So I posted a poll about a week ago, asking if you guys think it is too early for a mock draft yet or not. Out of 114 votes, 69 of you wanted a mock from me, so here goes. I was pretty involved in the mock process last year, posting one every other week or so, but I most likely won't be able to be quite as involved this year, as I have some big school stuff coming up. This may be the only mock I do! (Lets be realistic, I'll probably do a few more).
So you already (if you read my last post) know who my number 1 pick is. I am doing a full 7 round mock and I am not adding in any compensatory picks that we may or may not get. 7 picks, 7 rounds, no trading. I will do my primary pick and a little about other possibilities as well. Here goes.
1. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
Did you really think I was going anywhere else? Honestly, I like both Wilson and Smith here. In my mind, there are really only three possibilities on who we could possibly pick here (the other two are below). Maybe we can trade down and pick up Te'o, Lotulelei, Barkley, Glennon, or who ever else you are dreaming of, but not here. If I was the owner of the Chiefs and you took a player who could be had in the 10-15 range with the number 1 pick, I would fire you. Barkley, Glennon, and Te'o are all going to be selected outside of the top 5 and possibly outside of the top 10. Picking any of them here is a huge stretch and one that any smart GM won't do. If you want Te'o in the first and you want a QB in the 2nd, you need to trade out, otherwise you are losing value. Tyler Wilson and Geno Smith are the two best bets at this point in the year for the number one pick, and even then they are a little shaky. Smith has better numbers, but he has a ridiculous pair of receivers in Austin and Bailey (both of whom are going to be good NFL receivers). His amazing supporting cast makes me a little iffy. I worry that when he gets to KC and realizes what a mess we have on our hands, he won't have the leadership necessary to pull us out of our funk. I am going with Wilson here, simply based on gut instinct.
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia -- Clearly Smith is another possibility here, and the only other quarterback deserving of a #1 overall valuation at this point in the year. Sorry Glennon lovers, he is late 1st round as of right now, at best.
Luke Joeckel, LT, Texas A&M -- Joeckel is the only other player that would make a bit of sense for the Chiefs to take first. Jarvis Jones would be an excellent pass rusher, but who are you going to replace? Are you going to rotate him with Hali and Houston? If you take Star Lotulelei, I think KC fans might revolt in a zombie apocalypse type manner. Albert is a good, solid, middle of the NFL left tackle. But Joeckel has the potential to be a top 5 left tackle. That might be worth taking. Also, maybe you want to wait until next year to take your quarterback of the future.
2. David Amerson, CB, NC State
We need a replacement for Carr. I actually think Jalil Brown isn't too terrible, and might be ahead of where Carr was at this point in his career. However, we can't hope he materializes into a 50 million type of player. We need someone who we know to be a playmaker. David Amerson is the best corner who I think will be on the board at this point. Amerson has been starting since his freshman year and had a monster sophomore season with double digit interceptions (13). He really has top 10 talent but he has been beaten badly in a few games this year and so falls here to the 2nd round. Amerson has a high work ethic and will improve a lot in the NFL. It also doesn't hurt that he has rare size for a top tier CB (6'2" - 6'3" depending on source).
Shayne Skov, ILB, Stanford -- I actually have ILB ranked as a higher area of need than CB. I just think that the talent level at CB thins much faster than the talent at ILB. Skov is a very talented ILB that could really help to complete our linebacking crew, but I think we pass here for a more rare talent in Amerson.
Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State -- I know a lot of you like Rhodes, and his size (6'2", 215) and stats (35 tackles, 3 picks) are impressive considering not many teams throw his way. I think Rhodes is a safer bet than Amerson. Rhodes will be a solid NFL CB, but I don't ever think he will be a shutdown corner. Amerson has a much higher ceiling and I would rather take a chance on a potential superstar here (not all the time, of course).
Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor -- I have WR listed as another high area of need for this team. However, this all hinges on our decision on what to do with Bowe. I like this draft for WR, even though I'm not mocking any to our team just yet. I want to wait and see what happens with Bowe before mocking a wide receiver here. Also, Williams is an absolute beast, with 1700 yards receiving this year.
Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia -- Austin would be a top 15 pick if he wasn't 5'9". I'm not concerned. I see him as the next Steve Smith type player. He is very fast and an absolute playmaker. I would not be upset if Austin fell to us here and we snatched him up.
3. Andrew Jackson, ILB, W. Kentucky
I'm pretty unsure how Siler is going to turn out and I have not seen anything yet to make me think he is the answer at SILB. Andrew Jackson, in addition to being the seventh president of the United States, is a hell of an ILB. He has 116 tackles on the year, 2 sacks, and 4 forced fumbles. He is listed at 265 and his one knock is that he lacks in coverage. But that makes him the perfect run thumping SILB for lining up next to Johnson. I think Jackson can be a stud at the next level, my only concern being that he may wait to declare until next year (I have not heard officially yet).
Robert Woods, WR, USC -- Woods is a first round talent who drops due to injuries this year. I really think he would be a steal here, even though USC WR's rarely work out.
Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia -- I'm really sure that Bailey won't end up grading out this low in the draft. He may even jump into the first round if he blows up the combine. Bailey is an absolute playmaker at wide receiver and could really be a game changing threat. Multiple sites have him graded around this area though. If he does fall here, I would take him in a heartbeat.
E. J. Manuel, QB, Florida State -- Many people, myself included, want to take two quarterbacks in this draft as insurance in case one doesn't work out. Manuel is a good project player that could sit for a few years and might just develop into a legit next level quarterback. He has the arm strength and mobility to be a threat at the next level, but I'm just not convinced that it would ever work out. I say a big thumbs down to Manuel at this point.
Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech -- Did I hear that Keiper has Logan Thomas graded out as the best quarterback in this draft (or something along those lines)!? No way. Thomas was an awesome prospect last year when he had huge numbers, but he has really fallen off this year and just doesn't look to have the consistency I would like to see.
T.J. McDonald, S, USC -- Eventually, we are going to have to draft someone to push Kendrick Lewis. Right now we have very limited depth at safety, and T.J. McDonald would be a really good pickup here to sure up our depth and possibly push Lewis for a starting position. However, I think we can get better value one round later.
4. Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno State
Here is where the draft gets fun for me. It is easy in my mind to list out the top players in the first round, any Joe Schmo can do that. It gets harder when you get into the second half of the draft and have to come up with some potential sleepers. Phillip Thomas is my favorite sleeper in this draft. I actually think he will end up as one of the better safeties in this draft. Forget Elam, Phillip Thomas is where its at. He leads the nation in interceptions this year (8) and had two returned for a touchdown against Colorado. He also has 82 tackles and 4 forced fumbles. Thomas can make plays all over the field and will be an asset in both run and pass defense. He is a complete safety and I could see him taking a starting stop from Lewis by the end of his rookie campaign.
5. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State
You want quarterback insurance? I want someone who can contribute, whether our starting quarterback pans out or not. Collin Klein is a better version of Tim Tebow. You think Tebow is religious? Klein didn't even kiss his current wife until they were at the alter (seriously). Klein can run just as well, if not better than Tebow and has a clearly better arm. He would be quite the weapon in goal line situations or running the zone read with Charles. He is tough and a leader. I absolutely love Klein here as our secondary insurance for quarterback. But he is only the 2nd part of my master rebuilding plan. My first phase is signing Tebow out of free agency, both as a team leader and groomer of Klein. Tyler Wilson, Tim Tebow, Collin Klein. That's my quarterback depth for 2013, deal with it. Fall in love with this pick boys, it is a winner.
Tyron Mathieu, CB, LSU -- Lots of you are calling to pick up the "Honey Badger" late in this draft. I can honestly say I don't hate this pick here. Mathieu is a small player, but has incredible natural football talent. He could bring some real playmaking and tenacity to our defense. However, I don't think a rebuilding team can handle too many off the field distractions, and Mathieu reminds me too much of Pac-Man Jones.
6. Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska
Burkhead is vastly underutilized at Nebraska. In addition, he had some injuries his senior season that kept him from being all that productive. However, he had 1300 yards and 15 TD's his junior year and 900 yards and 7 TD his sophomore year. He is a power back that can replace Hillis. He is known to have very high character and is active in the community. Burkhead also has some trick play versatility, throwing the ball four times for three touchdowns in 2010. Burkhead is actually my favorite late round running back in this draft, and I think he is someone that will stick in the NFL due to his work ethic and talent. We would be lucky if he fell this far due to injury concerns.
7. Ray Ray Armstrong, S, Faulkner University
My final pick is reserved this year for my "trouble maker". Last year I was calling for Burfict early and often (though I abandoned him later on). Burfict is turning out to be a legit linebacker for the Bengals with 85 tackles this season. Get ready because I think Ray Ray Armstrong has the potential to be a better safety than Burfict is a linebacker. At 6'4", 220 lbs, Armstrong is a huge safety. He played his freshman and sophomore years for the Miami Hurricanes, and if he had not been dismissed from the team, he might have been a first round talent last year. He has huge playmaking ability and in the 7th round, we can afford to take a chance. Armstrong is a boom or bust player, but that is probably the best you will get in the 7th round.
So there it is, my initial mock for the 2013 NFL draft. I know you all are in love with my picks (especially Klein and Burkhead late) but please try not to fill the entire comments section with praise! Seriously though, let me know what you think, and I'm looking forward to the draft.