Further analysis on this week’s mock

A few extra thoughts on this week’s projection

– I’m uncomfortable projecting Da’Quan Bowers as low as #11 overall. This is a guy I’ve had pencilled in at #2 with Denver ever since the season ended. I appreciate there are some concerns with his injury and a poor pro-day performance, but he’s clearly not 100%. Teams will go through tough medical checks to determine whether he’s likely to be hampered by further knee problems. Tony Pauline reported this week that Buffalo green lighted a medical check. It’s easy to forget this is a player who had 16 sacks during the 2010 season. If Denver wants to play it safe, they can select Marcell Dareus. I suspect that if Bowers’ knee is cleared and John Fox has any input, the Broncos could still draft a Clemson defensive end second overall.

– If Newton and Dareus are off the board it creates a quandary for Buffalo at #3. I personally think it’s too high for Von Miller, but many thought #9 was too high for CJ Spiller 12 months ago. Is AJ Green an option? What about Blaine Gabbert? I would take the quarterback or Da’Quan Bowers but I suspect Buffalo may go in a different direction. It could be a potential trade slot for other teams in the top-ten if the feeling is Gabbert won’t get past Cincinnati at #4.

– San Francisco are a bit of a wild-card at #7. They obviously have the need at quarterback but I don’t think anyone expects them to draft Jake Locker or Ryan Mallett. They are well positioned to draft a cornerback, defensive end or OLB pass rusher. Alternatively they could move down the board, but they already have a war chest of picks. The player top of San Fran’s draft board may be different to many others. I have Cameron Jordan at #7 this week with JJ Watt as a potential alternative. Both great fits who are capable of creating pressure.

– I’ll be surprised if there isn’t early trade movement, possibly in the top-ten. I think Tennessee will take the best player available, even considering their big needs at quarterback and cornerback. Dallas at #9 is an interesting spot. I have Washington taking a quarterback at #10 (Jake Locker). I suspect they won’t risk Locker going to Minnesota, Miami or Jacksonville by trading down – all this despite the negative publicity surrounding the Huskies QB. The Cowboys could be targeting offensive lineman, defensive lineman and cornerbacks. It’s widely speculated they want a right tackle who can start immediately – with Tyron Smith, Gabe Carimi and (considering their preference) Nate Solder being possibilities. Dallas could trade back even into the mid-20’s and still get one of that trio. A smaller move down the board still gets them a top ranked DL or CB too. The Cowboys traded away a pick in the 20’s for a future first in 2007, so they aren’t afraid to make bold moves.

– The Seattle Seahawks held a private work out with Jake Locker this week. If (and it remains a big ‘if’) the Seahawks are serious about keeping Locker in Seattle, the Dallas Cowboys might be the team to do a deal. It’d be a costly move with the Seahawks probably needing to sacrifice the #25, #57 and a 2012 second round pick. Using an updated trade chart that would total 1245 points and the #9 pick is worth 1250. The cost may be enough to prevent a deal happening – Locker would be a gamble at #25, let alone with three high picks invested in his success and a top-ten salary.

– If the Miami Dolphins pass on Ryan Mallett I’ll be surprised. It’d be a great schematic fit now that the Dolphins have moved away from the wildcat experiment. They traded for a big-name receiver (Brandon Marshall) last year. Chad Henne has been with the franchise for three years now and hasn’t been able to convince anyone of his starting ability. The former Michigan quarterback is also a low-cost option as a late second round pick. Miami’s biggest need is quarterback and a guy that can start quickly at that. Mallett ticks the boxes.

– I still have Nick Fairley dropping. #18 might be a bit too dramatic and it’s not a perfect fit for San Diego, but how can he get away with rejecting to work out for Miami? If that’s the attitude he’s taking then it’ll prove costly. I’m not nailing my colors to the mast here, Fairley could easily stick in the top-ten. A fall has to be a possibility though.

– A mixed reaction to Marvin Austin at #25 in the comments section. I have trouble selling the idea to myself too because as I’ve often mentioned, I gave him a late second/early third round grade based on 2009 tape. Since then he’s missed a whole year through suspension and he’s only being talked up now because of a brilliant off-season. What I need to decipher is whether the bad 2009 tape was down to a lack of effort and a bad attitude, or whether it’s just the physical qualities don’t translate into football ability. Pete Carroll has taken a chance on rough around the edges types (Mike Williams, Marshawn Lynch) and managed to motivate game winning moments out of them. Austin is a personable guy and may just need the right kind of leadership. The three technique position becomes a huge need if you expect Brandon Mebane to depart the team.

– Round two is a complete lottery and I’m not going to sit here and claim my projection carries any weight. There may be guys I’m mocking in round two that go undrafted, or at least drop into the late rounds. The best of the best will have a tough time guessing 64 picks correctly. I’m not convinced we’ll see the mad rush on quarterbacks everyone’s projecting. As much as I don’t like Christian Ponder, I think he’s the only QB likely to garner interest in the round two range but only to specific teams.

– The Leonard Hankerson pick for Seattle at #57 has received a negative response. I think there’s likely to be some value at receiver in that 55-65 range and as with Golden Tate last year, the Seahawks may feel one guy is worth a chance. John Schneider has come from a Green Bay team that has been collecting receivers in that range for a while, including Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson. People have talked about the ‘trenches’ at #57 but the options aren’t likely to be great in that area if a number of interior lineman leave the board as projected in this week’s mock.

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  1. Cliff

    If you haven’t already read it, Dan Kelly had a good post on small prospect WRs recently. Unless a player is very high on their board i think the Hawks will wait till a later round to get a WR with upside. Unless we trade Butler, i dont see it as big of a need as many other positions. Thats why the Hankerson pick drew the negative reviews.


  2. PatrickH


    The latest draft rumors collected by Wes Bunting of National Football Post ( http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/NFL-draft-rumors-6551.html ) have Miami, Seattle, and Buffalo doing through investigation of Mallett’s background. The Bills probably won’t take him at 3, but this rumor does lend further support to your prediction of the Dolphins taking Mallett.

  3. kevin mullen


    Just throwing this out there and pure speculation but what about Aaron Curry’s chances of being traded, packaging our 1st & 2nd rounders to move up into that 10 to 13 range? I think we could net 2nd rounder value for AC, if not 3rd round value. I see Dallas, Houston, and even Minnesota that do need help at LB, especially Houston. Do I see AC in a 3-4? Probably not but not our problem. Could AC net us enough value to not have to sacrifice any 2012 picks? Also, any other players you see as trade bait with actual value?

    • ChavaC

      I don’t think anyone will be traded if there’s not a new cba in the next two weeks, which seems really unlikely.

      • Rob

        As Chavac points out, there would need to be a CBA in order to trade players before or during the draft.

        On the issue of trading Curry I would say it’s nearly impossible. He’s approaching year three of a $60m contract when I believe he’ll be earning around $10m for the season. He may even be the highest earner on the team for 2011.

        Nobody is going to inherit that contract, he’s untouchable. The Seahawks made a major mistake drafting him fourth overall purely because he was a non-pass rushing 4-3 linebacker. Opinions are mixed on Mark Sanchez, but he absolutely should’ve been the pick in hindsight. He’d be two years into his NFL career having played sparingly, ready to take over as the full time starter now that Matt Hasselbeck’s contract was up. The Seahawks should be planning to build around their young QB this year, instead they’re left searching for him.

  4. Michael

    Appreciate the thought process with Hankerson. I just do not see much separation in skill set to that of Mike Williams. Carroll likes to have disparate skills with which to create creative match-up gains. Not sure Hankerson provides this.

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