– We just posted three final mock drafts (myself, our draft contributor Matt Feminis and 101 ESPN’s Tony Softli) before tonight’s NFL Draft begins and they become even more irrelevant than they already are. Yes, self deprecation is necessary when it comes to these things. There’s no realistic way to be accurate and it’s not wise to hold out any hope of accuracy. So with that in mind, I wanted to offer some more general thoughts to accompany my mock draft that might answer some questions you have, that is, questions other than “Why bother?”
– First thing, there are no trades involved. Once you go down that road, it is really easy to get convoluted. Using that philosophy, it pretty much automatically removes any chance you have of being close to on target. But I prefer not to do it because there’s just no way to predict those trades. I think plenty will happen this year and perhaps the price of moving up will be lower than normal years. For example, I wouldn’t be shocked if Cleveland and Miami made a swap or the Jets or Bills moved out. Lots of teams seem to want to move down, not many up. That could mean a lesser price than normal. Remember, the Rams moved down eight spots last year and got a second rounder in return.
– You will see no quarterbacks in the mock, not because I don’t believe a quarterback will get drafted but because I don’t know that any team in its current draft position is going to take one. I think a QB or two or maybe three goes in the first round but it will be after a trade. And since there are no trades here, I didn’t plug any QBs in. The only exceptions to consider were West Virginia’s Geno Smith to the Jets at 9 or 13 and Buffalo taking Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib at 8.
– As with all drafts, there is going to be a player or two that slips unexpectedly compared to the many mock drafts. Remember, those mocks mean nothing compared to how teams view them and teams have access to much more information than anyone putting a mock together. My guess at the “faller” this year is Alabama CB Dee Milliner. I have him in the top 20 still but not in the top 10 or even the top 5 like others. I could be wrong because he makes sense for teams like Detroit, Cleveland and Miami but his injury history could scare some teams off. I think a few corners will go in round one but there will be a big run on them in rounds 2 and 3.
– From a Rams perspective, it’s even more difficult to figure which way they are going to go considering what’s in front of them and how unpredictable those 15 teams will be. In this projection, I have the Rams taking Georgia LB Alec Ogletree at 16 and WR DeAndre Hopkins at 22. The choices at both spots would be very difficult under these circumstances. First, at 16, you have your choice of the receivers other than Austin plus any safety you want plus RB Eddie Lacy plus Ogletree in this scenario. They could go any of those directions or even make a trade. They could even move up for a player there and move down from 22 to recoup picks lost for a move up (more on this in a separate post coming later).
– At 22, since I have them taking Ogletree at 16, I have the Rams making a difficult decision to add a receiver. Patterson, Hopkins and even Justin Hunter could be options there. The first choice could easily be moving down to acquire more picks but barring that, those guys plus whatever is left at safety and Lacy if he slips could get consideration. Patterson is probably the most gifted but has some more questions marks around him than Hopkins or Hunter. I opted for Hopkins on the basis of the issues surrounding Ogletree and the idea the Rams may not want to make two picks that have some inherent risk. Of course, on the other hand, it’s clear the Rams don’t fear much of anything in these decisions so they could take anyone there, really.
– Under this projection, Vaccaro and Lacy both come off the board as does Allen between the Rams’ two picks. That would likely narrow down the options should they be unable to find a trade partner.
– Bottom line is, every team in the draft has so many different ways they can go and the reality of the situation is that any and all mock drafts will be blown up early in the process either by a surprising trade, pick or both.
– Anyone else tired of all the mocks yet?
– Going to write a little something about the nature of making trades in the draft in another post set to come later and then of course, we’ll do a running blog as the draft goes on. Thanks for reading.
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