It has been a long process for me but with the combine gone and FA underway I am getting pretty certain the direction of my mock and I don't anticipate any more big changes to the direction so I want to share my ideas for criticizism and comment thus without further adu the way of the darkside mock.....
Before the Draft players I would look at still in FA
WR are Marvin Harrison and Amani Toomer at WR due to their experience and they still have a year or two in the tank and that is really all we need with our young core coming up, I would also like to see Drew Carter given another chance even more so over Matt Jones.
DT- Tank Johnson (cut Sands)
REASONING- The Crab-man is the BPA in the whole draft there is a 20% chance he lands to the Raiders so I am not counting on it (I gave it 20% because the Rams, Hawks, Chiefs, and Browns could all use the BPA in any draft). Raji has shown incredible growth and maturity in an amazing comeback campaign after some academic reasons for missing 07. The results were outstanding 37 tackles, 16 for loss and 7 sacks, all while commanding the double team away from his bigger counterpart Ron Brace. Raji's skill set is perfect for the 4-3, he plays with a low center of gravity which is an advantage to an interior lineman, he has a powerful grasp and rarely do RB's or QB's escape it. He has amazing quickness for his position and his 5.13 40' should be considered one of the biggest eye poppers for a man of his size and build. He has amazing strength and conditioning to play ALL 3 downs and can be a consistent force up front to help our team finally stop the run. Its funny how last year no one wanted the BPA (DMC) but they wanted the need pick addressed (Glenn Dorsey), but this year there is a few of us that see Raji as a better fit for our team and worthy of passing on the #1 BPA (Crab-Man). The effects of drafting Raji would be tremendous as T.K. would be forced to be single teamed by a RG and Morrison would finally have a real NT with a playmaking ability in front of him (so we can finally see if Captain Kirk is who we think and hope he is). Raji would also make it easier for us to have Huff at SS as in one position of our Run D would be improved, hopefully from day 1, easing his lack of run support in the starting line up and allowing Huff's dominate man coverage of TE's, FB's, and RB's. I am not saying he will magically make all the problems go away but he is a start and we could use a young NT with an incredible upside to our rather depressing current roster holders in Sands and Warren.
Other options are in appropriate order: DE RAK, DE Maybin, and MLB/OLB "Rey Rey" Malauga
Round 2 #40- LE Jarron Gilbert San Jose State 6'5" 288
REASONING: I don't see Robert Ayers or Michael Johnson squeezing out of the top 39 players taken in the 09' draft. And to be honest it does not bother me with Strahan Jr over here. He has shown amazing athleticism as he posted tops in every combine drill he participated in. A 4.88 40 wasn't anything too amazing but good enough to show he can move and is a great athlete especially considering his size. Many say he has a tremendous frame and muscular tone and he added 40lbs in the most recent offseason so I could see us asking him to shed a good 10 to get down to 278 to help his initial burst. Numbers from 08' were eye popping against typically lesser talent but none the less impressive 52 tackles, 22 TFL, and 9.5 sacks. The numbers don't even tell you how disruptive this Chino California native really was. The biggest knock on Gilbert is he is too dominate that he gets cocky and comes up lazy on tackles some times. This will be something that Dwayne Board our Defensive line coach and John Marshall will have to work on with him. But his athletic ability for a man of his size is unmatched. He is described as having outstanding balance and rarely gets knocked off his feet. This is a player that equals the upside of Raji and with Burgess still under contract we can afford to wait and have him come in around week 8 in a bigger role as we prepare for life without Burgess in 10'. And if you think Richardson, Scott, and Gilbert are overloading our starting DE's, look at the Giants and what that depth means to their team.
Other options would be: OC/OG Max Unger, Connor Barwin at DE?, WR Brian Robiskie, and FS Sean Smith (who will probably not be there at our pick due to him being a Nnamdi/DRC clone)
Round 3 #71SLB Tyrone McKenzie South Florida 6'2" 247
REASONING: He is a straight steal as a physical playmaker, early projections had him as a first round lock but he will slip and should be there for our taking at this pick. 3 straight years of posting over 100 tackles, 1 year at MLB and the last 2 at SLB. The Law Firm is now the Law Offices of McKenzie, Morrison, and Howard. This dude is a stud and fits what we like our SLB's to be responsible for perfectly, has the coverage and running lane skills to be exactly what we have missed. I believe Ricky Brown was resigned in an effort to appease the loss of Marquis Cooper in our SP Teams and back up/'compete with a young SLB brought in. This guys really has it all, tremendous game player.
Round 4 #122 (via trade with Miami): FS David Bruton Notre Dame 6'2" 219lbs
Reasoning: I believe our starting safeties will be Huff at SS and Branch at FS, but we cannot sleep on the escalation of Huffs salary from under 1 mil this year to just under 4 mil next year, especially given his somewhat disappointing career as a high draft pick. Bruton would be able to play either safety position as he remains a sharp ball hawk and a to a lesser degree sure tackler. Bruton's #'s from ND over the last two years 176 tackles, 7 int's, 5.5 tackles for loss (in 08' not sure about 09'), and 2 FF's. Team captain and very much disciplined football player. Incredible physical intangibles as he put up a 41.5 inch vertical and a 4.45 40 on the slow field at this years combine. Great Special Teamer served as a gunner for the Irish. Great technique in the open field and long arms help him prevent the big plays. He really needs improve his hip movement and work on his strength when tackling, he as good form but alot of RB's find a way to break his grip. I like him as a backup and insurance policy for Huff and as a 4th rounder he won't command a big salary. I might be switching this pick to Lord Ramses at some point but for now I feel this guy is a Mr. Davis type safety with his speed, hands, and vertical he makes an excellent centerfielder.
Chris Hampton, WR Ramses Barden, WR Aaron Kelly, OC A.Q. Shipley, OG Trevor Canfield, CB Mark Parson (another name to look up if he is new to you!), LE Derek Walker, and ofcourse some of the guys in rd 3, as some of them should drop here.
Round 7: TE Bear Pascoe Fresno State 6'5" 251
REASONING: Cable and Mr. Davis in their infinite wisdom noticed how dominate the running game looked against the Buc's with the use of two TE sets. Bear Pascoe is an incredible talent and I can't believe he isn't an earlier pick but its the case that most have him being taken around here. He did suffer an injury but the kid is as physical as they come in the TE. He has great size and muscle for the blocking game and does his fair share of dominance in such. 4.89 40 time and 16 reps in the bench but again the longer the arms the lower the number of bench rep's and at a position such as TE I would sacrifice the #'s for the arm length. He has really good hands for this late in the draft as he caught 85 passes over the last 2 years for a total of 953 yards while recording 8 TD's. He has been known to be a fierce competitor and enjoys the physical mauling aspect of the position. His nickname "Bear" was donned on him by teammates that notice his aggresive nature after the catch. And is a tremendous Special teamer. Bascially a sleeper Zach "Indestructible" Miller!
Other options: I am running out of them but I will try.......David Johnson TE, Quinn Johnson FB, Brannan Sutherland FB, if Fiametta isn't there in the 6th we go Pascoe in the 6th and Quinn Johnson here.
Wrapping it all up I believe I just drafted 5 eventual starters for 2009, maybe not day one with Gilbert and Jason Williams and Bear Pascoe could easily be #2 TE on this squad.
I think this draft could be nicknamed "Raw Power!"
My anticipating criticisms:
DE Jarron Gilbert wayyyy toooo early- there is some solid tape on this guy and being so close to Oakland we get a free sneak peak at him quite often and Mr. Davis loves to pull a quick one on the rest of the league.....ala Nnamdi and his attempt at SR26.
Still no WR?!?!? Who drafts a Rookie WR for production reasons anyway, most don't develop into their third year and we have 3 solid guys in Chaz, JLH, and Shields to come up and be in the KING's roundtable.
My intention was to build on our identity of a running team with a dynamic defense and I feel this was accomplished better then any other possible way, I spend way too much time doing things like this. But hey if you got the time and your interested whats the problem? And I am not some lazy dude sitting around all day looking at this. This is a collection of information and discussion with other NFL fans namely my silver and black bretheren. So what do you think?
And just to support my thoughts on the run D
Click on the sentences underneath and you will understand alot more about the needs of this team.