The thing about a mock draft is, it’s dominated by your own opinions and grades.
According to the Huddle Report rankings for 2013 — the #1 placed mock had 12 correct matches (team & player) and guessed 26 of the 32 players drafted in round one.
So really any mock is lucky to hit on 8-10 matches come draft day.
And that means when I put together my weekly projections, I might be taking players off the board that could be available at #32.
For that reason I wanted to look at Todd McShay’s latest mock for ESPN and see who was left at the end of round one.
You’ll need an Insider account to see the full two rounds, but here’s a list of some of the players who were gone by #32:
Morgan Moses (T, Virginia) — drafted by Miami at #19
Odell Beckham Jr (WR, LSU) — drafted by Green Bay at #21
Cody Latimer (WR, Indiana) — drafted by Kansas City at #23
Kelvin Benjamin (WR, Florida State) — drafted by Cleveland at #26
Joel Bitonio (T, Nevada) — drafted by Carolina at #28
Ra’Shede Hageman (DT, Minnesota) — drafted by Denver at #31
McShay had the Seahawks taking Xavier Su’a-Filo (G, UCLA) at #32. It’s a popular pick among national pundits but one I’m pretty sceptical about.
I highly doubt the Seahawks will take a pure guard in round one. Right tackle is a much greater need and any player drafted that early is going to need to be versatile enough to play multiple spots. Su’a-Filo played some tackle in college but projects as a pure guard in the NFL.
But more than anything I just think his tape is really hit and miss. Against Stanford — a game Daniel Jeremiah talked up on the NFL Network this week — I thought he got shoved around and actually looked a bit of a liability at times.
I don’t expect the Seahawks or anyone else to draft Su’a-Filo in round one. So who else might they target if McShay’s projection is fairly accurate from picks 1-31?
Here’s some of the other players who were still on the board that I included in my first round mock draft yesterday:
Ryan Shazier (LB, Ohio State)
McShay has Shazier leaving the board at #43 to the New York Giants
For me there are two issues with Shazier amid a ton of positives. Firstly, he’s not the biggest. He weighed 237lbs at the combine and looked in the best shape of his life at the Ohio State pro day. Yet on the field it looks like he played at a lighter weight (possibly in the late 220’s). Keeping the weight on during training camp and a long season might be a struggle for Shazier, and it could limit his role at the next level. He isn’t going to be playing middle linebacker in the 3-4 at the size he played in college.
The second issue is somewhat linked — his ability to get off a block and avoid traffic. Consistently on tape he gets swallowed up by blocks — it happens time and time again and becomes quite frustrating. It takes away his range and effectiveness. Any team that drafts him needs to protect him via scheme. The Seahawks would be a great fit, using him at the WILL and allowing him to roam the field and make plays in space.
On the plus side he’s a tenacious player who flies to the ball carrier, hits like a ton of bricks, he’s an effective blitzer and he’ll be a dynamo in coverage. Shazier’s a tone setter on defense and in the right scheme he’ll be a playmaker who forces turnovers.
Linebacker isn’t a massive need but with K.J. Wright and Malcolm Smith both free agents next year and Bruce Irvin potentially returning to the LEO — Shazier’s 4.3 speed and 42 inch vertical screams ‘Seahawks’. It’s just whether they feel the value’s there with a first round pick. Do they need to draft a linebacker that high?
Anthony Barr (DE, UCLA)
McShay has Barr leaving the board at #36 to Oakland
It wouldn’t be a shock if Barr dropped into round two. Despite a lot of generous talk during the college season — he’s ‘steak tartare’ as a pass rusher. He’s still learning his craft and developing the necessary skills to be an effective defensive end or outside linebacker. He has no counter move or upper body technique. He doesn’t use his hands effectively at all. There’s a degree of ‘hit and hope’ to his tape where he tries to win with athleticism and if it doesn’t work — well it doesn’t work.
Nobody would really mind any of this if he flashed special athletic qualities and the potential to be great. Yet at the combine he ran a 4.66, had a decent but not sparkling 34.5 inch vertical and a 9.11 broad jump. None of those numbers stand out. He’s essentially a decent project who might need a redshirt year.
First of all he has to get stronger. He needs to be able to win a hands battle and get off a block. He must develop a bull rush. At the very least he needs some counter moves — he can’t just wing it off the edge.
I’m not sure the Seahawks would be all that interested in adding another developmental pass rusher. They’d have to really buy into the 4.44 Jim Mora ‘reported’ from the UCLA pro day. Without that 4.4 speed he’s probably not even really considered at #32. With it, he becomes a lot more intriguing. But I suspect the Seahawks might be turned off by the lack of gritty competitive spirit to win 1v1 or the dynamic speed to be a constant headache even as a rookie.
Martavis Bryant (WR, Clemson) & Donte Moncrief (WR, Ole Miss)
McShay has Bryant leaving the board at #63 to Denver, Moncrief isn’t listed in rounds one or two
There’s every chance McShay hasn’t really delved into the tape on these two players yet. In this new projection he admits on Cody Latimer, “(I) was blown away by his game when I finally got to study his tape recently.” Latimer immediately leapt into the first round at #23. If McShay is yet to really get into the Bryant and Moncrief games, they too could be set for a big rise.
Personally I think both players are destined to be, at worst, early second round picks. There’s just too much potential. Moncrief suffered badly in a bizarrely structured Rebels offense that tries to do a bit of everything and just lacks any type of cohesion. The quarterback Bo Wallace has never really recovered from shoulder surgery and is highly inaccurate. He also wasn’t helped by being constantly spelled by a read option replacement.
Yet you still see real flashes of upside in Moncrief. He chews up a cushion better than most receivers in this class, shows a terrific break on the football and he can really fly for a +220lbs receiver (4.40). He also has an impressive vertical (39.5 inches). There are no character concerns and he’s also shown a willingness to get involved as a blocker. There’s a lot to work with here and definite #1 potential.
That’s not to say he can’t improve. He needs to do show stronger hands in certain situations and the quality of his blocking is often dictated by whether he’s simply in the mood.
Bryant had a wake-up call to end the 2012 season after he was left at home for the Chick-fil-A Bowl against LSU. He has a young daughter and had an epiphany moment while watching the game on TV. He knew he was wasting an opportunity to provide for his family and made a point of re-focusing, going to class and working on his craft. The results were impressive and he had a big impact in 2013 as Nuke Hopkins’ replacement.
At times he looked like a Diet Randy Moss. He’s 6-4, 211lbs and runs a 4.42. He’s a dynamic downfield target who can run away from defenders. He too eats up a cushion quickly and breaks on the ball with vigour. All Clemson wide outs are well coached — and you see that in the way he sells a deep route and cracks back to the quarterback for a little inside break. It’s only when you really study the tape that you realise how inaccurate and sloppy Tajh Boyd is. Bryant suffered at the hands of his QB on several occasions.
The big question with Bryant is whether he’ll continue to work when the pay cheques start coming in or whether he’ll simmer down having accomplished his mission of supporting his daughter. If you can keep the fire burning — watch out. He could be special.
Apart from these four, the only other players I had in my mock yesterday that McShay didn’t include in the first round are Derek Carr (QB, Fresno State) and Chris Borland (LB, Wisconsin). So there are some similarities.
And it goes to show there will be a nice option for the Seahawks at #32. It just might not be a player many expect — such as a Shazier for example. In fact using McShay’s mock you could come out of the draft with Shazier and Moncrief as your first two picks.
That’d be a pretty explosive double dip for the Seahawks. Presumably they’d spend the rest of the draft digging for offensive line depth (plus the annual cornerback pick in round five or six).
Even the biggest proponent of offensive line investment would probably struggle to complain if Seattle brings in Shazier and Moncrief with their first two picks.