Our 2013 Community Mock Draft [is underway]! In this annual exercise we put the fates of all 32 teams in the hands of our community. This exercise accomplishes several things. For one, we often have a bit of tunnel vision when it comes to the NFL. We will get a glimpse into the needs of each of the franchises. It also helps us get familiar with each of the first-round prospects because like last year in a trade up for Morris Claiborne, you never quite know what the future holds for Dallas.
Every GM has been informed of their team's needs and is ready to roll. Let's see who will be selected with the seventh pick in the draft!
GM: [Glory Daze]
Selection: (OT) Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
Here's our GM with his explanation of the selection:
Why the pick: Arizona lead the league in sacks in 2012 with 58. Unfortunately, we aren't talking about their Defense. The Cards find themselves compelled to go with the 2nd best athlete of the big 3 and #1 rated tackle on many boards. This is that epic moment when best player available and team needs collide. Eric Fisher cuts an impressive figure, enjoying 34 inch arms with freak like athleticism uncommon for a man of 6 foot 7 and 310 pounds. Due to his massive frame, the feeling is that Fisher could gain another 20 to 30 lbs. and you wouldn't notice, nor would he lose any athleticism. This one time high school basketball player has been climbing draft boards due to a truly dominating senior bowl.
He quickly dispatched the small school label that comes with Central Michigan by repeatedly stoning some of the best edge rushers in the country during practice sessions, guys like Alex Okafor and Datone Jones. Fisher is the perfect tonic for the ills plaguing the Cardinals and their 32nd ranked offensive line per profootballfocus. Levi Brown, a former first round pick, has been the anchor at Left Tackle for years but a torn triceps muscle in pre-season forced him to sit during 2012. The Cards were forced to rock 2012 Rookie fourth round pick Robert Massie at Right Tackle and the human turnstile, D ‘Anthony Batiste, at left Tackle. Both tackles were just toys for opposition edge rushers, and although Massie gets a rookie pass for his trial by fire, Batiste was exceptionally ineffective allowing 12 sacks, five quarterback hits and 35 quarterback pressures on 387 pass blocking snaps.
This led to an unimaginable -38.7 blocking grade for D'Anthony, who isn't expected back. While Brown is projected to return full force there have been rumblings from the Cardinal faithful over at revenge of the birds that he would be better suited at Guard because he is better at run blocking than pass blocking. In addition, there is the possibility of Brown moving to Right Tackle with a stud like Fisher taking over duties at Left Tackle or vice versa. A day one starter at either Tackle spot, the Cards get their man.
HIGH PRIORITY TEAM NEEDS (lower number indicates higher priority) according to Drafttek.com
-- Threat Level Red (priority 1-2): Left Tackle, Quarterback
-- Threat Level Orange (priority 3-4): Guard, 3-4 OLB, 3-4 SILB, Free Safety, Strong Safety, Corner, 3-4 DT, 3-4 DE, Feature RB, Slot Receiver, Tight End, Center
-- Threat Level Yellow (priority 5-6): 3-4 WILB
-- Threat Level Green (priority 9): COP RB, Feature Receiver, Possession Receiver, Right Tackle
-- Drafttek.com ranked #3 Overall, #2 at the position
-- Russ Lande, National Football Post: #11 Overall, #2 at the position
SUMMARY - As passing has become vital to offensive success in the NFL, the value of athletic left tackles has gone up dramatically. He impressed us with his ability to bend knees and pass block with base. This enabled him to slide out to the corner to easily block explosive, speed rushers and to re-direct and slide in other direction to handle quick change of direction pass rush moves. As opposed to many aggressive offensive tackles, Fisher displayed outstanding patience in pass protection and did not lunge/reach to get hands on pass rusher. Obviously, playing strength is going to be an issue until he gains weight and uses hands better to slow pass rusher's charge. He will likely get pushed around by strong NFL defensive ends until he do so. Overall, Fisher is an excellent prospect with the tools to be a good starter from day one and the potential to be a high end starter long term. However, it is vital to realize that while Fisher and Joeckel are both elite offensive tackle prospects, neither is in the class of Orlando Pace, Jon Ogden or Walter Jones.
-- CBSSports.com ranked #3 overall, #2 at the position
-- DraftInsider.Net ranked #6 overall, #2 at the position
-- DraftCountdown ranked #4 overall, #2 at the position
-- Scout.com ranked #2 overall, #2 at the position
-- Mike Mayock ranked #2 at the position
-- NFLDraftScout.com profile:
STRENGTHS: Balanced athlete. Nimble feet and plays with excellent coordination and length for a 6-7, 305-pound blocker. Fisher is a smooth mover in any direction and does a nice job breaking down in space to handle speed rushers, showing the eye discipline to mirror defenders. He has added "good" weight the past few years and players with a strong frame and core.
Fisher is a fiery competitor and plays with more pop than expected, delivering power in the run game. But he looks comfortable in pass protection and has worked hard to improve his technique and instincts at the position. Proved more than capable of handling the "jump" in competition in Mobile, establishing himself as the elite prospect at any position to play in the 2013 Senior Bowl.
WEAKNESSES: Lacks elite upper- and lower-body strength. When he was beaten during Senior Bowl practices it was normally by bull rushers able to get into his pads and drive him backward. Naturally because of his height, Fisher will allow his pads to rise at times and can be walked backwards because he doesn't have a stout anchor. Didn't face many NFL-caliber pass rushers while at Central Michigan.
Now On The Clock: Buffalo Bills