After watching film until I had become one with the monitor and clicker, I finally threw in the towel as far as writing full pieces on the draft. As is ever the case, there were a few people I couldn’t get to and several stories that asked to be told, but I lost the race with time and health. Here are some of the players that I still thought were worth writing about:
Living out here in California, I watched a lot of Datone Jones’s work for UCLA. He's a very impressive player, and his physical skills are not in question. He’s got a decent explosion, he’s got good size and strength, and his technique is coming along well. I like him. Some mocks have linked him to Denver, and with good reason, especially following the Dumervil departure debacle.
I bomb atomically, Socrates’ philosophies and hypotheses can’t define how I be dropping these mockeries.
Happy Tuesday, friends, and welcome to my fourth annual Rational Actor Mock Draft. This has tended to be the only bit of mockery that we do at IAOFM each year, and there’s a simple reason for that – any douchebag with a keyboard and Kiper-style hair cream can do a mock draft, and most of them do. Then they each do 64 versions of it throughout the spring. NFL mockeries comprise about 13% of the internet this time of the year.
Well, this is different. In this exercise, I play the GM of each team, and do things that are rational for the situation each team faces. Basically, Mel Kiper started jocking my style with this last year, and he did it again this year. His is only three rounds, though, and mine is four.
DT Sharrif Floyd (6), QB Tyler Bray (68), LB Kiko Alonso (104)
The Browns strengthen their defense with the selections of Floyd and Alonso. I think Floyd could pair with Phil Taylor and really make them difficult to run against inside. I also see Floyd as giving them some interior pass rush that they haven't really had in a long time.
Bray is talented, and I think he's an excellent fit for Norv Turner's downfield throwing offense. He just needs to grow up, and learn to be a professional. The word out of Knoxville is that he was an entitled glory-boy diva there.
OT Eric Fisher (5), DE Tank Carradine (36), CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (65), OG David Quessenberry (128), RB Christine Michael (132)
For the Lions, this is a needs-based class that manages not to really reach anywhere. Fisher and Quessenberry can start on their OL right away, and help protect Matthew Stafford, who they've allowed to get hit way too much.
Carradine isn't the pass rusher that Cliff Avril was, but he can play LDE for the Lions in base situations, at least.
Wreh-Wilson is a good player to add to their CB mix, which has a bunch of nickelback types at this point.
Michael has talent, but the reputation of being an unfocused clown. He should fit right in with the Lions.
Margus Hunt, aka ‘The Eastern Block’, is one of the most colorful stories in this year’s draft. His journey from being a Estonian junior track and field champion to a potential NFL defensive end is compelling.
Hunt also has the kind of body that’s often referred to as a ‘freak of nature’ - he’s 6-8 and 277 pounds, has an 92-inch wingspan, runs like a safety, and is incredibly athletic. He’s also very new to the sport, having only begun his training in it in 2009. He has a reputation as one of the hardest workers around.
When I turned on the film, Hunt’s good and bad sides quickly became crystal clear. Eventually, two contests really stood out in my mind. His good side was clearly demonstrated in the 2012 Hawaii Bowl against Fresno State; the 2012 game against TCU showed off his weaknesses.
As they look to fill the void created by Elvis Dumervil's departure, it was reported last week that the Broncos have been researching Florida State defensive end Cornellius "Tank" Carradine.
But if Denver is to acquire the pass rusher, they may have to move up from the #28 pick, following an impressive workout today by the 6-4, 276-pounder.
His senior season was cut short by a torn ACL suffered in late November, but an intense rehabilitation with the same trainer who helped Adrian Peterson to his remarkable 2012 comeback season has Carradine nearly back to form.
David Fleming recently did a nice job of laying out some of the realities of the current pay levels for the differing positions along the offensive line. The advent of NFL free agency in 1993 started a run on increasing the salaries for offensive linemen and especially tackles, benefiting the left tackles in particular. Teams were consistently putting their best rusher on the offensive left, so the blind side protector soon got more money.
Tackles are harder to find, and that may keep their pay somewhat higher - but not stratospherically so.
According to Aaron Wilson, the Broncos and Dolphins have expressed interest in Old Dominion safety Carvin Powell.
Here are our previous columns on tackle prospects:
According to Aaron Wilson, the Broncos are one of four teams (Tennessee, Chicago, Detroit) scheduled to host Wisconsin Badgers redshirt junior Travis Frederick in an official pre-draft visit.
The 6-4, 312-pound native of Sharon, WI, posted some ugly 40 times at the combine, but his agility and powerful blocking ability have him ranked among the top center prospects, and one expected to be selected on Day 1 or 2 of the upcoming draft.