Back in January of this year, I posted a mock draft and it was fairly well received. I said I was going to do one after some of the free agency noise has died away for us, so here it goes.
1) I don't do trades anymore. They are unpredictable, and offer too much versatility in a mock draft. I can trade down 3 times if I want for example, and end up with 3 draft picks, and people would say how unrealistic that would be. So no trades.
2) I assume Clowney will be gone by the time we pick. So you won't see Clowney as our first pick. So don't get butthurt that I didn't pick Clowney.
3) READ THE BLOODY EXPLANATION for each pick please. :)
1st Round Pick: Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville
Yes, it is a risk to draft a QB this early, but it is well worth it.
Does anyone understand how important it is to get a top QB prospect in the draft, especially one that calls plays and audibles HIMSELF, and not the coach (well moreso than most QB prospects in NFL drafts)? Yes, if a QB fails, it can hurt us a ton, but our recent failure with Jamarcus Russel should not sway us in making this decision to get Bridgewater. Because if you get a franchise QB, then the chances of us being a consistent playoff team will increase DRAMATICALLY.
The effect of a good QB has on a team is immense compared to ANY other position. ANY. He is the leader, the one who audibles at the LOS, the one will put up the points in the passing league.
Yes we need defense, but we need a QB of the future too, and Bridgewater has very high potential to be that guy. A very good QB is what separates us from the mediocre to the elite. I have seen teams with great defenses, and they don't win a superbowl unless you have a real good QB who not only turns hot in the playoffs, however a very good defense will also be needed because the other team likely has a very good QB in which you have to stop.
But to get there, you will need a very good QB. Otherwise you are Houston, with a very good defense and average QB. Or Baltimore before the Flacco era.
He has what I want in a QB: Accuracy, decision making, and pocket presence. Those 3 aspects of a QB I hold higher then ANYTHING else. He also changes playcalls at the LOS based on coverages that he sees. This is EXTREMELY valuable to have, and is a great thing to translate into the NFL when studying film.
We need a QB for our future. Everyone will say "the next year's QBs are better!" but when next year comes along all the negatives about the QBs will appear, and everyone will say the QB class is overrated, unless there is an Andrew Luck type prospect (who doesn't come a long often in the NFL). It happens every year.
He is about as safe a prospect as you can get really. His completion percentage, athleticism, pocket presence, command at the LOS. Why would no one want this kind of QB? Is he a sure thing? Well no, no prospect is a sure thing, not even Clowney or Mack. Even Watkins. But Bridgewater has the important traits for an NFL QB, so why would you not get him, when considering that a very good NFL QB makes a ton of difference for teams?
We have to take that chance while we have it. I have a feeling he would be a very good QB in the NFL, and he looks like the safest bet to get one in this draft.
Why no QB in the 2nd round? I really like Jimmy Garappolo, and Mettenberger. A lot of people here do. But the difference between Bridgewater and those other QBs is that he is accurate more consistently, makes his own adjustments at the LOS, and very good pocket presence.
|09/07/13||Eastern Ky.||Turf||W 44-7||32||23||71.9||397||12.4||4||0||217.34|
|09/14/13||@ Kentucky||Grass||W 27-13||28||16||57.1||250||8.9||1||0||143.92|
|09/21/13||Florida Int'l||Turf||W 72-0||22||17||77.3||212||9.6||4||0||218.21|
|10/05/13||@ Temple||Grass||W 30-7||35||25||71.4||348||9.9||2||0||173.81|
|10/18/13||10 UCF||Turf||L 35-38||38||29||76.3||341||9.0||2||0||169.07|
|10/26/13||@ South Fla.||Grass||W 34-3||29||25||86.2||344||11.9||3||0||219.99|
|11/08/13||@ Connecticut||Grass||W 31-10||37||21||56.8||288||7.8||1||1||125.66|
|12/05/13||@ Cincinnati||Turf||W 31-24||37||23||62.2||255||6.9||3||1||141.40|
|12/28/13||+ Miami (Fla.)||Grass||W 36-9||45||35||77.8||447||9.9||3||0||183.22|
|@ : Away, + : Neutral Site|
- Very good rating in every game
- 8/13 games his completion percentage was over 70.
- Average to above average amount of attempts
- Played one ranked team, and did very well (hey people keep taking about the one game against Ohio State with Khalil Mack right?)
- Dominated the lower competition. High TD:INT ratio, and 7/13 games he has over 300 yards passing. High passer ratings too.
STRENGTHS: Comes from a pro-style offense at Louisville, and was among the nation's leaders in all passing categories when facing blitzes. Naturally steps through his progressions, and keeps his eyes focused downfield with defenders closing in on him. Can manipulate the defense with his eyes.
Shows very good weight distribution and passing mechanics. Steps into the face of pressure and delivers, showing admirable toughness on each snap to bounce back after big hits.
Smooth mobility to extend and move the pocket with the quickness to pick up yards with his legs if needed. Impressive accuracy and touch on throws to all levels of the field, and displays good accuracy while on the move.
Quick and efficient movements in his technique and does an excellent job with fakes, selling and focusing on the details. He is poised and with very good footwork in the pocket. Can keep defenses guessing with a sprinkling of read-option looks.
Mature and grounded individual who obviously loves football. Sharp-witted and retains information extremely well. Makes it look easy on the field and appears to "get it," elevating the play of those around him.
WEAKNESSES: Although quick, Bridgewater has a lower than ideal release point with the ball shooting passed his ear. Some durability concerns after all the hits he has taken over his career, specifically to his wrist and ankle. He's mobile enough to extend plays, but isn't a true dual-threat quarterback.
Room to improve his touch and ball placement on downfield throws. Strong performances in big games including against Florida in the Sugar Bowl following the 2012 season, but played mediocre talent on a weekly basis in the American Athletic Conference.
COMPARES TO: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks - NFL analysts often say that if Russell Wilson was 3-4 inches taller, he would have been a first round pick. Well, that might hold true with Bridgewater, who is a similar prospect as Wilson (smart, athletic, mature, accurate) except he is taller with more prototypical height for the NFL.
--Dane Brugler/Rob Rang (12/28/13)
Bridgewater arrived at Louisville as the No. 2-rated quarterback prospect in the nation by Rivals.com after an accomplished high school career in Miami that included setting the Dade County record with seven touchdown passes in a single game. He was second team All-State 6-A and played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Bridgewater, who succeeded former Hurricanes quarterback Jacory Harris at Northwestern High School, also originally committed to Miami before ultimately landed at Louisville.
Bridgewater wasted no time in making a major impact at Louisville. He was the first true freshman to play quarterback for the Cardinals since Brian Brohm in 2004, and the first true freshman quarterback to start since Stu Stram in 1976.
He set the school freshman passing record with 2,129 yards to go along with 14 touchdowns in being named the Big East Rookie of the Year in 2011. Bridgewater completed 64.5 percent of his passes, although he did throw 12 interceptions.
Bridgewater continued his ascent as a sophomore, being named Big East Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for 3,718 yards with 27 touchdowns. He had six 300-yard passing games and two of 400-plus. Bridgewater was named the MVP of the Sugar Bowl after passing for 266 yards and two touchdowns in a win over third-ranked Florida.
With Louisville suffering its only loss of the 2012 season to Central Florida, Bridgewater was relegated to second-team all-conference honors. He finished the regular season with 2,309 passing yards and 14 touchdowns, and then tacked on another 447 yards and three touchdowns in Louisville's 36-9 romp over Miami in the Citrus Bowl.
While Bridgewater's arm is impressive, the poise, vision and touch he demonstrates could serve as a "how-to" video on effective quarterback play.
Critics will continue to point out Bridgewater's flaws. He is not as big or strong as Andrew Luck nor as nimble as a healthy Robert Griffin III. Among the quarterbacks potentially available in the 2014 draft, he's the most polished and accurate.
SOURCE: CBS DRAFT - http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1825122/teddy-bridgewater
2nd Round Pick: Stephon Tuitt, DT of Notre Dame
It was between Tutt and Hageman, and I decided to go with Tuitt because he is more versatile, and got better stats in college. Tuitt has a very good combination of power and athleticism, which allows him to rush the passer and provides a constant need to be double teamed or else he would use his very good swim move on an unlucky OL blocking him and get pressure on the QB.
He had an injury last year though, and didn't bounce back as well as a junior (but then again, he did better than Hageman). Tuitt is currently projected as an early 2nd rounder, and is 5th in his position (which means he could be selected earlier).
Dennis Allen has expressed himself wanting to run multiple formations without a single base formation. He has grabbed players who have been scheme versatile, and Tuitt has the size, ability, and experience playing in both the 3-4 and 4-3 schemes at Notre Dame. He has power, very good agility for his size, and has a good pass rush. What's even better is that Rob Rang described his upside as "tantalizing" on CBS Draft. He could be a very dominant and versatile DL for the Raiders for years to come.
Inconsistent explosiveness though, but high effort. People would be quick at pointing out the Alabama game in 2012, however as one of the Pats Pulpit member just provided an in depth scouting report of Tuitt, he also mentioned the Alabama game and how Tuitt did in there:
But didn't Tuitt get embarrassed the only time he faced an NFL OL?
I.E., the BCS Bowl Game between #1 Notre Dame and #2 Alabama. The game that got played after it turned out Manti T'eo's girlfriend was not a girl, not dead, and not someone he's even even gotten to first base with.
Actually if you go back and look at that game, a game in which it's believed Tuitt was injured(see; ensuing off-season sports hernia surgery), Tuitt actually didn't have that bad of a game. Despite seeing a lot of DJ Fluker, Cyrus Kouandijo before his knee became questionable, Chance Warmack, and Anthony Steen, Alabama seemed to run the ball away from Tuitt and send double-teams his way. On passing downs you could have easily mistaken the Notre Dame secondary for the 2011 NE secondary. While many of the Fighting Irish were humiliated that day Tuitt wasn't so bad outside of a few plays, and he continued to play hard even when Notre Dame was down by 4TDs. Not bad for a teenager going against what might have been the best OL college football has seen in some time.
I highly recommend reading his scouting report by the way. Also mentions in here that because of him playing the 2-technique he hardly had a chance to just explode off the LOS (Tuitt says this).
- Good amount of tackles for 7/13 games (4 tackles or more), 3/5 games with good amount of tackles against ranked teams.
- 7/13 games he grabbed at least a tackle for a loss.
- 6/13 games he got at least a sack
STRENGTHS: Tantalizing upside. Highly athletic frame despite massive size. Impressive combination of length, power and surprising quickness. Scheme versatility for the 3-4 and 4-3, possessing the size of most interior linemen while maintaining the quickness to provide a rush off the edge.
WEAKNESSES: Arrived to 2013 fall came out of shape following hernia surgery and struggled to dominate as he had as a sophomore. Lack of consistency was a concern as a junior.
3rd Round: Gabe Jackson, OG Mississippi State
This is a BPA pick, and a need pick. Now, some of you may think he won't slip to us into the 3rd round, but you guys can be very much wrong. I looked at two NFL draft sites that are popular: Walter Football and Drafttek, and I see that Gabe Jackson, the 3rd rated OG in the draft, slips past us. I think this is in combination of the depth the draft has inCB and WR talent, and the fact that OGs just tend to slip (the best rated OG is a late first round, and Yankee is an early-mid 2nd rounder) due to the other skill positions in need with other teams.
So I say capitalize on it. We get a talented OG in a position of relative need. Boothe and Howard will both likely be decent OGs, but if Jackson can step in for either one of them (LG presumably), then we now have more good depth on the interior.
Why Gabe Jackson?
He is big, has long arms, is rated as a 2nd round prospect, and we have a need for OL, especially if Bridgewater is our franchise QB. Also athletic for his size.
There are no stats for Gabe Jackson of course, but here is a scouting report:
Excellent size with long arms and a thick lower body. Fundamentally sound with advanced technique. Quick out of his stance. Good anchor. Strong, efficient punch (can pop and recoil). Keeps his hands inside and controls defenders. Mirrors in pass protection. Walls off running lanes. Understands positioning and angles. Athletic enough to short pull effectively -- nice balance and body control for a big man. Good eyes, awareness and reactions. Smart and tough. Durable four-year starter and two-time captain. Professional makeup.
Lacks explosive power to shock defenders. Does not blow defenders off the ball in the run game. Average overall athletic ability and lateral agility. Is unsudden and lacks elite recovery quickness. Occasionally fails to dig his heels in and gives ground vs. strong bull rushes. Stressed to cut off fast-flowing linebackers.
Big, thickly built, relatively polished blocker who brings a steadying presence to the interior offensive line. Dependability and effectiveness blocking for pass and run combined with sterling intangibles, including football intelligence, make him capable of starting as a rookie and holding down a position for years to come. http://www.nfl.com/draft/2014/profiles/gabe-jackson?id=2543733
4th Round: Daniel McCuller, DT Tennessee
Yeah we got Tuitt, but we still need a NT, and we don't know if Pat Sims or McGee can be either of those players. McCullers would come in as a project player, but can also provide a great rotation at the DT and NT positions. I also really like McCullers height, as he can potentially bat passes down at the LOS.
Tuitt can also rotate into DE as well.
NT rotation: Sims, McCullers
DT rotation: Tuit, Smith, McGee
Passing downs (DL lineup): Tuitt - Tuck - Smith - Woodley
Short yardage downs (DL lineup): Tuck - Sims - McCullers - Tuitt
I mean, it's not like we will have every chance to rotate our DL, but at least with McCullers, we can rotate in with multiple looks, and keep Pat Sims fresh as well.
The downside of McCullers is that he doesn't add any pass rush. He is strictly a block/space eater, who frees up the other guys. Very good run defender though.
Looks every bit the part with a relatively lean build for a 350-pounder -- carries his weight well with some muscle definition and good overall body thickness. Rare size with vines for arms, an enormous wingspan and exceptional mass to occupy space and hold up multiple blockers -- has clear two-gap potential. Can overpower zone blockers with sheer size. Very durable and has not missed any games to injury throughout his career.
Duck-footed short-stepper with limited play range -- does not make plays outside the box. Lets his pads rise (first move is up), gets outleveraged and does not hold his ground as well as a man his size should. Gets turned out of the hole and sealed. Average body power to roll his hips and generate torque. Limited pass-rush potential (confirmed by 1.5 career sacks) -- is late off the ball, does not collapse the pocket and stays blocked too long. Must improve his hand use to disengage. Weight has fluctuated in the past -- exited high school pushing 400 pounds.
A big-bodied, short-area plugger with some underachiever traits, McCullers has raw tools that could become special if he learns to harness the innate strength in his body and pairs with a DL coach who can refine his mechanics.
(NOTE: Big NTs typically don't get many tackles or sacks)
(ANOTHER NOTE: I am very tired and I want this mock draft out there, so prepare for more links and quick thoughts!)
(Look at him eat up that 2012, NFL caliber Alabama OL)
7th: James Wilder Jr. RB Florida State
We have McFadden, MJD, Murray, and possibly Reece if you view him as a RB as well. Why pick a RB? Well.... we are not sure on the health of McFadden, Murray, or even MJD. Yeah, all three of those guys were injured last year, with McFadden and MJD having past injuries before last year as well.
Wilder may have some questions in regard with a concussion and shoulder injury last year, but we need depth at this position too, and Wilder is a talented MoFo who could turn into a beats if Murray doesn't step up, and MJD/McFadden are injured and need a rotation buddy.
--Dane Brugler/Rob Rang (1/7/14)
STRENGTHS: Explodes out of his cuts and runs with both power and determination. Flexible with twitchy moves and natural bend to lower his pads to take on contact, showing tremendous body control to contort his frame and keep the play alive.
Runs with purpose and leg drive, rarely going down at first contact, and sees the field well to anticipate holes and hit it with forward lean, always getting positive yardage. Will utilize a good stiff-arm to slip would-be tackles.
Often played his best in the Seminoles' biggest games.
WEAKNESSES: Shared carries while at Florida State, having never been the system's true featured back, so there are some questions as to whether he can be a feature runner at the next level and stay durable, especially with his physical run style (shoulder/concussion issues in 2013).
Handful of run-ins with the law during his FSU career.
COMPARES TO: Harvey Williams, ex-Chiefs/Raiders
Remember, he shared carries.
7th: (insert BPA player who we need depth at)
Seriously guys I am tired... and I have been working on this mock draft for over a week now..... insert whoever you like!