I'm always looking ahead to the draft. Even when the team is good. But this year with our dreams of a home Super Bowl dashed, I'm even more interested than usual in the kids coming out of college. I was doing a projection of who we could take and where we could pick, when the following projection presented itself.
First off, in my mind, the crop of players who look (at this point, at least) to be Top 10 pick material are as follows:
QB Andrew Luck
QB Ryan Mallett
WR AJ Green
WR Julio Jones
WR Justin Blackmon
DE Da'Quan Bowers
DE Robert Quinn
DE Adrian Clayborn
DT Nick Fairley
DT Marcell Dareus
CB Patrick Peterson
CB Prince Amukamara
Just my opinion, but these seem to be the only guys to me worthy of a top 10 pick in the NFL draft. So, the next task I took on was determining where I felt the NFL teams would wind up with regards to picks. I'm not using the current records, but where I think they will finish. Here's what I cam up with:
1 Carolina (they are awful, with little hope of winning another game)
2 Detroit (not a terrible team, but Stafford's out and they are still trying to find themselves)
3 Arizona (a worse team than Detroit, but will get another win or two based on their poor division)
4 Cincy (this team should be better based on their talent, but they play with no heart)
5 Buffalo (they are coming on, and will win some games down the stretch)
6 Denver (never know what to expect with these guys week to week, but its bad more often than not)
7 San Francisco (have some nice pieces in place, but no consistency)
8 Dallas (here we find our Cowboys. I think we win a few more, keeping us out of the top 5 picks)
9 Cleveland (improving)
10 Minnesota (folding, but enough talent to beat up on some dogs)
So, here we are sitting at the 8th pick. Not bad. Not a franchise player most likely, but should be a nice pick. Let's see how it falls:
1 Carolina - QB Andrew Luck (No brainer. One of the top QB prospects in years.)
2 Detroint - DE Da'Quan Bowers (Could go with Peterson here, but he makes their DLine as feared as last year's Vikings.)
3 Arizona - QB Ryan Mallett (Probably not worth a top 3 pick, but they don't have a choice. It's a QB league and they don't have one.)
4 Cincy - DE Marcell Dareus (He could be special, and they are in need of some help on their DLine.)
5 Buffalo - CB Patrick Peterson (They take the BPA, and one of the best prospects in the draft.)
6 Denver - DT Nick Fairley (Being compared to Suh, he's exploded this season to warrant this pick.)
7 San Francisco - CB Prince Amukamara (Excellent prospect. Not as flashy as Peterson, but has a lower bust potential.)
8 Dallas - ....
Wow, worst case scenario (but most likely) in my opinion. The guys I would want here are all gone. The three best players might be the three WRs in Green, Jones and Blackmon. But Dallas doesnt need a WR. Quinn and Clayborn are options, but not ones I'm all that excited about. I guess there is always the option of trading down, but that's not the sexy splash Jerry would be looking for either.
Quinn is more of an OLB, which I dont want to spend another high pick on. Clayborn could possibly play the 3-4 DE, but will he be any better than Marcus Spears has been? Has Spears (a top 20 overall pick) even been any better than Hatcher (a 3rd rounder) or Bowen (undrafted)? I say no. So that pick doesnt excite me either.
There's not an O Lineman worth this pick. Same can be said for a Safety or Corner. So .... junior Jerry's of the world ... what would you do?