Tuesday, April 23, 2013

2013 NFL Mock Draft

The NFL Draft is this weekend, and it's been brought to my attention that some people are interested in it and want me to write about it. Seeing as I rather dislike the NFL Draft, I didn't exactly jump at the idea. However, right when I was about to tell all the NFL offseason fans to go fluke themselves, I get a text from my good friend Herman, telling me to take a look at the mock draft that he had created. So I did--and while I'm still wondering when he's going to show me what he has for the the other 6 rounds, he has what looks to be pretty solid analysis as far as the first round goes (you know, the equivalent of filling in the play-in games on an NCAA bracket).  Since I respect his opinions about 10 times more than Mel Kiper's, and since his hair rises about 10 inches lower then Kiper's, I decided that it was 100 percent necessary to share Herman's mock draft, along with a few of my own comments when inappropriate.

With that, I give you the first guest blog in H-Bromo's storied existence, from a multi-talented man with a wide range of interests and experiences. Check growingatwork.com for some more of Herman's writing, where he blogs from his office about an assortment of life and work topics (I'm assuming in between angry phone calls from neglected and dissatisfied customers).

Growing at Work's NFL Mock Draft 2013
(Editor's Notes are in highlighter)

Having always been a fan of the NFL, and a fanatic of Chicago Bear football, I love all things NFL.  One way that I feel that I separate myself from the average fan is that from the time that I was teen (literally 13 years old), Thanks for clarifying, I was worried you were referring to those awkward figurative teen years for a minute there I loved the NFL offseason, in particular the NFL Draft.  I remember watching Cade McNown, David Terrell, Anthony Thomas, and Urlacher being drafted.  I even remember knowing that Urlacher was a converted safety.  I have always loved the business side of the NFL.  Players traded, signed, cut, drafted, and conditioned to expansion drafts.  This Thursday the NFL will host the first round of the 2013 draft.  I can’t wait to see where the stars of the future will be headed and all the action trading picks and players in live time.  When I was young it was a weekend that I had to wake up early to see, now ESPN and the NFL have realized how action packed and excited die-hard fans can get for this event and have almost made it a week-long primetime event.  This post is a tribute to that event, how it’s grown, how it will continue to grow, and all the nostalgia of wearing my Walter Payton jersey for an entire weekend sometime in the spring.
I love mock drafts.  Reading about the possible destinations of each prospect and watching Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. argue over which players will do better in the NFL is the best.  I have read thousands of mock drafts over the past 13 years and countless more metaphorical ones, but I have never created or published my own.  Today that changes as I release my first ever Mock Draft!  There could not be a better way to celebrate NFL Draft week than filling our my NFL Draft Bracket (of sorts).  I will be making picks based on need and what I think is the best fit.  I obviously have no insider information so I have to use my own emotions.
  1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT Texas A&M- Joeckel is considered to be the best player in this draft by most experts.  The Chiefs are currently trying to trade Branden Albert and have already cut Eric Winston.  Unless they surprise everyone and make a move for Eric Fisher it looks like this pick is all but chosen.
  2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dion Jordan, DE Oregon- Jacksonville may choose to take a gamble on Geno Smith but I think that they take Jordan who will likely give them a constant pressure from the D-end position and hope that Matt Barkley or Ryan Nassib is available when they pick in the second round.
  3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT Florida- Believed to be the best defensive player in this draft the Raiders have a need at DT and shouldn’t hesitate with this pick.
  4. Philadelphia Eagles: Geno Smith, QB West Virginia- I would cringe at this selection if I were a Philadelphia fan.  4th is much too early to select Smith in my opinion and I don’t personally believe that he will be a star in this league.  However, I do believe that Philadelphia is the spot that Geno should be crossing his fingers that he lands.  He would be a good fit for Chip Kelley’s offence and would have some great weapons surrounding him there.                                             
  5. Detroit Lions: Eric Fisher, OT Central Michigan- Ezekiel Ansah might be a sexier pick here for Lions fans but Fisher deserves this spot as the Lions have lost both starting Offensive Tackles this offseason. Ansah has amazing measureables but might be a stretch at 5 for a team with a need on the O line. I know that they're necessary and everything, but it's awfully difficult to get excited about using a first round draft pick on some offensive linemen. Especially one from Central Michigan. I love the Chips and everything, but it seems risky to use this pick for a MAC-level player, even one that performed really well against MAC-level competition. Especially after using a first round pick on an O-lineman last year. And for the record, I don't find Ezekiel Ansah to be all that sexy...maybe a little bit. Moving on.
  6. Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB Alabama- Beyond Joe Hayden the Cleveland secondary is thin at the cornerback position.  Being able to draft a potential shut down corner to play opposite of Hayden is too good to pass up here at number 6 for the Browns. Last year during the first half of that ill-fated Michigan vs Alabama game at Cowboys Stadium (or JerryWorld, as people who think they're cool might call it), loyal bromolyte Meestah sent me a text that said, "Dee Milliner would start for the Lions right now".  The bad news is that Meestah wasn't exaggerating. Last year was about the 16th consecutive year that the DTLs  had a defensive secondary that Hoop Dreams coach Gene Pingatore would describe as "crap. Dog-shit CRAP!" The good news is that this year's draft offers a strong opportunity to improve in that area.  I remember in 1997, with the #5 pick overall pick, Detroit had to settle with Bryant Westbrook when Shawn Springs went third to Seattle. Springs was the best corner available in '97 and the DTLs missed out on him; Milliner is the best corner available this year and a two time National Champion. If he's available, I would highly, highly prefer him to some offensive linemen from a mediocre MAC team. Then again, after the untimely retirement of The Best in the Business, they may also want to think about using this pick to get that next once-in-a-generation franchise kicker.
  7. Arizona Cardinals- Lane Johnson, OT Oklahoma-  This draft is strong in Offensive lineman as you can see Johnson would be the erd OT off the board in the top 10.
  8. Buffalo Bills- Ryan Nassib, QB Syracuse- I can’t believe I am writing this but I can’t ignore the buzz around the league about this guy. Doug Marone the new coach of the Buffalo Bills knows this guy better than anyone else as his old coach at Syracuse and everyone seems to have this guy tied to Buffalo over the past week.  It’s a head scratcher for me though I just don’t see the value here, trade back possible. I can't believe you're writing that either. This potentiality reeks of that time when Steve Spurrier got the head job for the Redskins and immediately went out and got his old buddy Danny Wuerffel to be the franchise QB. 
  9. New York Jets: Ziggy Ansah, DE BYU- The biggest boom or bust player comes off the board here in Ziggy Ansah who has the measurables to be one of the best players in this draft.  Mingo might be another option here but if Ansah is still on the board here I think it’s just too hard to pass him up here at number 9.
  10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, OG Alabama- Tennessee has a lot of need on the O-Line even after signing Adam Levitre.  The Titans might also look at Jonathan Cooper here. who is generally considered a pretty comparable prospect.
  11. San Diego Chargers: Jonathan Cooper, OG North Carolina- I predict that San Diego if both Warmack and Cooper are on the board at 10 San Diego will likely take which ever prospect Tennessee doesn’t.
  12. Miami Dolphins: D.J. Fluker, OT Alabama- Fluker would be the  3rd Alabama player selected at this point in the draft.  After losing Jake Long, Miami will be looking to improve the Offensive line.
  13. New York Jets via Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tyler Eifert, TE Notre Dame- With two picks in this round the Jets could go a number of ways drafting the best player available or moving back to select say a CB to replace Revis or a QB to compete with Sanchez.  They might be tempted to take Eifert here as the NFL has become obsessed with Tight Ends and Keller left in free agency.
  14. Carolina Panthers: Star Lotulelei, DT Utah- If Star falls to 14 I believe that this will be a quick pick the Panthers need a DT and Star was once thought to be a top pick.  TO give you an example of how highly some experts think of him, scouts inc has him rated as the 3rd best player in the draft.  I believe he will drop but whoever he falls to will be very happy.
  15. New Orleans Saints: Barkevious Mingo, OLB/DE LSU- Mingo is projected to go as early as 9 to the Jets in some mock drafts but I think he might drop a bit farther.  I do not think he will get past New Orleans at 15 he is too good of an athlete and will be a great player in the NFL.  If Mingo is gone New Orleans might look at Jarvis Jones from Georgia.
  16. St Louis Rams: Tavon Austin, WR West Virginia- Most experts believe that St Louis will be choosing between Austin and Kenny Vaccaro at Safety out of Texas.  I think they make the choice to go after the play maker if he isn’t already gone at this point.
  17. Pittsburg Steelers: Jarvis Jones, OLB Georgia: Looking for a replacement for James Harrison.  Jarvis might be your guy in Pittsburg. Pittsburg? Come on Herman, you're better than this. I love a good typographical error when the situation calls for it, believe me, but this one is inexcusable. I'll give the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe the H button on the keyboard was stuck and not responding; but even then, an H is too important of a letter not to at least try and improvise. Ever stop to think maybe that's what the weird vertical line thing playing second string to the backslash is for? You know, the one between the Delete and Enter keys, that you've been ignoring all these years? Pair a couple of those with a hyphen, you've got yourself a damn fine |-| (PITTSBURG|-|), and you can even pull out a good |n combo if you're looking to achieve more of a lower case look (pittsburg|n). 
  18. Dallas Cowboys: Sheldon Richardson, DT Missouri: Monte Kiffin is in as the Defensive Coordinator in Dallas and he will be needing more talented defensive lineman on his defense.  Sheldon Richardson might be a gamble but he certainly fits that bill.
  19. New York Giants: Xavier Rhoads, CB Florida State- Rhoads has great size and coverage ability.  I think that the Giants could go a number of directions with this pick but I think Rhoads would be a great value here.
  20. Chicago Bears Alec Ogletree, MLB Georgia- As a Bears fan I am praying that if both Ogletree and Teo are available here that the Bears will take Ogletree.  Last year I was asking for Chandler Jones instead of Shea.  I think we can all agree who had the better season last year.  Perhaps we can expect more from Shea this year without Idonije on the roster yet. I have no idea who this Idonije guy is, but in reading this I'm picturing that scene in Office Space where the Bobs are going through the downsizing plan, and Peter finds out that Samir is about to be laid off.
"Samir...Idonije...Idonije...Idonije him to work HERE anymore, that's for sure!"
    21.   Cincinnati Bengals: Kenny Vaccaro, S Texas- Looking for a safety, the Bengals will take the best one in this draft.
   22.   St Louis Rams: Eric Reid, FS LSU- After taking Austin with their first pick I think that the Rams look to upgrade their secondary.  If they go a different direction with that first pick and Austin is gone at 22 look for them to take Cordarrelle Patterson out of Tennessee here.
   23.   Minnesota Vikings: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR Tennessee- Losing Percy Harvin, the Vikings will look to add a young play maker opposite of Greg Jennings.  Patterson is an excellent player at spot in the draft.
   24.   Indianapolis Colts: Sylvester Williams, DT North Carolina- Indianapolis needs to upgrade their defense, and they can start by taking the best defensive player available in Sylvester Williams.
   25.   Minnesota Vikings: Manti Teo, ILB Notre Dame- The Vikings need to upgrade their front seven and with two picks in the first round this year many think that the Vikings will be the team to select Manti Teo. I'm going to pass on this one. One of the problems with the Internet Age is that jokes (even really funny ones) seem to get old a lot faster than they used to. This whole Manti Teo thing has had its day in the sun, but let's just let the poor guy move on now. Seems like a well intentioned guy, I'd like to see him do well in the pros.
   26.   Green Bay Packers: John Cyprien, S Florida International- Replacing Charles Woodson is no easy task.  Cyprien could be a good start, as he is a big physical safety.
   27.   Houston Texans: Justin Hunter, WR Tennessee: Houston should be looking for a threat opposite of Andre Johnson here and Hunter is a great playmaker.  He has the potential to be a number 1 receiver himself. Is he one of the guys who took a crap on the floor or whatever at the Combine? All I heard is that they were wide receivers.
   28.   Denver Broncos: Bjoern Werner, DE Florida State- If Werner falls this far look for the Broncos to try to use this pick to fill the void left by Elvis Dumervil.
   29.   New England Patriots: Jamar Taylor, CB Boise State- Guessing what the Patriots will do in the draft is like guessing who Taylor Swift’s next boyfriend could be. It could be anybody and they very well might make it dramatic by trading picks. IVery solid analogy, you gotta be careful dragging T-Swift's name through the mud on any site that Nitch frequents though. My sources also tell me that Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers is rapidly moving up the Patriots' draft board after a good showing at the Combine.
   30.   Atlanta Falcons: Desmond Trufant, CB Washington- Atlanta will be needing help in the defensive back field and at defensive end over this draft and they will look for the best available player here at one of those positions.  In this scenario I believe it is Desmond Trufant who might be able to start from day one.
   31.   San Francisco 49ers: Zach Ertz, TE Stanford- I think that because of the flexibility that the 49ers have in this draft they will take the player that will help them to score points immediately.  Ertz has huge upside and is going to help out whatever team he ends up on.
   32.   Baltimore Ravens: Kevin Minter, LB LSU- The Ravens are doing an extensive overhaul after winning the Super Bowl.  They’ve lost a lot on the defensive side of the ball including Ray Lewis and Ed Reid. I believe they will look to address one of those positions here in the first round.  Minter seems to be a good value at this point in the draft and would be a great fit for the Raven’s defense. 
I don't know a whole lot about this sort of thing, but I'm pretty sure that these picks will be more accurate than the 97th revision of Tall Hair Kiper's "Big Board".  Thanks again to Herman for his guest appearance.