Mocking the system

Mocking the system

Draft Insider’s small attempt at a Holiday present for its readers…a Christmas mock!

Read on as Head Scout Brent Sobleski provides fodder for discussion during this merry season.

And may everyone have a safe and wonderful time this weekend!

Round 1

1CarolinaAndrew Luck*QB/Stanford
 Analysis: Jimmy Clausen may have been a top rated quarterback by some and a potential first round selection entering last year’s draft; but his subsequent slide and lackluster play should not prevent Carolina (or any team with quarterback issues) from selecting Andrew Luck number one overall. He is the top prospect to come into the National Football League at his position since Peyton Manning in 1998.
2DenverNick Fairley*DT/Auburn
(+4)Analysis: What direction will the Bronco’s transition defensively with a new coach hire on the horizon? Josh McDaniels’ termination does not guarantee a stay within the 34 at his successor’s preference. Whether the team does use a three or four man front is inconsequential simply because of the age and lack of playmaking ability currently along Denver’s defensive line. Fairley has been a monster this season for Auburn. His first step explosion is second to none, and he can dominate a game from the interior.
3CincinnatiA.J. Green*WR/Georgia
 Analysis: The T.O.chocinqo experiment has failed. Neither may be on the team next season, as well as  its current coach or running back.  It is time to move in a new direction with a different focal point added to the offense. Green is as explosive a weapon as any will scout in recent memory.
4ArizonaPatrick Peterson*CB/LSU
(+1)Analysis: Peterson is a tremendously talented prospect. As a cover man Peterson is exceptional in a straight line, but his hip flexibility may not be quite on the same level as Prince Amukamara. Despite the argument, Arizona still lands a top prospect at a position requiring more demand each and every year in the ever evolving pass heavy Nation Football League.  Peterson will teams with his bookend, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, to form a new dynamic duo.
5DetroitPrince AmukamaraCB/Nebraska
(-2)Analysis: Detroit simply cannot continue to trot out the likes of Alphonso Smith, Nathan Vasher, Chris Houston, or whatever retread they found during the week as its starters out on the island. New  talent along the secondary added to an already improved defensive line should make Detroit’s young defense one of the most improved in the league entering 2011.
6BuffaloMarcell Dareus*DE/Alabama
(-4)Analysis: The Bills have been able to stay in and even win a couple games due to an improving offense. Defensively, the transition to the 34 has been painful. They are currently last in the NFL against the run. The parts are simply not in place. Their secondary has plenty of talent, but the front seven is undermanned. Dareus will make a seamless transition into the teams front three after playing in Nick Saban’s version at Alabama.
7San FranciscoRyan Mallett*QB/Arkansas
(+17)Analysis: Mallett has his issues as a prospect, but no one can deny his raw ability to throw the pigskin. As other quarterback prospects fall by the wayside, the Arkansas product continues to produce keeping him in the early to mid first round consideration. Now the question which needs answered is whether coach Mike Singletary will be in place long enough to tutor the teams newest protege behind center.
8DallasTyron Smith*OT/USC
(+8)Analysis: The preference for massive unathletic offensive linemen established by Bill Parcells during his reign in Big D should and has nearly come to a close. The offense has become more of an established high flying and potent unit under the full guidance of Jason Garrett. Doug Free has held his own, but simply does not have near the athleticism Tyron Smith presents. Despite not possessing prototype girth, there are few blockers in the nation who loves to finish their blocks more.
9WashingtonJustin Blackmon*WR/Oklahoma State
(+5)Analysis: The franchise owned by Daniel Snyder and ran by Mike Shanahan is a mess at every stage of the process. What directions the team could decide to move during the draft are numerous. A team which attempted to rely on the 40-year old Joey Galloway to the enter the season has major concerns at the position. Blackmon is a fantastic talent, but can Rex Grossman get him the ball?
10HoustonJanoris Jenkins*CB/Florida
(+2)Analysis: Houston has been outgunned all season due to major holes in its defense. Injuries to Demeco Ryans and Mario Williams slowed production, and the secondary may be the worst in the NFL. Drafting Kareem Jackson in the first round of the 2010 draft was a step in the right direction, but he alone cannot hold down the fort. Jenkins can provide a wonderful bookend and is a better athlete at the position than the aforementioned top selection.
11MinnesotaDa’Quan Bowers*DE/Clemson
(+7)Analysis: Many will be mesmerized by Bowers’ nation leading sack total and his prototype size at the position. Watching the end closely throughout the year, it’s maddening to see him disappear for long stretches of games. Quarterback may be the team’s largest looming concern in 2011, but one can question if the talent is available at this juncture to warrant a selection. Bowers paired with Allen is scary concoction along one of the best lines in the league. The pick makes even more sense if Ray Edwards decides to cash in during free agency.
12ClevelandJonathan Baldwin*WR/Pittsburgh
(+16)Analysis: Cleveland’s receiving corps is the worst in the NFL. Baldwin may have ripped his team and his coaches on twitter while declaring for the draft, one cannot overlook the fact that he is an Academic All Big East performer as well as someone who is likely trying to lay blame after a lackluster season. Whatever the case, 6’5″ 225 pound receivers do not grow on trees, especially ones who can prove to be legitimate down field threats. Baldwin is expected to test out of the waters and become a highly sought after prospect.
13SeattleRobert Quinn*DE/North Carolina
(-5)Analysis: It’s quite hard to determine exactly where a talent of this caliber will land after sitting out an entire season due to a nonchalant attitude towards his collegiate eligibility. Make no mistake, if Quinn had played this year, he would have been a legit top five talent. Now he will slide. To what degree, that is the question. Seattle’s coach, Pete Caroll, loves to have as much talent as possible along his defensive front line. Quinn can be a monster playing for the team in the great northwest.
14TennesseeCam Newton*QB/Auburn
(N/A)Analysis: The current quarterback situation in Tennessee is, in a word, a mess. Cam Newton is an amazing talent physically but has plenty of issues learning his craft. His talent is very similar to a beloved (at least by his owner) player for the Titans, Vince Young. Bud Adams has a choice to make between the current quarterback and his entrenched head coach. Pick the head coach Bud, and try and land a new talent behind center.
15New England (from Oakland)Julio Jones*WR/Alabama
(-6)Analysis: Tom Brady and his Patriots have flourished after Randy Moss was dealt from the squad. It would be a mistake to argue the team is better than when they had a legit down field threat despite their recent winning ways. Jones may have some diva in him but not to the level of Moss. And Jones has the natural physical ability Coach Belichick should be able to develop into a dominant offensive weapon.
Mark Ingram*RB/Alabama
(-3)Analysis: A team which prides itself on its toughness and ability to run the football has dropped 17 slots (4th to 21st) statistically when comparing its 2009 to 2010 rushing statistics.  Ricky Williams has stated he will not be returning. Ronnie Brown may not return. The situation needs upgraded as both players have been either injury prone or aging. Bill Parcells has a history with Ingram’s father, and the talented back can become the team’s workhorse in 2011.
17San DiegoAldon Smith*DE/Missouri
(-10)Analysis: Shaun Phillips has 11 quarterback sacks on the season. The rest of the team’s outside linebackers have combined for nine. A key in the 34 is to continually generate heat, particularly off the edges. Phillips will be even better with a legit stud across the way. Larry English may have been a first round pick at the same position just two years ago, but he does not possess the natural ability of Smith, who projected into the top ten sans injury.
18JacksonvilleRyan KerriganDE/Purdue
(+15)Analysis: The Jaguars have surprised many this season and battled their way into division contention in the AFC South. The team is strongest up the middle, particularly its two defensive tackles, Pot Roast Knighton and Tyson Alualu. They still struggle to create pressure off the edge. Kerrigan possesses a different mentality and motor than those previously selected highly to play the position.
19Tampa BayBrandon Harris*CB/Miami
 Analysis: Ronde Barber is now in his 14th season and still starting for Tampa Bay. E.J. Biggers has been a pleasant surprise opposite, and Aqib Talib may never live up to his potential. As stated earlier the NFL is now a league which requires teams to have multiple starting caliber talents at cornerback. Harris has the talent to go even higher than ranked here and should help in the ever growing youth movement for the Buccaneers.
20Green BayAkeem Ayers*LB/UCLA
 Analysis: Ayers is a versatile talent that has shown the ability to effortlessly run sideline-to-sideline while also putting his hand in the dirt and rushing the passer. Green Bay’s defense has been fantastic under the guidance of Dom Capers and his version of the 34. Linebacker has been a bit of weak link among the unit A.J. Hawk has disappointed and Clay Matthews III needs a running mate. Ayers could fill either role.
21St. LouisJ.J. Watt*DE/Wisconsin
(N/A)Analysis: The turnaround in St. Louis has been tremendous, even if its in the league’s worst divisional race. Being 6-8 is not a condemnation of the team’s ability, but rather a highlight of its improvement after selecting in the top two the past three seasons. Coach Steve Spagnuolo previously built his reputation through fierce defensive line play with the NY football Giants. Watt presents a similar combination of size and versatility as some player by the name of Justin Tuck.
Nate SolderOT/Colorado
(+40)Analysis: Peyton Manning *must* be losing it. The Colts can’t run the football! Injuries are taking them out of the gameplan. In reality it all originates in the trenches and Indianapolis’ inability to win the battles up front in 2010 consistently.  Solder is still a work in progress but the strides the Buffalo has made in his senior campaign is astounding. His athleticism and length make him a perfect fit in the Colts’ offensive manipulations, while displaying Charlie Johnson, who never was.
23Kansas City
Von MillerLB/Texas A&M
(+20)Analysis: Miller is not a traditional 34 outside linebacker in the Bill Parcells’ coaching tree mold at 243 pounds. He substitutes size and strength for athleticism, quickness, and fluidity; all while possessing a tremendous nose for the quarterback. The Chiefs meanwhile may be in a predicament. Tamba Hali is having his best year, which just happens to be right before his free agency period. Mike Vrabel can’t play forever (can he?).  The team’s depth is solid but not spectacular. Being able to land a legit pass rusher who can play from a two point stance is a bonus to its soon-to-be AFC West crowing.
24NY GiantsGabe CarimiOT/Wisconsin
(+1)Trending upAnalysis: Shawn Andrews was a great talent entering the NFL six years ago but has been injured. William Beatty is a finesse lineman. And David Diehl does not appear to have the team’s favor at left tackle.  Gabe Carimi comes out of a power system in Wisconsin which should translate well to the G-men’s offensive game plans. His tape as a junior and sophomore shows a legitimate NFL pass blocker. A nice fit on a blue collar team.
25New OrleansCameron JordanDE/California
(+1)Analysis: New Orleans is a franchise with very few holes to fill. Loading up on talent at numerous position is a luxury most teams don’t possess. The one area the team does lack greatly is a legitimate pass rush on a consistent basis from its front four. Will Smith has come back to earth after last season’s impressive sack totals, and Alex Brown was picked off the street. Jordan can play inside or outside and is a tremendous athlete nearing 290 pounds.
Derek SherrodOT/Mississippi State
(+8)Analysis: After the season’s rough start for Jay Cutler and his Bears, particularly getting sacked over and over again, they have ironed out some of the deficiencies up front to a degree. Frank Omiyale has stepped out to left tackle and held his own, despite playing out of position. Derek Sherrod is a legitimate left tackle prospect that may go higher in the process before it’s all said and done.
27NY Jets
Allen BaileyDE/Miami
(-10)Analysis: It is very simple. The Jets lack quality depth along their defensive line. They do not currently have an athlete of Allen Bailey’s caliber regularly playing in the rotation. In a draft which is absolutely saturated with quality defensive line talent, New York simply takes the best available at its slotting.
28BaltimoreAaron Williams*CB/Texas
(-6)Analysis: After an early stretch of injuries to the team’s secondary, Baltimore continued to chug along competing for an AFC North crown.  It was an indicator that no single team can have enough talent in the secondary. Aaron Williams is one of the most well rounded cover men in the nation, and General Manager Ozzie Newsome always gravitates towards talent.
Cameron HeywardDE/Ohio State
(-19)Analysis: Philadelphia puts a high emphasis on defensive and offensive line talent. The franchise drafts the two sides of the trenches early and often each and every draft. Heyward is a multi-purpose talent who can help against the run at defensive end and move inside to add pass rush from defensive tackle. The Eagles will come at offenses in waves with the talent they would present up front.
30PittsburghJimmy SmithCB/Colorado
(+10)Analysis: Despite possessing the best defense in the league, year in and year out, the Pittsburgh Steelers have always been merely average along their backline. It’s the nature of the beast with Dick LeBeau’s heavy emphasis on blitzing. Jimmy Smith has the type of ability and size to be a top corner in the league if he can put it together. That hasn’t been said about a Pittsburgh cornerback in quite some time.
31AtlantaAdrian ClaybornDE/Iowa
(-4)Analysis: Clayborn has been a disappointment as a senior. Claims have been made it is based off the attention he regularly gets from opposing offenses. With the talent along Iowa’s defensive line, that is not an excuse. Instead, he will slide to a degree and some team, like Atlanta, who still need players that can get to the quarterback will add to its already scrappy defense.
32New EnglandChristian BallardDE/Iowa
 Analysis: Speaking of talent along Iowa’s defensive line, Ballard is very different from his aforementioned teammate. Ballard is a high motor, versatile, skilled technician who should be able to step into New England’s 34 defense immediately. Coach Belichick has previously shown the importance he places on talent starting as 5 techniques. Ballard will now follow the likes of Richard Seymour and Ty Warren.

Round 2

33New England (from Carolina)Anthony CastonzoOT/Boston College
34DenverDeAndre McDanielS/Clemson
35CincinnatiJake LockerQB/Washington
36ArizonaJeremy BealDE/Oklahoma
37DetroitMarcus CannonOT/TCU
Jernel JerriganWR/Troy
39San FranciscoDeMarco MurrayRB/Oklahoma
40DallasStephen PaeaDT/Oregon State
41WashingtonKendall HunterRB/Oklahoma State
42HoustonDrake NevisDT/LSU
43Minnesota Jaiquawn JarrettS/Temple
44ClevelandBruce CarterLB/North Carolina
Deunta WilliamsS/North Carolina
Kelvin SheppardLB/LSU
Ras-I DowlingCB/Virginia
48Denver (from Miami)Jabaal SheardDE/Pittsburgh
49San Diego
Titus YoungWR/Boise State
50JacksonvilleLeonard HankersonWR/Miami
51Tampa BayChris CarrDE/Fresno State
52Green BayDavon HouseCB/New Mexico State
53St. LouisCurtis BrownCB/Texas
54IndianapolisJarvis JenkinsDT/Clemson
55Kansas CityBen IjalanaOT/Villanova
56NY GiantsGreg JonesLB/Michigan State
57New Orleans
Mark HerzlichLB/Boston College
Stefen WisniewskiC/Penn State
59NY JetsDontay MochDE/Nevada
60BaltimoreQuinton CarterS/Oklahoma
DeMarcus LoveOT/Arkansas
62PittsburghMichael PounceyOG/Florida
63AtlantaD.J. WilliamsTE/Arkansas
64New EnglandSam AchoDE/Texas
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