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 ninth pick in the draft!
GM: [Antonio S]
Selection: (DR) Star Lotulelei, Utah
Here's our GM with his explanation of the selection:
Why the pick: A top 5 talent falling to nine? That is just way too good for the Jets to pass up. While Star Lotulelei's medical condition to my knowledge is a non-issue, it has dropped him some but not enough for the Jets to over look. according to ESPN: "after Wednesday's workout, Lotulelei told reporters he was medically cleared a week after the combine and speculated the initial abnormality may have been caused by a virus." In my opinion Star would be perfect NT for Rex Ryan's 3-4 scheme but can also be used as a one tech in a 4-man front on passing downs.
HIGH PRIORITY TEAM NEEDS (lower number indicates higher priority) according to Drafttek.com
-- Threat Level Red (priority 1-2): Guard, 3-4 OLB
-- Threat Level Orange (priority 3-4): Tight End, Feature Back, COP Back, Feature Receiver, Right Tackle, Free Safety, Strong Safety, 3-4 DT
-- Threat Level Yellow (priority 5-6): Quarterback, Possession Receiver, 3-4 DE
-- Threat Level Green (priority 9): Slot Receiver, Center, Left Tackle, Corner, 3-4 SILB, 3-4 WILB
-- Drafttek.com ranked #13 Overall, #3 at the position
-- Russ Lande, National Football Post: #4 Overall, #1 at the position
SUMMARY - Going from not qualifying academically out of high school to go to BYU, to delivering furniture during that first year not playing football, through junior college and to Utah, Lotulelei has developed a work ethic and determination that is uncommon amongst 300+ pound DT's. For a player who was so highly regarded entering the 2012 season, I was expecting to be disappointed as I usually am by hyped players. However, Star jumped out early in the first game I evaluated against USC and just kept getting better and making more impact plays. He no doubt must become quicker taking on and shedding OL run blocks and needs to improve his pass rush repertoire, but his physical talent is unquestionable. Overall, Lotulelei is going to be a Top 20 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft because he has a rare combination of size, strength, athleticism and competitiveness. I believe that he will be a highly productive starter in the NFL and what position he plays will depend entirely on what team selects him. I think he can be equally effective as a DE in a 34 scheme or a DT in a 43 defense.
-- CBSSports.com ranked #16 overall, #2 at the position
-- DraftInsider.Net ranked #2 overall, #1 at the position
-- DraftCountdown ranked #3 overall, #1 at the position
-- Scout.com ranked #8 overall, #2 at the position
-- Mike Mayock ranked #2 at the position
-- NFLDraftScout.com profile (Rob Rang):
STRENGTHS: Boasts all of the physical traits to ultimately rank as one of the better, more versatile defensive linemen in the NFL.
Flashes an explosive burst off the snap. Possesses the lateral agility and flexibility to slip through gaps and ruin plays before they even have a chance to begin.
Strong, heavy hands to control his opponent and possesses the upper and core strength to simply rag-doll offensive linemen. Possesses a thick, classic Polynesian build well suited to anchoring against the run, making him a natural candidate to play inside at nose guard or defensive tackle, as well as a five-technique defensive end.
Has a developing arm-over swim move to break free from blockers when initially slowed at the point of attack. Locates the ball well and gives good effort in lateral pursuit to make the tackle. Has only average arm length but is very strong, showing the ability to grab and pull down ballcarriers seemingly out of his grasp. Has a short-area burst to close on the ball and can generate impressive explosiveness as a hitter.
Seemed to step up his play against top competition, enjoying some of his best moments against USC (and highly regarded senior center Khaled Holmes), as well as state rivals BYU and Utah State.
WEAKNESSES: Inconsistent. Relies too much on his unique physical traits to overcome rather marginal technique. Does not possess an elaborate array of pass rush moves and has just seven sacks in 38 career games at Utah. Too often is stale-mated when his initial burst and power are contained.
Possesses shorter than ideal arms, which contributes to his struggles slipping blocks and his relative lack of passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage (five over his career).
Carries a bit of extra weight around his midsection and played at Snow Junior College in 2008 at more than 350 pounds. Will be slightly older than most prospects (turned 23 in December) after sitting out the 2009 season.
Now On The Clock: Tennessee Titans
Previous Picks: Chiefs: OT Luke Joeckel, Jaguars: CB Dee Milliner, Raiders: DE/OLB Jarvis Jones, Eagles: DE/OLB Dion Jordan, Lions: DE Ziggy Ansah, Browns: DE Sharrif Floyd, Cardinals: OT Eric Fisher, Bills: QB Geno Smith