Here is where I am leaning right now with the picks I obtained in my hypothetical trade down scenario.
I originally was targeting Kevin Minter in early round 2, but now I think he comes off the board late in round 1. If I wanted to take him, I might have to use the late first rounder that I got from San Fran instead of trading down yet again with Miami. Since I already projected trading down with the Niners and Dolphins, I'll try filling in possibilities at those slots at this time.
All of my day 2 picks (rounds 2 & 3) should be able contribute early on in their pro careers, and my day 3 picks are a developmental QB and a couple of guys whose talent suggests that they could have been taken much earlier if not for multiple knee injuries (instead of using my last couple of picks on guys who are boom-or-bust because of checkered pasts off the field, I'll take a similar risk/reward gamble on a couple of guys who are boom-or-bust because of extensive injury histories...they may not be ready to go at all in 2013, but if they manage to get healthy, they could provide tremendous value down the line).
2.10 (from MIA) Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford, 6'6", 249 lbs.
With the health of Heath Miller's knee up in the air, and Leonard Pope a free agent (and a relatively non-productive one at that), we could really use a solid TE (especially since Haley utilized Heath way better than Arians ever did). Unloading Weslye Saunders still looks like a mistake, even though David Paulson developed into a decent backup option. When Heath gets healthy, then Miller/Ertz could provide some matchup difficulties for defenses like Gronkowski/Hernandez, Pitta/Dickson, Fleener/Allen, etc. We'd have two options with reliable hands, size in the red zone, and blocking help for Adams/Gilbert.
2.16 (PIT) Giovanni Bernard, RB, North Carolina, 5'10", 205 lbs.
Statistics have shown that we are a better running team outside the tackles than up the middle, but guys like Redman and Dwyer are more plodding, while Bernard can be dynamic. He's quick, he's shifty, and he can catch passes out of the backfield. Could be a similar 2nd round find for us as Shady McCoy was for the Eagles a few years back.
2.27 (from SF) Eric Reid, S, LSU, 6'2", 212 lbs.
With Polamalu and Clark getting up there in age, and Will Allen and Ryan Mundy both free agents, we need potential future starters at safety who can learn from Troy and Ryan. We can't rely on Robert Golden and Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith as backups to a couple of older guys who throw around their bodies with reckless abandon.
3.15 (PIT) Larry Warford, G, Kentucky, 6'3", 340 lbs.
If we are unable to re-sign Foster, and Colon is potential cap casualty, then there is an opening for a starting guard (which Beachum would likely fill for the time being, but I prefer Beachum in a Trai Essex versatile backup role than as a starter). He's strong at the point of attack and surprisingly nimble and agile for a guy his size, making him a solid run blocker as well as a pass blocker.
3.18 (from CHI through MIA) Sean Porter, OLB, Texas A&M, 6'2", 230 lbs.
He replaced Von Miller in 2011, playing as a OLB in a 3-4 defense, amassing 79 tackles with 17 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks and one forced fumble. Then, the team switched to a 4-3, and he amassed 60 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, four passes broken up and an interception as an OLB in that scheme last season (obviously not rushing the passer as much, since that role went to DE Damontre Moore, and he will likely be a top 5 pick in this draft). Porter had the benefit of facing off against top OT prospects such as Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews every day in practice. He's roughly the same size as Timmons was coming out of college, and could be dangerous if he bulks up like Lawrence has done since becoming a pro. His versatility and skill are intriguing.
4.16 Zac Dysert, QB, Miami (OH), 6'4", 228 lbs.
Time to start developing a young QB prospect to backup Ben instead of relying on older, brittle veterans. We've had success drafting a QB from Miami of Ohio before, after all. If Landry Jones were still available, I would have gone that route, but I predict he'll come off the board on day two. I like Dysert the best of the day 3 developmental QB prospects.
5.15 Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina, 6'0", 218 lbs.
He was amazing as a freshman and looked to be a sure-fire early first round talent before he blew out both of his knees. A massive injury risk, but so was Willis McGahee once upon a time, and he managed to carve out a solid NFL career for himself. For 2013, we should give RFA tenders to Redman and Dwyer, and having drafted Bernard in round 2, we should be good to go for this season if Lattimore needs to take the full 2013 a rehab redshirt. If Redman or Dwyer don't substantially improve this season, then they will walk as unrestricted free agents. Hopefully, by that point, Lattimore is good to go, and his skill set complements Bernard's quite well. We swung and missed with Chris Rainey in round 5...I'd take a shot at a much more talented Lattimore in the same round, even knowing the risk involved that he may never be close to what he could have been pre-injury.
7.15 Michael Mauti, ILB, Penn State, 6'2", 239 lbs.
Mauti was likely projected to be a second day draft pick before he, like Lattimore, blew out both of his knees. Maybe he never gets back to what he once was, but it's not like using a 7th round pick to find out is a risky proposition (although Paulson and Beachum stuck with us as 7th rounders in the last draft, we got nothing out of Clemons and Frederick). Maybe he makes it and maybe he doesn't. Maybe he sticks around, but only as a special teamer. Who knows. But if I'm going to gamble on someone, I'd prefer to gamble on a guy who was his team's captain rather than a punk with a long rap sheet.
Wow ... I really like that mock. If we could get those top 3 I would be ecstatic. Good job. Please send your notes to Colbert. ;)
It's Super Bowl Sunday, and I haven't posted a regular mock yet (just the one with multiple trade down scenarios). So here goes (I'm predicting that we get an extra 7th round comp pick for losing William Gay):
1. OLB Ziggy Ansah, BYU, 6'5" 274 lbs.
2. WR Terrence Williams, Baylor, 6'2" 201 lbs.
3. S Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma, 5'11" 212 lbs.
4. RB Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina, 6'0" 220 lbs.
5. CB B.W. Webb, William & Mary, 5'10" 183 lbs.
6. TE Michael Williams, Alabama, 6'6" 269 lbs.
7. OG J.C. Tretter, Cornell, 6'4" 302 lbs.
7c. QB Jordan Rodgers, Vanderbilt, 6'1" 212 lbs.
I don't know much about the guys you have in the later rounds, but I would be quite pleased if the first four rounds worked out this way. The only change that I would make would be finding an OT in the fifth (assuming that Starks does not return).
Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher
We are on pins and needles.
Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher
Love this mock! I had those first three for a period as mine as well. Would be ecstatic if we got those first 3. Terrence Williams is going to be a great WR in the NFL. And Tony Jefferson can be moved all over the field. He is a play maker who I think would be even better in a 3-4 zone blitz. And in a couple of years from now I think everyone may look back and say that Ansah was the best defensive player out of this draft. He has Monster-ability.
Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher
This sort of mathematical or quantitative reasoning is frustrating. It does not matter where the players were picked (especially now that we have a rookie wage scale). If our two 2nd round tackles can't excel at pass protection, we must look to upgrade. With the way our QB plays, we cannot have turnstiles lined up at OT. BB is the most important player on this team, and we must protect him no matter what the draft cost is. If we missed on even one of those two 2nd rounders, we must consider drafting OL.
Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher
Now, I don't think we will draft OL in the first. But, I believe we should consider it depending on how the draft falls. I feel like and Fisher will go top ten. Then, someone will reach for Lane Johnson because of his incredible athleticism. At 17 (or in a trade back), I believe all elite LT prospects will be gone.
The Warmack pick would be a luxury one. I think Ruthless's argument holds true in this case. Pouncey is an elite C and DeCastro should develop into a top G. Both were top picks so picking another 1st round interior linemen would be a total luxury pick and is probably poor resource allocation given our other needs. However, if Warmack fell to 17, he would likely be BPA on the Steeler's board. And, I think they would and should take him in that unlikely circumstance.
I like this draft. Many of the players at the top can help immediately. Love Ertz, Bernard, and Warford! Mauti could turn into a high effort starter! Eric Reid did not look good this year, but he does have size, speed, and talent. Dysert is a local guy for me (living north of cincitucky). He is wildly inconsistent and appears to have real accuracy issues when throwing downfield. But, he is tough, a natural leader, possesses good movement skills, and has decent arm strength. Maybe his problems are in his mechanics. Nice job.
Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher
My first trade down mock was somewhat unrealistic, because it involved 2 trade-downs, and going entirely out of the first round before we make our initial selection, which I highly doubt would ever happen in real life. But what if we just traded down with San Francisco as I initially projected, and made our first pick in the late first round instead? What might that look like? A single trade to move up or down in the first round has been done multiple times in the Colbert era (trading up for Troy and Santonio, trading down for Casey), so a single trade within the first round is more realistic.
Initially, when I started this thread on New Year's Day, the Niners were projected to be picking 29th, and at that point, their 1st and 2nd round picks were worth exactly what our 1st round pick was worth according to the standard trade value chart. However, now that they are picking 31st instead as the Super Bowl runners up, they would need to give up something else to get to 17th overall. When we were picking 32nd and moved up to 25th for Santonio, we gave up a 3rd and a 4th to allow us to move up those 7 spots. For San Fran to move up from 31st to 17th, we would need to ask for a 2nd and 4th to allow them to move up those 14 spots. The numbers work out alright (with San Fran actually making out slightly on the deal by 11 points, if that means anything to you). Here's how it would break down:
1.17 = 950 pts.
1.31 = 600 pts.
2.61 = 292 pts.
4.125 = 47 pts.
Total = 939 pts.
Why would San Fran do this? Because they have 11 picks in this draft, and don't have that many holes. Better to combine a few of those picks to get a better player (quality over quantity) when you are that close to the apex. What if they desired someone like Sheldon Richardson to be the heir apparent to Justin Smith? What if someone like Johnthan Banks were available to boost their secondary that Flacco and Boldin ate alive in the Super Bowl? Guys like that won't fall to #31, but if they are available at #17, might the Niners be willing to make the leap? Sure, it's a lot to give up, but remember that the Niners have an extra pick in the 3rd round from Carolina, an extra pick in the 5th round from Indianapolis, an extra pick in the 6th round from Miami, and an extra pick in the round from Cincinnati, so the cupboard would not be bare if they gave up their 2nd and 4th to move up. They'd get a potentially elite guy they really like on day one, and would still have 2 picks on day two, and 6 picks on day three. Not bad at all.
This trade would give us 10 picks overall to help us fill a multitude of needs as we attempt to get younger throughout the roster to help alleviate our current salary cap situation. There would be a pick in the late first round (San Fran’s), a pick in the mid second round (our own), a pick in the late second round (San Fran’s), a pick in the mid third round (our own), a pick in the mid fourth round (our own), a pick in the late fourth round (San Fran’s), a pick in the mid fifth round (our own), a pick in the mid sixth round (our own), a pick in the mid seventh round (our own), and a pick in the late seventh round (a projected compensatory pick for losing William Gay). I don’t have the precise pick numbers for each selection, because comp picks haven’t been given out yet, so I’ll just label them as L1 (for late 1st round pick) and M2 (for mid 2nd round pick), etc.
L1 Kevin Minter, ILB, Louisiana State, 6’1” 245
M2 Eric Reid, S, Louisiana State, 6’2” 212
L2 Kyle Long, OT, Oregon, 6’6” 304
M3 Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma, 5’11” 212
M4 Brian Schwenke, C, California, 6’3” 307
L4 Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina, 6’0” 220
M5 Travis Long, OLB, Washington State, 6’4” 245
M6 Aaron Mellette, WR, Elon, 6’3” 216
M7 Michael Williams, TE, Alabama, 6’6” 269
L7c Jordan Rodgers, QB, Vanderbilt, 6’1” 212
The only player who could potentially start from day one from this draft haul would be Minter. The rest of the draft class would provide valuable depth as rookies, but that’s fine by me.
At linebacker, if we don’t bring back Harrison and Foote, this draft would give us Timmons, Minter, Spence, and Sylvester inside, and Woodley, Worilds, Travis Long, and Carter (or Adrian Robinson) outside. Hungry youth throughout the second level of our defense.
Troy and Clark are entrenched at safety, but they are aging and injury-prone, with no one proven behind them…Reid and Jefferson give us legit depth players who can learn from the masters for the time being, and each of them would be the heir apparent to a starting safety position once Troy and Clark hang ‘em up. We’ve had success drafting multiple players at the same position in the same draft before, and safety makes sense for that, since our starters are older, both of their backups (Allen and Mundy) are free agents, and Golden and Cromartie-Smith aren’t ready to be starter material.
If we don’t retain Starks, Colon, Foster or Legursky (which is a possibility), then Kyle Long would actually be the oldest lineman on the team (he’s 24 years old now, and Pouncey is only 23). Howie Long’s other son has a several red flags (seemed to prefer baseball to football coming out of H.S., left Florida State for academic reasons, has a DUI on his record, only played one year on o-line at Oregon after playing d-line in junior college, overaged for a rookie), but he seems like a smart, hard-working, repentant kid who is described as a better athlete than father Howie or brother Chris. Schwenke is also bright and athletic, and those two prospects seem to really fit the zone blocking scheme that we are installing now. This season, the starting OL would likely be Gilbert-Beachum-Pouncey-DeCastro-Adams with Long and Schwenke as utility backups. However, the following season could very well be Long-Pouncey-Schwenke-DeCastro-Adams with Gilbert and Beachum as utility backups.
Lattimore may not be ready to go at the start of the season, but we’ll likely retain Dwyer and Redman with RFA tenders for this season. Give those guys a shot with the new OL system, and ease Lattimore in as his body allows. If healthy, this guy should be a first round pick…it’s a calculated gamble on potential greatness that I’m willing to take, even if it means that he doesn’t see the field at all until 2014.
Mellette gives us a #4 WR with size behind Brown, Sanders, and Cotchery. As a rookie, he would also play special teams, which is something that Plaxico Burress did not offer.
Williams is a dominant blocking TE who is an adequate pass catcher as well. I like him better than Leonard Pope for sure. If Heath isn’t ready from day one, I could live with starting the season with Paulson and Williams at TE (with FB Will Johnson as a de facto 3rd TE).
And for the final pick (projected comp pick for William Gay), I’ll take a shot on Aaron Rodgers’ little brother. Not overly big, not overly strong, but he may have some of the moxie that his brother has. I think he could develop into something worthwhile in Haley’s offensive scheme. We need a legit young QB prospect in the fold rather than just relying on the same old, brittle guys year after year.
That is a remarkably cogent and comprehensive mock draft whose foundational premises address the Steelers multitudinous deficiencies while providing substantive depth at several essential positions.