Friday, February 20, 2009

Mock Draft Update - 2/20/2009

My 2009 NFL Mock Draft
Here is version 2 of my personal mock draft. This is the first update I've done since the end of September so a lot has changed. Starting next week I'll be listing my selection from the previous mock as well as adding some commentary. I'm not completely satisfied with the mock but that's expected. It's only one round as of now but it's hard enough to slot 32 guys before the combine and pro day workouts conclude. I'll eventually expand to three rounds. I have a bit more to say below the mock. Check it out...

Click to see my mock draft (version 2).

So what do you think? It's OK. I still can't slot the QBs. This class is one of the weakest in years but front office folk (and fans) seem to always overvalue rookie QBs. The success of Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco last year won't help pundits this year. Matt Stafford, Mark Sanchez, and Josh Freeman are talent to be selected between picks 20 and 40, not in the Top 10. I'm trying to reflect that here but, boy, I may hear it from some people, especially with Sanchez out of the first round. But really, do you believe Sanchez is going to be a legitimate threat in the NFL? I certainly don't. He couldn't beat out John David Booty at USC (who was a 4th round pick last season) but now, all of a sudden, Sanchez is a Top 10 talent? Get real. The guy has played in only 27 games, starting just 16 of them. It has been well documented that games started and completion percentage are big indicators for success at the next level. It's not perfect - nothing is - but it helps to consider the body of work. Well for Sanchez, there ain't much to look at. He did complete over 65% of his passes in 2008 and, for his career, completed over 64%. That's good. But experience is lacking. He may have developed over this last year and perhaps is better than former teammate Booty now. But he isn't three rounds in the draft better.

I have other gripes about this mock too, like the shortage of DTs and wide gap in talent between Michael Crabtree and the rest of the WRs. However this mock is nowhere near what the final one will look like come April 24th. Feel free to voice your opinions in the comments.

Below I have compiled seven of my favorite mock drafts for comparison purposes. The seven mocks are (in no particular order): Draft Tek, Mel Kiper (ESPN), Michael Abromowitz (The Football Expert), Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk), Scott Wright (Draft Countdown), Todd McShay (ESPN), and Walter Cherepinsky (Walter Football). Let's take a look at what they got, as of February 20th...

Click to enlarge comparisons for 2/20/2009.

  • Florida's Cornelius Ingram, who missed all of the 2008 season due to a knee injury, is starting to rise up draft boards because of his natural athleticism and above average blocking for a TE. He is being compared to Antonio Gates and could hear his name called as early as the second round. That's quite an accomplishment for someone who hasn't played a football game since January 1, 2008. Many scouting services consider Ingram the 3rd or 4th best TE prospect.
  • Michael Crabtree is the best WR in the class - by far - and will not drop out of the Top 10. Old news, right? Well he has decided to not run at the combine (more on that later) because of a nagging ankle injury. He will run at his March pro day. Though skipping a workout can be seen as a red flag, it is the right decision for Crabtree. Why push yourself when you aren't 100% and have another shot at it? Crabtree doesn't have to show elite speed; run between a 4.45 - 4.60 second 40 and he'll be fine.
  • Who's the best OT prospect? No one seems to know right now. Going into the season it was Michael Oher (Ole Miss), but athleticism and dedication concerns have caused him to drop. Then it was Andre Smith from Alabama. However weight issues surfaced and it now seems that Eugene Monroe (Virginia) could be the guy. And don't forget about Baylor's Jason Smith. The former TE has the quickness and footwork to fend off speed rushers, something teams covet. The OT dilemma won't be sorted out until the first 3-5 picks of the draft are in Roger Goodell's hand.
  • Weight issues haunt prospects from the end of their last college season through the draft. Already some prospects have shown the ability to add or lose weight. Massive LSU OG Herman Johnson checked in at 6 ft. 7 1/4 inches and 364 pounds... that's 18 pounds less than his weight at the Senior Bowl last month. Johnsons needed to lose that - and more - because he showed little agility during workouts. Another prospect that had weight issues was Oregon OC Max Unger. However he needed to add weight. Which he has. His weight is now up to 310 pounds, 11 more than last month. Unger was overmatched by Boston College DT B.J. Raji at times during the Senior Bowl and the added weight and muscle will help Unger, as long as he maintains his athleticism.
Though the combine officially started yesterday the stuff that garners headlines began today. Below is the combine broadcast schedule, thanks to 2 the Lion Football...
Thursday, February 19
2:30 PM - NFL Scouting Combine press conferences
7:00 PM - NFL Total Access from the Scouting Combine
8:00 PM - NFL Top 10: Football Factories (Penn State is one of the featured schools - hopefully they focus more on the Francos and the Robbys than the Courtneys and Ki-Jana's)

Friday, February 20
2:30 PM - NFL Scouting Combine press conferences
7:00 PM - NFL Total Access from the Scouting Combine

Saturday, February 21
11:00 AM - Workouts: Kickers, Offensive Linemen and Tight Ends (Cadogan and Shipley)
2:00 PM - NFL Scouting Combine press conferences
7:00 PM - NFL Total Access from the Scouting Combine

Sunday, February 22
11:00 AM - Workouts: Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, Running Backs (Butler, Norwood and Williams)
2:00 PM - NFL Scouting Combine press conferences
7:00 PM - NFL Total Access from the Scouting Combine

Monday, February 23
11:00 AM - Workouts: Linebackers, Defensive Lineman (Evans and Maybin)
7:00 PM - NFL Total Access from the Scouting Combine

Tuesday, February 24
11:00 AM - Workouts: Defensive Backs (Sargeant)

Wednesday, February 25
8:00 PM - 2007 NFL Scouting Combine Wrap-Up Show
Top notch work compiling the schedule and making note of when PSU players will perform.

Later tonight I hope to expand on the mock drafts by computing a prospects average draft position, based on the seven mocks in the comparisons section.

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