Thoughts on McShay’s mock

December 18th, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

Todd here, in a lovely photo where he points and grins at Mark Sanchez (like he knew all along...)

Nobody ever sets out to truly project what will happen in a mock draft. These are fun little things that generate web hits and create a debate.

If you’re taking these things seriously you aren’t doing the draft properly.

Most web sites churn out mocks to bring in traffic. Everybody loves a projection (well, most people).

The thing is, I sense the NFL draft is being taken too seriously by a lot of people. We analyse every opinion like it really really matters. Twitter and the internet has created an army of know-it-alls who are never wrong about any players.


There are people putting out top-300 boards and talking like that’s even a thing anyone should care about.

It leads to stuff like this video that called Russell Wilson one of the worst picks in the 2012 draft.

Then there’s the cult of Greg Cosell (don’t get me started…)

I actually really like Todd McShay. I also really like Mel Kiper. I think anyone who treats the draft with a sense of fun and excitement will probably feel the same.

I don’t listen to what they say because their analysis makes me feel more NFL-intellectual. I listen to what they say because they just give out an opinion, they debate (sometimes in quite entertaining fashion) and it’s all on a level everyone can understand.

Draft coverage for the masses. And that isn’t a bad thing.

We all think we’re the second coming of Ron Wolf, when really we’re just a bunch of guys who like the draft. It’s just that some of us have bothered to write about it.

McShay and Kiper are a welcome addition to the annual coverage. Kiper’s hair is still a tour de force. And along with Tony Pauline’s work at Draft — it’s the stuff I look forward to reading the most.

And having said all that, I’m now going to tear into McShay’s first 2014 mock.

Not because I think he’s a hopeless analyst who should get off my TV. Just because that’s what mocks are supposed to do — generate debate.

It just so happens I tend to disagree with a few things in this latest projection, and god darn it I’m going to have my say.

The first thing that smacks you in the face is the four quarterbacks he has going in the top six picks.

We’ve seen some heavy QB drafts in recent years. In 2011 four went in the top-12. The following year three went in the top eight.

But four out of the first six in 2014? I just can’t see it.

Teddy Bridgewater goes #1 (Houston) — although McShay even admits he only thinks he’s the ninth best player available. Then he’s got Blake Bortles at #3 (Oakland), Johnny Manziel at #4 (Jacksonville) and Derek Carr at #6 (Cleveland).

Meanwhile Jadeveon Clowney lasts rather conveniently all the way to needy Atlanta at #5.

Hey — I appreciate there are a few teams desperate for a quarterback drafting very early this year. But four in the top six is unprecedented. And a year after only one quarterback went in the first round and many established names sank way down the board — I’m not convinced we’ll see a mad rush next May.

Apart from Carolina and Cam Newton — the #1 pick in 2011 — none of the teams who reached on a quarterback that year has prospered. Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder could be coming to the the end of their (very short) NFL careers. Jake Locker might be joining them shortly.

Even NFL teams learn the occasional lesson or two…

McShay has two linebackers ranked way too early for me. Khalil Mack has legit character question marks and seems to lack the raw athleticism that will clearly translate to the next level at outside linebacker. He goes #8 to Minnesota, but I’m not convinced he’ll go in round one.

I like C.J. Mosley, but he’s a fairly limited linebacker prospect and not a true difference maker. McShay has him going to the New York Giants at #11 — who have much greater needs right now.

Mike Evans drops to #20 to Baltimore. If this happens I hope the Seahawks get ready to move up.

Florida defensive lineman Dominique Easley is at #21 to Chicago despite picking up his second serious knee injury this year. He’s a terrific player, but the injuries will surely have a major impact on his stock.

Offensive tackle Morgan Moses at Virginia hasn’t had a great year but McShay continues to grade him in round one, this time to Arizona at #25.

But it ends well enough. He has the Seahawks picking #32 overall. It’s probably done on current record, but it’s still nice to see (let’s hope it comes true). And he has the Seahawks taking Tennessee tackle Antonio Richardson.

If he lasts until the late first round, that would be an absolute steal. I suspect Richardson’s massive upside will guarantee a top-15 grade but we’ll see.

Before I contradict myself and take this too seriously (some may argue I’ve already crossed that line…) I know how hard these things are to write. Doing one every week last year damn near killed me (well, kinda).

I also get a lot of stuff wrong. I said Von Miller was overrated on more than one occasion. I saw positives in Blaine Gabbert. I really liked James Carpenter…

(actually, I think he deserves a lot more credit for his 2013 performance — I still believe, James…)

Nobody’s perfect. Not even Todd McShay.

So I’ll just end with this. Yes please to Antonio Richardson. Nice pick, Todd!

29 Responses to “Thoughts on McShay’s mock”

  1. Hay stacker509 says:

    Rob, great article. You fooled me tho, I clicked on the link to see what nimrod made a video blasting russ… Closed the window as soon as I saw BR on the screen. Those guys are idiots!

    • Cameron says:

      You have to give them props though for not pulling that video from their website.

      • Michael M. says:

        I never get tired of watching that video and laughing at that idiot Miller. I seriously watch it every time Rob links to it. I hope it never disappears.

  2. Nolan says:

    I’ll be shocked if everything mcshay says in his video is not played out on draft night

  3. Turp says:


  4. Colin says:

    I really hate it when mocks are loaded with QB’s high in round 1 and the little explanation is “it’s a passing league”.

    Oh, that just makes it all better, doesn’t it? Just draft a QB out of need and it’s a good pick.

    I loved the fact that people HATED our 2012 draft. I love how people flocked to the Trent Richardson trade as a sign of what a great GM Ryan Grigson is. I loved how the Rams taking Tavon Austin filled “that weapon Sam Bradford has needed”.
    If it fits a good storyline, it’s a good draft pick.

    I pity those with small minds.

    • Michael M. says:

      Totally agree with your point about “stoylines”. Another trend I see a lot of is “draft experts” projecting picks based on who the team is losing in free agency, assuming they, “will have to fill that hole” with whatever player most resembles the one departing. I love SDB because Rob doesn’t delude himself into thinking anyone really knows what teams are going to do.

  5. CC says:

    It is hard for me to take anything Todd McShay says about his mock draft – Johnny Manziel to the Jags??? No way that will happen – if he thinks that Gus will want a short mobile QB because of RW well, we all know Johnny Football is no RW. Gus wants to develop a good D first so if Clowney is there, that will be the pick. They will look for a QB later in the draft and/or will look for a FA type. The GM is from SF – again, defense is what they want to start with.

  6. Brian says:

    QB is such a weird position that it’s impossible to prognosticate what teams either will do or should do.

    1. The Rams/Cardinals/Raiders/Browns/Jags/etc take a QB- they are idiots for reaching for a player who will probably be a bust.
    2. Those teams pass on a QB? They are dumb for sticking with Bradford, Palmer, Gabbert, Wheeden, etc. instead of taking a chance at finding their QBotF.

    It’s the same thing that made for such lively debates on what the Seahawks would do at QB for the three or four years before Russell Wilson was drafted. There’s no right answer, and I can’t fault McShay for either going QB heavy or QB light in his mocks.

    • Michael M. says:

      Agreed, I could envision a very QB heavy top 15. Then again I can see it being very QB light as well, and anything in between wouldn’t shock me either. No one really knows how it’s all gonna go down.

      I will say, I was shocked at how far the 2012 QB’s fell. I know they weren’t a very good class, but after seeing the disaster that was the 2011 QB class climb as high as they did, I assumed teams would make the same mistakes in 2012. Overreaction is becoming one of the hallmarks of the NFL today (just look at the officiating situation) so maybe that played a part. Think about it. Seems like every time a team makes a coaching change they try to go 180 degrees from the direction the last guy was taking them. If he was a defensive minded coach they want to find a hot young offensive guy who’s gonna score a bunch of points. If that young guy fails the pendulum swings back the other direction and they need a veteran head coach who will instill some discipline, and blah blah blah…

      It wouldn’t shock me to see the QB pendulum swing back closer to what we saw in 2011. Especially since most of the league took a year off from QB drafting last season.

    • Michael (CLT) says:

      I would draft 4 qb’s every draft until I found one. Having a qb puts Denver, NE, Indy, Seattle, NO in the contender discussion every year, regardless of surrounding talent.

      Defense may well win championships. I would argue an elite qb and depth win championships.

  7. Michael M. says:

    That McShay picture is priceless, and it reminds me to thank the heavens every day for Aaron Curry, because hey… At least he wasn’t Sanchez.

    One other thing that picture makes me ponder: What’s been up with Matt Stafford the last several weeks? He looked awful in that Monday night game, and his side arm throws are starting to drive me crazy! I just want to give him a swift kick in the ass and yell, “STOP IT!”. It’s one thing if that is the only angle at which you can get the ball out on a particular play, but it seems like he is doing it more and more when it is completely unnecessary. Do the Lions actually employ a Quarterbacks coach? I’ve been a Stafford fan going back to his UGA days, (watching A.J. Green, Knowshon Moreno and him all playing together was a great time) so I really want him to succeed. If I had to bet, I’d say Jim Schwartz is gone after this season and they bring in a coach who can “fix” Stafford. Wouldn’t blame them one bit either.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      I haven’t seen him play recently, but when I do. I absolutely adore that kid. I think he has the most talented arm in the nfl. Crazy fast release. Strong arm. Can throw it from any angle. Can throw without setting his feet. Just the prototypical gunslinger.

  8. JeffS says:

    great stuff. please keep it coming.

  9. House says:

    Tiny Richardson would be awesome @#32

  10. Stuart says:

    I love how our organization drafts and develops players. Besides just the physical abilities the player brings, intangibles weigh heavily on the final decision. It still is amazing to me that JS could wait until R-3 to draft Russell Wilson.

    Even if I knew that Russell Wilson would hopefully still be available later, I would not have risked the chance that somebody else would get him and have drafted him in R-2. Thus we would not have Bobby Wagner. How did JS know? How could he wait? I would love to see a video with JS taking about the waiting between R-2 and R-3, any links?

    • The Ancient Mariner says:

      My understanding is, it wasn’t JS — he wanted to take RW in round 2. Pete insisted on waiting. Somebody wrote about that recently (thought it was Rob here, but apparently not), that if that had backfired, it could have wrecked their relationship.

      • Coug1990 says:

        I believe it was a combination of both. JS wanted to take him in round 2, but had set up his board well enough to know that RW would be there in round 3. He was getting antsy and Pete just told him to trust his own work.

  11. The Ancient Mariner says:

    I think people are way too down on Carp — no expert, certainly, but from what I’ve seen he’s played pretty well. I was at the Indy game, and I spent most of the time we were on offense watching the left side of our line. McQuistan got skinned, gutted, and hung up in the smokehouse (granted it was Robert Mathis, but still . . .), but despite that, from everything I could see, Carp did his part on pass plays and run plays alike.

    • House says:

      I like Carpenter a lot. I think he is still trying to get everything together. If he could stay healthy (or our vital OL for that matter), he’d be fine. I think he is a much better blocker than McQuistan and when McQuistan played LT, Carpenter got blown up a few times because McQuistan sucks on the edge.

      I’d be interested to see what Bailey’s role will be in the near future. The guy is TOO GOOD to ride the pine. I think he is probably best suited for LG, but I think he’s better than Sweezy at RG as well.

  12. House says:


    I think about the Richardson pick and it is so similiar to the Carpenter pick. (Both big-bodied OT that are great in run-blocking and good in pass-protection). Scouting reports say Richardson has the great-proportional frame w/long arms, but that he is far from a finished product. The same things were said about Carpenter.

    IMO, I think DL or WR will end up being our first pick. We can never have enough pass rushers and I think with us missing on Chris Harper this past season, we still have one WR spot (preferably a BIG guy) that needs filling.

    What are your thoughts about Tennessee’s RT JaWuan James? He was the bookend to Richardson and made the All-SEC 2nd team. I think he’ll be there in the 2nd rd as he hasn’t got the recognition Richardson has, while starting 37+ straight games at RT and playing with a similar frame (6’6″/320lbs) and a more-polished skillset than Tiny. While Richardson’s upside seems to be much higher (could potentially play LT in the NFL), James has less of a boom/bust ratio.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      JaWuan is a decent day 2 pick, but I wouldn’t have put in in the same conversation as Brennan Williams taken in round 3 last season. Although Williams did have health concerns — he was similarly billed as a late 2nd/early 3rd round guy.

      Richardson is also a junior. Physically, OTs really benefit from that junior to senior season. Richardson has flashed brilliance at times against high caliber competition, which is good and something you want to see from guys picked late in round 1.

      James would be a plan B kind of guy. I do think Seattle wants to get a RT capable of swinging to the left side. Actually, I think it’s one of those situations where the NFL is headed. Teams aren’t merely content having one dominant pass rusher to rush from the left. Teams are going for 2 quality ends on both sides. Clearly in our division, that’s what we see. Particularly with the proliferation of offenses where blocking TEs are becoming more rare or if a TE is used, he’s lined up out wide — the notion that you can have a substandard RT who gets help from an inline TE is decreasing. Right tackles are facing much better competition at DE with less and less designed help. The standard for right tackles in pass pro is being raised and is much higher in our division.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        After watching our RT get handled in many games, I have to agree that most teams want pass rushers on both sides, and you need to have mobile tackles on both sides. The tight end and running back are often doing chip blocks and then springing free for a pass. So you can’t always depend on them to double with the tackle or provide that extra blocker.

        It is also pretty obvious that our offensive line is the weak link in the team now. Injuries, rotation, it’s been tough for them. We need some competition and fresh blood on the line. Just like we have had competition at wide receiver and defensive corner. It is all good. I am hoping that PC will draft four OL, with the expectation that only half will make the team. Right tackle and a guard would be a good start.

      • House says:

        The Brennan Williams referenece is someone I’ve related James to myself. I liked Williams coming out of the draft and was hoping we had picked him up. I wonder what Cable’s take on Bowie and Bailey are. I think Bailey has looked good in the interior and looked better at LT than McQuistan (not really saying a whole lot). Could Bailey potentially be an answer at RT or either OG position.

        The OT I’m really hoping to draft (being in the bottom of the 1st) is Cedric Ogbuehi (Texas A&M). I think he has yet to scratch his potential and may go as high as a Top-20 after the Combine.

  13. Hawkspur says:

    I’m interested about your take on Cosell. Of my issues with him (of which there are several), the major one, for me, is that the leader of the cult you mention is, unquestionably, Greg Cosell.

  14. Hawkspur says:

    So McShay has Cleveland taking Carr at 6. I think you had them taking Manziel a couple of weeks back. Obviously quarterback is a major need (I thought Hoyer looked good, but obviously that was a very limited sample). Matt Williamson mentioned the other day that he believes that Mike Lombardi is a huge Ryan Mallett fan. If that is the case and they can obtain him for, say, a second or second and fourth, they could potentially build a scary offense by adding the likes of Mike Evans and Bishop Sankey. I don’t know what their other needs are (interior O line and DBs, I think), but in a fairly even division an offense with Gordon, Cameron, Evans and Sankey could be enough to push them at the top of the AFC North.