Our 2013 Community Mock Draft keeps it moving! 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 15th pick in the draft!
Selection: (FS) [Kenny Vaccaro, Texas]
Here's our GM with her explanation of the selection:
Why the pick: The draft is not falling well for the Saints at this point.
Their positions where they have a red threat level need for a starter are LT, DE 34, OLB 34, and FS. All three of the big OT's are already gone and the highest rated 34 DE on the board is Datone Jones at #19. They also have a urgent need for a NT and CB, but either they are already all gone or they are a serious reach at this point. That leaves OLB 34 and FS. Now the Saints finally have a bit of luck turn their way. There sits Mingo, ranked at #10, and Vaccaro, ranked at #14. The Saints have just signed Victor Butler to fill the OLB 34 spot and help teach Rob's D so hole is patched.
That leaves 1 player on the board that matches up value wise to a red threat level spot. Vaccaro is the pick. The Saints D is in shambles, almost the entire D needs to be replaced however they have no cap to be able to sign players. I tried telling myself that they could get a S later or sign a cheap FA. But they don't have a 2nd round pick and they will need those later picks to use to shore up either the LT, NT. CB, SS and DE spots. There will be posts saying I should have gone strictly BPA and taken Mingo and I just very nearly did. However with no money to spend to sign FA's, a starting quality OLB already on the team and no FS in sight I took the needed starter that was only rated 4 spots lower on the big board. To me that is close enough to a wash for the other factors to kick in and take over.
HIGH PRIORITY TEAM NEEDS (lower number indicates higher priority) according to Drafttek.com
-- Threat Level Red (priority 1-2): Left Tackle, 3-4 DE, 3-4 OLB, Free Safety
-- Threat Level Orange (priority 3-4): 3-4 DT, Strong Safety, Cornerback, Right Tackle, Tight End, Guard, Center, Feature Receiver
-- Threat Level Yellow (priority 5-6): 3-4 Inside Linebackers, Quarterback, Feature Back, COP Back, Possession Receiver, Slot Receiver,
-- Threat Level Green (priority 9): None
NFL.com Draft Grade: 87.7
-- Drafttek.com ranked #14 Overall, #1 at the position
-- Russ Lande, National Football Post: #7 Overall, #1 at the position
SUMMARY - Kenny Vaccaro is a highly impressive athlete and is one of the most complete safety prospects to enter the NFL the past several years. His elite speed and explosiveness allows him to make plays all over the field vs. the run and pass, and his agility and smoothness allow him to play under control despite playing at such a high speed. His most impressive effort this season came against West Virginia, when he went man-to-man for much of the night vs. the explosive and elusive Tavon Austin and more than held his own. He is outstanding on run plays outside the box, as he takes excellent angles to the boundary and is able to stay square to his target and finish effectively in space. His ability to slide down and play nickel back only adds to his value at the next level, as coverage ability is paramount for safeties in today's NFL which is so often based on spreading the field and exposing isolated match-ups. I fully expect Vaccaro to hear his name called on day one of the draft, as he is clearly one of the top defensive backs in this class.
-- CBSSports.com ranked #19 overall, #1 at the position
-- DraftInsider.Net ranked #17 overall, #1 at the position
-- DraftCountdown ranked #15 overall, #1 at the position
-- Scout.com ranked #21 overall, #1 at the position
-- Mike Mayock ranked #1 at the position
-- NFLDraftScout.com profile (Rob Rang):
Strengths: Prototypical size and build for the position. Possesses a high-cut frame with good overall musculature. Shows very good straight-line speed, agility, balance and hip flexibility. Athleticism for coverage duties are enhanced by Vaccaro's vision and instincts. Quickly locates the ball and shows an understanding of route-progression, rarely getting caught out of position.
Often asked to drop down from his free safety position to cover the slot, demonstrating a smooth backpedal, hip turn and the burst out of his breaks to stay in the hip pocket of his opponent. Hasn't generated the number of interceptions of prior UT defensive backs, but has good ball skills and showed greater willingness to jump routes as a senior.
Highly aggressive run defender. Flies to the line in run support, demonstrating a physical pop and generally reliable open-field tackling skills. Possesses the long, strong arms for the drag-down tackle, as well as good closing speed in pursuit and on the occasional blitz.
Weaknesses: Can get out of control in his aggression toward the line of scrimmage. Will duck his head in his attempt to make the big hit and leave cut-back lanes for patient, explosive runners to take full advantage. Must do a better job of wrapping up, rather than leading with his shoulder.
Hasn't shown the consistency as ballhawk considering his hype, recording only five interceptions in 51 career games. Teams will want to ask Vaccaro about a few run-ins with authorities. He was reportedly arrested following a fight with another Texas student in 2009 and again in 2012 after failing to obey a lawful order, a misdemeanor.
Now On The Clock: St. Louis Rams
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, Chargers: OT Lane Johnson, Dolphins: CB Xavier Rhodes, Buccaneers: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame, Panthers: DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri