gpngc's Draft Primer
Just some insight from a draftnik. Here's a preface. I don't believe in chalk. I don't think anyone knows anything. Teams purposely put out misinformation and the few clued-in reporters don't reveal draft plans for the teams they cover. If they did and a report made public adversely affected a teams draft plans, the reporter would lose the trust of the team he covers.
The same goes for the national media members, but they are more likely to reveal plans than local beat reporters because the ties aren't as important. Still, for example, Mike Mayock may have very well known that Gene Smith was going to trade with Shanahan last year at No. 10. But it's not in his best interest (in terms of draft intrigue and his relationship with personnel guys around the league) to leak that exact scenario to the public.
There's also the idea that the teams that play it VERY close to the chest USE these national media figures as a platform to push misinformation. I did a little research and even the great Adam Schefter was off on some things the past few years. Mort, JLC, all the locals, just scouring old rotoworld blurbs leading up to past drafts - these guys may have made an accurate prediction in about 10% of all the blurbs.
In summation, the chalk won't hold. No one knows anything. And even the media guys who DO know things are either withholding to preserve intrigue and relationships with personnel guys OR being fed misinformation purposely.
With that said, an internet draftnik is just as qualified to speculate as anyone. Here goes.
The 2012 NFL Draft begins at No. 3.
Unless Speilman is really just messing around, they are going to deal this pick.
Here are the possibilities:
1) Tampa Bay trades up to No. 3 to draft Trent Richardson.
2) St. Louis trades up to No 3 to draft Richardson.
3) Cleveland moves up one spot to secure Richardson.
4) The New York Jets move way up to draft Richardson.
5) Buffalo trades up to No. 3 to draft Kalil
6) MIN trades down to No. 4, 5, or 6, then trades down AGAIN to No. 10 with BUF.
I don't think they'll end up taking Morris Claiborne at No. 3. But I also didn't think the Chiefs would take Eric Berry at No. 5 and was wrong. If they do take MC here are the scenarios:
4) CLE: Blackmon
5) TB: Richardson
6) STL: Kalil
Now No. 6 could be Buffalo moving up for Kalil. I'm sure STL would like that.
4) CLE: Richardson
5) TB: ??????
OK, so in this scenario MIN surprised us with MC at No. 3 and now all the mocks are screwed. What does Tampa do? Buffalo is in play to move up for Kalil. Or they stay put and take one of the defenders from my 2nd tier (you'll see below). That could be Cox, Kuechly, Gilmore, or Barron. Let's say Cox.
Here's STL with Blackmon there. Slam dunk, right? No. They surprise us again and take another of those 2nd tier defensive guys OR Kalil (or trade to BUF who takes Kalil).
The Blackmon slide surely ends at No. 7 with Jacksonville? I don't know. My head is spinning. Literally every team all the way down to Buffalo could select Blackmon. But just keep in mind the draft day falls of these types of WRs in the past (Crabtree, Dez, BMW).
Come to think of it, this Blackmon slide is NOT contingent on MC going to MIN at No. 3.
Point is, Blackmon could slide all the way to No. 10 and may end up in a surprising situation (NOT STL or JAC or CLE as believed all offseason).
So here's where we're at:
Luck, RG3, Richardson, Claiborne, Kalil, and Blackmon might go in some order in the first six picks. There's a chance Blackmon or Kalil fall and a couple of the guys in the next tier are drafted over them. The wild cards here are if someone falls in love with Michael Floyd (don't think so), someone really values Melvin Ingram (don't think so), the Bills really go OT, or someone ignores Coples' red flags. But after that, I've got our second tier, all of whom will be in play following the aforementioned six (or five, if you believe Blackmon falls) blue-chippers:
- Fletcher Cox
- Luke Kuechly
- Mark Barron
- Chandler Jones
- Stephon Gilmore
- Michael Brockers
I think that filling out your top-12 will be EXACTLY these 12 players. Pretty much every team in the top ten could use ANY of those players. The remaining guys from that top-12 won't last long if I'm wrong with my 'exact' prediction. Cordy Glenn and David DeCastro are also in play for ARZ, DAL, and BUF. And I guess Dont'a Hightower wouldn't shock me to KC or SEA. Only other possibilities to crash the top-12 party are Tanny, Ingram, and a real long-shot in Hill.
So that was just organizing my top-12 thoughts here. One of my main points with the above is that the Jacksonville Jaguars WILL NOT select Melvin Ingram at No. 7. I'd also be very surprised if they took Gilmore, but that's more likely than Ingram. I see it everywhere and it doesn't make any sense. Another point to take out of this is that Michael Brockers WILL NOT fall near No. 25. His floor might be No. 16 to NYJ. He's valued higher than most think.
The Dolphins will ultimately pass on Ryan Tannehill at No. 8.
My rationale is scary: Mix all the negatives of Tannehill as a prospect with the not-so-popular idea (but one that I believe) that David Garrard and Matt Moore aren't terrible QBs (Moore went 6-3 last year down the stretch and clearly I'm a sucker for veteran QBs who everyone thinks are washed up).
Other Tannehill Scenarios, in order of likelihood:
1) Falls to the late 1st or 2nd round (drafted by MIA or one of the following teams).
2) Philadelphia at No. 15 or close.
3) Kansas City at No. 11 or close.
4) Arizona at No. 13 or close.
5) Seattle at No. 12. or close
6) Cleveland at No. 22 or close.
7) Cleveland does a "reverse Julio" and moves up to No. 7.
8) A shocker (Jacksonville, Green Bay, Baltimore, Houston)
The Chandler Jones hype is real, he won't fall past No. 12.
JAC, MIA, CAR, KC, SEA all in play. He could also be traded up for. The opinions about all the other edge rushers are all over the place and for good reason. Jones has the build to get bigger. Upside is a scary word, but for this kid, it's real. He could be Justin Tuck if he fills out.
He's better than:
- Melvin Ingram - Versatility as your primary positive trait is not a good sign.
- Quentin Coples - Character/effort concerns well-documented.
- Whitney Mercilus - Inconsistent, weak relative to the NFL game.
- Shea McClellin - He's good, but he probably won't get much better.
- Andre Branch - Can't play the run, gets "college" sacks.
- Vinny Curry - Depressing story of NFL darwinism (hope, hope, hope I'm wrong).
- Nick Perry - Motor questions, does his game translate?
- Bruce Irvin - Character, size concerns, but his game is truly Dumervilly.
Some more boldish predictions:
Kendall Wright will fall to the 2nd round
Short receivers tend to fall. Stephen Hill and Rueben Randle will be drafted ahead of him. Hill could be a huge surprise to BUF, SEA, or NYJ.
Philadelphia goes WR or Coby Fleener
No real insight here. The Eagles just always do crazy stuff. Hill, Floyd, or Randle at No. 15 are possibilities.
The Patriots finally trade up
It's time. Bill's getting older. Brady's getting older. The targets: Mark Barron and Chandler Jones. If they don't get Barron, they are taking a safety (or two) on day two. Steve Gregory is not starting.
Denver trades up
The targets are the three CBs and all the flawed DL. Maybe Hightower. They also might be the team that promised Bruce Irvin they'd draft him if he's there.
An unexpected veteran will be traded
Three RB ideas:
- Matt Forte to NYJ
- Steven Jackson to NE
- Jonathan Stewart to DEN or NYG
Guys who will go higher than most think:
- Bruce Irvin (apparently has a first round promise a la Jason Allen to MIA in 2006)
- Mychal Kendricks
- George Iloka
- Chris Givens (his game is Greg Jenningsy)
- Alualu-sized shocker: Stephen Hill as high as No. 7 to Jacksonville.
Guys who will go lower than most think:
- Dontari Poe
- Andre Branch
Good write up. I'm starting to think the writing is on the wall for Justin Blackmon to Cleveland. I don't think Mayock would mock it, especially when he disagrees, unless he had some inside info.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Wright fall to the 49ers. He would bring a huge playmaking boost to our offense. We've been linked to several other players recently, which probably means we won't draft them....i don't think anyone linked Aldon to us last year. Just saying, watch out for that possibility.
I'm just sitting here praying that someone trades up.
Stewart wouldn't be able to be traded to NY because we do not have the cap to extend him and keep key players
I will eat my Preist Holmes autographed jersey if the Chiefs are seriously interested in Jones.
I do find it amusing that two months ago you could find people dropping Trent Richardson to the late teens, while Kalil and Claibourne were locked solid at 3 and 4. Chandler Jones is a 2nd rounder IMO. Comparisons to Akeem Ayers are dead on.
PS Jones cannot carry Nick Perry's autograph pen.
People always forget this time of year that most teams, not all, but most, will place emphasis on film evaluation most media outlets simply don't have the time, desire or staff to do. This alone changes the make up of the first round more than any other factor.
The other factor is a major boner a gm or lead scout will have for a particular prospect who could probably be drafted a full round or at the very least a bunch of picks later. Guys in this vein are ones like Armanti Edwards, John McCargo a few years ago and Chad Jackson, Laurence Maroney being drafted over DeAngelo Williams would fit too. This is more important in rounds two and three, but it often affects the first round too.
There's going to be a few WTF? Picks, these are my favourite things in the draft.
I'm very disappointed Rick Gosselin retired from doing draft mocks. He had scary good information.
If a team drafts Jones to stand up and be a guy who has to run the arc consistently they will be disappointed. Jones needs to be head up on the OT and use his strengths, ie arm length to keep the tackle off his body and disengage in both the run and pass game
Think you're severely underrating Kendall Wright.
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