Happy Mock Day, Mockerinos! What's my favorite Chinese vegetable? Mock choy! What's my favorite British movie? Mock, Smock, and Two Mocking Barrels! What's my favorite J-Lo song? I'm still Jenny from the Mock, of course! I was going to make a Harper Lee joke about how my favorite novel was something other than To Kill a Mockingbird, but that was the only novel she wrote. Sign me up for that life!
It's that time of year when speculation on the NFL draft runs rampant and there are mock drafts aplenty, but really that could be said about any time of year. People love NFL mock drafts just like they love the NFL draft. Because of how many players each team needs and how many good college athletes there are, you can grab great NFL players all around the draft. This is harder to do in the NBA, where you'll only get a few stars each year or the MLB draft, where out of 1000s of names in the minors only a few will ever have an impact in the bigs.
This isn't true in the NFL. Sure, you'll have duds and you'll have a higher percentage of success at the top of the draft than you will at the bottom of it, but you can still grab excellent players (and excellent ones that you can get legitimately excited about) all around the first round. If there's one benefit to being a bad or mediocre team, it's that the NFL draft will have a lot of meaning to you, moreso than it will to a team like the Raiders.
And judging from all of the talk of what the Seahawks should or should not do at pick 12, y'all are super excited and it's all you want to talk about now that the uniforms have been revealed! It's all you want to talk about, you hear me?! Talk about it! Stop talking about the uniforms!
Okay fine, talk about whatever you want. Here we are today though to talk about the draft again. It's time to get back down to business, or as my white chocolate mama would say, "Get down to bid-nat!"
(My mom isn't white chocolate really, but that's a funny image!)
I've done some mocking of the NFL draft and you'll see it after the jump. It's cool because I am going to make guesses that are somewhat educated and yet they are still totally guesses. If it turns out that my guesses are wrong, you know what to do. (Call me an idiot, as per usual.)
Enough about me though... here are the picks!
Thanks for joining me after the jump. I forgot to mention with certainty that I am only mocking the first 12 picks. This is because I only care about what happens in the first 12 picks right now. Because this is a Seahawks blog. If you are a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, HA! You got fooled, son! Might as well keep reading though.
The Colts are on the clock....
1. Indianapolis Colts select QB Andrew Luck, Stanford
This pick isn't necessarily set in stone, but it's either going to be Luck or Griffin and it's definitely not going to be traded. The Colts have moved on from Peyton Manning and they have no quarterback, which makes it about as perfect a marriage as the Colts could have asked for. The odds of Luck to the Colts are probably as good as 90% and they'd have to see some sort of flaw in Luck in order to draft Griffin, who has declined to meet with the Colts.
It makes sense that RGIII would decline to do it, because A) It's probably a waste of time and B) There's far less of an economical advantage of being taken number one as compared to number two as there used to be. There's also less pressure when you're not the #1 pick, and less pressure to follow Manning. The Redskins also look more poised to compete in 2012 than the Colts do. It seems ridiculous to say this now, but the Redskins could very well be a better destination than Indianapolis, right now.
That leaves Luck as the franchise player in Indy.
2. Washington Redskins select QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor
I just said all of that stuff above. Doesn't that help explain this pick. The only way that this pick is not a 100% certainty is if the Colts take Griffin. Then the pick is 100% Luck. It's absolutely, without a doubt, either Robert Griffin or Andrew Luck. Things like this make mocks super easy for one or two picks.
3. Minnesota Vikings select LT Matt Kalil, USC
In some alternate universe, Luck and Griffin return to school and Kalil enters the draft and is the consensus number one pick. Maybe in that alternate universe, Peyton Manning stays in Indy because obviously Jim Irsay realizes that he can't replace Manning like he could have with Luck. In that alternate universe, the Broncos don't trade Tim Tebow and he ends up being named starter in July. And in this alternate reality, you wear shoes on your
feet hands! And hamburgers eat people!
Kalil would be a number one pick in many years, but in this year and in this reality, he's going to go number three and provide Christian Ponder protection and open lanes for Adrian Peterson.
4. Cleveland Browns select QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
Now comes the fun part, because every pick from here on out is pretty close to a guessing game. It's a balancing act of needs, best player available, and history of the coach, GM, and team to determine what is the most likely thing to happen. I have done my balancing and determined that the Browns might very well select Tannehill. (Notice how I didn't say "will select"? I'm one smart dude.)
Needs: The Browns needs thems a quarterback. They have always needed a quarterback. In the entire history of their expansion franchise, Cleveland has needed a quarterback.
Best player available? Questionable but he's the best quarterback available by a mile. Tannehill's stock is soaring with experts like Mike Mayock saying he's got all the tools to be a franchise quarterback but that he's going to need time. The Browns have a capable quarterback in Colt McCoy but I don't think he'll ever be more than a backup in the NFL. What he can be though is the 2012 stopgap until Tannehill takes over in 2013.
History? Well, the Browns don't have a history of drafting a QB high since they whiffed on Tim Couch. If this made them gunshy on taking a QB, then that is stupid. Mike Holmgren struck gold with Matt Hasselbeck and succeeded with a second round pick in Brett Favre, but that doesn't mean it's the only way to acquire a franchise quarterback. GM Tom Heckert spent most of his time with the Eagles and came in just after they drafted Donovan McNabb so he's never been a part of a team that drafted a QB high. The history suggests that the Browns won't take Tannehill, but logic says that they probably should.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select CB Morris Claiborne, LSU
LeGarrette Blount says, "No. Backfield mine! LeGarrette don't wanna share the ball! I'm taking my ball and going home!" if the Bucs draft Trent Richardson. Well, the Bucs should draft a running back in the draft this year, but they can do that later. Forget about wonderlic scores, I feel as confident in Claiborne to the Bucs as I do about Kalil to the Vikings. He's a perfect example of the kind of player that the Bucs draft.
6. St. Louis Rams select RB Trent Richardson, Alabama
Steven Jackson is going to be 29 and has carried the ball over 2,000 times in his career. The Rams have picks 33 and 39 to fill needs but can use the number six pick to take the best player available and Richardson is potentially the best overall player in the draft. There won't be as many talented running backs in the 2nd round as there will potentially be good wide receivers like Alshon Jeffery, Mohamed Sanu, and Rueben Randle.
The Rams can take Richardson in the first and a tackle/WR at the top of the second and immediately overhaul the leagues worst offense.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars select WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
I've been watching Blaine Gabbert play and becoming less concerned about his ability to play QB in the NFL at a high level. I don't know that he will be great, but I don't know that he won't either because he was given no chance last year in Jacksonville. The pocket almost immediately collapses on every play and the Jags had the worst WR corps in the NFL. This pick could be an offensive lineman but more than likely it's a good chance for the Jags to take a wide receiver to complement Gabbert. And if Michael Floyd is nice, he will also compliment Gabbert, probably on his shiny locks or having the name "Blaine."
Every day it seems like Michael Floyd gains a little bit more ground on Blackmon and I think eventually he will overcome him. Floyd has the size, speed and physicality to be a number one wide receiver and I think he just has fewer on-field question marks than Blackmon.
8. Miami Dolphins select WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
That doesn't mean that Blackmon isn't a great prospect. With no Tannehill, the Dolphins will have to focus on getting help around the QB now that Brian Hartline and Davone Bess are the top two receivers left in Miami. As I said before, the draft is very deep in wide receivers so they don't have to take one at eight and they could take Melvin Ingram or fill another need, but Blackmon will be too good to pass up.
If Blackmon is gone and Floyd is available, then that might be the pick.
9. Carolina Panthers select DT Fletcher Cox
Cox has vaulted himself to the position of "Best DT in the Draft" and the Panthers will look at the board and decide it would be the best value pick of the remaining players to take Cox and fill a hole on defense. They could add a pass rusher, a linebacker, or go somewhere else entirely, but the agility and ability of Cox makes him a fine pick.
Dontari Poe proved to be a freak of nature at the combine but hasn't yet been consistent and wildly productive on the field.
10. Buffalo Bills select TE Coby Fleener, Stanford
Woo! A surprise! I love surprises!
As Thomas Beekers keeps telling me, the NFL it is a changin'! Even though that phrase is Western American and Beekers is over in England or something, that's what he keeps saying! And he says that tight ends like Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham are changing offenses and becoming as valuable as ever.
Well, Fleener might not be mocked this high on a lot of drafts yet, but he should be. He's got the size to be an elite tight end. He also posted faster 40 times and other speed-centric numbers than what Gronk did on his own Pro Day. He also was pretty productive at Stanford.
I can't remember the last time the Bills had a good pass-catching tight end. Last year, Scott Chandler came out of nowhere to be kind of productive but he'll always be limited while Fleener can be outstanding. Buffalo got help on the defensive side of the ball with Mario Williams, now they need to address the offense. The offense was pretty good at times last year but what they are missing they can fill with Fleener. Fill with Fleener! Fill with Fleener! Fill with Fleener!
Go chant that, Bills fans. Now.
You're going to Buffalo, Coby. How do you feel?
11. Kansas City Chiefs select G David DeCastro, Stanford
I really wish that the Seahawks had won the coin toss. It would be one less stupid guess that I'd have to make. It's especially tough with the Chiefs because like my ex-girlfriend, I don't know what you want! Just tell me what you want!
I still think that this is too high for a guard and that it's more of a luxury pick but then I think about the Chiefs season. I think about how Jamaal Charles only played in one game really. I think about how Matt Cassel only played in nine games. I think about how Eric Berry only played in zero games. And yet the Chiefs went 7-9 by the end of the year and had a pretty good defense.
What they needed was help on an offense that scored thirteen points a game but they might already have much of that skill position help. They need more guys in the trenches and DeCastro is the best guard to come around in ten years. The Chiefs really weren't very far off from winning the AFC West for two straight years and even with Peyton Manning in Denver, they might be surprise people again in 2012.
Can you guess which of these pictures is of David DeCastro and which is Abraham Benrubi from Parker Lewis Can't Lose?
Trick question: They're both Abraham Benrubi!
12. Seattle Seahawks select....
I did something similar to this exercise a month ago and gave three possibilities as to who the Hawks could draft and who could be available. I only did one possibility today, so I must be slippin'. Or I just don't like you anymore. Nah, I still like you, dog.
In that exercise I gave options in which the Hawks could draft Melvin Ingram, Luke Kuechly, or Ryan Tannehill. In that time the Hawks signed Matt Flynn and the stock of Tannehill has gone up to the point where it's not much of a real possibility anymore anyway. Maybe the Browns don't draft him, but the Dolphins probably would.
I had Ingram mocked to a team earlier but then I changed my mind. I didn't do it because I wanted him to be available for Seattle, I just didn't think he fit in as well with that team. My mock seriously does have all of the pass rushers available.
Best players available:
ILB Luke Kuechly
DT Dontari Poe
DE Quentin Coples
OLB Courtney Upshaw
OT Riley Reiff
DE Melvin Ingram
So what should Seattle do with this big board?
Riley Reiff would slide right in at tackle and give the Hawks the option to move James Carpenter to guard when he's healthy, which might be a much better position for him anyway. It would give Seattle "the best young offensive line in the NFL," which sounds awfully familiar. Can Seattle really use three straight first round picks on offensive lineman, three of which were drafted to be tackles?
Upshaw seems to be slipping in the mocks because of his label as a tweener. Too small to play DE?
Luke Kuechly could be a tackling machine. He could have an outstanding football IQ and outstanding athleticism. But the Hawks seem to have set themselves up in a way to basically make a statement of: We can do this without an elite MLB. Unless there's a guy who looks like he'll be the next Ray Lewis or Patrick Willis, you don't draft a MLB at twelve. Pete keeps saying this is a very deep draft for linebackers.
It comes down to Quentin Coples and Melvin Ingram. Frankly, if one of them is gone and one is available, I think that if Seattle stays at twelve then they'll take the best DE available out of those two. Coples could be a fantastic, double-digit sack totals kind of defensive end. He has the athleticism to do it but does he have the motivation?
I think Ingram is the higher-rated DE and therefore it's less likely that he'll fall to twelve but as I just showed in my mock, and it was a serious mock without bias, that he could very well be there because of moves made by other teams. Coples will be the pick if Ingram is gone but if he's available I think its obvious because what does Pete Carroll also always stress? Versatility. And Ingram's got that.
"Pete, you get to draft Andrew Luck!"
"The best player available is Marshall Lobbestael, QB Washington State."
"Kidding again. You get Melvin Ingram!"
The Seattle Seahawks select DE/OLB Melvin Ingram, South Carolina.
What say you?
Follow me on Twitter where I also have a lot of versatility.