I often times will eschew starting off my annual draft coverage with a Mock Draft because I feel I need to more fully analyze the positions so that my loyal readership will have a thorough understanding of why their team is wasting a pick on Devon Still.
Because if nothing else, my thousands of blog and twitter followers know one thing – this is the only blog on the entire World Wide Web to get all the key information you need to know. Justin Blackmon plays the drums…Joe Haluhuni’s nickname is “The Tank”…Michael Smith has 5 sisters…Eddie Pleasant was once less than satisfied after receiving a double chai latte (instead of a Cafe Americano) at the Eugene Starbucks on campus and that Nigel Bradham once killed an alligator with his bare hands, skinned and fried it over an open flame, in the process saving (and feeding) a family of four from Illinois who were vacationing in the Everglades. On the down side, he has high-hips.
But as always, the draft has snuck up on me the way Helen Hunt sneaked into America’s heart shortly after the debut episode of “Mad About You.” With an obnoxious voice and a penchant to overact in lieu of true comedy chops. But like Paul Reiser, that won’t stop me from having a solid 10 year run (if not more).
So I’ll piece together what I can in the coming days but here’s the 1,238,302th mock draft of 2012 – but this is the only one that counts…as well as Gil Brandt’s but very few people listen to NFL Radio.
1. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford.
Can Indy get Lucky twice with Peyton 2.0? As long as rumors of crystal meth addiction are nothing more than vicious slander from this site, the answer is probably so.
2. WASHINGTON REDSKINS – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Hard not to like this Baylor graduate, but Cam Newton’s success could make expectations unrealistic and going to the dysfunctional Redskins isn’t likely to help much.
3. MINNESOTA VIKINGS – Matt Kalil, OT, USC
Rumors of the Vikings trading this pick likely won’t come true because it’s the Vikings and they have a hard enough time drafting players on time little pull off a trade. Listen, forget the 30 reps or projected LT stalwart status – he blocked 5 kicks in college! That’s just 5 more than BK blocked shots during his barnstorming summer basketball tour of ’93.
4. CLEVELAND BROWNS – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Cleveland won’t draft Ryan Tannehill here for no particular reason other than the fact that Michael Holmgrem just won’t. While it’s not hard to see Richardson as effective in the NFL with flashes, it’s harder to see him as a superstar in the show. I thought it was right when initially he was projected between 15-20. But as his draft status grows it seems like he may be overdrafted.
5. TAMPA BAY BUCANEERS – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
Even if Cleveland doesn’t draft Richardson, I think Tampa Bay goes CB. They have no corners left…Ronde Barber’s may go to safety and Aqib Talib is in prison. But on the plus side, he’ll probably be able to finish his degree now. So what if Claiborne scored a 5 on his wunderlik. What do you expect from a General Studies major at Louisiana State. What classes could that possibly consist of? I’m assuming ball-room dance, a work-study at the Marine Biology lab, and a couple pass/fail Gerontology classes. Rick Perry just got a 3 on his wunderlik and look at how well he’s done in life. My bigger concern would be that he’s good but won’t be a shut-down corner in the NFL.
6. ST. LOUIS RAMS – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahome State
Recent hubalub has the Rams passing on Blackmon and going with MSU’s Fletcher Cox, but the recent signing of Kendall Lawford and Trevor Laws makes me think that the Rams are going Blackmon so he can give Sam Bradford a sleek target to underthrow. Blackmon has silly-talent. The two-time Belitnikoff winner got into a minor scrub off-the-field recently but as soon as he realizes that Dez Bryant is a clown that he needs not to emulate, he should be just fine.
7. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
It’s just possible that if ownership was crazy enough to try and trade for Tim Tebow, maybe they’d draft Ryan Tannehill. But they already invested into one 1-year starter that didn’t pan out in Blaine Gabbert, they couldn’t possibly go for another two-years in a row, could they? It’d be great theater if they did, but instead I think you have to try and do the best you can to give Gabbert as much assistance as possible. He was so girly in the pocket last year and with Michael Floyd too big a risk why not grab the big oaf from Iowa City. Sure with short 33″ arms you’d like to think the Rilester could do more than 23 reps but he comes from an offensive line factory that if nothing else means he could settle into right tackle spot. Even if he’s mediocre that makes him much better protection than incumbent Guy Whimper can provide.
8. MIAMI DOLPHINS – Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
There’s a part of me that feels the Dolphins aren’t on the Tannehill bandwagon and if that’s true than maybe they take a chance on Michael Floyd here and hope either Matt Moore or David Garrard can find him. Or they ignore their offensive needs and go with talent in Melvin Ingram or Quinton Coples. But I imagine if he’s around the Fins have no choice. It is CRAZY that Tannehill is going in the first round at all, little Top 10. It’s not that he’s an ex-receiver (BK was once a waiter before mastering the cliche’s of reality TV) it’s that he wasn’t that efficient in a pass-happy conference. He strikes me as a classic combine/workout wonder that will struggle when in a game at this level. Like my disappointment after sleeping with Megan Fox. I should have just ignored the peer pressure and hid the sock with Tilda Swinton again.
9. CAROLINA PANTHERS – Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
Christmas comes early for Ron Rivera, if not Cam Newton, as this non-graduate from the academic powerhouse that isn’t Mississippi State arrives in Charlotte. My feeling is that Cox still has room to grow – physically and as a player. If he does, he could be that rare combination of stability and play-making ability on the inside.
10. BUFFALO BILLS – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
There’s a lot of different directions Buffalo can go in, but with owner Ralph Wilson close to passing to the other side, the Bills will take some chances. This usually doesn’t turn out well – like when dying Washington Wizard owner Abe Pollan said he was all in and GM Ernie Grunweld interpreted that to mean he should trade a 1st round draft pick for Randy Foye. That’s like trying to make a name at your senior prom by bringing Dahlia Denyle. Either get Amia Miley or stay the course. Like Denyle’s crippling addiction to opiates, the talented Floyd is an unfulfilled problem waiting for jail. Here’s the thing: WR’s are a moody, whiny, self-important lot. One drunken incident is “immaturity”; three is “stupidity”. Floyd also lacks explosiveness – like an alcoholic Vincent Jackson. On the plus side, if his football career doesn’t work out there is a crying need in Buffalo for Sociologists, which luckily enough for Michael is what he majored in.
11. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
The Chiefs have sort of become to the NFL what “Castle” is to prime-time network TV. Neither is particularly interesting but the Chiefs seem to manage to be moderately competitive and “Castle” brings in enough of a rating to hang around. However, at least the Chiefs made some progress in the off-season…”Castle” is a lost cause. Theoretically, the one glaring hole right now is Nose Tackle, which neither Brockers nor the other possible pick, Donateri Poe from Memphis, is and you could make a claim that Poe projects better in that role. Poe was a combine superstar. His 44 reps forced BK to change his pants, and the 4.56 20-yd shuttle and 4.98 40-dash are pretty sweet too. But Poe was not a performer in college against mid-level competition. Brockers was also inconsistent and didn’t lift at the combine but he had his moments at LSU and really only played one-year before leaving LSU early (although he only attended 2 General Studies classes while in Baton Rouge and one was a work-study mowing Les Miles’ lawn). Romeo Crennel likes to think of himself as a guru of two things – Defense and Jelly Donuts. And Brockers is really good at eating jelly donuts. His ceiling seems much higher than Poe and my guess is KC takes the plunge.
12. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – Melvin Ingram, OLB, South Carolina
The so-called “experts” feel that the Seahawks have to get a pass-rushing defensive end and if Quentin Coples from UNC is still here Pete Carroll and friends will be tempted to jump on the full-of-potential “Q”. In addition, Melvin Ingram was surprisingly un-impactful in the Senior Bowl. But Ingram is coming off a much better senior-season against generally tougher competition than Coples (10 Sacks, 15 Tackles for a loss) and since he can play both end and OLB (where Seattle is playing Leroy Hill on far too many downs) Ingram seemingly makes a better pick. With all of that said, I actually like USC’s Nick Perry in the long-run better than Coples or Ingram – who despite all his skill sometimes relys too much on the same moves figuring his skills will overcome work – like Philip Seymour Hoffman in Pirate Radio. But Perry would be considered a reach at 12 and if Carroll drafts a USC guy and it doesn’t work out everyone’s is going to make fun of him and it could shatter Carroll’s fragile sense of self.
13. ARIZONA CARDINALS – Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College
Many times, BK has had his heart-broken. Going to the Senior Prom with Kristen Gallagher; Not Having “Floatation Marks” accepted to the SlamDance film festival; Dave Meggett being accused of sexual misconduct; Esera Tuaolo not being accused of sexual misconduct; Jerrel Jernigan. But the Cardinals drafting the tackle machine that is the middle son of Eileen and Tom Kuechly may top them all. For the past 3 months BK has been furiously trying to contact Jerry Reese and offer a variety of packages the Giants could offer to trade up for the Kook so his 4.58 40-dash, 27 reps and 6.92 3-cone could find a home in Met Life Stadium. But all that resulted in is (another) restraining order for BK and the Cardinals deciding to resist the temptation to draft Coples, Stanford OG David DeCastro, or Baylor wideout Kendall Wright and instead settle in on the former high-school Lacrosse player. I can’t say I’m as high on Kuechly as he looks more like a solid pro than redefining force in the middle and I’m not sure ‘bama’s Donte Highsmith doesn’t have the potential (key word “potential”) to become a better player. But with that said, Luke grades out as the highest linebacker in the draft and won’t slip further than this.
14. DALLAS COWBOYS – Quentin Coples, DE, North Carolina
Alabama corner Dre Kirkpatrick or Stanford’s DeCastro make more sense, but Jerry Jones will be entranced by Coples’ skills the same way he was entranced by Algerian stripper “Sterling” at Baby Dolls back in ’98 which is what led to his atrocious plastic surgery. Plus, the Cowboys can’t beat the Giants so they’ll probably figure why not join ’em and in Coples he probably sees a Jason Pierre-Paul like talent. Too bad Jason Pierre-Paul knows nothing but work while Cople’s will know nothing but the fact that Baby Doll’s has all-night 2-for-1 dance specials on Tuesdays. Some notes on Coples – he had 2.5 less sacks his Senior Season than Junior year and refused to switched to DT from DE because he felt increasing his draft stock was more important than making the team better. Than again, moving him to DT was a pretty stupid idea. So is the Cowboys drafting Coples but Jerry Jones is the dumbest Owner-cum-GM in the league (although he’s also the smartest but that’s just a technicality).
15. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
Lots of different ways these lost souls in the lost city of cheese steaks and misery could go. Kirkpatrick and DeCastro might be the best players on the board at this point and you could justify those picks and Poe could go here too. But I think the Eagles go more immediate need and unless they think big Bulldog Kordy Glenn projects as an OLT (which he did play surprisingly well in the Senior Bowl) I think they go with Barron who’s far less of a reach at 15. There were some questions about his athleticism and the hernia surgery he had in the off-season that prevented him from working out at the combines didn’t help. In addition, there’s some thought that Barron’s skill sets make him uniquely “unqualified” to play the modern day strong-safety position which often times requires covering slot receivers. Thus he’s just the kind of misguided, silly pick the Eagles would make.
16. NEW YORK JETS – Courtney Upshaw, DE, Alabama
Well the Jets are just an abortion waiting to happen in 2012, huh? Which makes it ironic they traded for Tim Tebow. And considering that offense was their biggest problem, drafting a good ROT like Kordy Glenn or a wide-receiver who isn’t a complete asshole such as Kendall Wright would make a lot of sense. But since this is likely to be Rex Ryan’s last year after the Jets limp home to a 3-13 finish, my guess is he tries to go with what he knows best and drafts defense. Not a bad choice in Upshaw, who disappointed me in ‘bama’s first meeting against LSU but than emerged necessarily in the national championship game. His 8.5 sacks is impressive for how UA played defense and for that conference although at times I questioned exactly what his physicals were as all he did at the combines was an average 22 reps. But he ran well at his Pro-Day and he strikes me as an end who occasionally stands in pass-rushing situations. None of this matters though. Even if Upshaw turns into a player, the Jets are cooked.
17. CINCINNATI BENGALS – Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
The temptation to go with Dre’ Kirkpatrick will be great for Mike Brown. But I’m just going to assume their draft board is all jacked up anyway so the choice will be between two players to improve an offense that needs some improvement – DeCastro vs. Wright. Current Bengal receiver Jerome Simpson was arrested for drug possession this off-season which could mean they go with DeCastro as Cincy usually looks at such transgressions as a positive. But Andy Dalton went to a school in Texas and Wright went to a school in Texas and and if Wright can combine with last year’s #1 A.J. Green than it’s possible the Bengals could have a lethal tandem. Wright lit it up as RGIII’s favorite target last year catching over 100 balls for over 1500 yards and 13 TD’s and his sub 4.5 40’s at his Pro Day also seems to have set scouts at ease after this drowsy 4.61 the combines. I like Wright and think he’ll make an impact and I’m always 100% correct on my wide receiver predictions.
18. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – David DeCastro, OG, Standford.
San Diego really has needs on the offensive line and there are two players from Stanford in Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro who could both play immediately. But pass defense was pitiful for the Chargers too last year meaning that Nick Perry or Marcellius Whitney will be tempting in an attempt to provide a pass rush and Kirkpatrick is a possibility here too. Ultimately, though, DeCastro will rate as the best player on the board even if he does play a less “impact” position than the others. So the sharp-minded DeCastro will bring his deft trapping and 34 reps to QualComm where he should help add anywhere from 0.1 to 0.11 yards a carry for Ryan Mathews.
19. CHICAGO BEARS – Johnathan Martin, OT, Stanford.
Chicago has to finally do something about that offensive line, don’t they? You could justify a guard or tackle here, which makes me think Kordy Glenn is your safest pick and I think he’s a better player than Martin. But again if you don’t buy Glenn as a LT and if you have a QB who’s ended his last two seasons on the sidelines with an injury than you have to go LT if you think Martin is comparable to Glenn. The Brainiac from North Hollywood went to Harvard-Westlake in L.A. I once tutored a kid from Harvard-Westlake in Math. He got a 1580 on the SAT’s. In a similar vein, Johnathan Martin did a womanly 20 reps at the combines but he has a complete understanding of how invisible numbers work.
20. TENNESSEE TITANS – Nick Perry, DE, USC
The Titans are a funny team. And by funny, I mean boring. They don’t really have any blatant holes but they don’t have any outstanding strengths either with the possible exceptions of Wide Receiver and Running Back if Kenny Britt and Chris Johnson both bounce back. Kind of like U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Before the signing of Steve Hutchinson, I would have put Kordy Glenn in this spot but now I think they go for pass rush and since they need defensive lineman more than OLB’s, I say the pick here is Perry over Whitney (as well as raw to the touch Andre Branch from Clemson). Perry’s got some real upside if in the right environment. He’d be great with the Giants – we’ll see if Tennessee knows how to use the man who as a junior in 2011 led the Pac-10 in sacks with a half over 9. Then again, the Pac-10 kinda blew last year. Still, he did a 38.5 vert. 38.5! I haven’t seen that kind of explosion since BK’s lost his virginity to a Hong Kong hooker back in ’96.
21. CINCINNATI BENGAS – Kordy Glenn, OG, Georgia
Kordy Glenn was THE BEST Offensive Lineman at this year’s Senior Bowl. Now that doesn’t mean he’s the best OL in the draft but it was an eye-opener and probably moved the guy up from an early 2 to someone who could get drafted in the Top 20. The Bengals could go DeCastro at 17 and likely still get Wright at 21 but again that Bengals draft room will start to get confused sometime shortly after the 2nd pick. Glenn wasn’t great at the combines, but I can live with his 31 reps and his 5-flat 20-shut is fine for a guard, which is where he will play with the Natti. The winner of the Green-Sands Football Scholarship shows he’s got a head on his shoulders (even though I have no ideawhat the Green-Sands Football Scholarship is) and his 50-starts shows durability (and possibly early onset dementia). Still, my guess is Glenn and DeCastro both will make bigger impacts as guards this year than any OT other than Kalil will.
22. CLEVELAND – Dre’ Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
There are three (3) ways to look at the Browns 2nd pick in the First Round. They could continue to try to give Colt McCoy’s offensive toys (can you say “Stephen Hill”…neither can I) or at least protection to spare him another ‘cussion (maybe that pot head Mike Adams?). They could also go defense and corner is a need. The third way to look at this is that Cleveland is a dying city with an overrated President in Mike Holmgrem and they haven’t yet paid the devil back for all of those Otto Graham championships back in the ’50’s. I’m not as high on the cock-sure Kirkpatrick and his misleading Irish name. How hard is it to be a shut-down corner in a conference where half the teams grind the ball out in boring option attacks? Heck, even BK managed to be a shut-down corner in the Holmdel Park touch football game in ’90 because QB Shawn Esposito wouldn’t pass. Who could blame him, with those steel-toed boots he was wearing. But Patty Kirkpatrick ran a respectable 4.51 40 at the combines with the requisite amount of burst on the vert and he probably will be the highest rated player on the board at this point so the Browns will sort of half to take him.
23. DETROIT LIONS – Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Detroit was one of those rare “fashionable” pre-season picks last year that actually came through, with their first playoff appearance since the James K. Polk administration and watching them play was almost as exciting as the firebrand Polk, best known for bad skin and being infertile. Tackle is the obvious need here, and before his trip to Coachella, I might have leaned towards Ohio State behemoth Mike Adams. They could also go with the CB Stephen Gilmore, who might be the highest rated player on the board but that would be B-O-R-I-N-G. So, I think the choice is between the speedy Stephen Hill (that’s right – another big-time weapon for Matty Staff) or Peter Konz. And I say the statement that will be screamed throughout Detroit, other than “Put that gun down” will be “Why not Konz?” This communication arts Badger would be a sure first rounder if it wasn’t for a series of injury issues – blood clots, dislocated ankles, depression after the final season of “The Wire.” But take that away, and the Konzinator has first round talent and quite frankly Stafford-on-Avon needs a better ass then aging Dominic Raiola to stick his precious hands under.
24. PITTSBURGH STEELERS – Whitney Mercilius, OLB, Illinois
The obvious answer is Offensive Line. But Mike Adams’ indiscretions may make him undraftable in the first. I also think a bunch of different running backs (Martin, Wilson, Miller) could be justified and certainly the Memphis workout wunderkind Dontari Poe would make all sorts of sense from a need standpoint with elderly Casey Hampton coming off ACL surgery and already laying down an initial downpayment on a CCRC in Lebanon. Yet Whitney is rising faster than BK after a trip to a Tijuana strip brothel and with the Steelers linebackers aging quicker than the Trader Joe’s 100% Whole Grain bread mixed with flax seed and A1 that I bought 3 weeks ago, my instinct tells me if he’s on the board Coach T won’t be able to pass on him. He seemingly came out of nowhere to record 16 sacks in the Big Ten as a junior and his Haitian heritage will have some comparing him to Hall-of-Fame shoe-in Jason Pierre-Paul. His 4.38 shut wasn’t anything to sneeze about either and don’t overlook that he kept on the straight in narrow by getting a 3.0 G.P.A. in high-school while under the ever watchful eye of coach Bob Sax. I only achieved a 2.8 under the less than watchful eye of Ed Reckage but I did do the short shut in 4.12.
25. DENVER BRONCOS – Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
Picking higher ranked players like Poe or Gilmore might make more sense and certainly would fill some needs. But you don’t hoist your team’s future on the crippling neck of a 35-year-old quarterback and not give him toys to play with. Sure, Peyton negotiated an all you can visit pass at Kitty’s East on Colfax when he signed with the Broncos and his commercials with Elway promoting Ford Broncos should be HEE-friggin-LARIOUS. But I think the Broncos are too tempted by the college Bronco Martin. There is seemingly nothing the Muscle Hamster can’t do. In college, he was an effective runner, receiver, blocker and returner and showed all of those skills at the Senior Bowl. Then at the combines, he shined, clocking in a 4.55 40 (an unofficially a 4.46), bursting 35″ on the Vert and a RB impressive 28 reps. So with so much defensive talent on the board, I think Denver goes “O”.
26. HOUSTON TEXANS – Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
Stephen Hill is hot. I mean red-hot. Frank’s Red Hot Sauce Hot. And not just because he burned his hand while heating up a cup of Yerba Mate tea infused with Mint this morning. The 6-4, 215lbs. Hill only caught 28 balls in Georgia Tech’s run-oriented offense (albeit for over 800 yards) and receivers who can block downfield don’t usually create good YouTube fodder. But Hill was one of the stars in Indy, clocking in a white-hot 4.36, exploding a 39.5″ vert and stretching himself to a 133″ broad. In fact, his long jump at the combines was so good it would have placed him 9th at the Olympic Games. NINTH! Not even Victor Cruz could do that. Well, wait, Victor Cruz can do anything but why bother, with his off-season apparel company that he operates out of his apartment doing so well. Hill seems like a good teammate too, but BK is sour on him. “Won’t pan out,” screeches BK while munching on a Chicken Breast sandwich smeared with Gu on a Kaiser Roll. “You can’t just suddenly become a player.” But I say – SI SE PUEDE – which I believe translates to “Give Barack Obama money” but I’m not sure. I like Hill and think he’ll become Matt Schaub’s 3rd favorite receiver up until Schaub gets hurt and is lost for the season in Week 4.
27. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – Stephen Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
Like Whitney and Hill, Gilmore is climbing fast and BK predicts a Top 10 selection. But BK also picked a win for Voila Davis as Best Actress at last year’s Oscar’s, but that was primarily to piss off his mom. Still, this seems like a gift for Belichek and the boys if he somehow does last to this position. Gilmore’s 4.4-40 was only outshined at the combines by sub 4.00 20-shut. He’s considered to be a smart kid who understands the defensive side of the football like a coach, but then again he played for Steve Spurrier so that’s not a high hurdle to leap. Honestly, the odds of Gilmore slipping behind Kirkpatrick or lasting until the late first seem highly unlikely but I’m not re-doing my draft board so let’s just leave him here and move on.
28. GREEN BAY PACKERS – Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
While I think the Pack may be tempted to draft a Running Back, there’s enough post-Richardson depth that’s likely to be around in the Late 2nd that they have to do something to improve that pourous D and creating a pass rush would be a good place to start. At this point, it would seemingly be a choice between Clemson’s Andre Branch and the ‘cuse’s Jones. There’s a lot to like about Jones, including his 35″ wingspan paired with a black-belt in martial arts and the fact that his brother is a fighter in the UFC. There’s also reason to be cautious, coming off a knee injury and being less dominant than one would expect playing in the Big East. Still, if Jones has his health than this pick could be stealth.
29. BALTIMORE RAVENS – Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall
Vinny Curry has “Raven” written all over him. His sister Shawanda was an avid Poe fan and had it plastered to his left ass cheek – against father Vinny, Sr. wishes I might add – when he was just 7. Curry projected to be a 2nd rounder and a wrist injury seemed to seal that fate heading into the combines. But a fantastic Pro Day highlighted by a sub-4.7 40-dash and the fact that he was an impact player in the MAC make him a high 2nd rounder at worst. And the fact that he’s considered a leader and, similarly to Gilmore, a defensive-savant make him a perfect fit as a late-round steal for a team that breathes D.
30. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin
Although I think it’s possible if DeCastro slips, the 49ers could try to make a trade up for him, the more likely selection is Zeitler. In fact, this seems to be the most likely to occur pick after Luck and RG3. The big Zeit’s is no speed demon and a little slow on quickness too but who cares, he’s a guard. The 3-year starter weight in at over 3 bills and had 142 knockdown blocks – which is indicative of nothing. However his 32 reps is borderline Petrus-like and there’s no reason not to believe he won’t be perfectly adequate – just like the San Francsico Museum of Art, the San Francisco Giants and the San Francsico Airport. Actually, I’m lying – that airport is not acceptable – delays every morning.
31. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – Donteri Poe, DT, Memphis
With two picks, New England probably trades this one. They could also go with a Running Back like Lamar Miller out of Miami who seems like just the sort of project that gets Bill Belichek to go all Bonnie Bernstein on you. And Branch could fit here too. But if Poe is on the board, that’s a lot of talent for the Pats to pass on and playing behind Vince Wilfork for a year is just the kind of apprenticeship he needs so Belichek can trade or cut Wilfork in 2013. The stats on Poe at Memphis (where he left as a junior) were okay as he played significant snaps all 3 years. However, it was his combine results – including a sub 5.0 40-dash and an absolutely Chris Lee-like 44 reps that catapulted the 346-lbs. Poe into the first round. However, his stock seems to be slipping a bit as many wonder if he has an NFL motor although he’ll no doubt buy a souped-up pick-up with his signing bonus. He likely goes earlier than this – but there’s no way he goes later.
32. NEW YORK GIANTS – Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama
So many ways the Giants could go here…TE Cody Fleener from Stanford, DT Jenel Worthy from Michigan State, DT Kendell Reyes from UConn, RB Robert Wilson from Virginia Tech. Even Mike Adams if he hasn’t completely blown it. But I think the Giants go with Hightower. The re-signing of Chase Blackburn means he doesn’t have to start right away and he has big-time potential and projects as a MLB. He was ‘bama’s best defensive player in the first LSU meeting while playing his role in ‘bama’s inspired National Championship romp. He’s fast, strong and plays big. I like this pick for the G-Men.