It's time to unveil the second act in our off-Broadway production better known as the BTB Writers' Mock. If you'd like to check out round one, go here.
|Team & GM||Selection||Details|
||DE||Auburn||With Brooks Reed proving to be a disappointment, the Texans look to shore up the outside pass rushing spot opposite Whitney Mercilus. With the first round selection of Clowney, Houston now has a pass rushing murderer's row; on passing downs, Clowney and Watt can kick inside, with Mercilus and Ford as the outside speed guys. The best medicine for teams that don't have a franchise QB is a great front seven. The Texans think they have given themselves that security until they can develop a signal caller.|
||OG||Stanford||Washington gets someone they hope will both protect the quarterback and provide some good run blocking with his pulling ability. Yankey also brings some position flexibility, having played tackle in college before moving inside. Not a flashy selection, he is a move to build from the inside instead of mortgaging the future on, well, flash.|
||RB||Washington||It's sacrilegious to make any comparisons to Emmitt Smith, but Bishop Sankey has a lot of similar traits. He's a powerful back for his size, who has an uncanny ability to avoid the big hit. He's shown an incredible ability to be a pass-catching threat and might just be the new prototypical back. Great lateral ability, jump cut and burst.|
||OT||Alabama||Reggie McKenzie and his staff did a good job filling glaring needs in free agency, thus allowing them to develop a young core via the draft. They turn to the dominating Alabama product, a tough, nasty athletic brawler. Scouts say that he's a better RT prospect than former teammate D.J. Fluker, who was selected 12th overall in 2013. Getting that kind of value at the 36th pick has the Oakland war room doing triple flips.|
|37*||DENVER||RABBLE||Bradley Roby||CB||Ohio State
||Although they secured Aqib Talib's services in free agency, the defending AFC champs could use some further reinforcement at the position, especially after bidding adieu to longtime stalwart Champ Bailey. In Roby, they get a prospect with world-class speed and the ability to "click-and-close" on the ball. Plus, he brings a feisty attitude, something every team east of Seattle is looking to add to its defensive personnel.||see 1.31|
|38||TAMPA BAY||OCC||Morgan Moses||OT||Virginia||The Bucs nabbed OT Anthony Collins in free agency but they lost OTs Donald Penn and Gabe Carimi. Picking up the 6'6", 313 Moses solidifies their tackle situation for years. Moses played LT at Virginia, but will compete immediately at RT and could possibly play LT. He's massive, has a lot of length, a lot of power, and a great beard.|
||With Crichton, the Jaguars go for an edge rusher who comes hard off the edge, but also can hold up in the run game. More of a bull rusher, he has the power to do that very well. He is hard to stop, but very good at stopping opposing running backs, and pursues well.|
|40||MINNESOTA||RABBLE||Jimmy Ward||S||N. Illinois
||Minnesota has 2012 first-rounder Harrison Smith entrenched at free safety, but need a dynamic player to line up opposite him. They find the perfect candidate in Senior Bowl standout Ward, a competitive and heady player. He possesses the physical make up and man-to-man cover skills to line up against slot receivers, which will allow new defensive coordinator George Edwards to explore his creativity.|
||The new Cleveland brass wasn't at all impressed with what they saw on film of Paul Kruger and want to solidify their pass rush. Attaochu had a production ratio of just under 2.0 in his last two years, the man knows how to cause disruption in the backfield. He's both athletic and strong and has a relentless motor to chase down plays.||See Pick 1.4|
|42*||ATLANTA||OCC||Trent Murphy||DE||Stanford||The Atlanta Falcons coaches were in charge of the North squad at the Senior Bowl and moved Murphy from LB to DE. They liked what they saw from the Pac-12 Conference one-man wrecking crew who posted a whopping 23.5 tackles for loss last year, including 15 sacks and six pass breakups. Murphy's position flex as a DE and LB will allow the Falcons to line him up all over the field and together with Kony Ealy gives Falcons coach Mike Nolan the pass rush he so desparately needs.||See 1.6|
||LB||Ohio State||The Giants need help pretty much everywhere, and add onto their defensive rebuild with possibly the fastest linebacker in the draft.|
||JOEY||Gabe Jackson||OG||Mississippi State
||The Rams continue their efforts to improve their offense, by adding another young quality piece to their offensive line in Jackson.|
||Needing secondary help, the Lions get a player who has experience at both the cornerback and safety positions. Joyner is very strong against the run, has good speed, and a reputation for an excellent work ethic. His position flexibility and special teams skills give him a variety of ways he can help the team.|
||The Steelers get a big but very athletic player who fits well as a 3-4 end. He should be able to use his impressive strength and ability to hold his ground in the run game and shed blockers. Probably better here at attacking the passer than as an edge rusher, although he has experience in both. The Steelers get the best player left on their board and fill a real need.|
||DE||Louisville||Dallas is estatic to pick up the guy they consider to be the best 4-3 edge rusher not named Clowney. Smith is a speed rusher with good power, great hands and good bend and body control. He continues pursuit oof plays away from him, showing a good motor. He's also scheme versatile enough to play Leo or move to the 34 if that's every in the team's future.|
||RB||Auburn||Baltimore is putting in a new offense that will rely heavily on their RB. With all the uncertainty surrounding Ray Rice both on and off the field, the Ravens go after a man who should carry the load for them in Gary Kubiak's offense.|
||The Jets need to upgrade their offensive skill positions if they want either Geno Smith or Michael Vick to succeed. Amaro has an elite combination of height, weight, and speed, and he's been described as an "industrial-sized" slot receiver. Just what the Jets need.|
||WR||Vanderbilt||The Bills made a power move earlier in the draft to get QB EJ Manuel the protection that he needs in Greg Robinson, now they give him a number one target. Matthews immediately becomes the lead dog of the Bills youth movement at wideout, with tremendous size (6'3" 215 lbs), body control, and after the catch moves. A senior leader, Matthews allows Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin make sense as slot and speed options. In a wideout heavy draft, Buffalo felt the need to make a power move and get their favorite of the three remaining second-round rated wideouts. Buffalo was actually able to manufacture a trading-up bidding war between Miami and Dallas.||BUF gets picks 50 & 143 | MIA gets picks 73 & 83|
||TE||Washington||Seferian-Jenkings is an intriguing height-weight-speed prospect, and was a John Mackey Award winner as the nation's top tight end last year. He gives Josh McCown another great target, especially in the endzone, that should have the Tampa offense clicking.||See Pick 1.7|
||CB||Missouri||The Cowboys go off the consensus path to lock in who they consider to be the most talented corner in the draft. Gaines excelled at Missouri playing off coverage showing a tremendous ability to turn and run with wideouts. The club is preparing to move on from Brandon Carr as soon as next season when they can escape from his contact, and brings in a player custom fit for the defense they run.||See 1.16|
|53||GREEN BAY||TOM||Davante Adams
||In a draft with a lot of body catchers, Green Bay is thrilled to get a natural hands catcher who is compared to Michael Crabtree. He has a lot of upside, although he will take a little development to become a reliable starter. But at this spot in the draft he is a great value who will contribute early and often.|
||After passing on a QB to fortify their front seven in the first two rounds, the Texans trade up to get the signal caller they had their eyes on all along. Garoppolo is a great leader, with good vision, touch and pocket presence - all qualities Houston's new offensive braintrust believes they can mold into a Pro Bowl caliber performer. Although he has drawn comparisons to current Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, other shrewd observers believe he's an "Aaron Rodgers starter kit." With the two most important position groups on the football field (QB and pass rusher) filled with players they believe to be the draft's best at their position, the Texans war room fills with celebratory cigar smoke...||PHI gets picks 65 & 97 | HOU gets pick 54|
||The Bengals lost Mike Zimmer to the Bengals and have to replace him as their DC, One of the top priorities for the new coordinator will be replacing Michael Johnson who departed to Tampa in Free Agency. Although Johnson wasn't highly productive (3.5 sacks in 2013) he was a valuable piece for that group. Bringing Martin in with this pick allows them to continue to get after the quarterback which drives the success of their defense.|
||WR||Mississippi||Just what the doctor ordered for Geno Smith/ Michael Vick: The 6-3, 220 pound Moncrief has prototype height, weight, and speed, and ran a 4.40 40-yard dash at the Combine. He also led all wide receivers in the broad jump and tied for third in the vertical and 40. On the field, Moncrief has a start/stop ability that is rare in receivers his size, making him a dangerous mismatch on the outside.||See 1.18|
||CB||Lindenwood||San Diego added some beef up front in the first round, and again adds to the defense here. They were horrible against the pass last year, (4th most yds/game allowed) and a long CB like Desir should help them improve in that area.|
||TOM||Kyle Van Noy
||LB||BYU||The Saints get a quick and fluid linebacker with good instincts. Shows some pass coverage skills in closing on the receiver. Excellent recognition of the play and keeps himself in position to fight off blockers and take on the ball carrier. More efficient than powerful, he should be a great piece with the smarts for a Rob Ryan scheme.|
||CB||Nebraska||Indy needs defense, SJB plays defense, and is good at it. Jim Irsay tweets "WELCOME TO INDY STANLEY!" with a minute left on the pick clock, and Roger Goodell reprimands him for violating the spirit of the draft.|
||CB||Utah||With the departure of Captain Munnerlyn, the Panthers have a hole at corner (even with the signing of FA Antoine Cason): at present street free agent DeAndre Presley is slated to start on the left side. In McGill, they find a fluid, athletic corner with the rare size to match up against the Marques Colstons, Vincent Jacksons and Julio Joneses of the world. If it looks like every 4-3 defensive team is imitating Seattle, that's because they are.|
||OCC||Marcus Martin||C||USC||The 49ers keep their O-Line stock replenished with the best center to enter the draft since Travis Frederick.
||Aaron Hernandez needs to be replaced.
||DT||Florida||With a loaded roster, the Broncos can afford to take a chance on a player with Pro Bowl upside. At the very least, he can spell 2013 first rounder Sylvester Williams and replace Terrance Knighton on passing downs, with a thought to terrorizing opposing offenses full time starting in 2015. With Derek Wolf (second round in 2012), Williams and now Easley, Denver's defensive line is set for the foreseeable future.|
||OT||Tennessee||The Seahawks need some help on the offensive line, despite what some foolishly think is a dominating unit. Richardson's blend of size, power and agility will mean their stable of running backs (and nimble QB) will be able to get around the corner with ease.
Insight Into Dallas' Picks
Pick #47, Marcus Smith, DE
As explained in the blurb above, I'm infatuated with what Marcus Smith could bring to the table. Out of all of the "hybrid" candidates, I think Smith has, by far, the best power to his game and would make a much surer bet to be able to man the 4-3 DE position with his hand in the dirt. He's shown great hands technique, and should be able to combine that with a nice bend to use his speed to get the advantage over left tackles. He occasionally jumps offsides, as his snap count anticipation is a work in progress, but when he gets it right, that speed leaves little chance for OT's to recover and win. He will have to work on play recognition so he isn't exposed in the run game, but the edict in Dallas is stop the run on the way to the QB, so that won't be as big a sticking point for Marinelli as other D-Coordinators. I'd love it if Smith ended up in Dallas.
The Failed Trade
Dallas tried, like hell, to escape Pick 52. In retrospect, Dallas should have probably have accepted Arizona's original trade down offer in the first round, kept 78 and picked up 83 while sending a 5th to the Cards. Dallas would have traded 52 for 78 and 84 if it was made available to them, but that's hindsight. Dallas was hot and heavy over the Buffalo trade up to get Jordan Matthews. In the end, Buffalo took Dallas' offered deal of 52 and 146 (for 73 and 83) and got Miami to give their equivalents which were two and three slots higher respectively.
Pick #52, EJ Gaines, CB
Dallas went away from the conventional boards with this pick, and if it were to happen, they'd be well-prepared for the casual fan to lambast them for it. However, I love Gaines' game. I think, as an off corner, he is the best talent at the position in the entire draft. Then why isn't he ranked higher? Because Missouri NEVER put him in press coverage. Whether or not that was by defensive design or compensating for a shortcoming, we won't find out until the pros. The Cowboys defensive scheme however is originally built on being a great off-corner. The funny thing is, Gaines is extremely physical, despite not being up on the line of scrimmage. He has experience playing slot-man as well. With the Cowboys looking to sooner rather than later move on from Brandon Carr, getting Gaines into the system could be a coup.
Now, obviously, a team needs to mitigate their view of a guy with where he could be had in the draft. It is in this regard that I concede a bit of regret. If Dallas still had a third-round pick, that would make more sense for Gaines. However, without one, Dallas liked him more than other candidates with their own flaws and pulled the trigger.