Tag Archives: Community

BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Pick No. 32 — New York Giants Select Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

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We are done and the 2012 BTSC Community Mock Draft is in the books! Pittsblitz56 did say he was working on it, but the agreed time came and went so I'm stepping in again here. Next up: the real thing at 8:00 pm EDT!

By the way, take note of the cool little minute-long draft profiles from SBN NFL that are embedded with these picks. It's been Michael Bean's personal project to make these videos happen, and let us know what you think of them! -barnerburner-

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First off, I want to say that if VinnySteel had not decided to go for the triple-TE threat for the Patriots, Coby Fleener absolutely would've been the pick here. Right now the New York Giants have got a bunch of guys that seem like they could all be decent role players at the TE position, but Fleener would've instantly upgraded it and given them an ultra-athletic headliner that would've made everyone better.

But no harm, no foul that Vinny picked Fleener ahead of us. We can deal with it and look back at what is still on our draft board and what value stands out.

And as we look at it, one name is standing out right now...

With the 32nd pick in the 2012 BTSC Community Mock Draft, the New York Giants select Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor.

The Giants still need to get younger on their O-line, so someone like Peter Konz was briefly considered here. I also did momentarily consider adding even more strength to the Giants' D-line and taking Chandler Jones, just for the fun of it. They did lose one of their starting CBs, Aaron Ross, in free agency, so Janoris Jenkins was also considered here. And Ross's departure does leave a bigger void than Mario Manningham's departure left at WR (the void that Wright would ostensibly be filling).

But Wright grades out as a better prospect than either Jenkins/Jones/Konz/or anyone else on the board right now.

Linebacker was the only position where I would've considered taking a 1st round-caliber prospect, even if he graded out lower than Wright. I know they traded with the Bengals to acquire Keith Rivers, and that could be all that they needed to shore up the position, but they literally had bums off the street playing there this past season (in late November, they pulled Chase Blackburn away from being a middle school substitute math teacher, but he repaid them by intercepting Tom Brady and being one of their Super Bowl heroes). Though as I wrote last year, with the talent that they've stockpiled on their D-line and in their secondary, they could go with bums off the street again at LB and it still may not matter.

BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Picks:

  1. Indianapolis Colts -- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
  2. Washington Redskins -- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
  3. Minnesota Vikings -- Matt Kalil, OT, USC
  4. Cleveland Browns -- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
  6. St. Louis Rams -- Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
  8. Miami Dolphins -- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
  9. Carolina Panthers -- Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
  10. Buffalo Bills -- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
  11. Kansas City Chiefs -- Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
  12. Seattle Seahawks -- Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
  13. Arizona Cardinals -- Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
  14. Dallas Cowboys -- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
  15. Philadelphia Eagles -- Mark Barron, S, Alabama
  16. New York Jets -- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
  17. Cincinnati Bengals -- Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia
  18. San Diego Chargers -- Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
  19. Chicago Bears -- David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
  20. Tennessee Titans -- Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
  21. Cincinnati Bengals -- Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
  22. Cleveland Browns -- Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
  23. Detroit Lions -- Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
  25. Denver Broncos -- Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
  26. Houston Texans -- Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
  27. New England Patriots -- Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
  28. Green Bay Packers -- Shea McClellin, DE/OLB, Boise State
  29. Baltimore Ravens -- Devon Still, DT, Penn State
  30. San Francisco 49ers -- Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin
  31. New England Patriots -- Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Pick No. 31 — New England Patriots Select Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

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Thanks go to VinnySteel for completing his two-part turn in the mind of Bill Belichick and graciously allowing me to intrude upon his vacation. Now there's just one pick left to go! Last up: the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants and they'll be represented by Pittsblitz56.

By the way, take note of the cool little minute-long draft profiles from SBN NFL that are embedded with these picks. It's been Michael Bean's personal project to make these videos happen, and let us know what you think of them! -barnerburner-

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So, here we go again... just when I thought I was done - they pull me back in! ... like Bill Parcells. (Almost.)

But this pick is really about another Bill - a Parcells disciple who has far exceeded his one-time mentor. Mr. Belichick, of course, has built much of his success through the draft, a point well emphasized by Rebecca Rollett in her piece a couple of days ago about Kevin Colbert's prowess in doing the same. Unlike the Steelers however, he has become famous for wheeling and dealing considerably, having traded down or out of the first round in each of the last five drafts - including doing so twice each in both 2009 and 2010.

As such, there's much speculation and maybe it's even a foregone conclusion that this pick at this point will likely not happen for the New England Patriots. Most New England bloggers and fans out there seem to think they will attempt to trade their second 1st round pick to a pick-needy team for a first round pick in 2013, thus setting them up with the option to repeat the process for yet another year. A partner that seems to be mentioned more than once when considering this scenario is Jacksonville. Year to year, who knows what Belichick will do? He's traded out and then back into the first round in the same draft, for goodness sakes!

As such, there feels like more of a "poetic license", if you will, with this pick. If it's unlikely to be made, then the options of what would be done with it become much more wide. It isn't a throw off - and the Patriots could stun the world and actually use both of them - but regardless, it definitely becomes completely a "best player available" scenario as it feels almost like a "bonus" pick. So this time around, I felt there were lots of options:

Janoris Jenkins - In this case, he's definitely among the BPA, and New England has taken troubled players down the straight and narrow before (see: Randy Moss). But taking a first round risk on a guy with that many red flags is likely a little too much. Plus, he still hasn't done anything in the NFL. Moss was proven when he came to the Patriots.

Vontaze Burfict - See Janoris Jenkins, above. Plus, he might be crazy.

There are several offensive line prospects left at this point, but I just feel the Patriots already prepared well for Matt Light's retirement. Switching Nate Solder to the other side and moving Marcus Cannon with Sebastian Vollmer coming back on board gives them a bevy of high picks on the line as it is. I don't believe they would be open to drafting a lineman here unless he was extraordinary, and I don't feel any of those that are left really are.

So I went with something of a surprise...

With the 31st pick in the 2012 draft, the New England Patriots select Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford.

Okay - so forget all that stuff I said about defense in my last pick. Belichick doesn't care. He breaks convention faster than FBI agents at the Hotel Caribe and has only slightly better scruples.

And yes, they already have two incredible tight ends. But Fleener is 6'6", 247 and runs a 4.46-4.57. He's virtually a wide receiver anyway. His best routes are the deep seams and he exploited them well as evidenced by his just under twenty yards per reception last season (19.62). He had 34 of those receptions for 667 yards and ten touchdowns last year. Teams will shy away from him because he had the ankle injury - sort of like what happened with Heath Miller when he fell to us. But Fleener is faster than Miller and just as good a blocker as Miller was when he came out of college.

Yes, defense makes sense here too. But if you think about it, if the Patriots had a third incredible tight end - not only would they have scored even more points last year, they also would not have missed a healthy Gronk as much as they did in the Super Bowl. If Courtney Upshaw produces for them in the pass rush on defense, then just one more ridiculously impossible to cover option for Tom Brady might just be too much for the rest of the NFL to over come. Even when considering the whooping that we put on them - would Keenan Lewis or Cortez Allen or any of our cornerbacks handled him as easily as they did Deion Branch? Would it have changed the outcome of that game? Would the AFC Championship had been as close, considering Baltimore didn't exactly have a stellar secondary? With another touchdown on the board, Brady is fully in clock-killing mode by the 4th quarter and a player like Fleener could be the kind of player to make something like that happen.

Plus, Fleener is intelligent and will adjust and easily learn the crazy wrinkles that three high-caliber tight ends could produce.

Bottom line is if Belichick were forced to make this pick, he'd want to be certain he was upgrading the team. Fleener definitely would not be there at their next pick, and Belichick absolutely elevates his team by nabbing him here. If he stays healthy and the Patriots are able to be as creative as his potential allows them to be, they may (for the time being) kill the theory that "defense wins championships", much to the chilled chagrin of true Steelers fans.

BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Picks:

  1. Indianapolis Colts -- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
  2. Washington Redskins -- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
  3. Minnesota Vikings -- Matt Kalil, OT, USC
  4. Cleveland Browns -- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
  6. St. Louis Rams -- Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
  8. Miami Dolphins -- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
  9. Carolina Panthers -- Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
  10. Buffalo Bills -- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
  11. Kansas City Chiefs -- Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
  12. Seattle Seahawks -- Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
  13. Arizona Cardinals -- Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
  14. Dallas Cowboys -- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
  15. Philadelphia Eagles -- Mark Barron, S, Alabama
  16. New York Jets -- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
  17. Cincinnati Bengals -- Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia
  18. San Diego Chargers -- Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
  19. Chicago Bears -- David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
  20. Tennessee Titans -- Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
  21. Cincinnati Bengals -- Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
  22. Cleveland Browns -- Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
  23. Detroit Lions -- Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
  25. Denver Broncos -- Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
  26. Houston Texans -- Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
  27. New England Patriots -- Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
  28. Green Bay Packers -- Shea McClellin, DE/OLB, Boise State
  29. Baltimore Ravens -- Devon Still, DT, Penn State
  30. San Francisco 49ers -- Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Pick No. 28 — Green Bay Packers Select Shea McClellin, DE/OLB, Boise State


*** Discuss this article and more at our Pittsburgh Steelers forum ***


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It took me too long to make this pick. I never expected to wrestle with it for as long as I did. Just lock-and-load to second-guess and rip away. Next up: Baltimore Ravens and they'll be represented by our very favorite, Mr MaLoR.

By the way, take note of the cool little minute-long draft profiles from SBN NFL that are embedded with these picks. It's been Michael Bean's personal project to make these videos happen, and let us know what you think of them! -barnerburner-

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I had a lot of trouble and did not know who to go with here for the Green Bay Packers.

I could at least narrow it down to one side of the ball - with their offense tops in the league in scoring and 3rd overall in yards per game, and their defense a below average 19th in scoring and the league's caboose at 32nd in yards per game.

Then I could look at their 29 total sacks - which tied them with the Colts, Bills, and Chiefs for the 27th worst mark in the league and the third-lowest total overall - to deduce that something disappeared from their Super Bowl-winning front seven in 2010 (47 sacks, tied for 2nd overall).

And then... I was stuck.

I mean I did make a pick to meet a deadline, but I'm still second-guessing it to a degree.

Do I go with a defensive lineman to play end in their 3-4? Or do I go with an outside linebacker to play opposite Clay Matthews?

Defensive linemen:

  • Devon Still, Penn State (6'5, 303)
  • Jerel Worthy, Michigan State (6'2, 308)
  • Kendall Reyes, Connecticut (6'4, 299)

Two guys with somewhat solid Day 1 grades, another guy with a late-1st/early-2nd round grade. I really wanted to throw out Jerel Worthy right from the get-go because of (what I think is) his relative lack of size (in this case, height/length). Then I looked up what Cullen Jenkins is listed at, and he's apparently 6'2, 305. It's relevant because in retrospect, the loss of Jenkins and the lack of depth to consistently fill that void this past year (Jenkins had 7 sacks in just 11 games in 2010) is what largely precipitated the Packers' fall from lofty defensive standards.

(Potential) outside linebackers:

  • Shea McClellin, Boise State (6'3, 260)
  • Andre Branch, Clemson (6'4, 259)
  • Vinny Curry, Marshall (6'3, 266)

The four big-name DE/OLB prospects - Melvin Ingram, Nick Perry, Whitney Mercilus, and Courtney Upshaw - have all been taken, leaving me with an assortment of late-1st/early-2nd round prospects.

(I also tried to consider Chandler Jones, DE from Syracuse here, but wasn't entirely sure how he could best maximize his potential in a 3-4. So I threw him out.)

Narrowing down the DL prospects

I ended up throwing Jerel Worthy out anyways because 1) the more I read about him, the more he sounded like a penetrating 4-3 DT that would be out of place at 3-4 DE (like Corey Liuget, the Chargers' 2011 1st round pick, though Liuget may still develop by leaps and bounds going into his second year); and 2) because I just can't take him over Still, when they both played the same position in the same conference and Still was the one named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year (maybe it's just me though).

The thing is, I eventually decided against Still as well. I think Still is a relatively safe pick that the Packers could take here, and he could certainly help shore up the run defense and create some pressure that linebackers can clean up on. He would definitely be an asset to the team, but my gut feeling is that his effectiveness in a 3-4 would be a step below his effectiveness as a disruptive 4-3 DT. As such, I'm not sure if his value to the Packers here is far enough ahead of the value of a DL prospect from the next tier - like Brandon Thompson from Clemson or Jared Crick from Nebraska - both of whom should be available closer to their 2nd round pick.

And since I could not take Kendall Reyes ahead of both Still and Worthy, and because Reyes' draft stock reminds me a little bit of Kentwan Balmer's back in 2008, I have to throw him out too.

Narrowing down the OLB prospects

This was really tough, but I crossed Andre Branch off the list first. It was more of a gut feeling than anything, but I'll do my best to try to articulate the logic I think I had - McClellin and Curry both seem to me like they could have more to contribute to the Packers right now, even while they grow into the defense. Curry apparently already has a good array of moves in his pass rushing arsenal, and McClellin has some moves as well and a non-stop motor that will never give up on a play, along with the experience of having lined up all over the field at Boise State. All the reports I read on Branch talked about how he can be lightning quick, but they all also talked about how he's a bit of a one-trick pony right now when pass rushing. I think I figured that of the three of them, Branch was the most likely to be a Larry English/Jerry Hughes-type bust.

So in the end...

With the 28th pick in the 2012 BTSC Community Mock Draft, the Green Bay Packers select Shea McClellin, DE/OLB, Boise State.

Yep, it just happened. At the risk of being accused of just going with a pick that's "in vogue" right now, I actually am going with McClellin. I really did not expect to decide on him, but that's just the way it shook out for me today. And I'm not going to partially cop out and say that I'd like to trade down and get him later - I'm taking Shea McClellin and I'm taking him right here. Even if the Patriots take a different pass rusher ahead of me, I have no assurance that they won't double-down and take McClellin with their other 1st rounder (they are currently without both of their leading sack-getters this past season). I can't guarantee that the 49ers won't take another OLB for their rotation either. I know that the Colts should be in the market for an edge rusher with the second pick of the 2nd round to help flesh out their brand new 3-4 (which MaLoR points out in what is a fine piece of work).

I think Vinny Curry has better potential as a pure pass rusher - and we did begin this exercise in part to try to figure out how best to address the Packers' low sack total - but by all accounts he would require a ton of work before he could start dropping into coverage. I'm not necessarily just looking for someone to duplicate Clay Matthews on the opposite side (though that's not a bad end-result); I'm looking for as well-rounded a complement as I can find, who will provide greater flexibility to the defense across all of their various formations (especially if they go back to more 3-4 base defense, and then might need OLBs to drop more often out of that formation). I think McClellin is a better OLB prospect overall, because he has the experience of standing up and moving all over the field. The tiebreaker was McClellin's ability to excel in coverage sooner than Curry could.

I know that quite a few guys at Acme Packing Company aren't quite on board with taking him in the 1st round, and that's fine. I'm just not going to take their reasoning and use it completely in lieu of mine. The kid from Boise State has got speed, awareness, and a fantastic motor - what more do you want? The only knock is sack production specifically (seeming to "regress" with just 6 sacks in 2011 after 9.5 sacks in 2010), which then turns into the usual concerns about someone that "never dominated" against non-BCS competition. In rebuttal, I think you do have to give him a bit of a pass for the drop in sacks, because the experience he was gaining in coverage had to come at the expense of pass rushing opportunities. Furthermore, when Boise State went to play Georgia at Georgia, McClellin reportedly had a great performance against Cordy Glenn.

I'm still not sure I made the right decision to pass on Devon Still. However, with the Packers typically being the least active team in free agency (even less active than us), the fact that they went out to sign a guy like Anthony Hargrove to help address the position makes me a bit more comfortable with waiting to address the DL until the 2nd round or later (they have no idea yet if Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins will return to play football, so they could take a replacement early on Day 2).

BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Picks:

  1. Indianapolis Colts -- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
  2. Washington Redskins -- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
  3. Minnesota Vikings -- Matt Kalil, OT, USC
  4. Cleveland Browns -- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
  6. St. Louis Rams -- Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
  8. Miami Dolphins -- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
  9. Carolina Panthers -- Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
  10. Buffalo Bills -- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
  11. Kansas City Chiefs -- Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
  12. Seattle Seahawks -- Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
  13. Arizona Cardinals -- Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
  14. Dallas Cowboys -- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
  15. Philadelphia Eagles -- Mark Barron, S, Alabama
  16. New York Jets -- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
  17. Cincinnati Bengals -- Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia
  18. San Diego Chargers -- Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
  19. Chicago Bears -- David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
  20. Tennessee Titans -- Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
  21. Cincinnati Bengals -- Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
  22. Cleveland Browns -- Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
  23. Detroit Lions -- Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
  25. Denver Broncos -- Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
  26. Houston Texans -- Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
  27. New England Patriots -- Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Pick No. 27 — New England Patriots Select Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama


*** Discuss this article and more at our Pittsburgh Steelers forum ***


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We get to hear from someone that's not me! Thanks go to VinnySteel for fulfilling the first appearance that our friends from Foxborough will make in the 1st round this year. Next up: Green Bay Packers and they'll be represented by barnerburner (jeez... not him again).

By the way, take note of the cool little minute-long draft profiles from SBN NFL that are embedded with these picks. It's been Michael Bean's personal project to make these videos happen, and let us know what you think of them! -barnerburner-

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So, as a Steelers fan representing what is likely our collective 2nd most hated franchise, I was tempted to want to spend their first round draft choice on a kicker. Any kicker. No, scratch that. I'd like them to be a really bad kicker with off-the-field substance abuse issue and suspected ties to a terrorist cell or two.

The problem is, it wouldn't matter. Somehow, some way, Belichick would figure out some strange unknown skill set for the guy and use him successfully in "the system." And even if he were a bust - do you really think the New England Patriots will not figure out some way to have two first round picks next year? Since 1990, they've managed to head into the draft with two first rounders seven times.They've only used both of these picks four times, most recently in 2004 where they selected Vince Wilfork and Ben Watson. Of course, when you're New England, you have to be doubly prepared. You could miss on the pick... or you could get caught and have one (only one) taken away by the league... but I digress.

The point is if they mess up with their pick, they'll still have more opportunities than anyone to make up for it. Of course, if they keep him, he'll marry a supermodel.

Before I get to the pick - one more piece of extraneous fluff: I live in Pittsburgh. Ironically, I am on my family vacation starting today and I'm writing this from none other than Boston, Massachusetts. When I signed up, I had no idea it would work out that I would be physically present in the city the team represents at the precise moment I "drafted". The planets are truly aligning for this pick...

With the 27th pick in the 2012 draft, the New England Patriots select... Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, University of Alabama.

There probably is no better proof that the Patriots are a system-oriented team than the fact that it would probably be a great challenge to find a team that made it all the way to the Super Bowl, played competitively, and yet could probably draft any defensive position and it would be in some way a position of need. Truly remarkable that they accomplished all they did last year with their defensive roster.

Most pundits say New England came within a "dropped Wes Welker pass" of winning the Super Bowl. However, I think it's more accurate to say they were a Rob Gronkowski injury away from doing so. Either way, the point is that the Patriots nearly won the Super Bowl even with mistakes and significant injuries on offense. The offense doesn't need any help, not in the first round anyway. They've prepared well for Matt Light's retirement. So, an offensive line pick is unlikely.

However, the greatest of the defensive needs would be the lack of consistent pass rush.

It's interesting to note, however, that the Patriots actually had more sacks last season (40) than the Steelers (35). Our dramatic fall was due to injuries, but not so for New England. They just did not have the personnel to do it. This was really evident in the playoffs and Super Bowl.

At 6'2" and 265 pounds, Upshaw is a lot of man. While not the laterally quickest player, he is a ferocious in-line bull rusher with great flexibility and instinct. In 13 games last season, he registered 8.5 sacks, 14 quarterback hurries, 17 tackles for loss - but he only had 56 tackles total! And he did this against college football's toughest competition. He simply has a great nose for the ball and the strength and agility to break through any wall to get there.

One other perk is that he played a hybrid end-backer at Alabama and will adjust readily to a similar system in New England.

In most mocks I've read, Upshaw is going around 16th or 17th overall. Many others have him going right here where I've picked him. Those that have him going later have New England picking a defensive player that is already off the board in our mock. That's the problem with doing a mock with Steelers fans: "Offense? Who needs offense? ... Isn't that what rounds 4-6 are for?" In all likelihood, New England will have a few more defensive options on the table than our mock has given them. However, New England might just take the dynamic Upshaw (if he's still available) regardless. He's that good and that much of a fit for what they do.

Well, it's been interesting to look at football from the perspective of Bill Belichick. And now, please excuse me while I shower and wash the stink of this dirty deed from my soul...


BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Picks:

  1. Indianapolis Colts -- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
  2. Washington Redskins -- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
  3. Minnesota Vikings -- Matt Kalil, OT, USC
  4. Cleveland Browns -- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
  6. St. Louis Rams -- Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
  8. Miami Dolphins -- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
  9. Carolina Panthers -- Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
  10. Buffalo Bills -- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
  11. Kansas City Chiefs -- Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
  12. Seattle Seahawks -- Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
  13. Arizona Cardinals -- Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
  14. Dallas Cowboys -- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
  15. Philadelphia Eagles -- Mark Barron, S, Alabama
  16. New York Jets -- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
  17. Cincinnati Bengals -- Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia
  18. San Diego Chargers -- Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
  19. Chicago Bears -- David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
  20. Tennessee Titans -- Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
  21. Cincinnati Bengals -- Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
  22. Cleveland Browns -- Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
  23. Detroit Lions -- Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
  25. Denver Broncos -- Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
  26. Houston Texans -- Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Pick No. 26 — Houston Texans Select Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech


*** Discuss this article and more at our Pittsburgh Steelers forum ***


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I never heard from jacquavivajr, so I'm stepping in again here. Next up: New England Patriots, with the pick they acquired from the Saints for Mark Ingram last year, and they'll be represented by VinnySteel.

By the way, take note of the cool little minute-long draft profiles from SBN NFL that are embedded with these picks. It's been Michael Bean's personal project to make these videos happen, and let us know what you think of them! -barnerburner-

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The Houston Texans have had an offseason of interesting losses, highlighted by the following:

  • Mario Williams, DE - Six years for almost $ 100 million, $ 50 million guaranteed. (What can he do with that much money?) That's the open-market price for the former 1st overall pick in 2006, who can create and pace a pass rush for anyone (at least, that's what Buffalo hopes).
  • DeMeco Ryans, ILB - Swapping 3rd round picks and getting a 4th rounder. That was what the Eagles had to give for a former Defensive Rookie of the Year and All-Pro that has recently had some serious injuries. Williams and Ryans (2nd round, 33rd overall pick in 2006) were two fantastic defensive building blocks for what was once an awful Texans team, and now they're both gone.
  • Jason Allen, CB - The former 1st round pick by the Dolphins in 2006 was actually released by them midseason in 2010 (in what I believe was a contract year for him). The Texans immediately claimed him off waivers, and he finished out the season with them and put together a reasonably productive 2011 campaign as their No. 2 corner (4 interceptions, 45 tackles) while playing across from Johnathan Joseph, which earned Allen a two-year, $ 8.2 million contract from the Bengals (a year after they allowed Joseph to walk).

  • Mike Brisiel, G - Five years for $ 20 million from the Raiders was enough to pry away the Texans' starting RG. Brisiel's loss came just four days after the Texans decided to part ways with...
  • Eric Winston, OT - His offseason release was completely unexpected by just about everyone. Winston had been an exceptional run-blocking RT, though his pass protection isn't close to the same level, and he seemed to be a very durable starter. He had minor offseason ankle surgery, but nothing bad enough to keep the Chiefs from giving him a four-year deal for $ 22 million.
  • Joel Dreessen, TE - I think it's always interesting when a player joins up with a former division rival (Peyton Manning in Denver).

  • Needs and options:

    Parting with Ryans now doesn't leave as big a void as there would've been a couple of years ago. And with Brian Cushing as a stud at one ILB spot, they can probably find a serviceable replacement already on their roster (between Darryl Sharpton, Tim Dobbins, and FA acquisition Bradie James). Last year they also drafted two CBs - Brandon Harris (remember him?) with their second 2nd round pick and Rashad "Roc" Carmichael with their 4th rounder - so Allen's loss should be sustainable (especially if 2010 1st round pick Kareem Jackson starts to put it all together).

    Mario Williams missed time the past two years (major time this passed season with a torn pectoral), and with the Texans' defense still able to function at a pretty high level in his absence, Williams' value to them would not have been worth the price he commanded. Another OLB will be needed to rotate with Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed, 2nd round pick last year.

    Option: Courtney Upshaw

    According to the guys at Battle Red Blog (BRB - great abbreviation), Mike Brisiel was also having trouble putting together a complete 16 game season (check the second link under Winston's blurb). The combined losses of Brisiel and Winston will give them an entirely new right side for what used to be very good offensive line and they need depth to shore it up, especially if the presumed replacements - Antoine Caldwell and Rashad Butler - are not up to the task.

    Options: Mike Adams (would've been an option here, but between the baggage that he is carrying from Ohio State and the recent reports that he tested positive for marijuana at the combine, I'm willing to pass on him), Bobby Massie at OT; Kevin Zeitler at G

    Andre Johnson's injuries exposed the Texans' passing game to be reliant on him to function, though their carousel of quarterbacks - going from Matt Schaub to Matt Leinart to rookie T.J. Yates (even going so far as to acquire Jake Delhomme and Jeff Garcia for late season depth) - did them no favors either. Johnson and No. 2 Kevin Walter are both going to be 31 this year and Jacoby Jones has never put it all together, so they could definitely start to reload their passing attack for the future. Only two receivers have been picked so far, leaving enticing prospects available here.

    Options: Kendall Wright, Stephen Hill, and Rueben Randle

    In losing Dreessen, the Texans mainly lost a good blocking TE that was also a serviceable receiver. Coby Fleener apparently isn't a fully-realized crushing blocker at this point in his development, but he could get there so I'm on board with potentially taking him to pair with (and eventually supplant) Owen Daniels.

    Option: Coby Fleener

    After due consideration...

    With the 26th pick in the 2012 BTSC Community Mock Draft, the Houston Texans select Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech.

    The deciding factor between Courtney Upshaw and a receiver was that since the Texans became a franchise in 2002, they've picked three offensive players in the 1st round and eight defensive players. I just think they're due for another guy on offense.

    The deciding factor between Kendall Wright and Hill/Randle was the potential for Hill/Randle (with their size) to be much better blocking assets in the running game, which will remain the Texans' bread-and-butter, while they grow into the offense.

    The tiebreaker between Stephen Hill and Rueben Randle came down to... kind of a coin-flip. Hill is 6'4, 215; Randle is 6'3, 210. Randle has more polish as a receiver right now, Hill has serious speed (4.36 40-yard time tied for tops at the combine among receivers). After spending three years at Georgia Tech, where they are far more interested in the run with their triple-option offense, I feel like Hill could really blossom with a team that wants to properly hone him as a receiver (though it's not all bad, because one report I read talked about how Hill was a "focus blocker" with some plays designed to run behind his block specifically). And since the Texans have one of the best "prototypical" No. 1 receivers in the league already on the roster, Hill will have the perfect mentor to look up to.


    BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Picks:

    1. Indianapolis Colts -- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
    2. Washington Redskins -- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
    3. Minnesota Vikings -- Matt Kalil, OT, USC
    4. Cleveland Browns -- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
    5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
    6. St. Louis Rams -- Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
    7. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
    8. Miami Dolphins -- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
    9. Carolina Panthers -- Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
    10. Buffalo Bills -- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
    11. Kansas City Chiefs -- Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
    12. Seattle Seahawks -- Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
    13. Arizona Cardinals -- Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
    14. Dallas Cowboys -- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
    15. Philadelphia Eagles -- Mark Barron, S, Alabama
    16. New York Jets -- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
    17. Cincinnati Bengals -- Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia
    18. San Diego Chargers -- Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
    19. Chicago Bears -- David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
    20. Tennessee Titans -- Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
    21. Cincinnati Bengals -- Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
    22. Cleveland Browns -- Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
    23. Detroit Lions -- Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
    24. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
    25. Denver Broncos -- Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State



    Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

    Shop Pittsburgh Steelers Gear

    BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Pick No. 25 — Denver Broncos Select Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State

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    I never heard from Ram_india, so I'm stepping in again here. Next up: Houston Texans and they'll be represented by jacquavivajr.

    By the way, take note of the cool little minute-long draft profiles from SBN NFL that are embedded with these picks. It's been Michael Bean's personal project to make these videos happen, and let us know what you think of them! -barnerburner-

    ********************

    The Denver Broncos have had an offseason of interesting acquisitions, highlighted by the following:

    • Peyton Manning, QB - Five years for $ 96 million, $ 18 million guaranteed. That's the open-market price for a future Hall of Fame quarterback even after missing a season. And I'm really looking forward to 8:20 pm on Sunday, September 9.
    • Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme, TEs - The Broncos went out and made wholesale changes to their TE unit by signing a guy that Manning is familiar with from Indy in Tamme, and a capable No. 2 option from the Texans in Dreessen. Manning's former favorite TE, Dallas Clark, is still a free agent, and rumour has it (cue the Adele?) that Clark's career may be over.

  • Brandon Stokley, WR - Stokley was in Indy from 2003-2006, and then was in Denver from 2007-2009. He had a nondescript year in Seattle in 2010 (though he was the Seahawks leading receiver in their epic upset of the Saints in the Wildcard round), and this past season he signed with the New York Giants in mid-September and appeared in two games before being released with an injury settlement. Now he'll be reunited with one of his old QBs on one of his other old teams. And he will be 36 years old come June, in case you're curious.
  • Tracy Porter, CB - Was signed to a one-year, $ 4 million contract to start across from Champ Bailey either as an audition for a long-term deal, or as a stop-gap solution. That's enough to be notable, but what makes this properly interesting is that Porter spent the first four seasons of his career with the New Orleans Saints. And Porter just happens to be the guy that intercepted Peyton Manning and ran it back 74 yards for a TD to clinch Super Bowl XLIV with just over 3 minutes remaining.

  • Needs and options:

    I poked around a few places, and the consensus seems to be that the Broncos primary needs are at DT, CB, and RB. Let's go ahead and throw RB out of the discussion for their 1st round pick, since they can find a capable guy later in the draft, and the first two positions align much better with the value currently on the board.

    The Broncos do need an infusion of talent at cornerback, hence the Tracy Porter signing and the recent rumors that they were looking to acquire Asante Samuel from the Eagles. They could go with Janoris Jenkins here - I think this range is well within the realm of possibility for Jenkins' special combination of talent, production, and off-the-field problems. I know it's not at all an accurate comparison in terms of physical size or skill-sets, but this is just a couple of spots ahead of where Jimmy Smith went last year.

    Defensive tackle is the really big hole. They've been making do with a rotation of late-round picks and cast-offs, and at the moment, it looks like more of the same is in store for the upcoming season. Ty Warren, a former anchor on the formidable 3-man fronts that the Patriots used to run, is on the Broncos roster and could return from missing the entire 2011 season due to a triceps injury to solidify the middle of the D-line - but that's not something to try to bank on. They brought Justin Bannan back into the fold, just a year removed from dumping him and letting him go to the Rams, and are looking to bring back someone named Marcus Thomas - who I am not even remotely familiar with, but the guys at Mile High Report (MHR) seem to be interested in retaining him for at least another year or two to see if he can yet prove some worth for the long-term. They also cut into their depth by dumping Ryan McBean, who was one of their reclamation projects after he was originally drafted and dumped by us.

    The fact of the matter is that this reclamation and recycling program they have isn't really a viable M.O. in the long-run, and quite simply, the Broncos have a marked lack of high-end talent/young potential on their DT depth chart. And to resolve that...

    With the 25th pick in the 2012 BTSC Community Mock Draft, the Denver Broncos select Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State.

    This isn't quite the same kind of steal that I got when I took Trent Richardson for the Jets, but I'm still very surprised to see Cox last this long (beat you to the TWSS punch!) and am happy to select him here.

    Most of the discussion on MHR seemed to be on the relative merits of Devon Still and Jerel Worthy (and even a little bit here and there about Kendall Reyes), with some pipe-dreaming about Michael Brockers falling all the way down to No. 25. I think all of that is a moot point though, when there's a guy at the same position that some draftniks consider a top-10 pick still being on the board.


    That being said though, I did have a darkhorse selection for the Broncos that I seriously considered - Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford.

    1). The free agent additions of Dreessen and Tamme do not at all mean that the Broncos have no room for a dynamic new No. 1 TE.

    2). How fascinatingly cool would it be if one of Andrew Luck's favorite targets at Stanford wound up as a go-to playmaker for the guy that Luck was drafted to replace?

    BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Picks:

    1. Indianapolis Colts -- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
    2. Washington Redskins -- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
    3. Minnesota Vikings -- Matt Kalil, OT, USC
    4. Cleveland Browns -- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
    5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
    6. St. Louis Rams -- Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
    7. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
    8. Miami Dolphins -- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
    9. Carolina Panthers -- Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
    10. Buffalo Bills -- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
    11. Kansas City Chiefs -- Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
    12. Seattle Seahawks -- Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
    13. Arizona Cardinals -- Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
    14. Dallas Cowboys -- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
    15. Philadelphia Eagles -- Mark Barron, S, Alabama
    16. New York Jets -- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
    17. Cincinnati Bengals -- Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia
    18. San Diego Chargers -- Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
    19. Chicago Bears -- David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
    20. Tennessee Titans -- Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
    21. Cincinnati Bengals -- Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
    22. Cleveland Browns -- Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
    23. Detroit Lions -- Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
    24. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama



    Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

    Get your Steelers Fathead!

    BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Pick No. 24 — Pittsburgh Steelers Select Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama

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    Our pick is in! Thanks go to maryrose for his assessment of a 'backer from 'Bama that has been a very hot topic around these parts for quite awhile. Next up: Denver Broncos and they'll be represented by Ram_india.

    By the way, take note of the cool little minute-long draft profiles from SBN NFL that are embedded with these picks. It's been Michael Bean's personal project to make these videos happen, and let us know what you think of them! -barnerburner-

    ********************

    Well Steeler Nation, for those of you who debate Need versus Best Player Available, or disagree on how much "need" actually weighs into the Steelers draft board, you can put all that talk to rest for a year. Pittsburgh is going to hit the daily double in 2012 by getting the best football player available at pick #24, who happens to come at a time of great need. James Farrior is gone after a wonderful career at inside linebacker for the Steelers. Larry Foote is a serviceable but fading back-up and Stevenson Sylvester may yet develop, but is still unknown. What is not unknown is that Pittsburgh's gracefully aging defense could use a youthful facelift in the middle of Dick LeBeau's chessboard.

    Welcome Dont'a Hightower, who is a prototype inside backer in the 3-4 scheme, a consensus first-team All American who played on the best team in the country (Alabama) against the best collegiate competition (SEC). Hightower was the centerpiece of the country's number one scoring defense (8.8 ppg), rush defense (75 ypg) and total defense (191 ypg).

    Hightower is 6'4", weighs 268 pounds and has 33-inch arms and 10-inch hands. You might not be able to build a better successor to Farrior if you had Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory. He is above the line in just about every aspect of the position, and is no small reason why Alabama was so incredible defensively en route to a national championship. Scouts Inc. gives him a 93 rating. Only 16 prospects have a higher rating and only one, Luke Kuechly, at the inside backer position. A thumbnail glance of Hightower's resume includes:

    • Finalist for the Lombardi Award
    • Finalist for the Butkus Award
    • Finalist for the Bednarik Award
    • Finalist for the Lott Trophy
    • Midseason All-American by CBSsports.com
    • National Player of the Week and SEC Defensive Player of the Week (Tennessee)
    • SEC Defensive Player of the Week (Mississippi State)
    • Accumulated 230 career tackles with 19.5 tackles for loss and 25 quarterback hurries while starting 41 career games
    • Eight-time Alabama Defensive Player of the Week

    The primary function of a middle linebacker in the 3-4 scheme has historically been to stop the run. The three linemen eat up blockers and the middle guys clean up the ball carrier and rack up tackling stats. Hightower is an outstanding tackler, something essential to a Tomlin-LeBeau defense. He seeks, he hits, he wraps and he closes. Whatever damage has been done, if any, will come to a halt when Hightower meets the football. Moreover, the simplicity of this formula is changing in the ever-evolving, pass-happy NFL. The new offensive formula is for teams to rack up yardage and points via the air rather than the old-school ground-and-pound game. This suits Dont'a Hightower just fine. Consider that an increasing percentage of the passes in the "new NFL" are made in west coast fashion or short-yardage fashion. Most passes are thrown and caught within seven yards of the line of scrimmage, either by designed quick-hitters, the ever popular checkdowns, or the west coast catch-and-run game. It is imperative that defenses have the antidote for this. A young buck (pun intended), stud, hungry and athletic linebacker in the middle of all that short-passing activity is just what the doctor ordered.

    Hightower's instincts and recognition are off the charts. He is quick to diagnose run or pass and has the instincts to angle to where he needs to be. He plays a disciplined game and stays within himself and the job description at hand. He is also a strong man who can shed blocks with his head on a swivel to locate the ball carrier. Hightower's hips and leverage are a linebacker's best friend and his long arms and large hands will help him add a few more tackles to his stat sheet. Hightower displays good awareness in coverage, diagnoses play-action quickly and shows a good feel in underneath-middle zone. His strength and instincts will help him to be an effective pass rusher in LeBeau's exotic zone rushing schemes. His strong, long arms allow a pretty good rip move to rush the quarterback.

    The downsides to Hightower should be mentioned in the fairness of full disclosure. Misdirection plays can sometimes fool him and he'll need some guidance from linebackers coach Keith Butler to improve in that area. He is also stronger than he is fast, so his zone coverage skills are better than defending man-to-man, and don't look for him to make many downfield tackles. His lateral agility is average at best and he sometimes leaves his feet too early. Hightower was injured twice in college, once with an ACL and once with a hand injury, both requiring surgeries. Fortunately, his conditioning and work ethic helped him bounce back from both of those setbacks.

    An inside linebacker needs to be a leader, or in the case of a rookie, needs to develop into one. Hightower was a team captain at Alabama in both his junior and senior seasons. He has a fabulous work ethic and will do "whatever it takes," (Coach Noll), to get the job done. He is tuned into all the right nutritional aspects of being a world-class athlete and takes his conditioning and training regimen very seriously. He has no off-field baggage concerns and graduated from Alabama in three-and-a-half years. What is not to like about the total package of this young man? Does he sound like a Pittsburgh Steeler to you?



    BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Picks:

    1. Indianapolis Colts -- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
    2. Washington Redskins -- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
    3. Minnesota Vikings -- Matt Kalil, OT, USC
    4. Cleveland Browns -- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
    5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
    6. St. Louis Rams -- Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
    7. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
    8. Miami Dolphins -- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
    9. Carolina Panthers -- Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
    10. Buffalo Bills -- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
    11. Kansas City Chiefs -- Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
    12. Seattle Seahawks -- Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
    13. Arizona Cardinals -- Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
    14. Dallas Cowboys -- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
    15. Philadelphia Eagles -- Mark Barron, S, Alabama
    16. New York Jets -- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
    17. Cincinnati Bengals -- Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia
    18. San Diego Chargers -- Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
    19. Chicago Bears -- David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
    20. Tennessee Titans -- Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
    21. Cincinnati Bengals -- Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
    22. Cleveland Browns -- Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
    23. Detroit Lions -- Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois



    Source: Behind the Steel Curtain


    BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Pick No. 22 — Cleveland Browns Select Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

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    The Steelers pick is getting closer and closer, and now we've only got to get through the Lions pick (which will be up later today)! Thanks go to _ET_ for Part 2 of his Browns analysis here. Next up: Detroit Lions and they'll again be represented by JDSpartan.

    By the way, take note of the cool little minute-long draft profiles from SBN NFL that are embedded with these picks. It's been Michael Bean's personal project to make these videos happen, and let us know what you think of them! -barnerburner-

    ********************

    While making the 4th pick overall, I listed the Cleveland Browns' top needs as WR (which I addressed), RB and QB. Now that I'm back here with the 22nd pick overall, QB/RB are still big needs, but the available talent at those positions do not represent the best value available. QBs Brandon Weedon and Kirk Cousins would be big reaches at this point without bringing a substantial or even minor upgrade on the Browns depth chart. At RB position, Lamar Miller, Doug Martin and David Wilson would fill the void of the departed Peyton Hillis. However, the value available at other positions, plus the chance that one, if not all will be available at the top of the 2nd round (37th overall), makes it easier to pass on them at this point.

    That brings us to the next tier of needs the Browns have: RT and pass-rushing DE or OLB. Last year, the Browns tied for 23rd in the league with 32 sacks. Rookie DE Jabaal Sheard lead the team with 8.5 sacks and showed lots of promise. The Browns could use another player to put opposite him, such as Illinois' Whitney Mercilus or Alabama's Courtney Upshaw. Combining an outside duo of Sheard and Mercilus/Upshaw with last year's 1st round pick, DT Phil Taylor (4 sacks), could give the Browns a formidable defensive front for years to come. That was my plan until Jonathan Martin started to fall.

    With the 22nd pick in the 2012 BTSC Community Mock Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford.

    While LT Joe Thomas has been a stud and a stalwart on the Browns OL, the RT position has been a revolving door for injured and/or mediocre players. Currently, journeyman (and that's being generous) Oniel Cousins is the starting RT. This is due to the release of the oft-injured Tony Pashos at the beginning of the off-season for salary cap reasons. Adding Martin at RT would give the Browns three former 1st-round picks on the OL (the other two being Thomas and C Alex Mack).

    Martin has the talent to immediately slot into the RT position from Day 1, while also providing the Browns some flexibility at the LT position should anything ever happen to Thomas. He comes from a pro-style offense at Stanford where he was a three year starter at LT. He was a strong run-blocker who was very durable. His struggles against speed rushers will be lessened on the right side of the line for the Bowns, while his strengths in technique and getting to the 2nd level in run blocking will shine.

    This pick, along with Blackmon at #4 and possibly a RB at #37, will be giving McCoy plenty of help on offense. This will either allow him to excel and show he is the QB of the future, or create a nice situation with solid supporting talent for a young QB to be drafted in 2013. As before, I checked with the Big Board at Dawgs By Nature, and Martin is the highest rated player left (I am ignoring the WRs since I already draft Blackmon).

    BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Picks:

    1. Indianapolis Colts -- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
    2. Washington Redsinks -- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
    3. Minnesota Vikings -- Matt Kalil, OT, USC
    4. Cleveland Browns -- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
    5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
    6. St. Louis Rams -- Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
    7. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
    8. Miami Dolphins -- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
    9. Carolina Panthers -- Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
    10. Buffalo Bills -- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
    11. Kansas City Chiefs -- Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
    12. Seattle Seahawks -- Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
    13. Arizona Cardinals -- Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
    14. Dallas Cowboys -- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
    15. Philadelphia Eagles -- Mark Barron, S, Alabama
    16. New York Jets -- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
    17. Cincinnati Bengals -- Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia
    18. San Diego Chargers -- Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
    19. Chicago Bears -- David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
    20. Tennessee Titans -- Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
    21. Cincinnati Bengals -- Michael Brockers, DT, LSU



    Source: Behind the Steel Curtain


    BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Pick No. 20 — Tennessee Titans Select Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

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    We're picking up the pace again - and we do need to a bit to make sure we get this done before the draft kicks off on April 26. Thanks go to Dcarter for the pick and write up and his quick turnaround of it. Next up: Cincinnati Bengals (Part 2) and they'll again be represented by seton hall and the steelers.

    By the way, take note of the cool little minute-long draft profiles from SBN NFL that are embedded with these picks. It's been Michael Bean's personal project to make these videos happen, and let us know what you think of them! -barnerburner-

    ********************

    Finally! The Titans are on the clock and with the 20th pick in the 2012 NFL draft...

    The Tennessee Titans select Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina.

    I will admit this pick should be CB Janoris Jenkins, but his four kids with four different women and love of marijuana will keep him falling.

    After looking over the Titans roster, there's really not many needs on this team. They're solid everywhere, so this pick came down to two players - Stephon Gilmore and DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw from Alabama (who I'm stunned is still available). A few weeks ago, the Titans supposedly had a deal to bring Asante Samuel over from the Eagles, but that fell apart and made this pick easy. After losing Cortland Finnegan to the Rams and having to go up against Reggie Wayne and Andre Johnson multiple teams each year, a tough, physical corner is needed and that's exactly what Gilmore will bring to the Titans. Gilmore, a 3-year starter for the Gamecocks, first-team All-SEC and third-team AP All American in 2010, and definitely has the potential to become a true #1 shutdown corner in the NFL.

    Gilmore's Strengths:

    • Prototypical size
    • Great speed and feet
    • Very physical player - he'll jam at the line and is a very good tackler
    • Mature player that went up against the best players in college football every year (SEC)

    The only real weakness I see is his hands - doesn't always catch the ball when he should, but I suppose if he had great hands, he's probably be a WR instead of covering them.


    BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Picks:

    1. Indianapolis Colts -- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
    2. Washington Redsinks -- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
    3. Minnesota Vikings -- Matt Kalil, OT, USC
    4. Cleveland Browns -- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
    5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
    6. St. Louis Rams -- Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
    7. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
    8. Miami Dolphins -- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
    9. Carolina Panthers -- Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
    10. Buffalo Bills -- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
    11. Kansas City Chiefs -- Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
    12. Seattle Seahawks -- Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
    13. Arizona Cardinals -- Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
    14. Dallas Cowboys -- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
    15. Philadelphia Eagles -- Mark Barron, S, Alabama
    16. New York Jets -- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
    17. Cincinnati Bengals -- Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia
    18. San Diego Chargers -- Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
    19. Chicago Bears -- David DeCastro, OG, Stanford



    Source: Behind the Steel Curtain


    BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Pick No. 21 — Cincinnati Bengals Select Michael Brockers, DT, LSU


    *** Discuss this article and more at our Pittsburgh Steelers forum ***


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    The Steelers pick is getting closer and closer, but before then we've got to get through 1st round reappearances by a pair of division opponents. Thanks go to seton hall and the steelers for Part 2 of his Bengals analysis. Next up: Cleveland Browns (Part 2), with the extra 1st rounder they acquired from Atlanta in last year's trade for Julio Jones, and they'll again be represented by _ET_.

    By the way, take note of the cool little minute-long draft profiles from SBN NFL that are embedded with these picks. It's been Michael Bean's personal project to make these videos happen, and let us know what you think of them! -barnerburner-

    ********************

    The Cincinnati Bengals, as I said, have the luxury of two first round picks. That means you can fill a need with one pick and go BPA with another. In this scenario I filled the Bengals need at guard by selecting Cordy Glenn. While the Bengals still have needs at CB, RB, and S the players on the board simply don't match up with the Bengals needs. If you look at who is remaining you see a few players who stand out as clear BPA's (Best Players Available). Those are MIchael Brockers and Courtney Upshaw. Both Brockers and Upshaw are projected as top 10 to 15 picks in the draft and if one of them were here at 21 I believe the Bengals would want to take one despite being stocked on the defensive line.

    As the Giants have shown, you can never have enough defensive linemen. The Bengals use a similar scheme to the Giants and despite the Bengals being stocked at defensive line, I believe in this scenario they would follow the Giants draft history and strengthen your strengths. Ultimately, it would just be impossible to pass up on the value, talent, and athleticism of Michael Brockers. Thus...

    With the 21st pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select Michael Brockers, Defensive Tackle, Louisiana State University.

    Brockers, who is just a redshirt sophomore, flew up draft boards after an incredible sophomore season in which he had 54 tackles and 10 tackles for a loss while being routinely double teamed. He did a great job holding his ground and not backing off, which allowed LSU's talented linebackers to make a bunch of tackles. In the Bengals scheme, he will likely be used as a situational pass rusher until he develops more strength.

    Regarding the value of this pick, I took a look at 5 mock drafts and he was drafted 11th, 14th, 16th, 11th, and 9th so it is clear that this is the BPA.

    Some other options I considered here were Courtney Upshaw and Janoris Jenkins. The reason I did not choose Upshaw is because the Bengals would use him as a DE and I don't think that is where his best value is. With regards to Jenkins, it appears as if the Bengals have finally learned their lesson and are putting more emphasis on character, which is something Jenkins lacks.


    BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Picks:

    1. Indianapolis Colts -- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
    2. Washington Redsinks -- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
    3. Minnesota Vikings -- Matt Kalil, OT, USC
    4. Cleveland Browns -- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
    5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
    6. St. Louis Rams -- Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
    7. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
    8. Miami Dolphins -- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
    9. Carolina Panthers -- Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
    10. Buffalo Bills -- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
    11. Kansas City Chiefs -- Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
    12. Seattle Seahawks -- Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
    13. Arizona Cardinals -- Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
    14. Dallas Cowboys -- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
    15. Philadelphia Eagles -- Mark Barron, S, Alabama
    16. New York Jets -- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
    17. Cincinnati Bengals -- Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia
    18. San Diego Chargers -- Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
    19. Chicago Bears -- David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
    20. Tennessee Titans -- Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina



    Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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