We are only a few days away from the actual NFL Draft and our Community Mock is fighting the good fight to cross the finish line before the curtain goes up on the main event. I'd like to send a special shout of appreciation to the GM's that are participating in the exercise, especially those that are getting their picks in to me with such expediency that I can actually put four picks into one article.
This isn't how I wanted to run the exercise, but some health concerns put me on the shelf for a while and we got off to a late start. I thank you all for you patience and continued support through all of this! Also, I did the chart after the jump all by myself. No O.C.C. help (except that I stole his base code haha). Before you view it, head to the right of the screen and select "wide" view so everything fits in your screen.
On to the podium! We have four teams ready to go on the clock. First up is Cleveland at pick 22, their second of the first round. After already pairing Morris Claiborne with Joe Haden to form a young dynamic secondary duo, which direction do they go? Detroit is next up, and while they can score with anybody in the league, they can be scored on by anyone in the league.
Next up is Pittsburgh, still trying to figure out how it got Tebowed in the first round, which has to rank as one of the most embarrassing ways to be eliminated from the tournament. Finally we'll have Denver on the clock, seeing how will they build a contender around new QB Peyton Manning. GM's, please.
Selection: (QB) Ryan Tannehill
Selection: (CB) Dre Kirkpatrick
Selection: (LB) Shea McClellin
GM: Allan Uy
Selection: (DE) Nick Perry
Follow the jump for the pick justifications, team needs and player profiles.
|Cleveland Browns||Detroit Lions||Pittsburgh Steelers||Denver Broncos|
|QB Ryan Tannehill||CB Dre Kirkpatrick||LB Shea McClellin||DE Nick Perry|
|I am shocked and amazed that the BtB Mock Draft has actually fallen in favor of the Browns! Satan must be on vacation because that’s the only way to explain why Ryan Tannehill is STILL ON THE BOARD at pick 22! Sweet Jeebus, the Browns front office just collectively pooped their pants and stormed Goodell at the podium to submit this pick! For the next week every bar in the city is giving out free drinks! My students will be giggling in class daydreaming about this pick! It will be pandemonium.
The Browns haven’t had a decent quarterback since Bernie Kosar duck-walked behind center. Colt McCoy is not a starter. Tannehill is widely regarded as the 3rd best QB in the draft and to have him slip this far is a real coup. Yes, he’s raw and needs coaching but he has all the things you want physically (plus being a RKG). The fact that he played receiver shows just how athletic the guy is. He has an above-average arm, escapability in the pocket, and has a golden opportunity with the Browns.
I predict he sits the first half of the season behind Colt and then gets the keys to the offense. The Browns have premium picks in the rest of the draft and will assuredly get O-Line help, RB and WR to help ease Tannehill’s progression into the NFL. Will he pan out? Who knows? But, at pick 22 to be able to get a guy with his skill set…well, that’s just simply amazing. Welcome to Cleveland Ryan (and stay away from the "chili" up here, it’s disgusting).
|Surely, you'd say, the Lions are having an offseason that is asking them to reconsider their drafting philosophy. Three, yes three, members of their most recent draft class were arrested for marijuana-related incidents in the past few months. All three -- DT Nick Fairley, RB Mike Leshoure and 7th-rounder OT Johnny Culbreath -- are subject to suspensions upto 4 games in 2012.
But Lions GM, Martin Mayhew, remains undeterred from drafting players with question marks.
"If you go back 10, 15 years ago, and a guy had a positive test, that was a big deal. That was something to be very concerned about. It still is, but not at the level it was years ago. There are certain things we want to hear from guys. There are certain things we don’t want to hear from guys. It doesn’t help us to tell you [media] what those things are."
With this in mind, we turn to our mock draft in progress. On the offensive side, the Lions are eager to bolster both Tackle and Guard spots to better protect their ace, Matthew Stafford, however, they lose potential franchise LT Jonathan Martin to Chicago and franchise OG Cordy Glenn to Cincinnati. The defensive side is much more promising, especially at CB, where the Lions can draft a day one starter or DE where a number of players can bolster depth on an already fearsome defensive line.
Unfortunately for the Lions, this is where the recreational activities of their 2011 class puts them in a pickle. All things being even, Janoris Jenkins is easily the Lions' pick, but his off-the-field activities definitely give the team a reason to hesitate. And whether Mayhew really believes what is quoted above, or even if is just a draft tactic, the front office has to realize the risks of locker-room influence and bad PR. After this offseason, their hands are tied in Jenkins' case. Still, the Lions will pick a CB here because of that hole in their secondary, and will happily scoop up the falling Alabama junior who possesses great size, strength and a willingness to participate in run defense.
|The Steelers were prepared to snap up Dre Kirkpatrick, but he was taken in the previous pick. This led to a discussion of several candidates including Shea McClellin, Nick Perry, Amini Silotolu, Courtney Upshaw, and Peter Konz. The steelers felt that McClellin was the best player available, filled an immediate need at ILB, and could fill a future need at OLB as James Harrison is aging. The 3 concussions McClellin suffered at Boise State were the major drawback to the pick, but the Steelers felt that it was a risk worth taking.||I relied on the CBS Big Board to make this pick. At this point in the draft, I'm looking for the best value that's also the best fit for my team. The only exception I'd make is if I have a player that's rated so highly on my board that I have to pick him up regardless of need. Of course, depending on one's own board, you could make the argument that there are other players that should be taken instead, but at #25, I'm going with Nick Perry. Here's why:
Given the speed and explosion he showcased at the combine (4.68s 40, unofficial 1.57s 10yd split, 38.5in vertical, 10' 4" broad jump), I think the Denver front office will see Perry as a more athletic DE than Upshaw and will have him rated slightly higher on their board. Adding him to an already talented pass rush will make their defense even that much more lethal as Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense is expected score a lot more points than last year.
|Threat Red (1-2)||Feature Wideout||none||none
|Threat Orange (3-4)||43 OLB, SS, CB, Feature Back, Posession Receiver, Guard, TE, QB||Cornerback, Left Tackle, Right Tackle, Guard, Center, Free Safety||SILB, 34 DT, Guard, Feature Back, COP Back, Right Tackle, Left Tackle, CB
||43 DE, CB, QB, Feature Back, COP Back, Feature Receiver, Posession Receiver, Slot Receiver, Guard, Center, Right Tackle, 43 OLB, SILB, SS|
|Threat Yellow (5-6)||43 MLB||43 DE, QB, Feature Back, COP Back, Feature Receiver, 43 OLB||34 DE, 34 OLB, TE, QB, Feature Receiver, FS, SS
|Threat Green (8-9)||FS, Slot Receiver, Center, Left Tackle||43 DT, 43 Sam ILB, 43 Will LB, SS, Posession Receiver, Tight End||WILB, Posession Receiver, Slot Receiver, Center
||Tight End, Left Tackle|
|Drafttek.com||#24 Overall, #3 At Position||#25 Overall, #3 At Position||#41 Overall, #4 At Position
||#36 Overall, #4 At Position|
|Wes Bunting, National Football Post||#17 Overall, #3 At Position||#11 Overall, #2 At Position||#51 Overall, #5 At Position
||#30 Overall, #3 At OLB/DE|
|CBS Sports||#8 Overall, #3 At Position||#21 Overall, #3 At Position||#33 Overall, #3 At Position
||#18 Overall, #2 At Position|
|Mike Mayock||#19 Overall, #3 At Position||#27 Overall, #3 At Position||#14 Overall, #1 At Position
||#49 Overall, #5 At Position|
|NFLDraftScout.com||"Accuracy: Very good accuracy in the short passing game, puts ball on the numbers or in a place where receiver can make a play after the catch, even when throwing off his back foot. Quite accurate making plays on the run, squares his shoulders throwing in either direction, has deft touch but also puts some zip on shorter to intermediate throws and places the ball to the outside. Hits open receivers in stride downfield. Generally throws a nice fade to the outside, will underthrow when trying to put too much air under the pass. Makes intermediate throws to the short side of the field, but too often sails throws over the middle or to the sideline from the pocket.
Arm Strength: Possesses an NFL arm. Gets the ball from one hash to the opposite sideline in a hurry. Has the zip to hit tight windows on short and intermediate throws. Tight spiral aids velocity. Flips the ball 20-30 yards downfield on the run.
Setup/Release: Inconsistent release, at times flipping the ball out quickly like Philip Rivers and winding up on other throws. Height and tall, balanced posture in pocket makes it easy to survey the field. Splits time between shotgun and coming out from under center. Takes extra steps in his drop at times. Feels interior pressure too quickly, throws off back foot when unnecessary (though it's still accurate). Pats ball to keep rhythm. Delivery gets a bit sidearm, allows linemen to knock down throws. Not practiced stepping up into the pocket to find room to throw.
Reading Defenses: Sees the field very well when the play breaks down and occasionally changes plays at the line, but needs work recognizing coverages. Will throw his man into a defender, resulting in big hits. Also needs to be cognizant of blitzes and outside pressure, puts himself (and the ball) in danger too often by failing to see late comers and secondary rush. Sells play fake and is patient enough to look to one side of the field before going to primary option on misdirection plays. Stares down receivers too often, NFL-caliber defenders close on his passes to create turnovers.
On the Move: Excellent mobility for his size, not surprising given his success at receiver. Regularly used on bootlegs (with good urgency on play fake) to either side of the formation take advantage of his athleticism. Presses the line running to his left, puts himself into the arms of defenders. Good touch on underneath throws when plays break down. Won't get the corner as easily against NFL defenders, but has the quickness to get chunks of yardage on naked bootlegs and when lanes open in man coverage. Watches the pressure and flushes a bit early, but once in the open he looks for downfield targets. Tough player, but takes too many hits downfield on zone-read plays and scrambles, must learn to slide. Height and slight build bring durability concerns. "
|"Man Coverage: Possesses prototypical size and strength combination to lock down NFL receivers on the outside. Long arms and attitude give him a chance to be very good in press role. Plays with natural bend and fair foot quickness in his backpedal. Hips are fluid for his size, opens them up quickly out of pedal to keep inside position while running down the sideline. Recovery speed from double-moves and pick plays is more than adequate, does not give much ground trailing on crossing routes. Can be overaggressive landing his punch in press, giving up inside position, losing his balance, or even falling down.
Zone Coverage: Mainly used in man, but flashes playmaking ability in zones, as well. Uses his size and length to close and wrap effectively after the catch. Reads quarterback when playing off, baits him to make the underneath throw then closes to make the interception or a big hit to dislodge ball from receiver. Uses length to knock away touch passes behind him and in front of the safety.
Ball Skills: Strong enough to win jump balls down the sideline or 50-50 balls over the middle. Good hand-eye coordination to knock away passes in front of receivers with off hand. Does not find the ball quickly when receiver turns to look, overruns plays too regularly. Gambles on interceptions instead of securing the tackle.
Run Support: Very physical outside, pushes aside smaller wideouts easily and does not back down from confrontations with larger players. Willing to add himself to piles. Good hustle and chase downfield to help teammates. Typically keeps outside leverage but will get aggressive, leaving the sideline vulnerable. Needs to consistently break down and keep his feet outside or NFL backs will evade him.
Tackling: Flashes pure strength to stop receivers and running backs in their tracks on the outside, should get stronger over time. Likes to throw his shoulder into receivers to force them out of bounds. Resorts to duck-and-swipe when unnecessary, which may work against college ballcarriers but will cause problems at the next level. Used on corner blitzes due to size/speed combination, forces a lot of quick throws. Willing to go for the strip, especially if ballcarrier already engaged. Negates special teams gunners on punts, stays with them with effort, physicality and speed. "
|"Strengths: Plays fast with very good football quickness and agile footwork. A high effort and energy rusher who plays with obvious passion and intensity -- relentless and tenacious motor. Fast in pursuit with good chase skills to track down the action. Good get-off momentum and anticipation -- instinctive defender who locates the ball quickly. Extremely active and plays with an aggressive playing nature and attitude -- self-starter and strong finisher. Country strong and very physical, welcoming contact. Fights and works hard to find a way to beat blockers -- disruptive with a nose for the ball. Versatile defensive player with experience at LB, DE and other hybrid front-seven positions. A creative pass rusher, using a variety of moves and techniques to create pressure. Tough and durable with a productive collegiate resume (33.0 tackles for loss and 20.5 sacks), starting the final 37 games of his career in Boise.
Weaknesses: Not a quick-twitch player and lacks natural explosion -- not an elite athlete. Has only average functional size and strength, lacking the natural power and length to overwhelm blockers at the next level. Too energetic at times and often over pursues his target -- can be overaggressive and take himself out of the play. Lacks a natural position for the next level and won't be at his best if he's locked into one spot. "
|"Pass rush: Has very good first step quickness and does a nice job in space. Has the footwork, body control and fluidity to quickly change directions. Does a nice job elevating and getting his hands up to knock down passes at the line of scrimmage. Works hard to collapse the pocket with a relentless motor. Brings aggressive playing style on every snap and doesn't quit. Lacks elite size and length -- undersized and can be swallowed by larger blockers.
Run defense: Read/reacts quickly with good awareness and recognition skills to chase down the play from different angles. Understands leverage and does a nice job staying balanced, getting lower than blockers and underneath their pads, usually attracting holding penalties.
Explosion: A quick, flexible athlete with sharp burst off the snap. Shows the natural bend and coordination to dip his shoulder and consistently win the edge. Doesn't always time-up his explosion and isn't a sudden pass rusher.
Strength: Uses his powerful upper body and hands to force his way into the pocket. Does a nice job swatting blocker's hands/arms with his violent, active hands. Struggles to disengage at the point of attack and will never be the strongest on the field -- functional strength is a question mark.
Tackling: Plays smart and disciplined, staying at home and restraining from biting on fakes -- listens and applies coaching. Good hand strength to secure tackles. Lacks ideal arm length, but works hard to wrap and tackle through the ballcarrier. "
|DraftHeadquarters.com||#22 Overall, #3 At Position||#21 At Position, #3 At Position||Unranked
||#28 Overall, #2 At Position|