I’ve been selfish about winning.” (He also noted: “I’ve always considered myself to be the second-best receiver to come out of Marshall,” in reference to his potential new teammate Troy Brown.)
However, added to the Meriweather pick, and the history of some of their other new wideouts, the Pats “stable” environment will have to absorb a WHOLE LOT of new and possibly unstable players and they’re really rolling the dice with their big off-season moves. It will be fun to watch, no doubt, as will Ted Ginn, Jr. in the spotlight in Miami. I predict that Wes Welker will prove the better player over the next few years…
It will also be fun to watch how Troy Smith evolves into an NFL player for the Ravens, who stole him at the END of the fifth round! I think many people could be surprised by his ability — as Peter King points out, he’s as tall as Drew Brees, and at least that much of a winner. Other Buckeyes of note: DT Quinn Pitcock and WR Anthony Gonzalas will head into the Colts locker room together (I would have liked to see the Pats grab Gonzalas myself, but I guess Welker is supposed to become the sneaky possession receiver that Gonzalas may turn out to be); Antonio Pittman will have to compete with Deuce and Reggie to carry the rock for New Orleans.
Doc B mocks Moss and the 2nd day of the draft:
-> A 4th round pick for a guy as talented as WR Moss is an outright steal any day of the week. Low risk, high reward. If he forces yer hand, you cut him and all you lost was a 4th-rounder. I also don’t think the Troy Brown/Marshall connection can be overestimated. Most NFL guys are fanatically in the be-true-to-yer-school club and Moss is no exception (even tho he spent only two years at Marshall) and it looks like he’s willing to let Troy’s habits rub off on him. Moss also puts himself in a position of having a lot to prove. If he flops or screws up on a SB favorite with Tom Terrific throwing him the ball, he’s pretty much saying goodbye to a career that figures to pay him in something in the neighborhood of $20-$40M over the next five or so years. There are superstar head cases who seem not to grasp reality (e.g. TO) or be able to make rational decisions (paging Art Schlister) but I think Moss understands that that’s a pretty nice neighborhood and he wants to stay in it. He strikes me as a cocky guy who likes to talk smack and do his own thing but who also seems to understand the consequences of his actions (which generally include five-figure fines and bad press, neither of which he cares about). When it comes to jeopardizing his livelihood, he doesn’t seem like a guy who’s going to take a good situation for granted. And who knows, maybe he also cares about making the HOF, in which case he’s still lacking a few years’ worth of production, championships, and good behavior. Here’s hoping he’s wearing a gold blazer on a hot summer day in Canton in about 10 years’ time.
-> The Pats’ 4th-round pick, DT Kareem Brown, was not only first-round pick FS Meriweather’s teammate on the Hurricane defense, but Brown was also voted that defense’s MVP last year. (And, for the record, video shows him pulling people away from the fracas in the infamous brawl that made the stomping-mad Meriweather so famous.) If I was in someone’s draft room, I think I would give extra points to guys voted team MVPs. These votes are made by people who are close to the action from spring practice to bowl season and thus reflect what’s really going on both between the sidelines and in the locker room. There are also guys voted all-conference, conference player of the year, etc., who slip down the board because of slow 40s or low Wonderlics. These are also votes, usually made by coaches, based on what the guy did on the field over a whole season. Sure, some guys make all-conference on their name but those guys are already getting first-round hype in the draft on their name. But there’s clearly some less-known guys who work hard to improve and are recognized by their teammates and coaches but still slip (Pats’ new OLB Adalius Thomas is another example). Here’s what I would do: Look at all the guys who are the consensus first-rounders and ask the questions “Was he his team’s offensive/defensive MVP?” and “Was he all-conference at his position?” If not, find out who was b/c there might be a sleeper or two out there.
-> Speaking of all-conference guys, the ultimate all-conference prize is, of course, the Heisman (at least for offense). The Ravens stole Smith in the 5th. Here’s a guy who is a thrower, not a runner (altho I guess people assume he’s a runner b/c he’s black), who ran a legitimate pro-style offense in a tough conference and barely lost in the last two years. He and his team laid an egg in the BCS Bowl and suddenly he’s a 5th-round chump who doesn’t have what it takes in the NFL. I mean, where was JaMarcus Russell at Heisman time? Next time I’m in London, I’m going to find a bookie who will give me odds on Smith having a better career than Russell because I’ll take them. Forget about Quinn vs. Russell.
-> Another note about Kareem Brown: He looks to join fellow former-Hurricane NT Wilfork on the Pats’ DL, which should create a positive learning environment for a young guy trying to crack an NFL roster. I predict he’ll have a more productive career than yer average low-4th-rounder. Call me in 8 or 10 years and we’ll see if I’m right. Great name, too.