Archive for October, 2010

Kiper: “Locker will fall in the middle of the first round”

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Mel Kiper took part in his weekly ESPN draft chat yesterday, with a few interesting observations. He thinks there’s a chance Michael Floyd (WR, Notre Dame) and Jonathan Baldwin (WR, Pittsburgh) will not enter the 2011 draft. I disagree because I’m not sure their situation betters anymore next year and circumstance will be on their side now, it won’t be in 12 months time. He has some high praise for Rodney Hudson (OG, Florida State) – someone I’ve been talking about for a long time too. He also labels Nick Fairley (DT, Auburn) an “elite” junior prospect.

However, his most interesting comment perhaps involved Washington quarterback Jake Locker, when asked by a Seattle native named Keith how much his stock had fallen:

From being right there at the top. He was No. 1 on the board through the early portion of the season. Obviously, he fell after that performance against Nebraska. He’s played better. He fell from 7 to 8 this week. He’s going to be a nice QB. He needs to be coached up. Like all QBs, he’s going to need some time. He’ll fall in the middle of the first round. Luck and Mallett and Newton and the other juniors can’t go to the Senior Bowl. Locker is the only highly rated senior QB. I hope he’s at the Senior Bowl. He can start to improve his rating down there.

It’s interesting to note. A lot of draft pundits have been down on Locker from the start of the year and therefore rank him low accordingly. I spoke to one scout for a high-profile national draft website this week who told me he thinks Locker has ‘Clausen range’ stock and won’t be drafted until the 20-40 region next April. Kiper is amongst a few of the big names who ranked Locker very highly (#1 on his big board) at the start of the year and he still maintains praise for the Washington QB. However, even he is listing Locker amongst the mid-teens range at the moment.

I had Locker going first overall in my latest mock draft and I explained why in a bit more detail here. If Buffalo select first overall as many anticipate (0-5 record, tough AFC East schedule) they’re almost certainly going to draft a quarterback. There just aren’t enough alternatives. When 1-15 Miami passed on Matt Ryan in 2008, it’s because they felt Jake Long could be a long term fixture at left tackle. They also felt comfortable selecting Chad Henne in round two. There’s not a LT anywhere near good enough to go first overall this year and although there is some talent at defensive end, it seems unlikely Buffalo would consider a Da’Quan Bowers or Robert Quinn with the first pick – even if Bowers continues his run of nine sacks in six games.

Perhaps they would consider A.J. Green (WR, Georgia) – potentially the best overall prospect in the draft class? They like playmakers at the skill positions (see: C.J. Spiller). It could be an expensive investment at wide receiver. They would also have to be convinced by a prospect like Ryan Mallett later on in rounds 2-3. Clearly Mallett has the arm that would comfortably deal with the Buffalo weather, but would the Bills be willing to ignore the QB position with the #1 pick to gamble on filling that gaping black hole later on?

Maybe I’ll be proven wrong, but I have a hard time seeing Andrew Luck in a Bills uniform, for the reasons I gave in the Jake Locker article. If they absolutely must have a quarterback first overall and the options are Locker or Luck, I still think Locker gets the call. However, there are enough voices out there at the moment who seem to think Locker won’t be drafted that high. I also fully appreciate the issues they raise with Locker – namely his occasionally erratic decision making, his need to get out of the pocket so much and the nightmare performance against a good Nebraska defense. We’ll see if that changes over the next few weeks if Washington keep winning and Locker keeps performing like he did against USC and Oregon State.

Why Ponder’s return to form could be crucial

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

I watched Florida State’s defeat of Boston College last weekend and once again came away distinctly unimpressed by FSU quarterback Christian Ponder. He threw three picks, looked lost at times and for the fifth game out of six this season he failed to throw for more than 200 yards. He hasn’t got good arm strength, he isn’t that accurate and whilst mobile he’s certainly not the same level of athlete as Jake Locker or even Andrew Luck. Simply put, I just can’t place him on a NFL roster starting games at the next level. A solid backup? Perhaps. But I certainly feel he’s being over rated by those slating him for round one and right now, I wouldn’t take him in the first four rounds.

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay had this to say today:

There is clearly something wrong with Ponder. We don’t know whether it’s the lingering effects of an early-season triceps injury or something that has not been disclosed, but it’s hard to believe he has simply regressed to the point where he could become one of the Seminoles’ biggest liabilities.

The Eagles have a good defense and coach Frank Spaziani does a good job mixing up looks and confusing a quarterback’s reads, but three interceptions — and two other bad throws that were dropped by defenders — along with a fumble are unacceptable from a senior quarterback who is supposed to be at the top of his game.

Florida State was able to win despite Ponder’s miscues and he has half a season to turn things around, but he is far from a first-round lock and teams that would value him in a West Coast offense that emphasizes accuracy and good decisions were surely unimpressed. Ponder was not strong in either area against Boston College and he needs to shine in those areas in order to make up for a lack of ability to drive the ball down the field.

Assuming underclassmen Andrew Luck and Ryan Mallet enter the 2011 draft, they and Washington’s Jake Locker will clearly be the top three quarterbacks on the board. Ponder has a chance to play his way into the fourth spot but he has not helped his cause recently and needs to turn things around in a hurry.

Is an injury holding Ponder back? He certainly looked a lot better last year, especially against a UNC team still carrying a lot of it’s talented defensive prospects. However, you almost have to say if he is struggling he almost needs to stop playing to prevent further damage to his stock. Whilst some will appreciate the toughness of playing through the pain or not when 100%, this isn’t the kind of tape he wants scouts watching before the 2011 draft.

For the Seahawks to have a shot at drafting one of the ‘big two’ (although I have raised concerns with both Locker and Luck) without owning a top pick, they’ll need teams at the top of the draft to feel confident with alternatives. That could mean finding an answer via an existing veteran (trade of free agency) or settling for prospects in round two. Miami felt comfortable enough to pass on Matt Ryan in 2008 and take Jake Long first overall instead. They eventually drafted current starter Chad Henne in the second round and ran with Chad Pennington until he was ready to start. That year the second QB off the board was Joe Flacco who went 18th overall, despite a number of teams earlier in the draft having a prospective vacancy at quarterback.

So if you’re rooting for the Seahawks having a chance to draft Jake Locker or Andrew Luck next year, it might be worth hoping Christian Ponder, Ryan Mallett and Blaine Gabbert step up their performance.

Updated mock draft 10/19

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

This week’s update sees a change at the top. You can see the latest projection by clicking here or selecting ‘Mock Draft’ in the title bar.

Jake Locker has done enough since the Nebraska debacle to repair his stock and whilst his last three games haven’t been flawless, he’s flashed the kind of playmaking qualities that initially made him the big tip to go first overall. I already outlined here why I think Locker is better suited to Buffalo than Andrew Luck. I think there’s a good chance Carolina – if they continue to lose – will consider drafting a quarterback early too. There will be major coaching changes with the Panthers at the end of the season and who’s to say Jimmy Clausen’s face will fit with the new regime? It certainly didn’t fit with a lot of other team’s last April which is why he fell so much. I understand he wasn’t on Seattle’s draft board. Potentially there could be as many as 3-5 teams desperately hoping for a shot at the top two quarterbacks.

The Seahawks are not part of this projection as they’re taking a turn to be this week’s winners of the wide-open NFC West. If that happens, they’ll pick no later than 21st overall. Clearly in this situation it would be very difficult to get a shot at one of those two quarterbacks. I do believe it wouldn’t be unlikely this team would consider a bold move up the boards to have a shot at Locker or Luck – similar to what the New York Jets did to get Mark Sanchez. It’s important to remember though that the deal between NY and Cleveland in 2009 went through largely because Eric Mangini was prepared to accept less compensation in terms of picks to secure players he’d previously coached. Seattle would’t have that kind of luxury, meaning a more expensive return in terms of pure picks.

So what would be the alternatives for Seattle if they stayed put in this situation? I don’t think they’d consider Ryan Mallett, who I suspect will not go in round one due to character concerns. There would still be some value at cornerback, in this (early) projection Aaron Williams (CB, Texas) and Ras-I Dowling (CB, Virginia) are still available. It isn’t a particularly good tackle class, but prospects like Nate Solder (OT, Colorado), Joseph Barksdale (OT, LSU), Derek Sherrod (OT, Miss. State), Demarcus Love (OT, Arkansas) and Gabe Carimi (OT, Wisconsin) are players it may be worth monitoring as the year goes on if the Seahawks wish to add a book-end to Russell Okung with Sean Locklear’s impending free agency.

There would also be some possible value at receiver. I’m not convinced any of the ‘big names’ will go as early as originally expected because all have experienced issues this season. Julio Jones (WR, Alabama), Michael Floyd (WR, Notre Dame) and Jonathan Baldwin (WR, Pittsburgh) fit the bill as big targets who can get downfield, but I suspect all would be second round picks in an overall deeper class. Ryan Broyles (WR, Oklahoma) is a smaller, more agile receiver featuring in a much more productive offense who could actually be the second wide-out taken after A.J. Green (WR, Georgia).

Whilst listing these names though, at least to me it just further emphasises the need at quarterback. There are other holes on the team and we can discuss how they can be filled, but none will hold the team back more than future question marks at QB. Matt Hasselbeck remains in a contract year having turned 35 in September. Charlie Whitehurst is only playing on a two-year deal – albeit an expensive one. Whether Hasselbeck plays another year or two or not – it’s still an area that has to be answered sooner rather than later. What is the direction of this team at QB post-Hasselbeck? If the draft plays out like this next April, it may be impossible to answer that question. If one of the top-two QB’s drop even the slightest bit, then you have to wonder if this team will make the kind of statement move the New York Jets managed to do in bringing in Mark Sanchez and quickly establishing themselves as a power-house in the AFC.

To see the latest Seahawks Draft Blog mock draft click here. Let me know whether you agree/disagree and what direction the Seahawks should go if they can’t get a shot at the top QB’s in round one. Leave your messages in the comments section or email

Week seven review & thoughts on Cam Newton

Monday, October 18th, 2010

It was a contrasting weekend for quarterbacks again. Jake Locker’s performance against Oregon State further increases the likelihood he could go first overall. On the other hand, I’m not sure which team even drafts Christian Ponder after another hapless display, this time against Boston College. I also had the opportunity to watch two other ‘big name’ quarterbacks in Auburn’s 65-43 victory over Arkansas. Ryan Mallett left the game with a concussion after throwing just 15 passes for 96 yards and a score. It didn’t look serious and he shouldn’t miss any further time.

Funnily enough he was knocked out of the game by defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who’s having a productive year so far. I didn’t see enough in this game to justify a first round grade – he’s the type of solid, not spectacular interior defensive lineman you find in the 2-4 round range. He isn’t the type of player to be permanently in the opponents backfield like Brian Price last year and he’s not the most stout run defender either. Just a solid player who will carry some value after round one.

Some people asked about Cam Newton (QB, Auburn) and what he brings as a potential pro-prospect. He’s a Florida transfer who arrived at Auburn via the JUCO ranks. He has some background issues that would need to be cleared up. Personally, I wouldn’t draft him as a quarterback. Newton’s an amazing athlete with great size (6’6″, 250lbs). But he’s also a run-first QB and how many of those do we see in the NFL? It’s ok at Auburn to run 25 times like he did against Arkansas and put up 188 yards and three scores. He won’t be running endless QB draws at the next level.

He only attempted 14 passes on the day for 140 yards and a further TD. There are some technical flaws in the way he throws – mainly his tendency to almost always lean back and put his weight onto his back foot, losing a lot of potential zip and velocity on his throws. There’s talk he’ll consider entering the 2011 draft, but I don’t see the point. He isn’t going to be a first round pick at quarterback. I imagine he’ll eventually be drafted as an athlete, trained at another position whilst taking the occasional snap under center. A fun player to watch and a definite Heisman candidate, but not a high draft pick.

One big highlight in an entertaining game was Arkansas receiver Greg Childs. He had nine catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns in a much more productive performance than I’ve previously seen from him. He’s legible to declare as a junior and flashed good hands, an ability to create YAC after the run and polished routes. He’s not as explosive as teammate Joe Adams for pure speed, but he’s a more rounded prospect and deserves consideration maybe even in rounds 2-3.


Anthony Castonzo (OT, Boston College) is probably the best of a bad bunch at tackle. He didn’t struggle with leverage as much as I thought he would against FSU despite his tall frame. He has better power than I first though. However, one of the worst attempted cut blocks I’ve seen in a long time gave up a huge sack/QB hit on Saturday – a definite area to improve.

Gabe Carimi (OT, Wisconsin) and Cameron Heyward (DE, Ohio State) are exactly what I expected. Carimi isn’t a good fit at left tackle at the next level because he isn’t a great athlete and he’ll be susceptible to even an average speed rush. He should work out as a solid right tackle and therefore fall in the middle rounds. Heyward’s a bit over rated for me. He hasn’t got a great first step and lacks the speed to make up for it. He’s not physically dominating and only has one sack for the year.

Da’Quan Bowers (DE, Clemson) is someone I’m much higher on. He got three more sacks this weekend against Maryland taking his total to nine in six games. He’s on pace for 18 for the year and surely has to be a contender to be the first defensive end taken. A light has switched on for Bowers and he looks like the guy he was expected to be as a #1 overall recruit. Top ten pick.

Blaine Gabbert (QB, Missouri) is one to watch. He’s leading an unbeaten team despite being slowed by a hip pointer in recent weeks. He showed no signs of that at Texas A&M, passing for 361 yards at 31/47 and scoring three touchdowns. Missou won 30-9 and if you’re looking for a QB that might be available outside of round one with some value, Gabbert may be the guy.

Ryan Broyles (WR, Oklahoma) hasn’t had much attention this year, but he’s one to keep an eye on. He’s a junior and could declare with many more performances like he had in Oklahoma’s mauling of Iowa State. Broyles had 15 catches for 182 yards and a touchdown. He’s not got the size of Julio Jones, Michael Floyd or Jonathan Baldwin – but he’s excelling on a productive offense, has shifty seperation skills and good hands.

Michael Floyd (WR, Notre Dame) still worries me some. Nine catches and 157 yards against Western Michigan looks good, but his big 80-yard reception flashed a common problem – he body catches far too much. The coaching staff at ND have worked tirelessly on trying to improve Floyd this year, but he still runs sloppy routes a lot of the time and hasn’t become a dominant physical specimen. Right now, I’d be surprised if either Floyd or Jones land in round one. Baldwin might get a pass because of his team’s QB situation, but he’s borderline too.

Jake Locker is #1

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Jake Locker on form against Oregon State

I’ve been busy today and unable to get through a lot of the tape stashed from last night. I’ll have something on the blog tomorrow. A lot of people have been asking about Cam Newton (QB, Auburn) so I’ll have some thoughts on him. There are some red flags with Newton from his time with Florida that I’ll include here, but more on his game later.

One game I was able to watch part of last night was Washington’s win against Oregon State. Jake Locker passed for three touchdowns in regulation and a couple more in overtime. He went 21/35 for 285 yards and added a further 60 on the ground. He had a single interception and a fumble early on. Was it perfect? No. The critics will point to the way Locker has to get out of the pocket, his sometimes patchy decision making and lack of elite accuracy. What Locker did do was show off yet again his playmaking qualities and his ability to get the job done – which some have questioned.

With Andrew Luck on a bye week, this was a chance for Locker to show he’s still in the race to be the first QB taken next April. He took the chance with both hands. A lot of people think the Buffalo Bills will select first overall next year. They’re 0-5, play in a tough division and struggling badly. They’ll take a QB next year if they are picking first. As things stand today – I think they would take Locker over Luck for sure. Some thoughts as to why:

– Whether it should be a factor or not – their last great hope at QB (albeit as a third round pick) was Trent Edwards. He went to Stanford, like Andrew Luck. I’m sure they’ll analyse Luck separately and not base such a major decision on a factor like this. However, it’s not ridiculous to suggest it may linger in the decision making process, especially if two prospects are ranked closely on their board.

– Locker has a bigger arm and is more physically talented, something that might be crucial in the torrid Buffalo weather.

– Buffalo showed they’ll take playmakers with promise over steady, so-called ‘safer’ picks when they drafted C.J. Spiller.

But perhaps more importantly than anything I just think Locker has proved he’s capable of being the defining factor on his team. Both players are intelligent, hard-working types who are leaders in their respective programmes. I don’t think there’s much between the two in terms of accuracy (both not great) but Locker has the greater arm and is ahead as an overall athlete. It’s not Luck’s fault that he benefits from a strong running game and offensive line. Neither has he shown he can be ‘the star’. He doesn’t hold back Stanford, he helps them along. Locker wins games for Washington.

In a system like San Francisco with a more established run game and offensive line, Luck could have real success as a solid game-manager type. On a team looking for someone to launch a come-back, then I think they’ll go with the bigger playmaker with much greater potential upside. Maybe a bit riskier, but with potentially greater returns. Play to Locker’s strengths, let him develop in one system. Try and iron out the kinks or learn to live with them. I’m not sure Luck walks into Buffalo’s mess. At least Locker will come in and not be unfamiliar to the situation – trying to get the job done on a team without a loaded roster.

Of course the situation changes if Buffalo aren’t the first on the clock next April and there’s a lot of football to be played. However, as things stands today I believe Locker has done enough to get past that Nebraska performance and put himself very much back in the first overall discussion. When I write my next mock draft, there’ll be a change at #1.

Christian Ponder isn’t a high draft pick

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Let me qualify the title a bit better – I wouldn’t draft Christian Ponder (QB, FSU) in the first four rounds. In the 5-7 range I’d feel comfortable bringing him in, letting him learn the ropes and one day maybe being a solid backup. However, forget any talk of him going in round one or two. It isn’t going to happen. His performance against Oklahoma wasn’t a one off, Ponder was truly horrendous against Boston College today. He was completely bailed out by FSU’s defense and running game in a 24-19 win.

He went 19/31 passing for 170 yards, two touchdowns and three picks. A fourth pick (returned for a TD) was called back for a defensive lineman having his big toe in the neutral zone. Ponder has only passed for more than 200 yards once this season – during a 31-0 blow out against 2-5 Wake Forest. That’s SIX games where he’s not put up 200. A 243 yard, 2 score game against Wake Forest is hardly an eye catcher either. He’s on pace for a tight 2034 yards for the season, which isn’t enough.

Physically he’s left wanting and his decision making isn’t great either. Against BC he consistently failed to put velocity on any of his throws – short, medium or long range. A lofted deep ball down the right against single coverage? Floats it up for grabs. He hasn’t got a big arm so that’s understandable to an extent, if not what you necessarily want to see. But if you haven’t got the physical tools to be a difference maker then you have to be accurate and make good decisions. You simply cannot – like Ponder did today – toss little floaty slants over and over again that are just begging to be intercepted. It was bad enough after Ponder’s second interception – a careless short slant with the CB well placed to make the pick. He never learnt from that mistake and just kept throwing it out there with a definite ‘come and get me’ plea to any watching defensive back. A second pick was inevitable – it happened eventually, this time for a touchdown.

There are fundemental errors when Ponder throws his short slant. One – he doesn’t get it out of his hands with anywhere near enough juice. It needs to be a quick snap to the receiver, not a loose floated delivery two yards in front of the LOS because it will nearly always lead to the play being broken up or at worst – an interception return. Secondly – he needs to make a better judgement of the coverage and try to understand when to call off that throw and look for another target. A number of times he’d take a three step drop and without even looking elsewhere fire to his hot read. The result? His second interception and numerous other busted plays.

The ball not only doesn’t come out with enough velocity, it’s often a loose spiral too. The case in point – an easy throw down the right to one of his receivers who had done a good job settling in between two defensive backs. The throw comes out wobbling all over the place and forces the WR to bobble the ball as he catches it. His initial step is in the field of play, but because it’s such a difficult pass to grab he ends up juggling it and a solid first down in the red zone is a third down back near the 40. He also forces a lot of throws -as emphasised by the third pick, always sticking to one receiver and trying to fit into an ultra tight window despite the massive frame of Mark Herzlich blocking the way. It wasn’t an isolated incident, too often his throws were really forced.

There’s a lot of talk about Ponder’s athleticism, but he was a non factor in the running game and he’s not going to worry anyone in the NFL with his legs. He had -5 rushing yards from eight attempts and a long of nine yards. Ponder can move around a bit in the pocket, but that’s the extent of his abilities.

Neither physically great or accurate enough, it’s stunning to see some people still ranking him amongst the top forty picks for next year’s draft. Not happening.

I’ll have reaction to the other games on my weekend schedule by tomorrow after I’ve watched all of the tape, including thoughts on Anthony Castonzo (OT, Boston College) from this game.

Week Seven CFB preview

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Rodney Hudson is the nation's top Guard

I have four games on the schedule this week. Here’s what I’m looking at:

Boston College @ Florida State
It’s another chance to watch Christian Ponder (QB, FSU). I don’t think my opinion is going to change on him now, I have him in the mid-round range. This should be a win for the Seminoles, can he dominate in the passing game for the first time this year? I’ve made no secret of how much I like Rodney Hudson (G, FSU) and this will no doubt be another masterclass from the best offensive lineman in CFB. Anthony Castonzo (OT, BC) is possibly the best of a bad bunch of tackles. He’ll have a tough job against FSU’s defensive lineman Markus White and Brandon Jennings.

Ohio State @ Wisconsin
Cameron Heyward (DE, Ohio State) is a bit over rated for me. As a pass rusher, he’s not that great. He’s just a solid not spectacular lineman. He comes up against Gabe Carimi (OT, Wisconsin) who himself is a little over rated. I don’t think Carimi will play tackle at the next level, but this is an interesting little match-up to watch. DeVier Posey (WR, Ohio State) has seen his stock rising a little and should have another good performance. Terrelle Pryor (QB, Ohio State) doesn’t appear set to declare for the 2011 draft, but he’s having a much more improved season overall.

Arkansas @ Auburn
Nick Fairley (DT, Auburn) has five sacks and an interception so far this year and his stock is gaining momentum. This is a high profile contest where he can really put his name out there. Ryan Mallett (QB, Arkansas) has improved a lot this year – which isn’t being reported much. The numbers are a lot better, a lot more consistent. He showed his petulant side against Texas A&M last week, but he’s one quarter of bad football (vs Alabama) away from being unbeaten and a Heisman candidate. This is another big game against an unbeaten rival, so let’s see how he performs. Cam Newton is a dark horse candidate for entering the 2011 draft. He absolutely won’t – unless Auburn keep winning and he keeps performing.

Texas at Nebraska
The defense in Nebraska is packed full of talent and they should have a field day against Texas’ stumbling offense. I’m most interested to see if Jared Crick (DT, Nebraska) can step it up. He’s looked a mark less effective this year – not surprising since Ndamukong Suh is no longer part of the team. However, a lot more was expected of Crick than we’ve seen so far. Prince Amukamara (CB, Nebraska) has barely broken sweat this year. Nobody throws at him. It might be interesting to see how Texas’ secondary works out if they can force Taylor Martinez (QB, Nebraska). Keep an eye on Curtis Brown (CB, Texas) and Aaron Williams (CB, Texas).

If any of you are watching other games this weekend, feel free to let me know if anyone catches the eye, impresses or disappoints. Just send me an email or leave a post using the comment form. Here’s some of the other things to watch out:

-Can Ryan Kerrigan (DE, Purdue) continue his great start to 2010? He has six sacks in five games and it’s really helping his stock rise into good first round consideration. He faces struggling Minnesota.

-Another sack specialist is Jeremy Beal (DE, Oklahoma). He has seven sacks this season and 18 in his last 18 games. The Sooners take on Iowa State at home – a good chance to add to that total.

-It’s another big game for Jake Locker (QB, Washington). Oregon State visit Seattle and with Andrew Luck (QB, Stanford) on a bye, this is a chance for Locker to wrestle back some national attention.

Introducing the prospect tracker

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

There’s a new feature of the site I’d like to introduce today. The ‘Prospect Tracker’ will develop leading up to next April, but for now it lists the 2010 performances of a selection of 2011 draft prospects. It’s a good way to compare and contrast the different players. For example – which quarterbacks have the best completion percentage? Which running backs are most used in the passing game? Who’s making the big plays on defense?

As we go on I’ll relate to the stats and achievements in different articles. Using things like the Lewin Projection System for quarterbacks, we can discuss who is most likely to translate success into the pro’s. It should be an interesting feature given time. For now – check out the latest updated 2010 stats by clicking here or selecting the new ‘Prospect Tracker’ logo in the blog title bar.

Best pro prospect?

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Updated mock draft – 10/13

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

This week’s update has a few changes. Akeem Ayers (OLB, UCLA) and Ryan Kerrigan (DE, Purdue) continue to rise. Da’Quan Bowers (DE, Clemson) is in the top-20 for the first time after another impressive display at the weekend. Stephen Paea (DT, Oregon State) also makes an appearance and Bruce Carter (LB, UNC) is back after a few weeks’ absence. It remains only a top-20 projection rather than a full first round mock. I didn’t publish a mock draft last year until late November. I’ve started the mocks a lot earlier in 2010 mainly to start discussion and help publicise the new look for the blog. I anticipate moving to a full 32-picks in November.

You can view the latest 2010 projection by clicking here or selecting ‘Mock Draft’ in the title bar.

Seattle’s pick remains the same for the second consecutive week. At the moment, I’m struggling to look past the Seahawks making a big splash on a quarterback. There are other needs, but none come close to answering the question at QB. Here’s why…. (more…)