This is my penultimate mock draft of the season. My final projection will be a week today, the night before the draft.
I’ve mixed things up a bit in the top ten. Buffalo remain a wildcard at #3 and could go in a number of directions. I think it comes down to this – do they view Blaine Gabbert as a franchise quarterback? If they do, then he probably has to be the pick. Ryan Fitzgerald can start the 2011 season and pass on the baton. Let’s not kid ourselves here though, Buffalo do have a long term need at quarterback and addressing the position has to be an option.
Von Miller isn’t a top-five pick for me. A year ago nobody talked him up as even a first round pick after a 17-sack season. He chose not to declare after receiving a third round grade from the draft committee. Now he’s a top-five lock? Like Aaron Curry (who also received a third round grade and shot up the board later on) he probably will go early, but I wouldn’t make that move. Miller is a better prospect than Curry because he can actually rush the passer and did so in college with success. Even so, I’m not convinced he’s worthy of a high pick.
I love Cameron Jordan, he’s a top-ten talent. Yet I consistently struggle to find him a home in that range. He could go as high as #3 to Buffalo (believe it) and as low as #18 to San Diego. I want to put him at #3, maybe in next week’s final mock?
I’ve also added an ‘alternative’ pick. This is very loose – guys who are still on the board that would be a viable option.
As for the Seahawks, I’ve gone back to Jabaal Sheard. If he lasts until #25 I can see that being a possibility. He’s got the size of the LEO and the speed that will make the most of the position. Despite not being the biggest, he plays above his size and is a real physical threat who works well against the run. Probably one of the most under rated players in the draft who’s best football will come at the next level.
Having said that, I’m still really torn on what the Seahawks will do. I keep going back to the quarterbacks and how much of a void that is right now. Nobody expects a big trade up the board to target the top four, yet I wouldn’t rule it out.
Talking of quarterbacks…
More Ryan Mallett controversy today. The National Football Post is reporting he missed a meeting with the Carolina Panthers due to illness and then cites an unnamed source suggesting Mallett was ‘out on the town’ the night before.
I want to avoid being labelled the guy’s personal excuse maker – but really? This is what we’ve come to? An unnamed source who doesn’t say the guy was drunk (or even drinking) but was ‘out late’?
Really I don’t know what to make of this anymore. It really looks like another sign of awful reporting on a guy who has been hit with a sledgehammer during this off season. Maybe somebody really wants Ryan Mallett to fall down the board, or maybe he really can’t handle himself? I still don’t think this is a fair report and it’s completely lacking in detail.
EDIT – here’s the response. Carolina have also issued a statement:
“Ryan Mallett came for a visit to Charlotte two weeks ago. He had dinner with our coaches the evening he arrived and came down from his hotel room for a scheduled breakfast meeting the following morning upon which time he informed a staff member that he had been sick all night with nausea. We told Ryan that if he was ill to remain in his room as long as the nausea existed. We took him to the airport later that afternoon for his scheduled flight.”
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