Wednesday, December 10, 2008

NFL Week 15 Mock Draft

Draft order reverse of my Week 15 NFL Power Rankings

1. Detroit Lions 0-13

If Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford comes out, the Lions need to take him. The Falcons proved this season, with Matt Ryan, that when you have a good quarterback, you can mask up a bunch of other holes, which the Lions, at 0-13, certainly have. If Bradford can do what Ryan did this year for the Falcons, and management can bring in some small name, but helpful free agents, like Atlanta did with Michael Turner, and the Lions can be smart with their 2nd first round pick, from Dallas, as Atlanta did when they took Sam Baker, the Lions could once again be a respectable team very quickly.

2. Cincinnati Bengals 1-11-1

When healthy, the Bengals’ passing game alone can win them games. Unfortunately, Carson Palmer has been injured so that hasn’t happened. Ryan Fitzpatrick stepped in and has met turf 36 times in 10 starts. It has gotten to the point where every week he plays in another year off his life expectancy. The running game is picking up a measly 3.3 yards per carry. All of this could be helped, if not fixed, by taking an offensive lineman. Mississippi OT Michael Oher sits here waiting to be drafted. He can keep Palmer healthy next season by stopping the opposing pass rush, bringing back that once formidable passing game. Along with a new running back, which they should use a 2nd or 3rd round pick on, or take either Chris Wells or Knowshon Moreno with a pick they get in return for Chad Ocho Cinco, if they choose to move him, this offense can bring this team back into the playoff race.

3. St. Louis Rams 2-11

The Rams have the same problem as Cincinnati. Marc Bulger is a frail injury prone quarterback, who takes a long time to get rid of the ball. On the left side of the line is frail injury prone Orlando Pace and on the right side of the line is a rotating door of frail injury prone right tackles. 350 pound Alabama OT Andre Smith should be able to help. He can play both right tackle and left and help to keep Bulger healthy so he can have a season like he did in 2006, the last time Pace, and therefore Bulger, was fully healthy.

4. Seattle Seahawks 2-11

Matt Hasselbeck is back, I don’t know why though. Every time he looks up to pass, there’s no one there. It is no longer at the point where they are taking random wide receivers and lining them up like it was earlier in the season, however, his top 2 options are Bobby Engram, 35 years old and counting, and Deion Branch, who hasn’t been healthy since 2005. After them, it gets even worse as Koren Robinson, Jordan Dent, and Courtney Taylor prove week after week that they just can’t catch the football. With Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree still in the board, they need to take him. He might be the most athletically gifted wide receiver prospect since Calvin Johnson, and that’s saying something.

5. Kansas City Chiefs 2-11

Imagine what it must be like to play quarterback against the Kansas City Chiefs. Drop back to pass, wait 20 seconds for the play to develop, oh there’s a little bit of pressure, finally, too bad I released the ball 15 seconds ago. The Chiefs have 6 sacks this season in 13 games. Jared Allen is gone and they need someone to lineup alongside Tamba Hali. Texas DE Brian Orakpo, one of college football’s most feared pass rushers, should help. He’ll take the pressure off of Hali, who had 7.5 sacks last season alongside Jared Allen, and solidify the pass rush from the other side.

6. Oakland Raiders 3-10

Allow me to step into the shoes of Al Davis for this selection. Hmm, I like fast and I like USC. That 6-3 230 kid just ran a 4.4 40, and he goes to USC, draft him now. That kid is USC FS Taylor Mays, who is an athletic free of nature. With Michael Huff now officially a bust, Mays could be his replacement and hopefully be a little bit less of a bust. He doesn’t fit a need necessarily for the Raiders, but Al Davis is going to fall head over heels in love with him after the combine, so Mays is the pick. If a sane owner were running the show, this pick would have to be Eugene Monroe. This offensive line is awful. Unfortunately for Raider Nation, one is not.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars 4-9

The Jaguars, as any 4-9 team, have a lot of needs. Interior linemen are much needed, but unless they want to draft Eugene Monroe and try to convert him into a guard, this is way too early to draft a guard or center. On the defense, interior linebackers are needed, with Mike Peterson on bad terms and a free agent this off season. However, the pass defense is still awful, ranking 27th in terms of yards per attempt. They tried to fix their pass defense with better pass rushers last off season, but that didn’t work. It’s gotten so bad that Drayton Florence has had to step in alongside Rashean Mathis. They need a long term cornerback to play alongside Mathis and who better that Ohio State CB Malcolm Jenkins. He’s the only cornerback worth taking here and he makes more sense for the Jags than Monroe or a linebacker like Rey Maualuga or James Laurinaitis.

8. Cleveland Browns 4-9

Their pass defense hasn’t been good either, 29th in terms of yards per attempt. There are three ways that can be fixed. Defensive end, attack the source of the pass, cornerback, defend the pass, or safety, and try to do a little of both. However, with Taylor Mays and Malcolm Jenkins gone, no defensive back merits selection here. With Brian Orakpo gone, it’s hard to see them taking a defensive end here either, though one could make a case for Michael Johnson. The other area they have struggled in is run offense. Jamal Lewis is 29 and averaging just 3.6 yards per carry. Jerome Harrison is a good change of pace back, but nothing more. They need to release Lewis and start fresh with a new back. Ohio State RB Chris Wells can take Jamal Lewis’ place as the primary back. Together, assuming Brady Quinn lives up to potential and they can improve their defense with what they get for Derek Anderson.

9. Green Bay Packers 5-8

What the Packers like to do is take best available. While defensive line is their biggest need, I doubt they’ll reach here for an end like Michael Johnson, though that might not be a huge reach, or a defensive tackle like Terence Cody. Virginia OT Eugene Monroe is the best player available here and he can really be a help to the Packers. He can play both tackle and guard. Their tackles combine to be 63 years old and while their guards combine to only weigh 605 pounds. The 21-year-old 325 pound Monroe can help with both. Their offensive line is in the bottom half of the league in terms of sacks allowed, despite having the swift Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, and the bottom third in terms of rushing yards per carry, despite having both Ryan Grant and Brandon Jackson at running back.

10. San Francisco 49ers 5-8

I originally liked the idea of the Niners drafting a quarterback, like Matt Stafford, and having him sit a year behind Shaun Hill and become the future of the team in 2010. They could still do that, but Hill has played very well of late, so they can address one of their many other areas of need. Wide receiver is one of those, but with other needs and a conservative coach, they aren’t likely to reach for Darrius Heyward-Bey or Jeremy Maclin. They need a corner, but it might be too early for Vontae Davis, though having both Davis brothers, Vernon and Vontae, might be a nice story. However, something tells me Mike Singletary wouldn’t like Vernon’s brother either. Defensive line is a major need. Justin Smith got big bucks and hasn’t lived up to it. If they were to draft a defensive end, like Georgia Tech DE Michael Johnson, some of the pressure would be taken off of Smith. Last year’s first round pick Kentawn Balmer could also move back to defensive tackle where he belongs, rather than play left end. That makes the most sense.

11. San Diego Chargers 5-8

The Chargers, despite their 5-8 record, do not have a lot of glaring needs, except for maybe offensive line. Eugene Monroe, as well as Andre Smith and Michael Oher, is off the board, so they probably should go that route and reach for someone like Jason Smith or Ciron Black. Because of that they can go the route of best available player that’s not a quarterback. That player would be USC MLB Rey Maualuga. Their middle linebackers could stand to be upgraded. Maualuga would be an upgrade both Tim Robbins and Stephen Cooper. He would fit well into San Diego’s 3-4 defense because he wouldn’t be the only middle linebacker out there. This way he wouldn’t be overwhelmed as a rookie and could ease into the system.

12. Buffalo Bills 6-7

The Bills decline this season is a head scratching one but I think it can be credited to their decline in pass defense. Their corners are fine, in fact they used a first rounder on Leodis McKlevin last year and he has done fine. However, with Aaron Schobel, injury and age, possibly done as an elite pass rusher for his career, they need to get a #1 pass rusher quick. Quarterbacks are getting too much time in the pocket against them. Mississippi DE Greg Hardy is the best pass rusher left on the board.

13. Houston Texans 6-7

The Texans need help everywhere on defense, except for right end, where Mario Williams has been a stud. However, they need to improve their defense fast, because their talented offense will just waste away if they do not. They can take best player overall, which in this case is Wake Forest OLB Aaron Curry. He’d certainly be an upgrade over both Morlon Greenwood and Zac Diles, who have 3 combined what I like to call skill stats for linebackers, interceptions, forced fumbles, and sacks. It’s no wonder Houston gives up 4.6 yards per carry, 26th best in the league. Curry and young up and coming Xavier Adibi, 4th round pick in 2008, could combine to make a great young outside linebacker duo.

14. New Orleans Saints 7-6

The Saints defense needs helps everywhere, most notably at outside linebacker, defensive end, and safety. Outside linebacker is out of the question, unfortunately, with Curry just going to Houston. Curry could have definitely helped them out a lot more. As for defensive end, Everette Brown is a possibility. However, Kevin Kaesviharn was starting at safety before he got injured. His replacement is going to be worse. That free safety position is a mess, and one that needs to be cleaned up quick otherwise teams will continue to beat them deep next season. They ranked 26th against the pass in terms of yards per game and with mega talent Missouri FS William Moore on the board, they need to take him. He helps them more that Brown would.

15. Washington Redskins 7-6

The Redskins are decent against the pass this year, but with DeAngelo Hall a free agent this off season and Shawn Springs being 34, they need to take a cornerback of the future. They really don’t have any other glaring needs, except possibly defensive end. However, that will have to wait, because Illinois CB Vontae Davis is still on the board. Davis has as much potential as any cornerback in the draft class. They need a future #1 to pair with Carlos Rogers. Rogers and Davis would be a scary duo.

16. Philadelphia Eagles 7-5-1

The Eagles line has been subpar this season, for an Andy Reid team, and it could get a lot worse with the possible free agent departures of both starting tackles, Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan. Even if neither leaves, they could use an offensive tackle of the future with Thomas and Runyan combining at be 69 years old. Baylor OT Jason Smith is a very raw offensive tackle with a lot of potential. He would make a lot of sense for them at this point. If it looks for sure like Runyan and Thomas will leave, this pick could be Ciron Black, a more polished offensive lineman who could step in right away. However, I’m making the assumption that they will be making this pick with the assumption of both returning and needing a future offensive tackle, who could step in if needed in 2009, if one were to leave.

17. Miami Dolphins 8-5

There’s no doubt in my mind their biggest weakness is defending the pass. However, unless Vontae Davis is still available, don’t expect them to reach for a corner. Especially if a middle linebacker like Ohio State MLB James Laurinaitis is available. Bill Parcells love his linebackers and they need a long term middle linebacker to replace Zach Thomas, now in Dallas, alongside Channing Crowder. This could also give them to option to move Crowder outside and trade Joey Porter while his value is at its peak, which would definitely be a classic Bill Parcells move.

18. Atlanta Falcons 8-5

It’s amazing what good quarterbacks can do. Matt Ryan single handedly masked all of the Falcons other weaknesses that were so glaring last off season. However, just because he masked them, doesn’t mean they are gone, and they still have a huge hole right in the middle of their defense line at defensive tackle. Plugging that hole with 355 pound Alabama DT Terence Cody makes a lot of sense, especially since the Falcons are still giving up 4.9 yards per carry, good for 3rd worst in the NFL.

19. Chicago Bears 7-6

It’s weird to think of the Bears as not have a good pass rush or defensive ends, because that’s been their signature for years, but that is the case this season. No end has more than 5 sacks this season. Florida State DE Everette Brown, who has 12.5 sacks this season, should help them regain their once great pass rush in this era of speed rushers. Brown runs a 40 in the 4.5s.

20. New England Patriots 8-5

Deltha O'Neal, Lewis Sanders, Jonathan Wilhite, that is the group of cornerbacks that the Patriots have on their roster to play alongside Ellis Hobbs. That needs to be fixed now. Safety and linebacker can wait, the Pats are 28th in the league in yards per passing attempt allowed. Vanderbilt CB DJ Moore might be a bit of a stretch, but they need a cornerback here and he's the best available. He's not a huge stretch and he's better than anyone other than Hobbs.

21. Minnesota Vikings 8-5

The Vikings need a right tackle, but that will have to wait, even with Ciron Black still on the board. Georgia QB Matt Stafford is still on the board. Due to a lack of need at the quarterback position, Stafford has fallen right to the Vikings who need a quarterback. Tavaris Jackson is not the answer; Gus Frerotte is merely a stopgap, a 37-year-old stopgap. Stafford can spend a year as Frerotte’s backup, mature on the bench, and then take over the team in 2010. He won’t be counted on doing too much, with Adrian Peterson to hand the ball to, but he should have the ability to lead his team with his arm if it’s needed. Just imagine how deadly AP will be if opposing teams can’t stack the box anymore. There’s always some potential for bust with a quarterback, but with Stafford, the reward definitely outweighs the risk for the Vikings.

22. New York Jets 8-5

Brett Favre won’t last forever; he could retire any day. They don’t have a successor for him now that Chad Pennington is in Miami. They need one quickly, otherwise they would have to sign one from the always less than stellar free agent class or hand the keys to the team over to Kellen Clemens and his career 59.3 passer rating. They could take one in the 2nd round, but with Florida QB Tim Tebow available they shouldn’t hesitate to draft him. Tebow needs time to mature and a quarterback to learn the game from. There won’t be a team that gives him more time to mature than the Jets will and there isn’t a quarterback active that you will learn more from than Brett Favre, as a young quarterback. Just look at Aaron Rodgers.

23. Denver Broncos 8-5

Andre Hall, Michael Pittman, Selvin Young, Ryan Torain, and now Peyton Hillis, those are all running backs that the Broncos have put in IR this year. They need a steady, stable back for the future. With Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno available, and their lack of a steady running back, the Broncos should take him here. He and Cutler will make a nice quarterback, running back duo.

24. Arizona Cardinals 8-5

Running back is a need for them in the first round, but unless Wells or Moreno fall to them, not likely, they are going to have to pursue other options in the first round. With Tim Hightower’s emergence, they can wait until the 2nd or 3rd round to get a speed back to play off of Hightower’s power running. Ignoring their running back need for now, their biggest needs are interior offensive lineman and defensive end. No interior offensive lineman merits selection here, so they should focus on a defensive end, seeing as their starters have combined for 5.5 sacks. South Florida DE George Selvie is the best player available at this point and fills a need for the Cards. He also could move to outside linebacker if they want him to.

25. Detroit Lions (via DAL) 0-13

The Lions have defensive issues, but they should postpone those until the 2nd round. They should really look to follow Atlanta’s model from last off season. I already have them taking their franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford, now they need a franchise left tackle. LSU OT Ciron Black is long overdue to be drafted. He is not a natural left tackle, but can certainly play there. This would allow them to move Jeff Backus inside to guard where he belongs and successfully upgrade two positions at once.

26. Baltimore Ravens 8-5

What happened to Mark Clayton? Suddenly Joe Flacco's only option is 34-year-old Derrick Mason. They need a wide receiver to breathe some live into that receiving core and who better than Maryland native Maryland WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, who is 6-2 and runs a 40 in the 4.3s. He has slipped way too far and Baltimore should take him to help out Joe Flacco.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9-4

Joey Galloway and Ike Hillard were the starting wide receivers to start the year. They were a combined 69 years old and both lost their starting jobs. Antonio Bryant and Michael Clayton will prove that this year is a fluke for both of them with a year, Bryant possibly even with another team seeing as he’s a free agent this off season. Percy Harvin is the best wide receiver available in terms of talent, but he’s small, injury prone, and inconsistent, which the Bucs are not looking for right now. Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin might be a bit of a reach, but he is the best fit. If Colt McCoy comes out, don’t be surprise if Jon Gruden drafts him on his magical search to find a flawless quarterback. However, I believe McCoy when he says he’s staying for his senior year.

28. Indianapolis Colts 8-5

They used to be able to stop the run. What happened? Even with Bob Sanders back they are still one of the worst run defenses in the league. They definitely need a defensive tackle. They were so desperate to get one at the trade deadline, they traded for Bills cast off John McCargo, before he failed his physical and the trade didn't go through. They are going to make a run at Albert Haynesworth this offseason, but that's no guarantee. The best defensive tackle available is questionable. Fili Moala, Sen'Derrick Marks, and Peria Terry are all possibilities, but Auburn DT Sen'Derrick Marks fits the Colts system better and I think is the best of the three against the run.

29. Pittsburgh Steelers 10-3

Their line was bad last year. Then they lose Alan Faneca and did not replace him. Now, Ben Roethlisberger gets sacked every time looks up seemingly and Willie Parker is struggling without that dominant run blocker to set up his cuts. They need to fix that; the fact that Oklahoma OG Duke Robinson is still available here only adds to that argument. Add in the fact that they have no other real needs and you have a team that needs to draft Duke Robinson.

30. Philadelphia Eagles (via CAR) 7-5-1

This pick might not stay Philly's as they have two picks this year in the first round, and one could possibly be traded to Arizona for Anquan Boldin. However, this they keep it, there's a good chance that they use it on a tight end. There were some rumors, last draft, that Philly might trade their pick to Cleveland for Kellen Winslow Jr. That never happened and they traded the pick for a first rounder this year and some lesser picks last year. Still, LJ Smith might be one of the worst starting tight ends in the league and now it appears he is on bad terms with Andy Reid and might not be brought back this off season. There are plenty of tight ends that have late first to early second round potential, but the one I think is best is Oklahoma State TE Brandon Pettigrew. He is a good receiving tight end, with the potential to be like Kellen Winslow or any other good receiving tight end. If Dustin Keller can go first round in 2008, Pettigrew can go first round in 2009.

31. New York Giants 11-2

Their defensive ends are amazing. They lost Michael Strahan to retirement and Osi Umenyiora to injury and they still rank 2nd in sacks. Justin Tuck is a pro bowler for sure, Mathias Kiwanuka might be too. However, with Kiwanuka moving up to defensive end, they lost a lot of the strength of their outside linebackers, forcing them to start Danny Clark, and since it looks like Kiwanuka is a defensive end to stay, they need to address that issue. Their outside linebackers have combined for two, count it two, interceptions, sacks, or forced fumbles this season. USC OLB Brian Cushing is the only outside linebacker, and therefore one player, who merits selection here. He could really breathe some life into their linebackers, and move Danny Clark, who in his career, 130 games, has 10 combined sacks, INTs, and forced fumbles, and has been cut by the Raiders because Al Davis didn't even think he could play defense, back where he belongs.

32. Tennessee Titans 12-1

The Titans could use a defensive tackle in case Albert Haynesworth bolts, but both cody and Marks have been drafted already. I see no point in them drafting one when they have other needs. Nick Harper is 34, so they should look at potential replacement options for him at cornerback. They don’t have a true one within the organization so they should use this pick to take Virginia Tech CB Victor Harris. He has the potential to be groomed into that future #2 cornerback alongside Cortland Finnegan.

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Blogger zappa said...

I like every selection of your mock, even the Jets' one. I'd like you post a secound round can you? bye.

December 11, 2008 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger Nathaniel said...

The Lions should use the dolphins as their model, not Atlanta.

December 11, 2008 at 11:39 AM  
OpenID cjkoenig said...


December 11, 2008 at 1:03 PM  
Blogger Geoff.Etchison said...

You seem to have forgotten Demeco Ryans in your "everyone sucks but Mario" statement...I mean, he's easy to forget, being a Pro Bowler and all...

December 11, 2008 at 1:23 PM  
Blogger Steven Lourie said...

zappa: thanks, i am planning on doing a new first round bye for weeks 16 and weeks 17, and then after draft round is announced, i will do a full draft, rounds 1-2, and possibly round 3
nathaniel: i honestly think the falcons are better suited for the future than the dolphins
cjkoenig: crabtree is not unproven, he's been the best college receiver in his first 2 years in school, the hawks need to get playmakers for hasslebeck
geoff: oops, i did forget ryans, he is certainly one of the more underrated players in the league

December 11, 2008 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger S. said...

Finally someone who understands the needs of the 49ers. The need a DE/OLB who can pressure/disrupt the offense. OL isn't as big of a need nor is QB. WR's have a a good combo of old guard (Bruce) and young blood (J. Morgan & J. Hill). They get zero pressure without great coverage (ie. coverage sacks) or blitzing, so a pass rusher is #1 priority.

January 1, 2009 at 10:10 PM  
Blogger Bradley said...

The Colts are def. in need of a DT. They are also in need of a RB and another top WR. In my opinion, if the Colts want to avoid another one and done in the playoffs, they will get a big sloppy DT to clog up the middle and stop the run. The Colts' offensive production will always be stellar, now its time to fix the D.

March 22, 2009 at 7:00 AM  

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