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CK's Official Mock Draft

ckparrothead

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I have resisted posting a mock draft until now, the eve of the draft. I had passed this along to a few people at work earlier today.


1. San Francisco – QB Alex Smith

Agent Tom Condon makes the deal happen last minute under fears of potential restrictive rookie contract guidelines in the NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement, currently being negotiated.



2. Miami – WR Braylon Edwards

Miami has been bluffing different options for months, but this time they aren’t bluffing. Receiver is one of Saban’s favorite play-making positions and Braylon is the most talented player on their draft board, period. Washington and Minnesota attempt to trade into this spot for Braylon, but do not offer enough to sway Saban.



3. Cleveland – CB Antrel Rolle

Romeo Crennell and Phil Savage like cornerbacks like Rolle, who has long arms and makes plays, and showed enough speed at his pro day to play the position in the NFL. If they can’t get Braylon, they go defense, and Rolle is the best defender in the draft because Derrick Johnson does not possess enough instincts.



4. Washington (via trade with Chicago) – WR Mike Williams

Nobody likes to make a splash like Daniel Snyder. The Redskins view Mike Williams as nearly as good as Braylon Edwards, and Gibbs will like the idea of Williams being Plaxico Burress to Santana Moss’s Hines Ward. The Redskins would stay at #9 and #25, but fear they could not get Troy Williamson or Carlos Rogers.



5. Tampa Bay – RB Ronnie Brown

I have been saying for weeks that rumors of Tampa wanting a QB were planted by Jon Gruden to get Ronnie Brown out of Miami’s clutches at #2…and it worked. Gruden is not prepared to take Aaron Rodgers, and Ronnie Brown is like Michael Pittman with much better size and power, and not as much of a penchant for running over family members with his car.



6. Tennessee – CB Adam “Pac-Man†Jones

With Samari Rolle off to the Baltimore, and Andre Dyson off to the Seahawks, the word is out that the Titans need a corner at this pick. With Rolle already off the board, they go with Jones, who is faster than Rolle or Rogers, and remarkably plays like a mini Ray Lewis in the secondary.



7. Minnesota – WR Troy Williamson

Minnesota tends to be transparent, and they have considered Williamson at this spot for a while now. They also considered trading up to Miami’s selection at #2 for Braylon Edwards, but are unwilling to part with pick #18 to do so. Williamson has blazing speed, and Minnesota is trying to get the fans to forget about Moss.



8. Arizona – QB Aaron Rodgers

The Cards have Kurt Warner, and Rodgers is like Kurt Warner light, with a lot of the same armstrength, accuracy, and he can actually move if he needs to. Denny Green pulled a similar move when he grabbed the falling QB Daunte Culpepper in 1999. Denny likes QBs with armstrength and accuracy, and Rodgers is all about it. Denny would have taken Ronnie Brown here, but is not as enamoured with Cadillac Williams or Cedric Benson. If Rodgers is not the pick, I would bet on CB Carlos Rogers.



9. Chicago – RB Cedric Benson

Chicago catches a break when Cedric lasts this far; they were looking at him at the #4 pick. The Bears have been all over Cedric for the last few weeks. On offense, he is just what Lovie Smith is looking for, and since none of the WRs are available, Lovie will focus on them in other rounds.



10. Detroit – CB Carlos Rogers

The Lions need defense, and the defensive ends available have their own flaws. Erasmus James has character questions, Shawn Merriman disappears on film, Dan Cody may be clinically insane, David Pollack is short, and Marcus Spears is slow. Carlos Rogers is fast and makes plays. The early run on CBs ensures that the Lions take him.



11. Dallas – DE Shawn Merriman

All things being equal, Dallas considers Merriman their highest rated defensive end, and at this point they will enjoy having the luxury of being the first team to choose one. Merriman is a superhuman workout warrior that has a tendency to disappear on tape (which explains why he falls to #11, instead of going in the top 5).



12. San Diego – WR Matt Jones

San Diego would have liked to have a crack at Troy Williamson, with their glaring need for a wide receiver, however this is the point in the draft where QB-convert Jones becomes hard to ignore…like a 6’6†lightning fast mole on fat woman’s face. There’s never been a 6’6†individual to record an official NFL 40 yard dash time in 4.37 seconds. San Diego will let him just run real fast, and WR coach Jerry Sullivan can teach him how to do the rest. If the Chargers don’t pick Jones here, I see them taking OT Alex Barron.



13. Houston – LB Derrick Johnson

I have Johnson slipping due to concerns over his ability to shed blocks and the fact that he did not display the best instincts at University of Texas, despite his Arrington-like athleticism. At this point, with the release of Jamie Sharper, Derrick Johnson is too big a value for the Texans to ignore. I think the Texans would also like DE Marcus Spears at this spot, or DE/LB David Pollack.



14. Carolina – RB Carnell “Cadillac†Williams

Deshaun Foster has never stayed healthy for very long, and Stephen Davis is long in the tooth and also has had similar problems staying healthy recently. This pick is easy. The Panthers love a balanced approach on offense and that means being able to run the ball. They end up with a steal, as Cadillac Williams is the closest thing to LaDainian Tomlinson since, well, LaDainian Tomlinson.



15. Kansas City – LB Daryl Blackstock

Having snared CB Patrick Surtain from the Dolphins for a second round selection already, the Chiefs have the luxury of being able to concentrate on positions other than corner. It’s a good thing, too, because at this point Rolle, Jones, and Rogers will be off the board. Now, they shift focus to their other need: outside linebacker. They have Blackstock rated highly, and they do like size at the position. David Pollack doesn’t have enough experience at the position to tempt them.



16. New Orleans – S Thomas Davis

Jim Haslett is one of those defensive coaches that likes to have a world-beater in his safety ranks who can pound the daylights over a receiver coming across the middle and make plays on the ball. After a failed experiment with Tebucky Jones, Haslett will want to try out Davis, the University of Georgia standout who has drawn comparisons to Roy Williams.



17. Cincinnati – DT Shaun Cody

As Carson Palmer develops his skills and begins to lead the offense, Marvin Lewis will want to make sure his defense is up to snuff. They made a run at Warren Sapp a year ago, and they will want to fill the position this year with a guy who collapse the pocket. Cody has the measurables, and the film to back them up.



18. Minnesota – DE Erasmus James

The Vikings’ defensive overhaul continues. Add James to new additions like Fred Smoot, Darren Sharper, Napolean Harris, Sam Cowart, Pat Williams, and last year’s first rounder Kenechi Udeze, and the Vikings will have little excuse for having a bad defense. I have Erasmus James taken here as a value call; the Vikings also like DE David Pollack at this choice, so watch out for him as well.



19. St. Louis – OT Jammal Brown

The Rams know Brown will probably still be on the board here, and have been quietly hyping him up in private circles to justify his selection at #19. Brown did answer a lot of questions about his consistency by returning for his senior season and having a good year. He is strictly a right tackle, and will take over for Kyle Turley, once Mike Martz requests a restraining order against Turley for generally being insane, and very large.



20. Dallas – OT Alex Barron

It will be strange to see Alex Barron fall this far. His athleticism and leg strength are on par with any offensive tackle to come out in the last ten years. His wingspan is at least 2 inches bigger than any other tackle in the draft, he broke the Indy Combine house record for results on the Cybex leg strength machine, and he ran the 40 in 4.8 seconds (superb for a 6’7†offensive tackle). His pass protection skills are great, while his run blocking skills need work. It is still a wonder that the second coming of Richmond Webb can get knocked this far down just for not having a nasty enough “mean streak,†but scouts really like to see that nastiness in the trenches. Parcells will know better. Don’t look for him to pass on a premium tackle when he falls in his lap.



21. Jacksonville – WR Mark Clayton

The Jaguars need someone to make their fans forget that their WR pick last year, Reggie Williams, isn’t all that good…yet. Mark Clayton is as polished as they come, has great hands, decent speed, and his size isn’t necessarily a drawback. He doesn’t have the eye-popping measurables of Matt Jones or Mike Williams, nor does he have the explosion of Braylon Edwards, but hey, neither does Marvin Harrison.



22. Baltimore – DE/LB David Pollack

As usual, the Ravens will be paying close attention to the wide receivers, and as usual, one that they like will not fall to them. Don’t be surprised if this pick is DT Travis Johnson, but for now I believe Ozzie Newsome will look to the eventual replacement of Peter Boulware.



23. Seattle – LB/DE DeMarcus Ware

Seattle recently purged itself of both Anthony Simmons and Chad Brown, leaving an opening for a first round rookie to come in and start immediately. Ware can rush the passer like Brown could when healthy, and he has already gotten some work as a linebacker at the Senior Bowl and looked fairly impressive. He may end up on the defensive line, but Seattle will put him through his paces to find out.



24. Green Bay – QB Jason Campbell

One rule of thumb recently has been that a QB who had largely been considered a rising second rounder, will end up clawing his way higher than you think. This could be too high for Campbell, however his stock has really been rising recently with his armstrength, athleticism, and cool demeanor as Auburn’s signal caller. His two biggest question marks are his wonderlic score suspiciously rising from 14 to 28 within one year, and the fact that 2004 was the first year that he actually looked stellar as a quarterback. But, he has gone through four different coordinators in four years, and this year the wonderlic has been really downplayed as an accurate measure of a quarterback’s ability to understand a game plan. At this pick, the Packers will see what they want to see, which is Brett Favre’s successor.



25. Chicago – OT Khalif Barnes

The only OT in this draft that might be faster than Alex Barron is Khalif Barnes. However, he has had injury problems. The plan to play John Tait at left tackle should only be considered a temporary plan. Tait, not unlike Kyle Turley, is a fantastic right tackle, but only an average starting left tackle. Barnes figures to be able to play left, and this pick won’t yield the wide receiver that Lovie Smith wants, unless he reaches a little.



26. Oakland – DT Travis Johnson

The Raiders have themselves a world-beating offense now (supposedly), and while it will be tempting to select TE Heath Miller here, who the Jets did not believe would fall this far when they traded for Doug Jolley, the Raiders really need to select defense, and Travis Johnson should not have fallen this far. There are not any worthy corners at this selection.



27. Atlanta – DE Marcus Spears

The Falcons need to continue to bolster their defense, and Spears would make a good DE in the 3-4 defense. A WR like Roddy White is also a possibility here.



28. San Diego – CB Marlin Jackson

San Diego had I believe the worst pass defense in the league last year, and while they need to bolster their passrush, there are not many 3-4 options to do that with this pick. But, Marlin Jackson can flat out play, and Sammy Davis has not developed the way they want him to.



29. Indianapolis – DE Dan Cody

At this point the value is too much to let go, even if Cody is on medication for clinical depression and has been known to go psycho once in a while. He is still the closest thing this draft has to Jason Taylor, and during the games he plays with energy and fiery leadership. Too many teams are moving toward 3-4 defenses, and so a classic 4-3 DE like Cody will get victimized on draft day.



30. Pittsburgh – TE Heath Miller

The Jets are not COMPLETELY inept, in a perfect world Heath Miller would have already been picked by now, however with his injury interfering in his ability to work out for teams, and the way the board falls in terms of need, I don’t see Heath Miller going to some of these other teams barring a trade. For Pittsburgh, it is a no-brainer. You always give a young quarterback a good tight end target to help him develop; they can often be like a warm blanket for these young QBs.



31. Philadelphia – WR Roddy White

We know that Andy Reid has no problems moving up for the player he wants, so watch out for that possibility, but staying at #31, I believe he would have White as the highest rated player on his draft board, at a position where the Eagles could really use help opposite Terrell Owens.



32. New England – LB Odell Thurman

He is not your typical New England linebacker at his size just above 6 feet tall, however he can blaze with speed, and Belichick takes his players with all different kinds of attributes for all different kinds of situations. Bruschi probably sitting out the 2005 season certainly helps them decide on this one, but I think they were looking at Thurman before Bruschi suffered a stroke. Also look for the Patriots to take Channing Crowder, who will fall dramatically based on his near half dozen knee surgeries, in a later round.
 

phunwin

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Very realistic, thanks CK!

One thing I want to note, however, is that your comparison of Rodgers and Warner isn't right on. Rodgers has a FAR stronger arm. Warner's long suit in his heyday (you know, back before Satan declined his option on their 3 year contract) was uncanny accuracy, not so much arm strength. That said, Rodgers does have the most accurate arm in the draft (I still can't get over that USC game), so there's obviously a good comparison that way.

I hope Blackstock doesn't go 15. I'm pulling hard for him at 46.

Here's my mock draft: http://drstats.com/beat/index.cfm?uid=223

I did it originally about a month ago and had to make modifications about three days ago. So don't crucify me for not being up to the minute. :)
 

ckparrothead

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I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on Warner, as I think arm strength has always been one of Warner's strong suits.
 

phunwin

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Fair enough.
I should add that I don't think Warner has a bad arm; it's adequate, I just don't think it's really strong. Like I said, though, laser-like accuracy.
 

ckparrothead

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Well, aside from seeing Warner's arm in action, one of the main reasons I think of him having a good arm is because I remember a series of articles that came out about like, Warner and Fiedler and I believe Garcia, back when all of them looked good (except Fiedler), about how they played in NFL Europe. One coach in Europe was talking about what each of them showed over there, and about Warner he said something like "one thing that immediately popped out at you about him was his arm strength and accuracy" and then went on to talk about how he wasn't very mobile though, while Fiedler and Garcia were, you know breaking down their individual strengths and weaknesses.
 

ckparrothead

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Aww, thats ok man. I'm keepin score on an excel spreadsheet. Even made up a proprietary rating model.
 
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