NFL Mock Draft 11-17

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By Paul M. Banks and Peter Christian

This year’s QB class is shaping up to be a rather weak one. But that won’t prohibit a few quarterbacks from jumping much  higher up the draft board than you might think when looking at the overall player value board. Remember Matt Ryan and the QB crop he led a couple years ago? It’s the most important position in football, and the most high profile job in all of sports, so expect to be some signal-callers taken much higher than they really should.

Team                             Player               Position     School

1. Cleveland Browns   Jimmy Clausen    QB    Notre Dame

They’ll draft another Notre Dame QB, even though the last one they picked (Brady Quinn) has been a bigger failure than Crystal Pepsi and New Coke combined. Hey, for every Joe Montana and Joe Theismann, there’s a Rick Mirer and a Ron Powlus. But Clausen’s draft stock has positive momentum, unlike Quinn- whose stock dived like Washington Mutual on draft day 2007.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Russell Okung  OT  Oklahoma State

Russell Okung is as good a left tackle you will find in all of college football. He has the fundamental base of a franchise tackle to go with his physical skills. Okung also gets praised by pretty much everyone for his intelligence as well. His time spent at T. Boone Pickens University will serve him well. The mental toughness he acquired from playing under Mike “I’M  A MAN! I’M 40!” Gundy will prepare him for the ship wreck he’s boarding in Tampa.

3.  St. Louis Rams   Eric Berry      S      Tennessee

If you don’t know who Eric Berry is, look him up. He could be the heir apparent to Ed Reed as the elite defensive playmaker in the NFL. And if there’s one thing St. Louis needs, it’s defensive plays. And offensive plays, and special teams plays and….

4. Kansas City Chiefs   Ndamukong Suh   DT      Nebraska

Suh is an expert at winning his battle at the line of scrimmage and causes disruption in the backfield constantly. He is an every down defensive tackle due to his dual ability to stuff the run or crash the pocket.

5. Detroit Lions Trent Williams        OT        Oklahoma

The Okung or Williams debate over who is the better choice at offensive tackle is one where there really isn’t a loser. Trent Williams, like Okung, has good feet, strong hands and the talent to become elite in the NFL.

6. Oakland Raiders Jake Locker     QB      Washington

JaMarcus’ numbers on the season: 2 TD passes, 9 INTs, 5 fumbles lost and the offense he “leads”  is averaging less than 10 PPG. I think we can safely say: bigger bust than Pamela Anderson. He wasn’t a much better pick than his draft classmate Brady Quinn, himself a bigger bust than Jenna Jameson. Raiders will move on at the most important position in football.

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7. Washington Redskins Gerald McCoy      DT             Oklahoma

This would be a nice complement to Albert Haynesworth, and the Skins could use more talent on the defensive line because the last time they had an overwhlemingly dominant d lineman was something like 40 years ago. McCoy is a pillar of strength that can dominate from the center of the field. He is very agile for a guy just shy of 300 pounds and will be a combine favorite.

8. Tennessee Titans Greg Hardy   DE          Ole Miss

Greg Hardy may be the purest sack artist in the draft. He has a lethal combination of speed and power that he mixes up to get to the quarterback. Hardy also has a sort of “Overdrive” that he shifts into once he smells a possible sack.

9. Buffalo Bills  Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma

Trent Edwards is obviously not the answer, not with that 30th ranked passing attack. After season ending surgery, Bradford’s draft stock was, to paraphrase Snoop Dogg “dropping it like its hot,” but it hasn’t fallen as fast as you might think. His body of work still speaks volumes about what he could do on the next level.

10. Seattle Seahawks Carlos Dunlap DE Florida

Dunlap is one of the biggest reasons Gator opponents have backfield mishaps. He is fast AND strong which will allow him to cause nightmares for opposing tackles for years to come. But because the press is busy kissing Tebow’s a$$ every time the Gators play, he’s a well kept secret.

11.  Denver Broncos (From the Chicago Bears, a horribly mismanaged organization that treats both the media and their fans like subhuman garbage)

Brandon LaFell            WR           LSU

LaFell is a rubber band man when it comes to contorting his body in the air to make the catch. His hands are his biggest asset as he catches the ball softly and away from his body. He needs to improve his route running as he isn’t a super fast runner but as long as he makes catches to bail out his quarterback he’ll be a good NFL player. And don’t let the record fool you, Kyle Orton is a guy who makes throws that need to be bailed out sometimes.

12. San Francisco 49ers Taylor Mays S USC

If you asked a scout to write down their ideal size and speed numbers for an NFL free safety they’d list: 6-3, 235, 4.4. Oddly enough that is Taylor’s height, weight and 40 time on record. Enough said.

13. Green Bay Packers Jonathan Dwyer RB Georgia Tech

Dwyer is an old school workhorse running back. He can run inside and outside and can handle as many carries as the coach gives him. Dwyer’s a big back, but he has good speed as well and can be the muscle of a two back system or handle the lone number one duties as well.

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14.  San Francisco 49ers (From Carolina) Sergio Kindle OLB Texas

Kindle is a versatile linebacker that is an excellent attacker. He takes very good angles to the ball and makes tackles all over the field. Sergio’s mix of energy and instincts allows him to overcome the fact that he is a little slower than coaches would want.

15. Houston Texans Jahvid Best RB Cal

Best is exactly what is name proclaims at his position. He has very good vision and an even better instinct on when to turn on the jets. He is very good at making defenders miss at every level. He isn’t a bruiser back but if coupled with a versatile offense he has the makings of the next young playmaking running back.

16. Miami Dolphins Terence Cody DT Alabama

Cody is a big time anchor guy who could go higher if he stays in good shape throughout the combine and workout process. He is a perfect 3-4 true nose tackle and can really control the flow and direction of a play.

17.  Jacksonville Jaguars  Bryan Bulaga OT Iowa

The Jags will get a huge boost in their ability to run and pass protect on the left side when they take Bulaga, the best OL in the Big Ten.

18. San Diego Chargers Sean Weatherspoon OLB Missouri

Weatherspoon can play both sides of the field (he’ll end up near the ball anyway) and is always around a big play. Whether he’s rushing the passer, busting up a play in the backfield, breaking up a pass or chasing down a receiver from behind, Weatherspoon can do it all.

19. New York Jets Arrelious Benn WR Illinois

In any other year, Rejus Benn fells out of the first round due to the lack of production his 2009 has seen. But this year’s receiving class is weak and it’s not his fault the quarterbacking in Champaign is a hot mess.

20. Dallas Cowboys Arthur Jones DT Syracuse

Jones’ is a gap filler and is stronger than Atlas. He is in a Pat Williams type run stopper that will be look like a man amongst boys at times. He plays hard on every play and is of the rare breed of football players that will never quit on any play.

21. Atlanta Falcons Rolando McClain LB Alabama

McClain is an amazing tackler in space and can cover a lot of ground from the middle linebacker spot. He’s got great fundamentals and has a knack of shedding blockers to make big tackles.

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22. Arizona Cardinals Joe Haden CB Florida

Haden has jumped to the top of the board amongst other corners with solid coverage and ball skills. He makes good reads and adjusts well to the ball when its in the air. And if weren’t for all of the college football media devoting 90% of their coverage to telling us what a model American Tim Tebow is, we’d all be more well aware of these facts.

23. Baltimore Ravens  Brandon Graham     DE      Michigan

Graham is a big body that plays very well upfield. Scouts will love that he is versatile enough to play the end position in either scheme. Graham himself will love the opportunity to play in a place where defense traditionally comes first and athletes with skill sets usually thrive. Plus, it will be nice to get out of Ann Arbor before all the investigations begin, and players begin to find themselves in sticky situations.

24. Seattle Seahawks (From Denver) Brandon Spikes LB Florida

The “incident” if you will that Spikes was involved in has sent his draft stock-a-tumbling as all the “character issues” will come into play.

25. New York Giants Jermaine Gresham TE Oklahoma

Gresham is an elite pass catching tight end. He can run a perfect seam route or he can cover a lot of space over the middle. He needs to work on his blocking but he should be a touchdown machine with his hands, size and route running skills.

26. Philadelphia Eagles CJ Spiller RB Clemson

Spiller’s a fast runner built on a solid frame. His outside running game and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield is where he’ll make his mark, but he’s not afraid to go right at a defender. A little extra muscle and being able to show his durability will help Spiller’s stock go up.

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27. Pittsburgh Steelers Jermaine Cunningham  DE       Florida

Cunningham isn’t as explosive as his teammate Carlos Dunlap but he is more reliable on a play by play basis. He gets to the quarterback with regularity and makes a lot of tackles in the run game as well.

28. Cincinnati Bengals  Colt McCoy QB Texas

Believe it or not, it will be time start grooming Carson Palmer’s successor soon. Time flies doesn’t it? Best to do it now while you have the luxury of not being desperate

29. Minnesota Vikings Patrick Robinson  CB      Florida State

Robinson is a super fast coverage man that is above average in nearly every aspect of the game. He anticipates routes but isn’t a huge risk taker and tackles well in the open field. He is also a very good return man.

30.  New England Patriots  Jon Asamoah G Illinois

Obviously, the University of Illinois has had a very challenging season, even with the copious amount of talent on offense, but what might actually surprise some is that the top rated player by position, according to ESPN’s NFL draft guru Mel Kiper isn’t Arrelious Benn – it is offensive guard Jon Asamoah.

31. New Orleans Saints Trevard Lindley CB Kentucky

Give how potent their O is, NOLA will obviously draft for D this spring. And Lindley is about to put the finishing touches on what could be the best-ever career by a University of Kentucky defensive back.

32. Indianapolis Colts Navorro Bowman LB Penn State

More of a value pick than need. Bowman has spent much of the year ranked the #1 OLB prospect from ESPN.com Finally healthy, he’s been an absolute force down the stretch for PSU, and it’s becoming impossible not to compare him to Lavar Arrington- same school, position, and jersey number. Arrington went on to six Pro Bowls, so that’s quite a complement

Comments

  1. As a Tampa fan, I cannot see the Bucs’ taking an OT Rd.1. I think they will re-up Donald Penn, who is in the top half of OLT’s in the NFL. Tampa needs a DT; everyone has run virtually at will on them; Miami got 199 yards last Sunday. I hope it is Suh, but McCoy seems a nice runner-up if they manage to win a couple more games, which seems unlikely.

  2. You think the Panthers will have a better record than the niners?! Have you seen the two teams seperate schedules? You may want to reconsider your line-up here…

  3. No way in hell the 49ers don’t take a OT in the first round. We have 4 OTs on our team, 1 of them is good and he’s injured. another one is OK and he’s also injured. Adam Snyder and Barry Sims are both really bad, and Barry Sims is 34. Nothing in our offense is working because our offensive line can’t block.

    Our pass defense definitely needs help, but I think that will come in the form of us drafting a CB and moving Nate Clements to saftey. We also need a kick returner, so I bet we get Kyle Wilson in round 2.

    We’ll probably get a pass rusher as you predicted with our other first round pick.

  4. Andre T. I don’t trust the main guys that Carolina leans on to stay healthy down the stretch. Granted it’s the NFL and injuries happen to everyone, but I think a few of their key contributors are very injury prone, certainly more injury prone than SF;s.

  5. Andy B. those are all very salient points, but I think Samurai Mike is looking to build his team around defense first, and that’s what he stresses…no doubt in due to his background. You make a very good case in terms of team needs, and I agree that moving Clements over to S would be a good idea. I coudl see them going CB in rounds 2-4, and likely not taking a returner early on. Mostly because this isn’t a very good class for return specialists

  6. Mike J. It’s tough to decide whether Tampa goes needs-based or value-based with their top pick on draft day…I think they might trade down. either way this a GREAT class for tackles on both sides of the ball. so they’ll improve themselves either way

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