Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thoughts on the No Logo Needed Mock Draft So Far

We're through eleven picks so far, and, while there haven't been too many surprises so far, the No Logo Needed Mock Draft has been pretty illuminating as to what those who know their teams the best (that's right--I'm talking about us bloggers) think their teams should do this April.

A couple of thoughts:

  • I don't like Matt Stafford as the #1 overall pick and I don't like him for the Lions (well, I do, but that's because I prefer the Lions hapless). He's not accurate enough, he fails the two statistical projection systems and there's no reason to expect a quarterback to improve his bad decision making in the NFL. And sending him to the Lions isn't going to help. How, exactly, is he supposed to make better decisions behind the worst line in the NFL?
  • The choice by the Rams to take Eugene Monroe #2, and the first of all the offensive tackles is a good one. Unlike Andre Smith, he's not crazy. And unlike Jason Smith, he played in a pro style offense, instead of the spread. That means he's played out of a three point stance (Smith never left a two point stance) and the University of Virginia has shown that it can turn out quality linemen in D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Brandon Albert.
  • I don't like taking a wide receiver in the first round. I linked to this article earlier, but its no less true today--first wide receivers are busts way more often then they become great (or even good) players. With the increase in the use of the spread, its going to become even harder for teams to properly evaluate receivers, because the spread doesn't require anywhere near the same attention to routes as the NFL does. Both Jeremy Maclin and Michael Crabtree played in the spread, though Crabtree is supposed to be a good route runner. Of course, he also is having a pin inserted in his foot and isn't quite as tall as advertised (he's closer to 6'1 than 6'3). Maclin is an amazing punt and kick returner, but reminds me too much of Ted Ginn, Jr. to justify taking him in the top 10.
  • The Packers choice of Brian Orakpo is a risky one, but it could pay off quite well in their new 3-4. Orakpo's moved up a lot of draft boards and many of the mock draft sites have him as the best defensive player available in the draft. Of course, he also has missed time the past two years with knee issues and hurt his hamstring at the combine. Nothing like injuries to quickly derail a promising career.
  • I was somewhat surprised to see five linebackers (Aaron Curry, Ray Maualuga, Brian Orakpo, Everette Brown and Clay Matthews) drafted in the first eleven picks. It makes a lot of sense, however, when you consider that all five teams either play a 3-4 defense or are going to play a 3-4 defense. In a 3-4, the linebackers are more important than the defensive line and your linebackers must have the ability to rush the passer as well as play the run and drop into coverage.
We're half way to the Vikings' choice at 22nd. Stay tuned for another choice later this afternoon/evening. And if you need to catch up on the draft so far, there are links to each pick on the sidebar.

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