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 11th pick in the draft!
Selection: (OT) [Lane Johnson, Oklahoma]
Here's our GM with his explanation of the selection:
Why the pick: In the last few years the San Diego Chargers have gone from contender to average. The San Diego Chargers were once one of the elite teams in the AFC and were constant contenders/Super Bowl favorites. They once boasted a backfield of LaDainian Tomlinson, Darren Sproles, & Mike Tolbert. They also had a premier Tight End in Antonio Gates & one of the best pair of receivers in Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd. Most importantly though they had one of the best left young left tackles in the league (Marcus McNeill) protecting Philip Rivers's blind side. If you go back and study the years with L.T, most of his yards came from running behind Left tackle McNeill and guard Kris Dielman.
The Chargers had one of the best offenses in the league as well. With Lane Johnson, The Chargers give Philip Rivers a tackle that has a very high ceiling. I mean all he did was set the record for the fastest tackle to run the 40 in combine history. CBS Sports compares him to Joe Staley who has a similar athletic background. Him & Jonathan Cooper had a great combine & solidified themselves as top 1st round picks. Being that he has played both Left & Right tackle in college also helps him. I wanted to go with Cooper but I think tackle is more of a need and there is always Larry Warford in the second.
The Chargers have lost a lot of veteran names like Atari Bigby, Louis Vasquez, & Shaun Philips but, this team is clearly in a rebuilding stage with a New Coach and GM. Lane Johnson would be a good pick to start the draft. They can address the need at safety, guard, & linebacker later in the draft as these positions are relatively deep.-
HIGH PRIORITY TEAM NEEDS (lower number indicates higher priority) according to Drafttek.com
-- Threat Level Red (priority 1-2): Left Tackle, 3-4 Defensive Tackle
-- Threat Level Orange (priority 3-4): 3-4 OLB, Strong Safety, Cornerback, Feature Running Back, Feature Receiver, Center
-- Threat Level Yellow (priority 5-6): Guard, Right Tackle, Quarterback, COP Running Back, Sam ILB, Tight End, 3-4 Defensive End
-- Threat Level Green (priority 9): Free Safety Will ILB, Posession Receiver, Slot Receiver
NFL.com Draft Grade: 92.9
-- Drafttek.com ranked #7 Overall, #3 at the position
-- Russ Lande, National Football Post: #23 Overall, #3 at the position
Johnson is one of the more unique offensive linemen to enter the NFL as a high draft pick. Having played quarterback in high school and during his first season at junior college, Johnson was tried as a tight end and defensive end before being moved to offensive tackle in the spring of 2011. To say that he blossomed quickly would be an understatement as he has better footwork and use of hands (Excluding his lack of an aggressive punch) than many tackles who have played the position their entire careers. Overall, Johnson is not as good of a blocker right now as Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher, but based on what I saw at the Senior Bowl, I expect that in time he will be right there with both of them challenging to be a Pro Bowl tackle. Although his on field production at Oklahoma may warrant more of a second round grade, when combined with his length, athleticism and amazing development in such a short time playing the position, I would be surprised if he makes it past the 15th pick of the first round.
-- CBSSports.com ranked #7 overall, #3 at the position
-- DraftInsider.Net ranked #16 overall, #3 at the position
-- DraftCountdown ranked #9 overall, #3 at the position
-- Scout.com ranked #10 overall, #3 at the position
-- Mike Mayock ranked #3 at the position
-- NFLDraftScout.com profile (Dane Brugler):
STRENGTHS: Johnson looks the part with a large frame and long arms (35"). He has quick feet to mirror and has an effortless kick-slide. Explosive off the snap and sets up quickly, using his extremely wide base to cover a large area. He digs his cleats in the turf and lowers his butt in pass protection with the strong upper body to control defenders.
Johnson does a nice job using his length to keep rushers at bay and uses his physical limbs to eliminate defenders with his nasty attitude. He has large, powerful hands and usually keeps his hands inside. Natural bender with flexible joints, contorting his frame and selling out for blocks. He locks out and seals defenders on the edge, doing a nice job engaging in space to create run lanes.
Has the competitive drive that scouts want for the position and the upside to continue to develop at the position
WEAKNESSES: Room to pack on some more muscle to his frame and strengthen his anchor. He will play undisciplined at times and overextend himself in space, caught hunched at the wait too often. Gets in trouble when he stops his feet and his technique needs refinement. He needs to keep his feet underneath him to better sustain and not fall off blocks.
Johnson needs to keep his eyes elevated in the run game and improve his blocking angles. He plays a tad mechanical and his hand placement can get sloppy at times. He has only played on the offensive line for two seasons and is still rough around the edges at times.
Now On The Clock: Miami Dolphins
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, Jets: DT Star Lotulelei, Titans: OG Chance Warmack