Thursday, March 6, 2008

Reviewing Mel Kiper's Recent Mock

When anyone mentions the words 'NFL Draft' a few things come to mind:

  1. Rather unproven college students are about to be earning millions of dollars
  2. My team needs a QB
  3. Mel Kiper
I have to admit, I am extremely jealous of Mel Kiper (or anyone making a living evaluating College football prospects). And I respect his work and would never bash what he says or predicts. I will question them but will never blatantly ridicule the pick. After all, I am the amateur and he is the expert.

With that said, there are a few picks that I find peculiar in his latest 2008 Mock Draft. Below is his draft and my commentary is underneath his mock. I have highlighted the selections that I'd like to talk about.

Kiper's First-Round Projection (as of 3/5/2008)



Player, Position



Miami Dolphins

Chris Long, DE



St. Louis Rams

Glenn Dorsey, DT



Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan, QB

Boston College


Oakland Raiders

*Darren McFadden, RB



Kansas City Chiefs

Jake Long, OT



New York Jets

*Vernon Gholston, DE

Ohio St.


New England Patriots (from SF)

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB

Tennessee St.


Baltimore Ravens

Sedrick Ellis, DT



Cincinnati Bengals

*Phillip Merling, DE



New Orleans Saints

Leodis McKelvin, CB



Buffalo Bills

*Malcolm Kelly, WR



Denver Broncos

*Ryan Clady, OT

Boise St.


Carolina Panthers

*Derrick Harvey, DE



Chicago Bears

Chris Williams, OT



Detroit Lions

*Rashard Mendenhall, RB



Arizona Cardinals

Keith Rivers, LB



Minnesota Vikings

*Calais Campbell, DE



Houston Texans

*Jonathan Stewart, RB



Philadelphia Eagles

Jeff Otah, OT



Tampa Bay Buccaneers

*DeSean Jackson, WR



Washington Redskins

*Aqib Talib, CB



Dallas Cowboys (from CLE)

*Felix Jones, RB



Pittsburgh Steelers

*Branden Albert, OG



Tennessee Titans

*Jerod Mayo, LB



Seattle Seahawks

*Devin Thomas, WR

Michigan State


Jacksonville Jaguars

Kentwan Balmer, DT

North Carolina


San Diego Chargers

*Justin King, CB

Penn State


Dallas Cowboys

*Brandon Flowers, CB

Virginia Tech


San Francisco 49ers (from IND)

Gosder Cherilus, OT

Boston College


Green Bay Packers

Mike Jenkins, CB

South Florida


New England Patriots

Forfeited pick


New York Giants

*Kenny Phillips, S


* indicates an underclassmen

OK so first things first, the number one pick. What the Dolphins will do is really up in the air. They have addressed the defense a lot during the free agency period bringing in a new NT (Jason Ferguson), a new DE (Randy Starks), and new LBs that will compete for the second ILB position next to Crowder (Reggie Torbor & Charlie Anderson). The Dolphins would love for this draft to have a clear cut, amazing #1 CB option. But it doesn't. I love Chris Long and think he is going to be a phenomenal NFL player. But I don't know if he fits Miami's needs anymore. Chris Long played DE in a 3-4 at Virginia the last four years. Unfortunately, he is a bit undersized to continue to play DE at the next level (in a 3-4, that is). He needs to be at least 290-295 to play DE in the Dolphins 3-4 and the heaviest I have ever seen him listed is 284 (more often I've seen him listed in the 270's). If he is in the 270-280 range, and can prove he can run, he would make a phenomenal rush OLB in the 3-4. But the Dolphins are a little stocked there. Besides the additions of Torbor and Anderson (who will also see time at OLB) the starters are currently Joey Porter and Jason Taylor. I'm sure you have heard of them. While they are both on the wrong side of 30 the Dolphins have too many needs to invest the number one pick in a player that will be a rotational guy for 1-2 years. This would all change if the Dolphins trade Taylor or Porter. The newest rumor has Taylor going to Jacksonville for 2nd and 4th round picks. If Taylor or Porter is traded then C. Long is definitely worthy of the number one. As of now they are both on the team. C. Long could also be the pick if the Dolphins think he can get bigger and be a DE. Then he fits Miami's needs perfectly. He could join a DE rotation with Starks and Vonnie Holliday, eventually replacing Holliday in 2009. Starks will aslo be called on to spell Ferguson at NT so Long would get even more playing time. So C. Long is an option, one I'd love to have, but unless he can definitely play DE in a 3-4 or Taylor/Porter is traded, I'm starting to doubt he will be the pick.

On to pick 9, the Bengals. Philip Merling has been slowly rising up draft boards but all the way to 9? That feels like a reach. I don't think Merling will go before Derrick Harvey or Calais Campbell. Merling will probably go between picks 19-26. Nine is a bit early to me.

Pick 15. Detroit. Rashard Mendenhall? Kevin Jones returned from injury last year and didn't perform too badly. They do need another RB now that Tatum Bell and T.J. Duckett are gone. But selecting one in round one doesn't seem right, especially when they need more defensive help. Specifically, a top notch CB, such as Mike Jenkins, Aqib Talib, or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie would be great. In my opinion the Lions will go D with the first pick.

With Dallas' first selection at 22 Kiper has them taking Felix Jones. I definitely don't think he will go this high. He seems to be a borderline 1st-2nd round prospect at best. If Dallas does want him I think they wait until pick 28. At 22 they can get better value for a young WR or CB.

The Titans pick at 24 is interesting. Has Mayo really risen that much? Scouts Inc. has him rated as the 38th best prospect. Kiper doesn't even have him on his big board (last updated 2/27/2008), which lists 28 prospects. This seems like a big stretch. Most mocks have Mayo as a solid mid-2nd round player. Picks 35-55 seem more likely for him. But what do I know? I'm not an expert.

This next one really floored me. I thought I was looking at his mock from the early fall. The Chargers, at 27, take Justin King?!?! I didn't know King was back to being first round material? I know he had a great combine but doesn't film study outweigh the combine? If it does, King is surely not a first rounder after his abysmal 2007 season at Penn State. His combine performance may have bumped him up, but I still think he is a borderline 2nd-3rd rounder AT BEST. This was Kiper's strangest pick of all.

The last question I had came with the next pick, at 28 to Dallas. Brandon Flowers had a good combine like King. But has he breached the first round? Eh. He is rising and a strong Pro Day performance at VT could bump him into picks 25-32. But as of now I think he is, like Mayo, a mid 2nd rounder. This is being nitpicky because Flowers has a strong chance to make the late first round. But it jumped out at me so I chose to write about it.

Well that's my review of the Draft Guru, Mel Kiper, after his latest mock draft. Be on the lookout for my next mock soon. I haven't done one since late January so Mock Draft 6.0 (possibly with 3 rounds) should be out within the next week!


E said...

justin king = lol

Steely McDonati said...

Forfeited pick at 31 and not 32 = lol