Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mock Draft Update - 2/26/2009

My 2009 NFL Mock Draft
This is the third version of my mock (previous two here and here). It is still one round but has some significant changes from last time. Not only have players shifted a bit after the combine, included with this version is a comparison to my last mock and commentary on each selection. These will be included in every mock from here on out.

Once again I find myself uneasy about the mock. I still have trouble with a few teams (like the Jaguars, Packers, Redskins, Jets, Vikings, and Eagles). Luckily free agency will make the picture clearer and next weeks update will be my best yet (or so I hope). As always, dialogue is below the mock.

My mock draft (version 3).

I still firmly believe that the Lions brass is smart enough to not take Matthew Stafford or Mark Sanchez. They need to much and throwing a rookie QB that will be in over his head is not right for the future of the franchise. They need too much. Aaron Curry can step in and make the team better immediately and would help secure the defense. Eugene Monroe and Jason Smith are in a fight right now to be the first OT taken. I still give the nod to Monroe but Smith really impressed at the combine and could easily jump Monroe in the next few weeks. The Chiefs, like the Lions, should not take a QB. Tyler Thigpen is a fine caretaker as they build up the offensive and defensive lines for the future. Next year's QB class will be much better and Kansas City would be wise to wait. I don't like how things played out at picks 7, 8, and 9. I'm just not comfortable with the selections but that's what worked this time around. The Jaguars are a mystery to me. Washington reaches for Peria Jerry for the second consecutive week, something I don't see happening next week (Albert Haynesworth anyone?). Picks 17 and 18 have me scratching my head too. Do the Jets want to take a young QB? Again, free agency will help us answer some of these questions. Aaron Maybin is a bit undersized for a DE so the Bears pick is very iffy. He is supposed to be a 3-4 OLB but didn't show good agility or coverage skills at the combine. He may drop significantly come draft day. The Bucs pick is definitely up in the air after they released a ton of veterans. However, since one of them was Joey Galloway I could see them going WR (or QB). Darrius Heyward-Bey is fast approaching Jeremy Maclin as the second best WR available. Even if Mark Sanchez is available at 20, I say the Lions pass. They need other bodies before a QB. No way do they win more than 5-6 games in'09; they'll have a shot at Sam Bradford or Colt McCoy a year from now. Wait on them. I actually like the early selections of Eben Britton (Eagles) and William Beatty (Vikings). It happens every draft, a run on OTs. This has a good chance of happening. The Chicago pick was the last one I didn't like. The bottom of the first is solid, I think. What do you think? Leave some comments!

This week the comparisons section expands to eight mocks with the addition of Sporting News Today's Russ Lande. Four of the previous seven have been updated in the last week (Draft Tek, Walter Football, The Football Expert) while the remaining three remain unchanged (Pro Football Talk, Mel Kiper, Todd McShay).

I have ripped on Russ Lande's take before but this official mock is just as - if not more - ridiculous than the previous. It really skews some of the average draft positions (which will be posted a bit later). Check out this weeks comparisons below.

Click to enlarge comparisons for 2/26/2009.

  • As reflected in my mock draft, the stock of Oklahoma State TE Brandon Pettigrew is falling after a sub par combine. He ran a slow 4.80 seconds 40-yard dash. He may now be seen as a great blocker that can catch, and not the properly balanced, elite player such as Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates. Pettigrew is a fringe first rounder as it stands today.
  • The exact opposite holds true for another TE, South Carolina's Jared Cook. Has he surpassed Pettigrew? It is a distinct possibility. Cook breezed through the 40, registering a 4.43. He has moved himself up from the mid rounds to an early second round pick and may hear his name called in the late first round.
  • Continuing with the tight ends - a position that looks stronger every day - brings us to Wisconsin's Travis Beckum and Florida's Cornelius Ingram. Beckum didn't fo lower body workouts or drills due to a lingering leg injury but he did impress by benching 225 lbs. 28 times, most among TEs. Ingram was a star with Cook in TE drills, displaying impressive agility, quick cuts, and smooth hands. Beckum is a 3rd round pick and Ingram is a 2nd rounder but both rise everyday.
  • A group everyone knew was strong, offensive tackle, had an interesting combine experience. Two players - Virginia's Eugene Monroe and Baylor's Jason Smith - has superb workouts, demonstrating more than enough speed, agility, and strength. On the flip side Alabama's Andre Smith hurt himself badly. Smith was not in shape and chose not to workout and then left the combine all together, without notifying authorities. His work ethic and character had been questioned before and these actions surely did not help. Because he has such vast potential it's doubtful he'll sleep outside of the Top 15.
  • At least two other OTs turned some heads with their overall athleticism and now find themselves in the first round discussion. Connecticut's William Beatty and Arizona's Eben Britton - fringe 1st rounders before - may have did enough to cement their selection between picks 20 and 32. First round, here they come!
  • Many scouts believe Mark Sanchez has pulled even with Matthew Stafford and could be selected 1st overall by Detroit. You know I don't believe that. But Sanchez did perform at the combine where as Stafford did not so it is a possibility.
  • I mentioned the amazing workouts and tests that Maryland WR Darrius Heyward-Bey turned in before but I want emphasize that he is quickly climbing draft boards. Thanks to his size/speed combination, he could jump Jeremy Maclin come April.
  • Some other receivers of note had mixed results. North Carolina's Hakeem Nicks suffered a leg injury and wasn't able to finish workouts. He could drop into the second round if the injury lingers. He may have been surpassed by Rutgers' Kenny Britt. Britt has the body of Broncos wideout Brandon Marshall and is just as talented, which he demonstrated last week. Ohio State's Brian Robiskie was a pleasant surprise according to reports. He was faster than expected and is the most polished receiver in the draft when it comes to proper technique and route running. He may have played himself into the late 2nd round.
  • The top RBs had unremarkable combine experiences and neither has separated himself from the other. Both ran somewhat disappointing 40s but each looked strong in drills. Ohio State's Chris Wells is probably the best all-around option but Georgia's Knowshon Moreno has more upside and big play potential. Iowa's Shonn Greene was solid and impressed with his ability to catch passes, something he did little of in college.
  • Could West Virginia's Pat White play himself into the QB race? If he performs at his pro day workout like he did at the combine he most certainly will. Seen as more of a WR/RB hybrid, and someone capable as a threat in the wildcat offense, White threw the ball much better than anticipated. Though he may never be starter material, his multiple threat ability will raise his stock. Once thought as a 4th or 5th rounder, White could be called very early on Day 2.
  • Florida State's Everette Brown may have cemented his place in the Top 10 with strong workouts and a quick 40 time. Brown is in competition with Texas' Brian Orakpo as the best DE/OLB prospect. Orakpo had a solid combine but was not as impressive as Brown and may not have the athleticism to play OLB in a 3-4.
  • Two other 'tweener prospects had opposite experiences. USC DE/OLB Clay Matthews is rising thanks to a fast 40 and fantastic work in drills. Unfortunately Penn State's Aaron Maybin really struggled. For a man of his size the speed and quickness wasn't what it should have been. He also was disappointing in linebacker drills.
  • As I mentioned earlier, Wake Forest's Aaron Curry may have helped the Lions decide who to take at #1. He was fast, agile, and explosive in drills plus displayed the mentality to diagnose plays effectively. He is a Top 5 pick.
  • The same cannot be said for Ohio State's James Laurinaitis. Thought of as a Top 5 pick in 2008, a year later he could fall into the second round. Seriously. Similar things have happened to perceived top talent linebackers the past two years. In 2007 Paul Posluszny dropped into the early second and last year Dan Connor fell into the third. Laurinaitis may be next unless he has a stellar pro day workout in Columbus.
  • He won't hear his name called until later on Day 2 but Northwestern RB Tyrell Sutton is modeling himself after someone that he could become: Darren Sproles. Both are considered small, though Sutton is two inches taller. Sutton has expressed an interest to play defense if he can't make it as an RB.
  • Want another fast riser that could crash the first round? Try Missouri's Evander Hood. The DT was seen as a third round pick before the combine. After a great combine he know is entering the discussion to be taken before Peria Jerry.
  • Some more risers of note: Safety Chris Clemons (Clemson), CB Chris Owens (San Jose State), and CB Alphonso Smith (Wake Forest).
  • These players had bad combine workouts and their stock has taken a hit: CB Coye Francies (San Jose State), Safety Stephen Hodge (TCU), CB D.J. Moore (Vanderbilt), and Safety Kevin Ellison (USC).
That is one long update! The revised ADP will be up in a little bit.


Anonymous said...

It is very difficult to read your comments in the mock draft area. I tried zooming in at various levels but the words beacame distorted. I hope you correct this cause ths looks like one of the better sites I've seen in the last couple years. I'll bookmark and check back in a couple days.

J Mays said...

I've tried posting everything on the main page using text but it doesn't all fit. I'll fool around with image resolution and other options. If anyone has any ideas on a way to present the mock better, please let me know.

Thanks for the kind words.