You didn’t think we’d get all the way through the NFL Draft without a post, did you? I did. But we didn’t, so here it is. My Dad is a big draft fan (I had to get it from somewhere) but this year he hasn’t been able to do his normal draftnik stuff because of an Avenged Sevenfold concert and the circus. I’m not kidding and yes, his job is cooler than yours. Anyway, he asked me yesterday if I would send him some thoughts on the draft so he’d have some for tonight. The following is the email I sent him. Fair warning, we’re both Rams fans so that gets a little more coverage. Also, anyone who picks after the Rams also gets jobbed since I really don’t care what they do. It’s not the best draft post, but it will do. Also, I did not proofread this because I don’t like doing that.
Alright, first we’ll start with the QBs. For me, none of them are worth a Top 10 pick. Late rumor is that the Panthers are taking Cam Newton #1. I would’ve taken him off my board immediately. I wouldn’t touch him with a 10 foot pole. He’s going to be under investigation and giving up his Heisman in 2-3 years and that’s not something I want to deal with. I think Blaine Gabbert is the best QB in the draft and could excel in the right environment. Normally, I’m not a proponent of sitting a QB for a year but that would be best for Gabbert. A place like Buffalo where he can sit behind Ryan Fitzpatrick who was decent last year. If he goes to Cincinnati and has to start right away, then I don’t see good things happening.
I also think Ryan Mallett is the second best QB and is not all that far behind Gabbert. Both have powerful arms and both make some questionable decisions at times. Gabbert makes less dumb decisions and can also run pretty well which is why he’s #1, but Mallett could end up the best of the bunch, easily. He could do well in Minnesota or Miami. I don’t think Minnesota would take him at 12, that’s too high, but maybe Miami at 15. Basically, he and Gabbert are so comparable that I wouldn’t take Gabbert knowing that I could get Mallett later.
The draft is littered with defensive line prospects. There aren’t too many ways to distinguish between them for me.
Anyway, here’s my draft:
1. Carolina – Cam Newton. I don’t like this pick at all. I think they’ll end up right around here again next year.
2. Denver – Von Miller. They keep saying that the Broncos want Miller and I’m not sure I can understand it. Right after the season Miller and Akeem Ayers were both slotted right around the middle of the first round. Ayers has fallen to late 1st, mid 2nd while Miller has rocketed up to #2. Kind of reminds me of Aaron Curry a few years ago.
3. Buffalo – Marcell Dareus I think the best pick would be Gabbert, both for him at for the Bills. Word is that they don’t want to do that. Dareus it is. Tedy Bruschi just called him the “most can’t miss player in the draft.”
4. Cincinnati – AJ Green. This seems to be the most sure-fire pick in the draft. Everyone agrees on it.
5. Arizona – Blaine Gabbert. Apparently Arizona wants to trade down because they think they can get their players in the middle of the first. Sounds like they agree with me on the QB thing. Anyway, the Falcons could “give up their draft” to get Julio Jones here. I doubt that happens in the end. Too much risk. As a Rams fan and a Mizzou fan, I don’t want to see either of these happen. The Rams would have to see Gabbert twice a year or Arizona would have a ton picks.
6. Cleveland – Julio Jones. The Browns’ #1 and #2 WRs are Mohammed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie. Julio Jones is pretty obvious. If a team really wants Jones, I think they’ll have to go to #5.
7. San Francisco – Patrick Peterson. This could also be a destination for Gabbert if Arizona doesn’t take him or trades back. Peterson is Mel Kiper’s #1 player in the draft, so this is obviously not a bad pick.
8. Tennessee – One of the DEs. Cameron Jordan or JJ Watt, maybe Da’Quan Bowers if they think his knee is okay. Bowers would be a lock if he were healthy. Apparently the Patriots like Jordan and may want to trade up to #8 or #9 to get him. I’m not sure if that’s worth it. Jordan, Watt, Bowers, Ryan Kerrigan, Muhammed Wilkerson….not enough between them all to trade up in order to get one as opposed to staying where they are to get another.
9. Dallas – One of the DEs. Ryan Kerrigan, I guess.
10. Washington – One of the DEs. Probably Jordan or Watt. Whichever one Tennessee doesn’t take. Or they could trade it to New England and they would take Jordan. They would love Julio Jones at this spot as well. I’m not sure any of these three will be worth a Top 10 pick in the end.
11. Houston – Aldon Smith. This is too high for Smith, but he’s a 3-4 linebacker who will excel in the right setting. Houston or San Diego would be perfect for him. They’d have Brian Cushing, Mario Williams and Aldon Smith going crazy on people.
12. Minnesota – Tyron Smith. For me, they have to take a QB but I think they’ll wait until the second round. If the season started right now, they’d be looking at Joe Webb and Patrick Ramsey battling it out for the starter spot. Instead, they’ll go with an OT because Bryant McKinnie isn’t getting any younger at the left tackle spot. Ryan Mallett would be good there….
13. Detroit – Prince Amukamara. I really have no idea what the Lions are going to do. They need an OLB pretty bad, they could use a DE, which there are plenty of at this spot, they could take an OT and that would be a good pick. I went with Amukamara because their #1 corner is 30 years old and I’ve never heard of the other guy. I’m not sold on Amukamara just yet, the only time he went up against a sure-fire 1st round pick was against Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon and he got absolutely torched. I don’t know if it’s a testament to Blackmon or Amukamara. We’ll see, I guess.
14. St. Louis – Corey Liuget. I hate this pick. As we talked about, the Rams need a WR and OLB, badly. They need a DT, but not as bad. They need a safety. They need a back up running back. They need some O-Line (like always.) We could use another DE. None of our needs really match up with this pick so I can see going for a DT. Fred Robbins is old and Gary Gibson really isn’t that good. That said, Corey Liuget is not the right DT to take. I haven’t watched a ton of Illinois’ games but I’ve watched enough to not know his name. Ideally, no one trades up for Julio Jones and he falls to us for some reason. The chances of that happening are…maybe 2%. I would consider taking one of the DEs above, as well. That’s very plausible. JJ Watt or Ryan Kerrigan would look very good across from Chris Long. They could also take Mike Pouncey from florida and it would make sense. Whatever they do, it’s not going to be a sexy pick. It’s going to be a typical Rams “safe” pick that doesn’t turn out very well. Think Adam Carriker. I suppose we could also take Amukamara if he’s here. Spagnuolo loves his D-Line, so I’m sure Liuget will be the pick.
15. Miami – This is where I get shady because it’s behind the Rams’ pick and I don’t care who they take. Mike Pouncey, I guess. Though as I said above, Ryan Mallett would be very good here, too.
16. Jacksonville – The Jags always surprise people with a random pick, so trying to predict what they do is useless. I think I can name like three Jaguars players. I’ll give them Anthony Castonzo, the OT out of Boston College, though again, they do need a QB, so.
17. New England – Mark Ingram. New England doesn’t have many weaknesses, but Danny Woodhead and BenJarvis Green-Ellis are not long term solutions at running back. Mark Ingram would be. This would be a great pick for them, unfortunately.
18. San Diego – Muhammad Wilkerson. I think they’d love to get Aldon Smith here and I think Aldon would be a beast in San Diego. If he’s still here, I think they sprint to the podium to take him. For now, I’ll give them the small school guy that people have never heard of who will do well for them. It’s like their gift. They take the Larry English and Shawn Merriman’s of the world and try to make them stars. (I realize Maryland isn’t a small school, but they’re not exactly a football school.)
19. New York Giants – I don’t really know what the Giants need. Their entire offensive line is over the age of 30 except for Chris Snee who will be 29 this year. I’ll say they take Gabe Carimi, the OT out of Wisconsin, but I don’t really know.
20. Tampa Bay – They could take Jimmy Smith, the CB from Colorado since they’re going to release Aqib Talib for shooting at someone. They could also take Justin Houston, the DE from Georgia. Or Adrian Clayborn from Iowa, or Bowers….
21. Kansas City – KC played well above their means in 2010, and they still need a lot of help. I’ll give them Derrick Sherrod, the OT from Mississippi State.
22. Indianapolis – It’s no secret that they’re taking an offensive tackle here. Nate Solder is the best one out there at this point. They’ll take Carimi, Castonzo, Solder, Sherrod….any of them and be happy.
23. Philadelphia – Jimmy Smith. I don’t think Smith is that good, but other people do. Philly needs a corner, so this makes sense.
24. New Orleans – Steven Paea. Again, I don’t know what New Orleans needs, but a quick scan of the depth chart makes me want to put a DT here. If the Rams don’t take Liuget, he could end up here, too.
25. Seattle – Jake Locker. I don’t think Locker will be very good, but he’s from Seattle, they need a QB….so go for it, Seahawks.
26. Baltimore – Again, don’t know what they need but Yahoo’s depth chart says they don’t have an DEs. Now, obviously that’s not the case, but that still has to be a little worrisome, right? In reality, their DEs are Haloti Ngata and Corey Redding. Redding is 30, so I’ll say they draft a young, 3-4 DE who can get to the QB, but again, I don’t know what they’ll do.
27. Atlanta – Still hearing they might want to trade up to get Julio Jones. I’d think they would go toward the defensive side of the ball, but that’s just me, I guess. Maybe a corner or DT. Liuget or Paea if they’re still around, maybe Jimmy Smith. Maybe Christian Ballard from Iowa (Weller’s childhood friend, actually) if they don’t think Lawrence Sidbury will amount to much once John Abraham is gone. I’m not sure.
28. New England – If they don’t take Ingram at 17 and he falls to here, then that’s the pick. If they don’t take him at 17 and he doesn’t make it to here, they take Mikel Leshoure from Illinois. Otherwise, I’m sure they’ll make some shrewd move that everyone else in the league wishes they had made. I hate them. Anyway, OT would be someone they need.
29. Chicago – Needs an OT. If one is there, they take him. Otherwise….I don’t really know.
30. New York Jets – A 3-4 OLB would be perfect here. Jabaal Sheard would be a good fit for them.
31. Pittsburgh – They could take Mike Pouncey here, if he’s here. He’s kind of wild card for someone in the draft. They also need an OT, Flozell Adams is 35 years old. Their D is really good still.
32. Green Bay – Akeem Ayers, I guess. I don’t know what they need.
So that’s my first round. Hopefully Ayers falls into the Rams’ lap in the second round. It’s plausible. I’m sure we’d skip over him.