Well, it's now past 10:00 and the Steelers have not made a pick during the 9:00 hour (and I haven't received a PM from steelblood giving me the Steelers' preferred pick), so they can now be leapfrogged on their own board. If steelblood does not make his pick by 11:00, then the Giants will jump over them as well, and then I will make the Steelers' pick for him.
Dallas has a big need at safety, and local product Kenny Vaccaro is still on the board. However, Dallas has an even bigger need along the interior o-line, and there is an even better value available there.
The Dallas Cowboys are proud to select:
North Carolina OG Jonathan Cooper
Height 6'2", Weight 311 LBS, Arm Length 33", Hands 10 1/4"
Overview: Scouts have focused on the Tar Heels' defense, for the most part, over the past few seasons; nine UNC defenders have been selected in the last three drafts. But Cooper might be North Carolina's highest-drafted lineman since tackle Harris Barton was drafted in the first round (No. 22 overall) by the San Francisco 49ers in 1987.
He achieved a rare feat by being voted his high school conference's player of the year as a senior offensive lineman, the same year his team won North Carolina Class 4-A state title. Cooper also wrestled, which scouts always like to see because that sport teaches players how to use their hands effectively in one-on-one situations. This skill set made him a starter at left guard for 10 games (he missed three starts with an ankle injury) as a redshirt freshman, earning a place on the All-ACC Freshman team. Cooper has stayed healthy in each of the past two seasons, starting all 26 games (the 2010 opener at center and the following 25 at left guard) and earning second-team All-ACC honors as both a sophomore and junior. He had surgery on his left shoulder after the 2011 season to alleviate chronic inflammation. Cooper continued his excellent play as a senior, earning spots on the first-team All-American and All-ACC teams, as well as winning the ACC Jacobs Blocking Trophy.
Strengths: Athletic guard, but with some girth in his lower body to anchor against oncoming tackles. Tough to beat in pass protection, possesses foot quickness, bend, and arm extension to mirror. Excellent mobility behind the line, regularly pulls to the left and right. Excellent at adjusting quickly to negate moving targets on the second level. Springs out of his stance to reach linebackers in the run game or to jump inside of tackles to seal off a rushing lane. Used as a personal protector on a moving pocket. Shows good hand strength, popping his defender quickly off the snap and getting inside hand position. Flashes some attitude when challenged, maintaining contact and chasing his man out of the play. Quick recovery speed to get up after a cut block. Good pad level and surge coming out of his stance. Gets vertical movement on his man on base and double blocks. Constantly works his feet and swings his hips to get position on reach blocks. Rolls his hips through contact, and works to place his body between his man and the ball carrier.
Weaknesses: Has only average height and bulk, and is a bit long-legged for the position (though he should continue to grow in an NFL strength and conditioning program). Functional strength is only adequate; stronger tackles get a bit of push against him in pass protection. Will have occasional missed assignments in pass protection.
NFL Comparison: Ben Grubbs
Bottom Line: Cooper, an extremely athletic left guard, racked up a number of all-conference awards during his four years starting, capping it off with a first-team All-American selection as a senior. He has the athleticism to play in a number of different schemes. Due to his ability to lead the way on runs and outstanding pass protection skills, he projects to be one of the first guards selected in the draft. He showed improved on his functional strength in his senior season, but he needs to continue adding bulk and strength.
Since it's now 11:00 and still no Steeler pick, the Giants will now also move ahead of them as well. With Osi Umenyiora gone and Justin Tuck underperforming, it seems like the Giants would be looking to draft yet another pass rushing DE to play opposite JPP, since pressure from their front four has always been a staple of their defense. The Giants had Bjoern Werner in their sights until he was surprisingly taken a bit earlier than expected. With Damontre Moore's stock sliding, and not enough value taking guys like Datone Jones or Tank Carradine this early (Jarvis Jones has more of a linebacker body than a 4-3 DE body), the Giants are now re-thinking this plan.
They were able to re-sign Will Beatty as their LT, but at RT David Diehl is getting older and was ineffective last year. His backup, James Brewer is just that...a backup. There is a mauling RT prospect available at this point in the draft. Even though it is rare for the Giants to address OL this early, that's where I have them going here.
The New York Giants are proud to select:
Alabama OT D.J. Fluker
So I don't get backed up any further here at work, I'll add pictures and scouting report info at a later time.
For the Steelers, now that they've been leapfrogged twice, I'll have to go back and make a pick for them at this time before moving forward. As most folks here know, Jarvis Jones has been my guy at #17 for a while, so that would be my personal pick. It is nice to have the poll results showing that the board backs me up (for the most part) since Jones got the most votes (7) compared to 5 each for Cordarelle Patterson and Jonathan Cooper (who is now off the board to the Cowboys), 2 for Kenny Vaccaro, and none for either Desmond Trufant or Eddie Lacy. In the future, a board poll may be a better idea for the Steeler pick rather than assigning the Steelers to one poster via lottery. I may consider using this method next year.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are proud to select:
Georgia LB Jarvis Jones
Chicago's on the clock, and they are in a tough spot. They could use OL help, but the top 4 OT's and the top 2 OG's are off the board. They likely would have taken any of those 6 prospects, but don't want to reach for the 7th best o-lineman. They would have considered Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert, but he's also off the board also. Zach Ertz would be the next best TE on the board, but they'd prefer to get him in a trade down rather than at #20. Cordarelle Patterson is certainly tempting at this point, but they already have Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey as big, athletic specimen types, so Patterson's skill set would be somewhat redundant (they would probably prefer a different style WR like Tavon Austin to complement Marshall and Jeffrey, but he's gone as well). Since they no longer have Nick Roach or Brian Urlacher, they could address linebacker. The best available at this point would be Alec Ogletree, who started out his college career as a safety just like Urlacher did, but they have reservations about him due to his multiple off the field issues. So, they started calling teams with extra day two picks to see if anyone was interested in trading up. Strangely enough, they receiving interest from the team picking just one slot behind them. However, Cincy does want to trade up just one spot. They want back-to-back picks in round 1.
Cincy has a big need at safety, so their defensive coaches are ecstatic that the best safety in the draft, Kenny Vaccaro, has fallen this far. The defensive coaches want him. However, they Cincy brass also noticed that Cordarelle Patterson is surprisingly still available at this point of the draft. Their offensive coaches are salivating over the thought of lining up the uber-athetic Patterson across from all-world talent A.J. Green, with Mohamad Sanu in the slot and Jermaine Gresham at TE. The offensive coaches are trying to make the case to draft Patterson over Vaccaro if both are available at #21.
The the Bears call. Hmm...perhaps the Bengals can satify both their offensive and defensive coaches with a trade up, since they have an extra second round pick from the Carson Palmer trade.
Here is the deal:
Chicago gives up:
Total = 910
Cincy gives up:
Total = 900
The Cincinnati Bengals are proud to select:
Tennessee WR Cordarelle Patterson
Texas FS Kenny Vaccaro
Well, we've got a couple needs and one thing I have to remind you, my stunt double Jeff Fisher doesn't shy away from unsavory characters. Unlike the Bengals who make bad characters worse, we're willing to gamble we can get the most out of talented kids who have their struggles as young men - see Janoris Jenkins. It's just like when my doctor said I need to eat better. you don't see me pussyfooting around eating an apple. Nope. I now wrap everything in bacon. And I only eat at carnivals where everything gets deep fried.
All that said, we're going for another steal that fills a big void on our team.
The St Louis Rams select Alec Ogletree, LB, GA. The kid fills out our LB corps and has the range to help out our coverage and lack of elite safeties. We closely considered some more picks and would have liked to have traded down from this spot because there seems to be a clump of 10-15 players that are just as good as one another. But we're also happy to get the guy we wanted who like Janoris last year is here because of some off field concerns.
The Vikings released veteran corner Antoine Winfield in a cost-cutting move, and hoped to re-sign him to a more cap-friendly deal, but he just called their bluff and signed with Seattle. When you are in a division with the likes of Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffrey, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, James Jones (at last the Vikes were able to sign Greg Jennings away from the Pack), you need to have corners...and lots of 'em. The top corner on the board knows what it means to play in the league since he has a couple of brothers will NFL experience and has that confident...bordering on cocky...attitude that many teams look for in a DB.
The Minnesota Vikings are proud to select:
Washington CB Desmond Trufant
The Colts select ...
Damontre Moore DE Texas A&M
The colts need a new 3-4 rush linebacker to pair with Robert Mathis. Moore is an adept pass rusher with excellent short area quickness and snap anticipation. He also lead his team in tackles and is a relentless run defender. Poor workout numbers have caused Moore to plummet from the top 5 where he was once anticipated to go. However, Moore's 2012 tape is excellent. He played well against very good competition including a monster game against Florida and good showings against NFL talent tackles vs A&M and Alabama. Moore has great length and the frame to add even more mass. He is effective rushing from either side and even lines up at DT occasionally. Moore has shown good enough movement skills to cover TEs in short areas and enough athleticism to drop into and patrol zones. He should see the field immediately this season.
My first (and only) Thursday pick happens to be first thing in the morning, so I'll get it out of the way tonight, and will therefore have NOTHING to do tomorrow with this mock. After all of the picks I've made so far, it will certainly be different just to sit back tomorrow and watch. Should be fun.
After taking a corner with their initial first round pick, there are still a bunch of needs to fill. Although they signed Greg Jennings, they lost Percy Harvin, so they could still use an upgrade at wideout (and with only Austin and Patterson off the board so far, there are still plenty of viable options available...Hopkins, Allen, Hunter, etc.). They could use a starting linebacker, and supposedly have shown a lot of interest in Manti Te'o (and if they were worried about that as a distraction, there are still other options like Minter or Brown out there. Although Harrison Smith was a successful pick at safety last year, they could still use another solid safety next to him, and guys like Elam, Cyprien, and Reid are available. Those are a lot of options, all of which make sense, but I'm going to go elsewhere. Ever since Pat Williams retired and the Williams Wall went from plural to singular, the Vikings haven't found a viable replacement next to Kevin Williams at DT. The best available DT on the board just happens to also be named Williams, so we could create a Williams Wall 2.0.
The Minnesota Vikings are proud to select:
North Carolina DT Sylvester Williams
The Packers have several needs that could be addressed with the 26th pick.
On offense, the RB position could be upgraded to take the heat off Aaron Rogers but no RBs in this draft are first round worthy. Dietrich-Smith filled the gap at center after the Jeff Saturday experiment took a turn for the worst. He progressed well as the season went into the playoffs but the position could be upgraded with depth. (Note: only one sack vs the 49ers in the playoffs for the off. line) Jermichael Finley is often injured and could be gone in 2014, but with Tyler Eifert off the board they continue looking. Donald Driver retired and Greg Jennings leaves for the Vikings. But Thompson has some success drafting WRs in rounds 2 and 3. Off. Line in general can always be improved for the often sacked Aaron Rogers and Ted Thompson loves drafting versatile lineman. David Quessenberry is a target for the mid rounds. (Although fans state that Rodgers is sacked due to holding onto the ball too long trying to make a play……[B]Sound Familiar[/B]?)
TT is also looking to improve the middle of the defense. Charles Woodson is gone and the safety position is thin, but the draft is deep at the safety position. BJ Raji has some injury history and has two years left on his contract, but 2014 is a voidable year. It is with this thought that the Green Bay Packers look to free up newly extended LBer Clay Matthews.
With the 26th selection of the 2013 NFL draft the Green Bay Packers select:
Jonathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia
Bench Press 30 reps
Jenkins is a perfect zero technique NT for Dom Caper’s 3-4 defense. He is a physical presence at the line of scrimmage and is tough against the run. Athletic for his size, he has good lateral movement to pursue ballcarriers to the edge yet he will command blockers freeing the LBers to make plays essential for any 3-4 defense. Possesses a good bull rush and has active hands. Although ballooning to 370lbs for the SEC championship he still performed well and beat potential first rounder Chance Warmack for a sack against Alabama. He has since lost close to 30lbs with an emphasis on changing his diet, displaying the willingness to improve his training regimen.