Some of you may find this mock draft offensive, but I would like to take a a different look in this draft.
We now live in an age where a very good offense is enough to get you into the playoffs, and even the superbowl. My goal in this mock draft is to select bonafide playmakers for Palmer, solid protection, and efficiency. Some of my trades may be radical, but I hope that you guys would get the idea here.
Plus I wouldn't mind this draft if we address defense only in free agency.
I checked the Trade Value Chart, and it's roughly the same here. Lions could use Luke Joekal, Star Loutelli, Dee Milliner here.
Raiders Trade #5 Pick for Cincinnati's #26, #37 (2nd round, 4th pick), and #53 (2nd round, 16th pick)
One of Cinci's needs are DL. They have a good DL in Dunlap, but they need someone opposite of him. Or they can even go for Warmack, WR opposite of AJ Green, or they can trade down too. I checked the Trade Value chart, and it's exact with value.
We now have a late 1st, three 2nds, a third, 4, 5, 6, 7. According to: http://www.fftoolbox.com/football/teams/team_page.cfm?nfl_team=OAK&show=draft
#26th Pick Raiders Select: Barrett Jones C, OG, OT Alabama 6'4" 305 lbs.
WIth the first pick, I'd say we get someone who is versatile, and was a part of one of the best OLs in a while. And no doubt that our OL is desperate for OL help here. He can play C, OG, or OT. Although he has said to not have GREAT strength to bulldoze people, he has tremendous footwork and use of hands.
Rarely does a technically-refined offensive lineman earn top billing at a university with such tradition of producing flashy athletes at virtually every position, but in the case of do-everything Jones, the honor is well deserved.
Since redshirting for the Tide in 2008, Jones has simply started 49 of the past 53 games, earning action at right guard (25 starts), center (14) left tackle (10).
Despite earning first-team All-SEC honors (and third-team All-American accolades by the Associated Press) in 2010 while at right guard, Jones was asked to move to the all-important blind-side tackle position in 2011 and starred there. He earned the Outland Trophy as the nation's top lineman as well as the Jacobs Blocking Trophy (SEC's top offensive lineman) and was a consensus All-American.
Coach Nick Saban moved his top lineman once again in 2012; this time to the center position, where the same intelligence, quickness, balance and surprising anchor Jones demonstrated at guard and tackle translated well.
Jones started all 14 games of Alabama's run to its third national title in fourth year. He was again a consensus All-American and first-team All-SEC performer. He closed out his career with a strong performance against Notre Dame despite playing with torn ligaments in his left foot suffered during the SEC Championship Game.
Jones also won the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy recognizing the "absolute best scholar-athlete" in the nation. He was the first Crimson Tide player to capture the award.
"I want to thank everyone from Alabama who helped make this possible for me," Jones said while accepting the award. "I want to thank Coach (Mal) Moore, Coach Saban and all of my teammates. I think many people know how good of a football coach he (Saban) is, but what he doesn't get enough credit for is how good of a job he does developing young men.
"I also want to thank my parents and my family. I am very close to my parents. There is no way I would be up here today without them. When I left for college my dad told me something that I will never forget, he said "Barrett never forget who you are and whose you are." I have tried to live up to that my whole life. He has taught me many good principles about how to work hard, how to help others and how to give back.
Whether at tackle, guard or center, Jones has demonstrated that he's dependable against the elite competition in college football. Head coach Nick Saban has said on many occasions that Jones is one of the top players he's ever been around and has compared the 2011 Outland Trophy (nation's top interior lineman) to Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews. Considering his versatility and dependability (not to mention his coach's impressive recommendation), Jones quietly ranks among the safest prospects in the draft.
STRENGTHS: Jones is typically characterized as a try-hard player who gets by with excellent fundamentals, and it is true that he uses his hands and feet very well to consistently defeat his opponent. However, while he isn't likely to cause anyone to compare his raw athleticism to former first round offensive tackles Tyron Smith (Dallas Cowboys, No. 9, 2011) or Joe Staley (San Francisco 49ers, No. 28, 2007), Jones is smooth and efficient when easing back at the snap in pass protection or getting to the second level. He latches on and keeps his feet moving on contact, rarely allowing his opponent to make the play even if he's relatively close to the ballcarrier.
WEAKNESSES: Doesn't blow defenders off the ball with pure strength. Not a flashy athlete and may struggle to excel at the NFL level.
COMPARES TO: Bruce Matthews, OL, ex-Oilers/Titan -- Alabama coach Nick Saban has publicly compared Jones to the Hall of Famer Matthews, who saw action at all five positions during his 19 years with the Houston Oilers (and Tennessee Titans), and whom Saban saw up close when coaching defensive backs in Houston from 1988-1989.
SEC Stories of Success - Barrett Jones (via HDMTV01)
There is a video on youtube with Warmack and Jones performance against Tennessee or Notre Dame that you can look at.
#36th Pick Raiders Select: Tyler Eifert, TE Notre Dame 6'5" 252 lbs.
We need to be better in the redzone correct? Well lets go get a really good TE. Eifert is a great receiver, and developing as a really good blocker (not there yet, but developing well). He has oodles of potential to be a playmaker all over the field with Palmer, and offers a big body in the red zone. He can line up at TE, in the slot, and outside at WR and offer us plenty of mismatches against defenses. TEs typically do not get selected in the first round, and when they do, it's normally late. I believe Eifert can make it to the 36th pick.
Since 2006, the Irish have had three tight ends drafted in the second round (Kyle Rudolph, John Carlson and Anthony Fasano) and Eifert could be the fourth, unless of course he sneaks into the backend of round one.
Coming off an All-American sophomore season, he is NFLDraftScout.com's top draft-eligible tight end prospect entering the 2012 season.
Eifert wasn't considered a blue-chip recruit out of high school, tipping the scale at just 215-pounds, but received a scholarship offer from Notre Dame and redshirted in 2009.
He served as a back-up in 2010, but was forced into duty after Rudolph and Mike Ragone went down with injuries, starting eight games and recording 27 receptions. Last season, Rudolph left early for the NFL and Eifert found himself No. 1 on the depth chart at tight end as only a sophomore. He started all 13 games and led the country at his position with 63 catches for 803 yards and five touchdowns, earning All-American honors.
While perhaps lacking the elite breakaway speed that has helped Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski emerge as instant NFL stars, Eifert's 6-5, 252-pound frame and excellent ball skills make him a legitimate mismatch. In today's pass-happy NFL, that could be enough to earn a late first-round selection.
Eifert is extremely productive with very good body control to adjust to off-target passes and snatch the ball away from his frame. He is fearless over the middle and does a nice job working in a crowd, showing the quarterback his numbers and shielding defenders from the ball.
Eifert is still developing as a blocker, but has shown steady improvement in this area and flashes the raw power to put defenders on their heels in the run game. He received a third round grade from the Advisory Committee last season, but he could sneak into the first round with another All-American season in 2012.
Tyler Eifert 2012 Highlights ᴴᴰ (via ThatHighlightChannel)
#37th Pick Raiders Select: D.J. Fluker, OT Alabama 6'6" 335 lbs.
Looks like we took another Alabama OL. At 335, he is really big for an OT, so if anything I guess we can move him to OG too. He is a mauler in the run blocking department, and good in the pass blocking department. So we get two OL who can play in multiple postions.
Since redshirting in 2009, Fluker has emerged as a standout at right tackle for the Tide.
He played in 10 games in 2010 - starting nine of them - despite missing four games in early October due to a groin strain. He started all 13 games as the strong-side tackle the following season, demonstrating improved footwork and power from his first season of action.
Fluker earned preseason All-SEC recognition in 2012 and went on to earn a host of honors, including second-team All-America by AP and Walter Camp and first-team All-SEC from the coach and second-team from the media while starting each of the Crimson Tide's games en route to the national title.
Anyone who watched Alabama dismantle a talented Notre Dame defense in the BCS title game knows that the Crimson Tide offensive line was dominant. Much of the credit has gone to the Tide's interior line (and for good reason). At 6-6, 335 pounds, however, Fluker is an absolute road-grader, himself. Massive, physical and tenacious, he's the top right tackle prospect in the draft.
STRENGTHS: Powerful run blocker. Fluker's combination of size and power make him a formidable prospect who should only get better. For a drive-blocking, power-based scheme, Fluker ranks as one of the top right tackle prospects in the country.
WEAKNESSES: At his size, Fluker is strictly a right tackle or perhaps even a guard prospect as he hasn't demonstrated the agility or balance necessary to handle NFL speed rushers on a consistent basis. Even as a run blocker -- his specialty -- Fluker has a tendency to drop his head and stop his feet as he makes contact, resulting in some of his more talented opponents being able to disengage.
COMPARES TO: James Carpenter, Seahawks -- Due to his massive size and upside, Fluker will often earn comparisons to former Alabama standout Andre Smith, who the Cincinnati Bengals made the No. 6 overall pick of the 2009 draft. In reality, a fairer comparison is to former teammate Carpenter, who also earned a first-round selection (No. 25) in 2011 by the Seattle Seahawks.
DJ Fluker vs Michigan 2012 (via JPDraftJedi)
Our OL could be (LT to RT): Veldheer, Wiz, Jones, Long, Fluker.
Or if Fluker would be better at Guard: Jones (better footwork than Veld imo), Long, Wiz, Fluker, Veldheer.
Keep Palmer happy and upright.
#53 Pick Raiders Select: Da'Rick Rodgers, WR Tennessee Tech. 6'3" 206 lbs.
I know that we have Moore, Streater, DHB, Criner, but here's the truth. Moore CAN be a #1 guy, but has not shown that yet. Streater looks like a #2 or #3 WR to me. DHB can be a #3 WR as well as Criner. But DHB and Criner haven't shown anything worth keeping yet. If anything we can keep them both simply for depth too.
Rodgers has TONS of talent. He reminds me of Anquan Boldin. he is one of the toughest WRs to press, has good speed, and really good ball skills. Think of the tougher version of Denarius Moore. The only major concern is his character, but it's tough to pass up his talent and big body for the red zone.
Rogers is a virtual Julio Jones clone, exhibiting an exciting combination of size, strength and explosiveness.
He signed with Tennessee as one of the most highly regarded prep prospects in the entire country, and immediately showed off his versatility, racking up 167 yards as a receiver and 117 yards as a runner (reverses, etc.).
Rogers was expected to serve as the complementary piece to Justin Hunter in 2011, but stepped up once his teammate was injured and went on to lead the SEC with 1,040 receiving yards in 2011. He eclipsed the 100-yard mark in six games, one short of a Tennessee record, and earned First Team All-SEC honors by the media and league coaches.
While there are plenty of traits about Rogers scouts will love, one they must be concerned about is Rogers' accountability on and off the field. For violating team rules, Rogers was suspended indefinitely by Tennessee coach Derek Dooley on Aug. 23 and ultimately transferred to Tennessee Tech.
"We're excited to have him and look forward to working with him," Tech coach Watson Brown said Aug. 27. "It's a unique situation for me, but we know he's a good kid. He knows a couple of the players on our team, and we know his high school coach, and we're going on their recommendations.
"After meeting with Da'Rick and his family, I can see what everybody is saying about him," Brown added. "We've met with Da'Rick and he understands our expectations."
Rogers played in all 11 games for Tennessee Tech in 2012, and was the man among boys he was expected to be, leading the team with 61 catches for 893 yards and 10 touchdowns. No one else on the roster had more than 28 receptions, and Rogers put up his staggering numbers despite every opponent game-planning to contain him.
Character red-flags galore, but undeniably an elite talent.
Strengths: Despite playing in the ultra-physical SEC, Rogers proved too strong for most teams to consider pressing. He's also versatile, showing the ability to line up outside, as well as in the slot. While it is easy to get excited about Rogers' size-speed potential, one of his greatest attributes is simply his toughness, as he absorbed several big collisions on games viewed and never dropped a pass due to a hit while at Tennessee. Rogers is a powerful runner who fights for additional yardage and has the agility and speed to run away from the pack for explosive plays.
Weaknesses: Generally a reliable pass catcher, but will occasionally look to juke the defender before securing the pass, resulting in an occasional bad drop. Until he cleans up the conception that he's a troublemaker, it may not matter how talented Rogers is, NFL teams will be too concerned to give him the first-round grade his talent deserves.
To me, it would be valuable to have him in the starting lineup as the #2 WR or in the slot.
Raiders 3rd Round Pick: Jordan Reed, TE Florida 6'3" 243 lbs.
Reed is a little on the short side, but as a receiver he is hella good. In fact, he best compares to the Pats Aaron Hernandez, in which he is very quick, and get Yards after Catch. He can play RB, FB, TE, and WR so he is versatile and a swiss army knife. Too big for a WR, yet small for a TE. Another mismatch galore.
Reed was a versatile threat at New London High School in Connecticut, where he threw for 1,707 yards and 28 touchdowns as a junior while also rushing for 370 yards and eight touchdowns. He led New London to an undefeated season in 2007, was a finalist for the Joe Montana High School quarterback of the year in 2008 and chose Florida over Connecticut, Oregon, Boston College and Maryland.
Reed redshirted in 2009 before starting four of 12 games the following season. He finished 2010 with six catches for 79 yards (13.2 average) and one touchdown and gained 335 rushing yards on 77 attempts (4.4-yard average) and five touchdowns.
He started 10 of 11 games as a sophomore, again showing impressive versatility. Reed finished the season with 28 catches for 307 yards, leading the team in receptions four times.
Reed emerged as a first-team All-SEC pick in 2012, leading the Gators with 45 catches for 559 yards and three touchdowns. He joined a host of Florida teammates to declare a year early for the NFL Draft.
"I've enjoyed four good years at Florida, but I feel that now is the right time to pursue my dream of playing in the NFL," Reed said. "I appreciate the support from all the coaches and staff here, and I'll always be a Gator."
Lacking the bulk and blocking skills of most traditional tight ends, Reed isn't a fit for every NFL offense. His fluidity and soft hands, however, are reminiscent of former Florida star Aaron Hernandez who has out-played his fourth-round draft selection for the New England Patriots, establishing himself as one of the league's most difficult matchups
STRENGTHS: Reed is a fluid and flexible athlete with smooth body control and controlled balance. He flashes WR moves after the catch with quick, elusive feet and deceiving speed to run away from defenders.
Reed shows smooth athleticism in his routes, creating separation with sharp footwork and quick body movements. He has reliable hands and does a nice job holding onto the ball after a big hit, proving his ability and toughness over the middle of the field.
Reed shows a very good feel for his surroundings with a savvy ability to find open spots in coverage. He flashes some power with the ability to lower his pads through contact and pick up yards after contact.
He also has versatile experience as a former QB with 14 total touchdowns (6 receiving, 5 rushing and 3 passing) the past three seasons. He blossomed as a junior in 2012, leading all SEC TEs in catches (45).
WEAKNESSES: Lacks an ideal frame with only average height and build for the position and needs to continue to add bulk to his body. He has room to improve his route-running and needs to continue to develop his receiving skills at the position.
He needs to be more consistent as a blocker and is too much of a grabber in the run game, attracting holding calls.
Reed needs to stay focused with too many false-start penalties on his resume. He has progressed immensely as a pass catcher, but will have a few drops here and there. Reed had a costly fumble near the end zone against Georgia that cost Florida the game and he needs to consistently hold the ball tighter.
He has battled numerous injuries over his career and there are some questions about how his body will hold up in the NFL.
COMPARES TO: Aaron Hernandez, TE, New England Patriots - Yes, both grew up and prepped in Connecticut before arriving in Gainesville, but the similarities don't end there. Reed shows the unique ability to create receiving mismatches as a "joker" TE against linebackers and defensive backs, similar to what Hernandez has done in New England.
The two TE sets will be sweeeeeeeeeet. Especially with McFadden in the backfield.
Jordan Reed vs Texas A&M 2012 (via JPDraftJedi)
4th Round Raiders Pick: Le'Veon Bell, RB Michigan State 6'2" 244 lbs.
Le'Veon possess a lot of things in a RB. HE has really good speed, power, and quickness. His is a big RB, who we can use at short yardage situations, or simply if McFadden needs a breather and to change the pace.
Bell flew under the recruiting radar out of Ohio, receiving only one scholarship offer from a BCS program (Michigan State).
He saw immediate action, leading the team in rushing in the 2010 season opener, but finished his freshman season No. 2 on the team in rushing with 605 yards and eight scores.
Bell came off the bench again as a sophomore, but started the final six games and finished with a team-best 948 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, adding 35 catches for 267 receiving yards.
With Edwin Baker leaving Michigan State early for the NFL, Bell became the Spartans' "Bell" cow in the backfield. He led the Big Ten in rushing with 1,793 yards, 63 ahead of Wisconsin's Montee Ball, on 382 carries. Bell finished 2012 with 12 touchdowns while averaging 4.7 yards per carry, and added 32 catches for 167 yards and a score.
He was presented the trophy as the 2012 Elite Running Back of the Year by the College Football Performance Awards at halftime of a Spartans' basketball game in December. Chants of "one more year" rained down as Bell stood at midcourt.
"It's so emotional," Bell said of the moment. "It's crazy how Spartan Nation really likes Le'Veon Bell. Being here these last couple years meant everything to me. It was a great moment out there and I just wanted to do it for the fans. Of course I couldn't win anything without my teammates. My teammates helped me get to this point. The coaches of course put me in the right situation. It's a total team effort."
Listed at 6-2 and 237 pounds, Bell is a powerfully-built runner who has the ability to break tackles with pad level, strength and quickness. He lacks ideal speed and gets himself in trouble when attempting to go east-west, but he has NFL potential as a complimentary back in the right offense.
STRENGTHS: Intriguing blend of size, power and speed, showing the ability to run away from defenders or also run over them. Reliable receiving target. Carries his weight well and has the footwork to make would-be tacklers miss, but also isn't afraid to lower his pads and deliver some blows, keeping his legs churning through contact.
WEAKNESSES: Needs to be more productive and show more consistent vision between the tackles. Lacks ideal speed and gets himself in trouble when attempting to go east-west.
LeVeon Bell - 2012 Hype Video (via Pietrang5)
And now the rest of the picks will be OL and Defense. As I said, this was just a mock draft for the offense AND that I would expect that we would get some defensive players in free agency too.
With these picks here, we are very versatile against ANY defense in the league. We can make any change we want, and get any matchups we want. And most of all, we will be a THREAT in the redzone. We will score points, and that, my friends, is how you get into the playoffs. Look at really good offenses, and see that the defenses are not that great. Maybe a couple teams have both a really good offense and a really good defense, but you can certainly get into the playoffs with a very good offense, and then over the years build your defense to be better and better and become more versatile. You can't rely on a very good defense to get you in the playoffs.
We can run 2 TE sets.
Palmer under center, McFadden in the backfield. We can have Eifert and Reed as the TEs, and Streater/Rodgers with Moore at WR. We can shift Reed at FB, or to the outside at slot WR, and behold, mismatches. Or you can run the ball.
We can then substitute Reed out, put in Marcell Reece, and go for the 2 WR, 2 RB formations. You can move Reece out wide if you like too, or you can run the ball with McFadden.
In the Redzone, we can use Criner, Rodgers, Moore, Eifert, Reed. Big guys, suited for the redzone, with Palmer in the shotgun. Or perhaps replace Reed with Reece, and put Reece in at RB. We know Reece can run the ball, but the teams do not know if Reece will run the ball, or run a passing defense.
What's great too, is that you can play with what player is doing well against certain defenders. If the defense your facing does not have physical CBs, put big, physical receivers on the field, and expose them. Especially if they have a great run defense, and you have to pass the ball often to keep them honest and backed off. Than switch it up and run the ball. What's great too, is that our formations and players on the field don't have to tell the DCs what we are going to do, because the players we have can be manipulated to different positions, and different matchups that will drive DCs.... crazy. We'll also have depth, and we can run the hurry up offense with effectiveness and sub players out and run different formations while the defense has to put in backups to get their starters a breather (for the most part).
And also, we can even switch around our OL. Maybe we need to be bigger on the right side, and not the left side. Maybe Fluker should go at RT against a really bid DL and Put Jones at RG in his place. At lot of variations can be had here.
I don't expect you guys to like this.I REALLY don't think you will. In truth, I only made this to see what kind of offensive players we can get that will improve this team. But I do believe that offense is the way to go in this day and age, and we need to score some point consistently.