The anticipation in the BTB community is at a maddening level, as there is now just one pick remaining ahead of our Dallas Cowboys. San Francisco just made what was perhaps the most unifying pick we'll see this mock, with the approval rating of the Von Miller pick checking in at an astounding 91%. Miller dropping to 7 will undoubtedly lead some Cowboys fans to consider trading up in a draft when many others are looking to trade down.
With that said, the Titans representatives have been beating down the doors of BTB to make sure they don't lose their choice like the GM of Buffalo did, cough cough. Let's go to the podium.
Selection: (DE) Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson
Why The Pick:
After putting it together during his third year at Clemson, Bowers declared for the draft with the talents to live up to a top 5 pick. Unfortunately, a lingering knee injury prevented him from performing at the Combine and dropping his stock. I think Bowers' upcoming pro day on Apr 1 will validate his status as one of the best pass rushers this year, which means a lot in draft class of Von Miller and Robert Quinn. Bowers is a strong physical specimen, impressive against the run, with wonderful recognition and reaction to the developing play. After some further physical development and expansion of his repertoire, his skills are tailor-made for Pro Bowl success as a DE in the Titans' system.
The runner up here is Julio Jones, whose otherworldly physical talent would shine opposite the emerging Kenny Britt. After all the deliberation, the Titans instead bookend another one of their up-and-comers -- sophomore star Derrick Morgan -- with an absolute steal at #8.
Follow the jump for analysis of the pick.
(AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)
HIGH PRIORITY TEAM NEEDS (lower number indicates higher priority) according to Drafttek.com:
Threat Level Red (priority 1-2): Cornerback, Quarterback, 4-3 Defensive End
Threat Level Orange (priority 3-4): 4-3 Outside LB, 4-3 Middle LB, 4-3 Defensive Tackle, Free Safety, Strong Safety, Feature Wide Receiver, Posession Wide Receiver, Slot Receiver, Guard, Center
Threat Level Yellow (priority 5-6): Tight End
Threat Level Green (priority 9): Running Back, Left Tackle, Right Tackle
Drafttek.com ranked #6 overall, #1 at the position
Wes Bunting, National Football Post: #12 Overall, #3 at the position
Impression: A strong, long-armed athlete with impressive closing speed for his size and natural anchor strength. However, needs to do a better job using his hands to shed blocks in both the run and pass game, gets held up far too often when engaged for me to give him an elite level grade.
CBSSports.com ranked #5 overall, #1 at the position
Scout.com ranked #1 overall, #1 at the position
Mike Mayock ranked #10 overall, #2 at the position
I boxed him in here for a reason. He has more ability than No. 10, but he's a one-year wonder. He had 15.5 sacks last season, and the two years before that he only had four combined. I want to know why.
Pass rush: Combines explosion out of his stance and pure upper-body strength to overwhelm most college right tackles. Senses bootlegs to his side of the field, keeps outside leverage and sheds -- or gets a hand on a receiver to slow him up -- before chasing down the quarterback. Gets his hands into passing lanes when stalemated at the line, with a great vertical and the length to block passes at the line. Lines up on either side of the line. Does not have an elite first step as an edge rusher, relies on bull rushes and poor footwork by college tackles to turn the corner. When lined up wide, he can get inside lane with his hands and is tough to stop once in his man's jersey. Better tackles can stand him up as the game progresses. Too often, he is late coming off the snap.
Run defense: Ready-made strong-side NFL defensive end because of his strength as a run-stopper. Uses thick upper body, quickness and awareness, and leverage to keep containment on the edge, and sheds most tackles easily. Stays square to the line of scrimmage and shows good awareness throughout the play. Competes, chasing to either sideline, even after losing his balance. Takes on multiple blockers, (tackles, pulling guards and fullbacks) as they come with violent hands so he can hold his ground. Generally stays alive against cut blocks, but loses his balance regularly and needs to use his hands better to defeat.
Explosion: Has explosive strength on the edge, bringing his full force in his hand punch to the chest of overmanned college tackles on bull rushes and when shedding blocks. Flashes the ability to come hard off the snap and turn the corner as a pass rusher on the strong side, but may struggle to do so against NFL right tackles without improving technique.
Strength: Already looks like an NFL end, pushing some tackles into the backfield with one arm, and will only grow stronger over the next couple of years in a pro strength and conditioning program. More developed in the upper body than the lower body, but plays with excellent leverage against bigger linemen. Strong hands to shed on the outside.
Tackling: Combines NFL-quality strength and length to provide explosive tackling on the edge. Most ballcarriers find it difficult to evade him once in his grasp. Closing speed and strong wrap give him the capability of forcing fumbles on sacks or against ballcarriers in the open field. Changes direction well for his size and is able to keep himself in outside runs to force a decision. NFL backs won't go down as easily as college backs do when he gets one hand on them, however.
|Draft Pick||Team||2010 Record||Assigned GM||Team Needs||Selection|
|1||Carolina||(2-14)||Alexcomestokill||4-3 DT, 4-3 DE, WR1, WR2, WR3, CB||AJ Green|
|2||Denver||(4-12)||Sean N||4-3 DT, 4-3 DE, FS, SS, 4-3 OLB, 4-3 ILB, TE, ROT||Nick Fairley|
|3||Buffalo||(4-12)||BTB||Everything except RB and WR, Kitchen Sink||Marcel Dareus|
|4||Cincinatti||(4-12)||staubachfan||QB, 4-3 DT, WR, 4-3 DE, FS, 4-3 MLB, OG, OC||Patrick Peterson|
|5||Arizona||(5-11)||howboutdemcowboyz||QB, 3-4 OLB, CB, OG, LOT||Cam Newton|
|6||Cleveland||(5-11)||BlueEyedDevil||4-3 DE, 4-3 OLB, 4-3 MLB, WR, FS, CB||Robert Quinn|
|7||San Francisco||(6-10)||regaberto||3-4 DT, 3-4 OLB, CB, OC, QB||Von Miller|
|8||Tennesee||(6-10)||accidentalinnuendo||QB, CB, 4-3 DE, 4-3 OLB, 4-3 MLB||Da'Quan Bowers|
[UPDATE] A lot of folks have been asking about trading up, unfortunately that is not allowed in this exercise. In retrospect, I probably should have considered it, but didn't at the outset and it would be bad form to allow later picks to move around and not the picks already placed. Trades are already in the rules for KDP's 10 for 10 Mock Draft Contest which kicks off next Monday, April 3rd.
Reminder, no need to rush your picks to me unless you feel you'll be unavailable 24 hours before your pick is due. The original schedule no longer holds, and instead of revising, I am just keeping to 'you'll have at least 24 hours after the previous pick to submit yours. First run on the exercise, working out the minor kinks. Thanks for your patience and participation BTB! [/UPDATE]
Sorry y'all- don't know what happened with the poll question.