Time for the weekly mock draft update and the first for 2013. I promised video of DeAndre Hopkins (WR, Clemson) performance against LSU in this weeks Chick-fil-A Bowl and you’ll find it above. I’m going to break it down tomorrow, but wanted to include it in this piece because… well you’ve probably worked it out by now.
Thoughts on the mock
– This is the hardest time of the year to do a mock draft. Several teams haven’t got coaches or even GM’s. If Andy Reid lands in Arizona, will he really give Kevin Kolb another chance as the starter? If Ray Horton is appointed as a Head Coach, will it be to a team that suddenly has to adjust to the 3-4? Basically this thing could look a lot different in a fortnight. Not that it’s anything remotely like an accurate projection in early January. It’s just a discussion starter.
– I’m not convinced by some of the recent hype around certain quarterbacks. Tyler Bray has plenty of arm talent but made far too many mistakes this year and others have questioned his attitude. I can’t put him in the first two rounds at the moment. Suddenly Tajh Boyd is being touted as a first or second round pick based on his performance against LSU. I just can’t see that happening based on his overall 2012 performance. Mike Glennon is another player suddenly receiving a fair amount of hype. He still warrants (at best) a mid-round grade in my opinion.
– I still think Matt Barkley is the best quarterback in this class and therefore the most likely player to go #1 overall. USC has been a shambles on the field this year and a PR disaster off it. Lane Kiffin is lucky to still be in a job. He is completely responsible for the mess at Southern Cal. Yet despite all of this, Barkley had 36 touchdowns and a 157.6 passer rating – less than four points short of his 2011 mark where everybody was touting him as a top-ten pick. And for all those people questioning whether he’d be as good without Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, I present to you the Georgia Tech game – where Max Wittek managed a grand total of 107 yards and had three interceptions in a lousy defeat. Barkley isn’t the physical comparison to Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III or Cam Newton. He is, however, an accurate and accomplished passer with the kind of attitude you can build a franchise around. The Chiefs have a good supporting cast, they just need a guy to pull it all together.
– I haven’t included Jake Matthews (T, Texas A&M) following a report that he’s likely to stay in school for his senior year. With Luke Joeckel likely to turn pro, Matthews would have the opportunity to play left tackle next year for the Aggies. If he performs to expectations, that would put him in position to be a possible top-five pick in 2014.
– I’ve said this a few times, but this is a really good draft to be picking in the late first round. The talent differential from the top-ten to the 20-32 range is minimal. Whether the Seahawks pick 21st overall or 32nd, there’s going to be some good options to help keep this team moving forward. So basically, feel free to reach the Super Bowl guys.
Back to a first and second round projection today.
|#1 Matt Barkley (QB, USC)
The Chiefs need a quarterback. They don’t have a terrible roster. They have to do this.
|#2 Bjoern Werner (DE, Florida State)
The Jaguars need a pass rusher and Werner could steadily move up the boards after a 13.5 sack season.
|#3 Damontre Moore (DE, Texas A&M)
Only Jacksonville had less sacks than Oakland this season. Moore had 12.5 in the SEC for Texas A&M.
|#4 Luke Joeckel (T, Texas A&M)
This is the starting point for whoever replaces Andy Reid. They have to repair the offensive line.
|#5 Alec Ogletree (LB, Georgia)
Explosive linebacker. Incredible athlete. Worthy top-five pick.
|#6 Jarvis Jones (DE, Georgia)
Jones has top-five talent but the spinal stenosis issue will really linger. He’ll need to be cleared to go this early.
|#7 Geno Smith (QB, West Virginia)
Are they seriously considering persevering with Kevin Kolb? Really?
|#8 Manti Te’o (LB, Notre Dame)
Buffalo might trade back into the first round to get a quarterback, allowing them to take the best player available here.
|#9 Chance Warmack (G, Alabama)
If they really want to play smash-mouth football, this is the guy they should take.
|#10 Sheldon Richardson (DT, Missouri)
There’s a bit of Dockett in there. He could be the next great three-technique.
|#11 Eric Fisher (T, Central Michigan)
They need to take a left tackle.
|#12 Cordarrelle Patterson (WR, Tennessee)
The X-Factor player of this draft.
|#13 Dee Milliner (CB, Alabama)
The complete cornerback. This would be a steal.
|#14 Star Lotulelei (DT, Utah)
Massive upside, but too inconsistent for the top-ten.
|#15 Dion Jordan (DE, Oregon)
Jordan will know he can make some money at the combine.
|#16 Taylor Lewan (T, Michigan)
The next best tackle on the board.
|#17 Matt Elam (S, Florida)
Pure playmaker in the secondary.
|#18 Jonathan Cooper (G, North Carolina)
Athletic guard who could even switch to tackle. He will start for 10+ years.
|#19 Ezekiel Ansah (DE, BYU)
Another player who could really boost his stock with a great combine.
|#20 Zach Ertz (TE, Stanford)
With the tackles off the board, Chicago goes best player available on offense.
|#21 Barkevious Mingo (DE, LSU)
He had a tremendous Chick-fil-A Bowl.
|#22 Arthur Brown (LB, Kansas State)
This guy is legit. A brilliant linebacker prospect.
|#23 Kevin Minter (LB, LSU)
It’s time to start planning for life after Ray Lewis (legend).
|#24 Brandon Coleman (WR, Rutgers)
He’s contemplating whether to declare. If he does, he has more upside than any other receiver in this class.
|#25 Jonathan Jenkins (DT, Georgia)
When building a 3-4, you need a nose tackle.
|#26 DeAndre Hopkins (WR, Clemson)
Just a really good football player. Mr. Clutch.
|#27 Jesse Williams (DT, Alabama)
His best fit in my opinion is at 3-4 end.
|#28 John Simon (DE, Ohio State)
Blue-collar pass rusher. Underrated.
|#29 Dallas Thomas (G, Tennessee)
He had a great year on a losing team. Can play tackle or guard.
|#30 Tyler Wilson (QB, Arkansas)
No, I don’t think the Patriots draft Wilson. But a team like Buffalo could trade into this range to get him.
|#31 Sylvester Williams (DT, North Carolina)
They could use another interior pass rusher.
|#32 Johnathan Hankins (DT, Ohio State)
He’d go higher if he showed more consistent effort.
#33 Jacksonville – Jonathan Banks (CB, Mississippi State)
#34 Kansas City – Robert Woods (WR, USC)
#35 Philadelphia – Barrett Jones (C, Alabama)
#36 Detroit – Logan Ryan (CB, Rutgers)
#37 Cincinnati – Giovanni Bernard (RB, North Carolina)
#38 Arizona – Justin Pugh (T, Syracuse)
#39 New York Jets – Tavon Austin (WR, West Virginia)
#40 Tennessee – Kyle Long (T, Oregon)
#41 Buffalo – Markus Wheaton (WR, Oregon State)
#42 Miami – Alex Okafor (DE, Texas)
#43 Tampa Bay – Tyler Eifert (TE, Notre Dame)
#44 Carolina – Shawn Williams (S, Georgia)
#45 San Diego – Justin Hunter (WR, Tennessee)
#46 St. Louis – Kenny Vaccaro (S, Texas)
#47 Dallas – Xavier Rhodes (CB, Florida State)
#48 Pittsburgh – Eddie Lacy (RB, Alabama)
#49 New York Giants – Oday Aboushi (T, Virginia)
#50 Chicago – D.J. Fluker (T, Alabama)
#51 Washington – Eric Reid (S, LSU)
#52 Minnesota – Bennie Logan (DT, LSU)
#53 Baltimore – Sharrif Floyd (DE, Florida)
#54 Cincinnati – Keenan Allen (WR, California)
#55 Seattle – Khaseem Greene (LB, Rutgers)
#56 Green Bay – Stepfan Taylor (RB, Stanford)
#57 Miami – Lane Johnson (T, Oklahoma)
#58 Houston – Gavin Escobar (TE, San Diego State)
#59 San Francisco – Jordan Poyer (CB, Oregon State)
#60 New England – Blidi Wreh-Wilson (CB, Connecticut)
#61 Atlanta – Brennan Williams (T, North Carolina)
#62 Denver – Terrance Williams (WR, Baylor)