Back again for the 3rd year, bringing you my 7 Round Mock Draft, I am still utilizing a computer app to make picks for the other 31 teams. This year, we currently have 8 picks, with none in the 5th round, but 2 in the 4th and 7th rounds.
I say currently, since we may wind up with another pick or two as compensatory picks for losing free agents vs signing free agents. Landry comes to mind, as he would be worth a late 3rd round compensatory pick if he walks.
As everyone knows by now, we are looking for 2 possible starters at OLB and OG. Plus depth at RB, DE, TE and OL. Our first pick must be a homerun. We cannot afford to wiff on this pick.
I see us taking one of these 3 players: Quentin Nelson, OG from Notre Dame who would be an immediate starter or Roquan Smith, LB out of Georgia, also an immediate starter or Tremaine Edmunds, LB out of Virginia Tech if he happens to fall if there is a 4 or 5 time QB run and Nelson, Smith and Barkley go as well.
Round 1, Pick 11: Odds are Roquan Smith, 6'1", 225 lbs, will be our guy here and would set up our second round pick as well. Smith, an elite athlete, would start immediately on the outside as he can run sideline to sideline and cover TEs, which has been a glaring sore spot this past season. Teamed with a returning healthy Raekwon McMillan, our LB Corps gets an immediate boost of youth and athleticism.
Round 2, Pick 10: Since we got the LB in the first round, we now address the LG spot and pick Will Hernandez, OG out of Texas-El Paso. This, I believe, will be our game plan since there is a much better chance for us to grab a starting OG in the second round than a starting LB in the second round. Unless someone falls, the drop off in depth of this year's draft is pretty severe at LB from the first round. Hernandez is tough as nails but lacks height, he is only 6'2", and length some teams would want so he can be had in the 2nd round. At 348 lbs, he started all 4 years at LG and possesses the power, balance and athletic ability but in a smaller package. He is reminiscent of Richie Incognito.
Round 3, Pick 9: I will admit that this is a bit of a reach here by grabbing Duke Ejiofor, DE out of Wake Forest. Many see him going in the 4th round, but at this point in the draft, he is highest on our board for a position of need. Ejiofor comes in at 6'4", 270 pounds and plays to his strengths by utilizing his arm length to keep tackles away from his body. He needs quite a bit of seasoning before he will start, but his frame is compelling enough to get reps at DT in passing situations.
Round 4, Pick 11: Whether we resign Damien Williams or not, I like Royce Freeman, RB out of Oregon. Now how does the NCAA career leading rusher fall to the 4th round?? This is a very deep draft for running backs and there are plenty with talent and a lot less miles on their tires than this 4 year starter. At 6'0", 234 lbs, good vision and outstanding size, he would be an excellent relief runner for Drake.
Round 4, Pick 30: Lets face it, Julius Thomas is a bust. Good bye and good riddens. He has got to get cut. With that said, we need to resign Fasano and then draft Mike Gesicki, TE out of Penn State. Even at 6'6", 252 lbs, he is very athletic and would be the seam route runner that Thomas was supposed to be. He could be a matchup nightmare but he is available here because he is not much of a in line blocker. That's why resigning Fasano is very important.
Round 6, Pick 9: Our special teams are actually pretty good. We do very well in covering kicks as we are ranked in the top 10 of the league in return yards. However, Matt Haack was at the bottom of the league in net yards and had a few very bad punts. With that in mind, I like J.K. Scott, the Punter out of Alabama in this spot. As a 4 year starter, he has consistently performed well under pressure and can kick for distance, hang time and direction as needed with a big leg. He also has soft hands. His 25% inside the 10 and 51% inside the 20 are impressive stats. He also would be above average with his 4.55 hang time.
Round 7, Pick 5: We have reached the point in the draft for special teamers or practice squad guys. Since our special teams are pretty good, lets grab a guy who could develop into a solid backup and eventual starter at Center, Austin Corbett, OT out of Nevada. Even though he has only played LT in college, Corbett would be better suited to move inside and learn the Center position while building some strength. Lest we forget, these college prospects are still kids in comparison to professional veterans who are in their physical peak at age 26-30. There is no shame in being a few years off and Pouncey shouldn't be around longer than that. At 6'4", 305 lbs, he has the potential to be a solid starter at Center.
Round 7, Pick 11: Here is our Rocky Balboa pick. Humboldt State has barely been heard of, let alone had a player drafted by an NFL team. Here is a kid with the size, 6'7", 305 lbs, plus the toughness and movement skills you look for on the OL. However, playing at Humboldt makes you wonder if he played against tough enough competition. Camp will surely tell if Alex Cappa can make the leap. He played OT and could earn a spot as a swing tackle or move inside. The practice squad or Uber may be in his future.
With my next mock draft, we will entertain trades and look to grab as many top 100 picks as possible.
Dol-Fan since 12/25/1971