I haven't seen one of these in a while, so I thought I would post one myself to keep at least try to keep the draft posts down to a minimum (futile endeavor, no doubt, but definitely needed). Please rec up!
My first official mock draft goes a little something like this (I used cbssports.com for scouting reports):
Round 1, pick 21:Akeem Ayers, OLB UCLA
- This pick makes a lot of sense in terms of where we are picking, the potential best player available and filling a need on the defensive side of the ball. Ayers represents a jack-of-all-trades for a SOLB: he covers well, plays the run well, rushes the passer well, and has good ball skills tackling and covering. He can step into Vrabel's currently vacated role as starting SOLB opposite Hali, andcan potentially be moved inside in nickel coverage packages along side DJ like they did with Vrabel as well.
Round 2, pick 54: Leonard Hankerson, WR Miami
-This is a pick contingent on Leo falling past a couple of teams in the mid 2nd round (believing he will fall out of the 1st). WR is a big need for this team, and while I feel that a speedier, deep threat would better compliment the passing offense to open up the middle of the field for Bowe and Moeaki, I think that a reliable route runner and pass catcher as a #2 WR is what Haley will strive for. Leo's 4.40 forty time is suited enough to get separationwith his speed and get deep if necessary, but will play well into what Cassel's strengths are, as well as Haley's passing tendencies.
Round 3, pick 86: Jerrell Powe, NT Ole Miss
-I'm basing this more off of where Powe is projected to go per scouting reports than I am where I think he will actually go, which may lead us to have to "reach" for him in the late 2nd over hoping he falls to the late 3rd. But I am very high on Powe in terms of him fitting in on this team; he's an SEC captain, senior, graduating, and has had 2+ seasons of success as a run-stopping, gap filling NT. He doesn't necessarily fit the pass rushing, penetrating mold like Phil Taylor does, but I think Powe as a 3rd round pick (or 2nd round pick if necessary), will be a major part of a continued D-line rotation.
Round 4, pick 117: Marcus Gilbert, OT Florida
-While I'm comfortable with Barry Richardson at RT moving forward, confident in his continued development, I definitely see the need for depth and competition at OT. Gilbert represents great value in the 4th round as just that. He's another senior captain for an SEC team and has remained healthy and successful through his long collegiate career. He is very solid in both run and pass blocking and moves well in space, evident in his very solid 20 yd. and 10 yd. drills. I love his value in the 4th compared to any OTs in the prior rounds.
Round 5, pick 132: Ian Williams, DT Notre Dame
-I'm all for doubling up on positions of greatest need, and with currently no NTs under contract, I'll take another to go along with Powe. Williams is flying under the radar a bit as he's not the most athletic player, but he's a solid 2-gap run stopper with good leverage and strength to hold up against double teams. He has adequate potential to improve on his 311 lbs. size, as I'm more a proponent of a strong rotation of 320+ lbs. hogs as opposed to being dependent on a 330 lbs. superstar in the middle to keep the middle of our defense in-tact.
Round 5, pick 137: Scott Tolzien, QB Wisconsin
-The depth at QB is a most pressing need. Scott was interviewed recently by the Chiefs, so I'm believing that QB depth is a need in their eyes as well. He has played well as a game manager at Wisconsin in a run-heavy offense, which fits our team perfectly. He's struggled with deep throws and velocity, but we should be used to that :-). I believe he's a quality prospect to bring in as at least the #3 QB.
Round 7, pick 213: Ryan Bartholomew, C Syracuse
-Center is a pick needing to be addressed, and I've toiled over if a higher pick should be used on one. But luckily, there is much value in late round/undrafted centers, as some of the best centers in the league, like Jeff Saturday, Shaun O'Hara, Matt Birk, and our own Casey Wiegmann, can tell you. Ryan B. will definitely need some coaching up, specifically on his footwork, but he has adequate strength, long arms, good explosion off the snap, takes good blocking angles, and is very intelligent, as he made the line calls for the Orangemen.
So there you have it. Let's hear some thoughts, and bring the draft talk here. And I know my mock is immaculate, so don't steal it and pawn it off as your own. :-)