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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Nick's Holiday Season First-Round Mock Draft

    Can't believe the season is almost over and it's nearly time to focus our full attention on the draft (well, some have done so already). I'm still getting the rust off as I haven't done a mock in months, so bear with me if the first one is a bit painful. But here we go!!



    1. Detroit Lions - Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
    -A new era will likely begin in Detroit this offseason, and while the Lions have quantity at the QB position, they hardly have quality. Stafford has the physical tools and would enjoy throwing to Calvin Johnson on Sundays.

    2. St. Louis Rams - Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
    -The Rams have ignored their offensive line deficiencies for far too long. Andre Smith is widely regarded as the top tackle in this class if he elects to come out, but he may have to convince those who question his size and work ethic. Stay tuned!

    3. Kansas City Chiefs - Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
    -Tyler Thigpen is making a valid case for the Chiefs starting QB job, and while I'm not convinced Bradford comes out, when it's all said and done I'd slot him here if he does. A new GM in KC may elect to bring in a new face of the franchise.

    4. Cincinnati Bengals - Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State
    -Neither Cedric Benson nor Chris Perry appear to be the long-term answer at RB. If you're the Bengals and you want to help your franchise's running game and fan base, drafting an in-state offensive stud like Chris Wells might just do it.

    5. Seattle Seahawks - Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
    -As a Rams fan, this is the last pick I'd like to see Seattle make. Which probably means it's the best one for them. Seattle can't continue to rely on Bobby Engram, Koren Robinson, and Deion Branch at wide receiver for much longer.

    6. Oakland Raiders - Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
    -The Raiders whiffed on getting a franchise tackle in Robert Gallery, though he has become a solid guard for them. With Monroe, they'll once again attempt to address arguably the most important position in professional football.

    7. Cleveland Browns - Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
    -Tough decision for Cleveland here. They could look at Orakpo as a potential 3-4 rush linebacker or Malcolm Jenkins to help their secondary. But Curry's stock might be higher than both of them right now, and he has the size to man an ILB spot in their defense.

    8. San Francisco ***** - Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State
    -The ***** spent a lot of money on Nate Clements, but Walk Harris won't last much longer so they need a future starter at the other cornerback position. Clements could very well go earlier than this, so he would be an excellent pick here.

    9. Green Bay Packers - Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
    -Outside of Aaron Kampman, no other Green Bay defensive lineman has more than 2.5 sacks. Give the man some help! There's talk that Orakpo is slipping a little bit, but for the time being I'll still slot him in the top ten to the Packers.

    10. Jacksonville Jaguars - Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
    -Like Buffalo's Jason Peters, Jason Smith is a former tight end and uses that athleticism to excel as a blocker. Current LT Khalif Barnes has one more year on his contract and has had some off the field issues; Smith gives the Jaguars some options.

    11. Buffalo Bills - Everette Brown, DE, Florida State
    -Aaron Schobel is Buffalo's top pass rusher, but the 31-year-old missed major time this year. Chris Kelsay has started every game this year but only has two sacks. The Bills could use a high caliber pass rusher on defense, and Brown's stock is really rising as the college season closes.

    12. San Diego Chargers - Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
    -Seems like a staple pick of many drafts, but I think it fits really well. You've got a high caliber Southern Cal player heading to San Diego to man the inside of their 3-4 defensive alignment. It probably makes so much sense that it's destined not to happen.

    13. Washington Redskins - Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi
    -Oher has been slipping a bit in recent weeks but I don't see him falling too far. The Redskins had a disappointing year and need youth on the offensive line. Oher could start immediately at right tackle and possibly shift to LT when Chris Samuels hangs 'em up.

    14. New Orleans Saints - Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
    -Rumor has it the Saints might have some kind of under-the-table deal with Jonathan Vilma to resign him after he hits free agency. If they don't, they could look for a replacement here. But right now, I think Davis is too good to pass up.

    15. Houston Texans - Taylor Mays, S, USC
    -The Texans have made some pretty impressive strides this season, but they still have some areas where they need help. Draftniks have been projecting a safety for them for years; perhaps with Mays on the board, this is the year it finally happens.

    16. Chicago Bears - Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech
    -A one time monster Chicago pass rush has floundered this season, as Alex Brown leads the team with only six sacks. Adding a defensive end who can challenge the edge in that defense is important; Johnson was once considered a top five pick in this class.

    17. Denver Broncos - James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State
    -With DJ Williams best served on the outside, Denver needs to look for an upgrade in the middle of their defense. 31-year-old Nate Webster mans the MIKE position and is a free agent after this season. Adding a hard nosed player like Laurinaitis could help reinvigorate Denver's D.

    18. Arizona Cardinals - George Selvie, DE/LB, South Florida
    -The Cardinals finally find themselves atop the NFC West, but their hybrid 3-4 defense lacks the elite pass rusher that other successful teams have. Selvie is a Big East sack master who looks like a perfect fit standing up in a 3-4 alignment.

    19. Philadelphia Eagles - Jermaine Grisham, TE, Oklahoma
    -L.J. Smith's time in Philadelphia has been a mixed bag; after being tagged as Philadelphia's franchise player last season, Smith has responded with 249 receiving yards and three scores. He hits the free agent market this spring, so the Eagles would be wise to upgrade.

    20. Miami Dolphins - B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
    -Bill Parcells and company have done wonders in Miami, exercising the kind of turnaround that you normally don't expect right off the bat. Miami currently boasts a top ten scoring defense, but they could definitely use some youth along an aging defensive front.

    21. Atlanta Falcons - William Moore, S, Missouri
    -The Falcons may have used this pick on Raji had he fallen to them, but he did not in this mock. Instead, they turn to a player in Moore, who by some standards has disappointed this year but remains a talented safety prospect and someone who could take over for Lawyer Milloy.

    22. New England Patriots - Brian Cushing, LB, USC
    -Jerod Mayo is having an oustanding year, but the rest of the Patriot linebacking group looks aged. Seay, Vrabel, and Bruschi are playing on borrowed time, and Thomas isn't the force he was in Baltimore. CB is another big need, but a big rush linebacker like Cushing might be tough to pass up.

    23. New York Jets - Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest
    -The Jets hit on Darrelle Revis in 2007 but don't seem to have much opposite him. If fourth-round rookie Dwight Lowery works out, it'd be nice, but New York shouldn't put all their eggs in that basket. Alphonso Smith is a bit undersized but brings great ball skills to the table.

    24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
    -Will Maclin fall this far if he comes out? It's hard to say. I wouldn't be shocked to see him go in the top ten or slip to the bottom of the first round. If somehow he's still on the board for Tampa Bay though, it shouldn't take them long to turn that selection card in.

    25. Detroit Lions (f/DAL) - Greg Hardy, DE, Mississippi
    -The Lions will be getting a big makeover this offseason, and one area that needs addressed is the pass rush. Detroit's leading sack artist right now is former Buccaneer Dewayne White, who has 5.5 sacks. Talent is needed on the edge of their defensive line.

    26. Minnesota Vikings - Alex Mack, C, California
    -The Vikings could make a case for needing help at a number of offensive line positions, but they're poised to lose veteran center Matt Birk this offseason and have nothing behind him as a replacement. Having a quality center is generally underappreciated until a team no longer has one; Mack would be a wise choice.

    27. Baltimore Ravens - Darius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
    -The Baltimore Ravens are committed to the run as a way of helping rookie quarterback Joe Flacco. However, if they want Flacco to really emerge on this team, they have to surround him with players. Derrick Mason won't play forever, and Mark Clayton has slumped after his sophomore season.

    28. Indianapolis Colts - Sen'Derrick Marks, DT, Auburn
    -The Colts are hurting for talent on the inside of their defensive line. Marks may elect to come out early with a new coaching staff coming in to Auburn. With 10 tackles for loss this season, he knows how to get into the backfield, a vital tool for linemen in the Colts' Cover 2 defense.

    29. Philadelphia Eagles (f/CAR) - Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
    -The Eagles are up again, and once again I have them looking offense. They could use help on the offensive line, but I think Knowshon Moreno is a case of BPA. Brian Westbrook is still dangerous at 29, but how long does that last? Philadelphia would rather be safe than sorry.

    30. Pittsburgh Steelers - Max Unger, OL, Oregon
    -Some have Duke Robinson penciled in for the Steelers here, and I certainly think that'd be a good choice. But I went a different direction and had them take Unger, who could potentially play anywhere on the line. The Steelers could have a couple lineman hit free agency, so Unger's versatility is a plus.

    31. New York Giants - Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida
    -MLB Antonio Pierce is 30 years old, and OLB Danny Clark is 31. Despite this team's success, this unit isn't as strong as it once was. Adding a potential playmaker in Spikes could help bolster the outside immediately. Spikes could then shift inside when Pierce is done in New York.

    32. Tennessee Titans - D.J. Moore, CB, Vanderbilt
    -The Titans have really had an oustanding season, but they still have areas of need they must address. There's not much at cornerback on this team after Cortland Finnegan, so finding a capable starting-caliber prospect would be a wise move for Tennessee.


  2. #2
    shower beers's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's Holiday Season First-Round Mock Draft

    Nice draft. I like a lot of the picks. I think a lot of people might see the Moreno pick as a bit odd, but the Eagles would only be following the trend of running back-by-committee, and what better combo than Westbrook and Moreno? I don't think I can see him falling this far, though.

    Who do you have the Rams picking in round two?

  3. #3
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's Holiday Season First-Round Mock Draft

    If the Rams stay at the #2 spot and Smith declares, it going to be tough to convince me (or anyone) that he should not be the Rams' pick.

    I agree that Bradford will go top 5, but I wonder if he may be overrated (not that he's a bad prospect, just maybe not a franchise type player).

    Seems like its "sell, sell, sell!" on Michael Oher these days. He is very talented, but I keep hearing things about "motivation" and "intelligence." Kind of reminds you of someone, doesn't it?

    One thing we should keep our eye on is just how far Mack and Unger drop. If, as Nick's mock predicts, one or both of them drops to the last few picks of the first round, the Rams should be on the phone trying to trade up to grab one of them. Add Smith and Mack/Unger to the OL and things could turn around very quickly.

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    Mooselini's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's Holiday Season First-Round Mock Draft

    As AV pointed out, we should be trying to land Unger or Mack.

    I could understand why the Vikes want Mack.

    I like our pick! I really hope he declares. It will take a lot to convince me that he isn't the option we need.

    Great post! Hope I can rep ya. haha

  5. #5
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    Re: Nick's Holiday Season First-Round Mock Draft

    Seeing the Seahawks picking Crabtree makes my stomach hurt. That kid will torch the West for several years. It would almost be worth taking Crabtree just so the Hawks couldn't get him. Then trade him to an AFC in the top 10 and still get a top tackle...

  6. #6
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    Re: Nick's Holiday Season First-Round Mock Draft

    One thing we should keep our eye on is just how far Mack and Unger drop. If, as Nick's mock predicts, one or both of them drops to the last few picks of the first round, the Rams should be on the phone trying to trade up to grab one of them. Add Smith and Mack/Unger to the OL and things could turn around very quickly.
    I like your thinking, I would also like to grab Scott McKillop in round 3.

    Go Rams!
    Last edited by HUbison; -12-24-2008 at 10:57 AM.

  7. #7
    Falconator Guest

    Re: Nick's Holiday Season First-Round Mock Draft

    pretty nice effort there Nick......I think you nailed the Falcons pick - I think they will look at both BJ Raji and William Moore......

    Quibbling points:
    Chris Wells in the top 5.......I see this a lot and see mocks having Beanie Wells going to the Bengals....I just don't think Chris Wells is enough of a "sure thing" to take that high - plus, I think the NFL GM's are getting where they don't like to take RBs in the top 10 unless they have freakish- Adrian Peterson type of ability - don't see that at all. Of course it would be a "hometown" pick.

    I think you both have Taylor Mays and Michael Oher dropping too far.....if they do, teams will be moving up to get them.

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    Re: Nick's Holiday Season First-Round Mock Draft

    Good post. I think you got the Raider's pick wrong though. Knowing Al Davis, he's not going to care about the draft till the combine, then he'll draft the guy who runs the fastest 40 time.


    As for center, Unger and Mack should be on our radar. The thing is though, Romberg has played consistently recently, and if he continues to play this solid, then we could hold back on drafting a center till round 3 or 5. Then, with the 2nd round pick, I think we should go with Herman Johnson to plug our interior up. With Johnson and Smith dominating on the right side, we would a lot of stability on our line.

    Then we could get Mckillop in the fourth. I think picking him in the third is a big reach. With our third, we should try to go for a WR or a DT.

  9. #9
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's Holiday Season First-Round Mock Draft

    Thanks for the comments, everyone!

    Quote Originally Posted by shower beers View Post
    Nice draft. I like a lot of the picks. I think a lot of people might see the Moreno pick as a bit odd, but the Eagles would only be following the trend of running back-by-committee, and what better combo than Westbrook and Moreno? I don't think I can see him falling this far, though.

    Who do you have the Rams picking in round two?
    Agreed on Moreno falling, but it was hard to find a great fit for him prior to that. The Eagles, with a second first-round pick, had the luxury of taking him.

    As for the second round, I generally don't even start thinking about it until around the combine or afterwards. But I expect there could be some good options at CB, LB, maybe DT or SS, maybe WR, a QB could emerge and rise into the high second, and there's always more OL.

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    If the Rams stay at the #2 spot and Smith declares, it going to be tough to convince me (or anyone) that he should not be the Rams' pick.

    I agree that Bradford will go top 5, but I wonder if he may be overrated (not that he's a bad prospect, just maybe not a franchise type player).

    Seems like its "sell, sell, sell!" on Michael Oher these days. He is very talented, but I keep hearing things about "motivation" and "intelligence." Kind of reminds you of someone, doesn't it?

    One thing we should keep our eye on is just how far Mack and Unger drop. If, as Nick's mock predicts, one or both of them drops to the last few picks of the first round, the Rams should be on the phone trying to trade up to grab one of them. Add Smith and Mack/Unger to the OL and things could turn around very quickly.
    1) Agree on Smith. If he declares and looks sharp during workouts at the combine, interviews well, etc etc, it's going to be tough to make the case that he shouldn't be the guy. One question might be if, ultimately, he's a Leonard Davis in that he's a better fit at guard than at tackle. Positional drills should help tell us that.

    2) Bradford has two years of experience on a very talented Oklahoma team. He's still young and, IMO, will have a significant adjustment to the NFL. If I'm a betting man, he stays in school unless OU wins the national title. Then all bets are off. But I think it would be a mistake for him to come out this year.

    3) Indeed. Barron was the top rated tackle when he came out and slipped towards the end because of those kinds of questions. It'll be interesting to see what happens with Oher and whether he falls victim to the same kind of late-spring slip.

    4) Agreed on the interior OL, but also add B.J. Raji to that list. He's a big body that could help on the interior of the line, and if he's hanging around the bottom of the first round, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Rams make a move, though character issues may be a concern.

    Quote Originally Posted by C-Mob 71 View Post
    Seeing the Seahawks picking Crabtree makes my stomach hurt. That kid will torch the West for several years. It would almost be worth taking Crabtree just so the Hawks couldn't get him. Then trade him to an AFC in the top 10 and still get a top tackle...
    Maybe you can convince Oakland or Jacksonville to bite, but man... it's risky.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falconator View Post
    Quibbling points:
    Chris Wells in the top 5.......I see this a lot and see mocks having Beanie Wells going to the Bengals....I just don't think Chris Wells is enough of a "sure thing" to take that high - plus, I think the NFL GM's are getting where they don't like to take RBs in the top 10 unless they have freakish- Adrian Peterson type of ability - don't see that at all. Of course it would be a "hometown" pick.

    I think you both have Taylor Mays and Michael Oher dropping too far.....if they do, teams will be moving up to get them.
    Originally when I finished this mock, I had Aaron Curry to the Bengals, forgetting that they'd drafted a LB first last year. So I switched it up a bit. But I'm not sure what other directions they'd really like to go. Maybe one of the OL, but they have money invested in some current players. Maybe Orakpo but I'm not sure he has top five stock right now. I do think Wells could be special at the next level though, and for a Cincy franchise that looked like they were headed in the right direction only to dwindle a bit, it could be a nice boost.

    As for Mays and Oher, both are still in the top fifteen so I don't see it as much of an issue. Mays could end up staying in school like Maualuga did last year, we'll see. He will probably impress with a strong workout, though I just don't see many fits above where he is right now. San Fran may want him but probably wouldn't pass on Jenkins for him IMO. Jacksonville may look his way. New Orleans probably would.

    As for Oher, it wouldn't surprise me to see him slip. In December of 2004, I doubt many people thought Alex Barron would be a borderline top twenty pick either. Wasn't Jimmy Williams supposed to be the first corner off the board when projections were made in December 2005? It happens, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    Good post. I think you got the Raider's pick wrong though. Knowing Al Davis, he's not going to care about the draft till the combine, then he'll draft the guy who runs the fastest 40 time.
    Perhaps. Davis can at times get wowed by workout warriors, but other times he seems to pass on the sexy pick. He passed on Larry Fitzgerald to take Robert Gallery, passed on Calvin Johnson to take JaMarcus Russell. Maybe he passes on Monroe to take Aaron Curry or Malcolm Jenkins, but this franchise needs to find a LT they can rely on.

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    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's Holiday Season First-Round Mock Draft

    One thing we should keep our eye on is just how far Mack and Unger drop. If, as Nick's mock predicts, one or both of them drops to the last few picks of the first round, the Rams should be on the phone trying to trade up to grab one of them. Add Smith and Mack/Unger to the OL and things could turn around very quickly.
    Jets did the same thing with Ferguson & Mangold. It seems to have worked for them.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Nick's Holiday Season First-Round Mock Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Jets did the same thing with Ferguson & Mangold. It seems to have worked for them.
    Certainly has. They've got the perfect mix, though, throwing buckets of money at Kareem McKenzie and Alan Faneca.

  12. #12
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    Re: Nick's Holiday Season First-Round Mock Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    As for Oher, it wouldn't surprise me to see him slip. In December of 2004, I doubt many people thought Alex Barron would be a borderline top twenty pick either.
    I remember seeing Barron fall and I was so excited when we took him he looked the part and looked like he even had a lot of room to grow. Well he still looks the part but he has had a stunted growth spurt.

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