Updated mock draft: 2nd February

CB Jimmy Smith - the top-10 talent nobody's talking about

I’m having some issues updating the ‘mock draft’ page so I’m going to post the new mock here for now. As soon as the page is working again I will update it with full comments for each pick.

Here’s the latest projection:

#1 Carolina – Blaine Gabbert (QB, Missouri)
The Panthers need to study hard and ask themselves ‘can any of these quarterbacks be the future of this franchise’? If the answer is yes – they could still draft a QB first overall.

#2 Denver – Da’Quan Bowers (DE, Clemson)
The NFL’s worst ranked team for defense and sacks – Bowers would be a huge boost up front.

#3 Buffalo – Marcell Dareus (DT, Alabama)
They could go in a number of directions, but that defensive front needs some beef. Dareus is scheme flexible.

#4 Cincinnati – Nick Fairley (DT, Auburn)
The attitude and personality might put off a few teams – but it won’t put off Cincinnati. Will they be forced to consider a quarterback?

#5 Arizona – Patrick Peterson (CB, LSU)
Quarterback remains a huge black hole in Arizona but would they take Newton, Locker or Mallett?

#6 Cleveland – AJ Green (WR, Georgia)
The Browns need a playmaker on offense who can produce quickly and Green fits the bill.

#7 San Francisco – Cameron Jordan (DE, California)
He’s always been a potential top-10 pick. Locker, Newton or Mallett don’t strike me as John Harbaugh draft picks.

#8 Tennessee – Cam Newton (QB, Auburn)
If Newton lasts this long, he surely won’t get past the Titans.

#9 Dallas – Jimmy Smith (CB, Colorado)
He is a top-ten talent and you’ll start to see him rise in a lot more mock drafts very soon.

#10 Washington – Jake Locker (QB, Washington)
Shanahan clearly wants to draft a quarterback and this is a perfect scheme fit. I’d be very surprised if this didn’t happen.

#11 Houston – Robert Quinn (DE, North Carolina)
They’re switching to a 3-4 defense and Quinn can help Mario Williams get this defense rolling.

#12 Minnesota – Tyron Smith (OT, USC)
The best offensive tackle on the market with huge potential.

#13 Detroit – Von Miller (LB, Texas A&M)
This is too high for me – but don’t underestimate the value of draft hype.

#14 St. Louis – Julio Jones (WR, Alabama)
The Rams need a go-to receiver. I’d love to see Jones fall to Seattle, but it seems unlikely.

#15 Miami – Mike Pouncey (C, Florida)
Pouncey is locked into the mid/late teens. Miami needs a center in a bad way.

#16 Jacksonville – Prince Amukamara (CB, Nebraska)
He’s over rated but he can only fall so far. Amukamara’s future could lie at safety.

#17 New England – JJ Watt (DE, Wisconsin)
Solid football player who fits the New England mantra.

#18 San Diego – Mohammed Wilkerson (DE, Temple)
Growing draft stock after a ten-sack season.

#19 New York Giants – Nate Solder (OT, Colorado)
I have them taking Solder over Akeem Ayers and Mark Ingram – but it was close.

#20 Tampa Bay – Aldon Smith (DE, Missouri)
I think he fits best in the 4-3 despite not having elite size for a right end.

#21 Kansas City – Ryan Kerrigan (DE, Purdue)
The Chiefs want character, leadership and production.

#22 Indianapolis – Corey Liuget (DT, Illinois)
Could probably go higher than this but for a lack of 4-3 teams needing interior help.

#23 Philadelphia – Brandon Harris (CB, Miami)
This appears likely to be a corner or an offensive lineman.

#24 New Orleans – Akeem Ayers (OLB, UCLA)
Linebacker is New Orleans’ #1 need. This would be good value.

#25 Seattle – Phil Taylor (DT, Baylor)
Depth and size up front for the Seahawks’ defensive line.

#26 Baltimore – Jon Baldwin (WR, Pittsburgh)
Could be the receiver they expected Anquan Boldin to be.

#27 Atlanta – Adrian Clayborn (DE, Iowa)
Unimpressive this year but worth a look here.

#28 New England – Mark Ingram (RB, Alabama)
Would be a steal this late in round one and I still struggle to accept he’ll last this far.

#29 New York Jets – Justin Houston (OLB, Georgia)
Rex Ryan loves pass rushers.

#30 Chicago – Torrey Smith (WR, Maryland)
Cutler’s arm could make Smith a star.

#31 Green Bay – Ryan Williams (RB, Virginia Tech)
Injuries destroyed 2009 season but flashed massive potential as a red-shirt freshman.

#32 Pittsburgh – Stephen Paea (DT, Oregon State)
Great against the run and could work out as a five technique.


  1. Nick

    Hey Rob, I love your site man. And I love how you go against the norm and create mock drafts that are conversation starters. Keep up the solid work, a lot of people are starting to recognize how good of a writer you are.

    As for the draft, I really am starting to love the idea of us drafting Phil Taylor. In my opinion, id like to see us move into more of a 3-4 kind of scheme. If Seattle did this, then there would be some solid pieces to work with on the D line, and I think Tatupu and Hawthorne could play MLB, with Curry as the rush linebacker and Herring on the other side (to me it seems like he could have lots of potential). Unfortunately that would interfere with what we are trying to do with the Leo position, but it still is kind of fun to think about.

    I think this is the offseason we go after some big name free agents. I know there is concern of a lockout, but seeing as it is not beneficial for either side to have a lockout, I can see an agreement being made in the near future. I would love for Seattle to go after Sidney Rice or Vincent Jackson, boosting the offense and giving us some flexibility in the draft.

    But I digress, as I could write a novel on the whole situation, I guess I should get to the point.

    Rob, I truly beleive this is an excellent year to trade up. There is a severe drop off at almost every position except for the D line once you venture out of the top 10-15 picks. I was wondering depending on how many quality free agents we sign, how expendable to the Seahawks see their picks? Could someone like Tatupu be included in a bundle to move up? And where do some of the prospects the Seahawks have in their markers have to fall in order to warrant a trade up?

    • plyka

      I don’t think big name free agents are un the cards. The gm comes from green bay under Thompson who is a build through the draft kind of guy. Big name FA isn’t the way to go for a rebuilding team anyway. If you’re going to make FA moves, it better be cheap up and comers, not big names.

      • Matt

        You know for what the Seahawks need this year I think this is a great draft. Defensive tackle/end and offensive guard. The former has great depth this year (as we say a guy like Taylor maybe falling just because of so muc star power above him) and offensive guard which is just an undervalued position. I say Phil Taylor 1 Rodney Hudson 2 is a great start to the draft for us.

        • Matt Q.

          or benjamin ijalana. He is bigger and PC and JS like big offensive line men

          • Matt

            I’d fully agree with that statement I just doubt he’ll be there for us in the second round unless we move up.

        • Rob

          That would be a good start and I’d like both picks. Even so, it pains me to think this team still won’t have any long term planning at QB (none of the late round prospects interest me) or any further investment at the skill positions.

          • Matt

            I would love for a young promising QB too, but I’m going to stick with the notion that you can’t win football without a good line. Offensive and defensive lines make all the skill positions behind them look better. And I don’t see Cable or Bevell being quiet about the weak line play that they’re going to see if we don’t do something about it in the draft.

            • Rob

              Strong lines are important but I think it’s a too often used cliche that they’ll win you games. The best teams in the NFL have a QB and some weapons. The lines are hit and miss – the Steelers are making yet another Super Bowl without an elite offensive line, but they’re still a very productive offense. Personally I think an o-line can be coached and schemed to success, but you need consistency and execution. Seattle has had no one true direction on the line ever since they started to flirt with the ZBS. The Seahawks can ‘get by’ without high picks at guard but the long term future of this franchise will depend on high picks at QB and the skill positions… and also the defensive line and cornerback on defense.

        • plyka

          Yeah, just wish the Hawks had more draft picks. If the Hawks could trade down from 25 and get multiple picks in the 2nd or 3rd round I would rather do that. Because you’re right, there is a lot of depth on the Oline/Dline.

      • CFraychineaud

        Plyka- If I’m not mistaken, GB did pick up a big FA on occasion, Charles Woodson comes to mind as one of the bigger one recently. I agree that generally they don’t go out and go crazy in FA, but if there is someone who will make the seahawks better, and will be an instant starter and project to be that for years to come, I wouldn’t doubt that we make that happen.

        • plyka

          I guess I could see it at an incredibly important position like QB or CB, two positions i consider the most important in football. And especially if you can find an uber stud like Woodson at one of those positions.

          Still, generally i think signing big name FAs is the wrong move.

    • Rob

      Hi Nick, thanks for the kind words – they’re always really appreciated.

      I think it’s tough to second guess a free agency which may or may not happen. Personally I don’t think we’ll see an end to the CBA crisis until the fall. Only when the threat of a lockout is staring both parties in the face do I think something gets done. That would potentially mean no free agency (with FA’s each given a one-year option) or a very brisk week to do deals weeks before the season. More than ever before team’s will be trying to fill their biggest needs in the draft.

      In an ideal world a new CBA is signed before the March deadline and it takes place as usual. I suspect Seattle will show interest in free agents who can improve the team immediately – they won’t be Ruskell-esque in using it to paper over cracks, but I think we’ll see more action than some believe just because John Schneider has come from a Green Bay system that didn’t utilise big money in FA. Let’s not forget that Pete Carroll calls the shots – not John Schneider.

      As for trading up – it has to be considered as it always will be. With no CBA you won’t be able to trade players and picks in the draft – just picks. I’m not sure any of the Seahawks’ current roster has much trade value except for the obvious candidates – Okung, Thomas etc. For the right prospect – I’d encourage a move up the board this year. The depth is not great. That doesn’t mean you get reckless – there is always value whichever draft you’re selecting in. But the Seahawks need quality as well as quantity – and making moves up the board to get key players at key positions for the future of this franchise must be considered.

  2. FWBrodie

    Phil Taylor. Does he not just scream game altering force? A guy that absolutely under no circumstance can be left in a one on one blocking situation, who won’t be moved, and who would make everyone around him better? That’s the signature player Pete Carroll needs on the D-line, a matchup he can count on winning up front and a talent that opposing coaches will be forced to gameplan for. Added bonus: he might also prevent the team from crumbling if Red Bryant ever gets hurt again as he looks strong and leveragy enough to handle that role if not dominate it.

    You know how a lot of times when a draft pick pans out and you go back and watch some of the highlights you’d seen predraft? That player obviously stands out among the rest and you think something along the lines of “it was so obvious, how did I not see this” or “why didn’t I just trust the film?” Phil Taylor might be one of those guys and I won’t be falling for it this year.

    I’m dying to see more film on Taylor (any luck yet Rob?), but what I’ve seen so far (youtube, senior bowl practice/game, etc.) has blown me away. The Seahawks could really maximize the value at #25 with a player like him.

    Disclaimer: a big part of football is mental, and without seeing more film I can’t really judge that yet.

    Rob and others, what are your thoughts on Taylor so far? Am I going overboard?

    • Matt Q.

      we could even trade out of round one into the high second and pick up and extra 4th or 5th pick. We could possibly get taylor there depending on how far he rises from now to draft

    • Rob

      I need to keep studying Taylor. He impressed all week in Mobile and during the game. I have Senior Bowl tape here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEe2CmqVZT8&feature=player_profilepage but really I want to see Baylor game footage and preferably 2-3 games of it at that. Unfortunately none of Baylor’s games appear to be online in full (how I wish every conference published full games like the SEC). I will keep digging, sometimes people offer to send me tape.

      • Rob

        Update – Taylor tape on the blog tomorrow.

  3. ChavaC

    I haven’t seen much Baylor tape, but from what I’ve read here and elsewhere it seems Taylor would be a good pickup. I would rather see the dline turned into something nasty than spend early picks on corners.

  4. Alex

    Just to pass along the info but I think Dallas is rumored to be picking an Offensive Tackle. OT is supposedly claimed to be the focus of this draft by Jerry Jones and we know that he is the one that pulls the strings.


    • Rob

      There’s a lot of speculation out there right now. I’ve also heard Dallas will trade up for Patrick Peterson or select Brandon Harris at #9. Really it’s all guess work now and we won’t truly know the direction some teams are going to go until the week of the draft.

  5. Matthew Baldwin

    Before I sign off on Phil Taylor in the 1st, I’d like to see more from Kendrick Ellis 6′ 4″ 335lb NT out of Hampton. He’s playing in the Texas v Nation game this weekend. Anybody have some insight on this kid? He had 17.5 TFLs or something. Might be a 4th round steal.

    • Rob

      Reports I’ve read say there’s not a great deal between the two prospects. I believe Taylor is more mobile and carries the size better, which will enable him to perhaps play multiple positions in Seattle. Ellis is more of a pure NT. However – I can’t comment too much having no way of viewing Ellis during the season. If Ellis is as good as I’ve read in some places, then he won’t last long in round two.

      • FWBrodie

        “Has squated 665, bench 455 pounds and powercleaned 400 pounds” -this was before this past season regarding Phil Taylor. Oh… my… god. Not quite Casey Hampton, but pretty close.

    • Scott

      Multiple suspensions for failing drug tests will raise alot of red flags on Ellis. Teams will shy away from him due to this issue. Jeremy Stevens? Still you cannot ignore the talent. I think someone will take a chance on him after round 3.

  6. Rob

    I will have Phil Taylor vs Oklahoma tape on the blog tomorrow morning. It’s impressive.

    • FWBrodie

      Thank you Rob! Cannot wait.

  7. Billy Showbiz

    Extra D Linemen would be nice but is that really our biggest need right now? We were really tough against the run before all of the injuries happened and we were pretty tough against it at the end of the year too. We had 21 sacks from the LEO position and if I’m not mistaken we are pretty young there also.

    We still have so many needs that we probably should be taking the best player available but if positions are going to be targeted I think that Cornerback is by far the biggest need on defense. Did anyone else notice that Kelly Jennings was typically covering the opponent’s best receiver this year! I thought that Kelly looked pretty good and he deserves a roster spot but he should not be the guy covering Fitzgerald or Andre Johnson.

    On offense just about any position could be justified with the first pick. We need a QB but not if he’s not worth a first round pick. I think that you have to consider the best guard or tackle available.

    • Rob

      I would never argue that the defensive line is the biggest need. It is clear to me that the team’s biggest need by a country mile is to invest in a young quarterback. However – this is the problem with the draft. You can’t pick positions, you have to pick prospects. I’d love to name you a cornerback worthy of that pick who will be available – but I can’t. Peterson and Smith are top-10 talents and I suspect both Amukamara and Harris will be gone too. The best guard available at #25 might not even be a second round pick, although I would seriously consider Rodney Hudson at #57. I don’t think this team should be drafting right tackles in round one.

      The best player available could well be Phil Taylor if he’s on the board. It could be Muhammad Wilkerson or Corey Liuget. Perhaps it’s Justin Houston or Ryan Kerrigan? The depth on the defensive line is such that the BPA available at #25 is likely to be on the DL. Personally, I would rather accept that and draft a player worthy of the pick than reach on a guard or corner – positions that can still be filled later on.

      • kevin mullen

        I’d consider that mock of the ‘Hawks first two rounds a success: DT Taylor in 1st and G Hudson in 2nd. Can never have too much depth at the trenches.

  8. Jim Q.

    An interesting late round/FA – 6-2, 197 WR that has an invite to the combine may be worth watching out for. – His name is Ricardo Lockette – with his invite to the NFL combine “They’re gonna evaluate you against the top 25 receivers in the nation. And then it’s up to me to just perform. Personally I feel like I should have the best times in every aspect of the combine,” he says. An attitude his old coach, Ronald Pittman, shares. “Whether he’s playing in the NFL or he decides to take on another career. He’s always gonna be at the top of it. He’s that type of person.” Lockette has been training in Arizona for the combine since December of 2010. He is a wide receiver and………… 100 meter National Champion.

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