Thursday, April 21, 2011

BDT -- NFL Mock Draft: Jon vs. Prince (Picks 1-10) (Apr 21)

Insert pictures of me and Prince and you'll understand how this works...

We're quickly approaching the NFL Draft and it seems like just about everyone has released a mock draft...or in Mel Kiper and Todd McShay's case, 79 mock drafts. So, why shouldn't I do a mock draft? Well, for one, it would be one of the worst mock drafts you've ever seen! I don't know football nearly as well as I know basketball, so there's not a whole lot of insight I can bring to this. Then again, if Todd McShay is still allowed to do mock drafts after singing the praises of JaMarcus Russell in 2007, then I'm just as qualified as anyone!

I've brought Prince on board to bring a slightly different flavor of ineptitude to the proceedings. Between the two of us, I'd imagine you'll be pulling your hair out and swearing at your computer screen by the time it's all said and done. Prince and I alternate picks and, to ensure we'd be picking for our teams (Prince: Vikings; Me: Cowboys), I received the first overall selection. Please be aware that we took a significant amount of space to explain our picks, rip on the other person's pick, and defend our picks from said ripping. We are mocking the entire first round, but due to the length it will be released in three parts. If you don't like that it is so long...well, I don't know what to tell you. Just see who we picked and skim through the comments if you want. I'm releasing picks 1-10 today and, hopefully, picks 11-20 will come out tomorrow. No know how I am! As always, your comments (or criticisms) are appreciated.


Jon: Well Prince, here’s your big chance. All those otherwise wasted hours of watching draft shows and combing through scouting reports can finally be put to use. Note I didn’t say “good” use since we basically have no idea what’s going on and we’re mostly going to make fools of ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I have no shame! I make a fool of myself on this blog daily!

Prince: I'm fully aware that I'll make a fool of myself. Even though I spent hours researching the draft, I'll still probably pick a bunch of busts. Oh well, I'm just glad we’re doing this. Just don't make me pick Cam Newton...I already suffered through enough of that. 

#1   Carolina Panthers CB Patrick Peterson, LSU

Jon: Cam Newton seems to be the consensus here, but you already know how I feel about him. You just can’t waste the #1 overall pick! Ask the Raiders how that works out! Captain Cough Syrup set them back years!

Carolina needs a ton of help all over the field so drafting a specific position shouldn’t be a concern. They need to get an impact player at an impact position, and Peterson definitely fits the bill. Some mock drafts have him falling towards the lower half of the top ten and I just don’t understand that. Looking at previous drafts, as Mel Kiper points out in his most recent mock draft, other top defensive backs such as Rod Woodson, Deion Sanders, and Champ Bailey dropped as well…I’d say that worked out pretty well for their respective teams. Look, this guy is big, fast, athletic, and incredibly skilled. You can line him up just about anywhere in the defensive backfield AND he can return punts (would mention kicks but apparently that’s been outlawed)! To me, he’s probably the best player in the draft and the most sure thing in the top ten. That having been said, idiot Jerry Richardson is definitely going to take Cam Newton, thus ensuring the partnership of the two biggest tools ever in Newton and fellow draft bust Jimmy Clausen. Well done Carolina!

Prince: I can't argue against taking Peterson #1. A team like Carolina, who has so many holes in their roster, should just take the best player in the draft, and Peterson sits atop many of the experts’ boards. Also, Carolina is gonna be on defense a lot since their offense will constantly be going three and out, so Peterson should have plenty of chances to make an impact here. Like you said, there’s a decent chance Cam Newton goes here…I think that's the only way Carolina could actually be worse next year.

Jon: If they lose their minds and actually START Newton next year then a three and out will seem like a touchdown! You know, because of the 84 interceptions he’ll throw and the 149 fumbles he’ll lose. On the bright side, at least they’ll be putting themselves in prime position for next years Andrew Luck sweepstakes!

#2   Denver Broncos DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama

Prince: After having one of the worst defenses in the league, and cutting 2 DT's, Denver gladly selects Marcell Dareus. I think the debate for Denver isn't which position to take, but who they like more between Dareus and Nick Fairley. Both are explosive athletes for the position and can get to the QB. Some scouts are worried that Fairley takes too many plays off and could be a one year wonder, while Dareus has contributed since his freshman year at Alabama and earned All SEC 1st team this past season. The upside for Fairley is probably higher, but I think Denver will go with a safer pick and take Dareus at #2.

Jon: I just went and looked at Denver’s defensive numbers from last year…WOW! SO BAD! Just about every mock draft I’ve looked at has Denver going with Dareus here, so it seems like a safe bet as long as Carolina doesn’t surprise us and grab him at #1. Personally, I like Nick Fairley more. Yes, I know I’m the only one left that does, and I know his motor is questionable, but it’s hard to find a defensive lineman who’s as disruptive as he is. Also, there’s a weird thing with Alabama defensive linemen in the NFL. John Copeland, Eric Curry, Keith McCants…might as well go ahead and throw Terrence Cody on the list too since he’ll soon be dead from weight related problems. I can definitely see him singlehandedly capsizing a cruise ship during the lockout.

Prince: Are you saying there’s a curse on DL from Alabama? Is this another one of your theories? Anyways, Denver needs to go with the safer pick here. They’re going to be investing a lot of money in this pick, and it happens to be a position they really need, so they can't have him turn into a bust. It's really hard to say whether Dareus or Fairley will be better in the NFL, but the majority of people (pretty much everyone but you) feel that Fairley has much more potential to be a bust.

#3   Buffalo Bills DT Nick Fairley, Auburn

Jon: OK, so I know I’m going to get a lot of “you’re an idiot” comments from readers, and that’s fine. It certainly would be an extremely bold pick! What can I say? I LOVE Nick Fairley! In reality, it seems clear Buffalo will select Von Miller. I’m not willing to say I hate Von Miller or anything, but I have my concerns about him. Every year, we see at least one guy shoot up the draft boards after a couple of great workouts, and Miller might be that guy. Yes, he was productive in the Big 12 last year, but the Big 12 kinda sucked, so I’m not sure how impressive that is. The biggest knock on Miller is his ability to play against the run. Buffalo needs impact players…BADLY…so they can’t afford to use the #3 overall pick on a glorified situation pass rusher. Fairley, on the other hand, is equally impressive against the pass and the run. We’ve already mentioned the motor concerns with him, but I’d much rather take a chance on a potentially dominant interior lineman than reach on a workout wonder outside linebacker (also, you can find hybrid linebackers in later rounds…please see Elvis Dumervil).

Side note: There are rumblings that Buffalo is enamored with Cam Newton or even Blaine Gabbert. Let me say this; RYAN FITZPATRICK IS BETTER THAN EITHER OF THEM! YOU ALREADY HAVE A QB! YOU NEED EVERY OTHER POSITION! Normally, I’d chalk this “interest” up to a clever smokescreen, but Ralph Wilson is 149 years old and I highly doubt his ability to outsmart anyone, dead or alive. After all, it takes a special kind of dumb to go C.J. Spiller, Aaron Maybin, Marshawn Lynch, John McCargo, J.P. Losman, Mike Williams, and Erik Flowers in the span of eleven years!

Prince:  Well, I guess I’ll start by saying you're an idiot. Buffalo's defense was last against the run, so I guess I don't have a problem with them passing on another LB who struggles to stop it. While I could definitely see Buffalo going with a defensive lineman here, I doubt it would be DT. Kyle Williams has been solid for them at nose tackle, so unless Fairley changes position, I don’t see where he fits in. They need to find a way to get pressure on the QB so I could see them going with a top DE over Miller.  Plus I'm not sure that they even have a DE on their roster right now.

Also, I totally agree with you about Fitzpatrick. He was good for them last year when he came in and they don't need to waste a 1st round pick on either of those 2 QBs.

Jon: Here’s the thing; Fairley would be a great fit as a 3-4 DE. Ironically, Buffalo plays a 3-4! Kyle Williams showed he can effectively play the 2 gap nose tackle, so why is it such a stretch to put a dominant lineman (who can also slide inside on passing downs) next to him? Either way, this brings up a bigger point; should you draft for need or should you take the best available? I have always been a major proponent of taking the best player available and, to me, Nick Fairley is the best available player. Buffalo badly needs impact players and Fairley has a chance to be one of the best in the NFL…gotta take him here.

#4   Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green, Georgia

Prince: Many people feel Cincinnati will go either WR or QB here. While I believe Carson Palmer will never play for the Bengals again, I still think A.J. Green is the best player for them. Green is a huge target, has great hands, and can definitely be a #1 reciever. He's also a great route runner, something Cincinnati apparently didn't do much of last year. Instead the T.Ocho show ran around wherever they wanted and hoped Palmer would find them. With this pick, the Bengals can finally cut ties with organizational cancer Chad Ocho Cinco. Also, AJ Green was suspended for violating NCAA rules, so he’ll fit right in with their veterans. There should still be a few QBs in the second round for Cincinnati…at least they should hope so, because if they have to start Jordan Palmer this team is looking at 0-16.

Jon: Say what you will about Jordan Palmer, but I’d gladly trot him out 16 (or is it 18?) times over Cam Newton.

So, I think I see your pattern here. You’re just looking at Mel Kiper’s mock draft and inserting his selections aren’t you? At least I have the cajones to make my own picks! I’m only kidding of course (sort of). While I’m not sure WR is a huge pressing need for Cincy, especially considering the possibility of Jordan Palmer throwing ducks and wobblers at them, Green is easily the best player left on the board. Yes, they could definitely use a QB, but none of these clowns is worth spending the #4 overall pick on, especially over a player like A.J. Green! I suppose Von Miller wouldn’t be a horrible pick, but you already know how iffy I am on him as well. I gotta say though, I’m not sure how sold I am on A.J. Green being a franchise receiver. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s good, but I watch a lot of SEC football and he never really improved much from his freshman year. That, along with his pedestrian combine results, has to be a bit concerning, wouldn’t you say? Prince, are you completely sold on him as a #1 or do you see some Roy Williams potential with him?

Prince: Actually, I didn't buy that ESPN Insider thing so I can't look at most of Mel Kiper's stuff. Did you really think someone as Jewish as me would shell out money for something I could just watch on TV?

So, let me look at your argument for a second. First, you say you’re in favor of drafting the best player available. Then, you acknowledge AJ Green is the best player left. Yet, you still question my pick! Look, I don't really care what AJ Green did at the combine. This guy has been a star since his freshman year and there’s enough tape of him for teams to know what kind of player they’ll get. If he's already amazing as a freshman (963 yards and 8 TDs) how much improvement do you expect at the college level? Green can definitely be a #1 receiver, but with Jordan Palmer throwing, you never know how many passes he’ll catch. Either way, I think the Bengals take him here.

#5   Arizona Cardinals LB Von Miller, Texas A&M

Jon: Wow, I’m starting to realize I really hate the top end of this draft. Miller very well could turn out to be a stud in the same mold as DeMarcus Ware, but at 237 pounds, he’s a lot smaller (nearly 30 full pounds!) and reminds me more of an Elvis Dumervil type. That certainly would give the Cards an impact pass rusher they desperately need, but I’d be hoping for a bit more than a one way player with the #5 overall pick.

That having been said, what better options are out there? The buzz surrounding the Arizona camp has them locked onto either Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert. You already know how I feel about Newton (sucky sucky), so it shouldn’t surprise you to know I feel a similar type of thing towards Gabbert. How is everyone falling in love with a guy who threw only 16 TD’s last year in that crazy high powered Missouri offense? AGAINST THE CRAPPY BIG 12! Also, I distinctly remember his throwing motion being pretty goofy too. Whatever. What do I know? I suppose it’s a much better idea to listen to Arizona; the same team who raved to the world about how amazing Max Hall was going to be. Nice call! Regardless, why would Arizona want a new QB when they’ve already got a guy, in Derek Anderson, who pours his heart and soul into the game?

Prince: I guess Von Miller is probably the next best player, but this team needs a ton of help on the offensive side of the ball. Arizona ranked 18th in the league in sacks (which was actually about their best ranking defensively) so I guess you have them going for a better pass rush even though they were 30th against the run and we already discussed how Miller is not a good run stopper. On offense they ranked 31st in passing and last in rushing(how did this team win 5 games?). I'll never kill a team for going after the best player, but I think they really need a playmaker on offense.  

Jon: I absolutely agree with you; they badly need help on offense, but to say they have no playmakers isn’t totally correct. They have a good receiving corps, led by Larry Fitzgerald, and the combo of Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower, while admittedly not the greatest, isn’t the worst thing you’ve ever seen. The solution to their problem is simple; get a QB! Which QB in this draft is capable of fixing the problem? Neither of us thinks that player is out there, so you have to get the most value possible out of this pick. Personally, I’d trade down if I was Arizona, but that isn’t part of our bit here so a pick must be made. With both Fairley and Dareus already off the board, there’s not really another run stuffer out there whose value merits the #5 overall selection. While I remain skeptical, Miller has the potential to fill the void left by Karlos Dansby and that would be an important piece for Arizona going forward.

#6   Cleveland Browns CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska

Prince: Prince Amukamara is a physical corner who excels in press coverage and will also help against the run. Despite being recruited as a RB and not having played CB until college, Prince is already one of the best at his position and I think he has major potential to get even better. His stats dropped off a bit after a terrific junior year, but that was mostly because teams avoided throwing at him. I really think he might be the next best player in this draft, and it would give the Browns two young and very gifted cornerbacks. Last year, I continually heard Browns fans complain about losing fourth quarter leads, so, here you go; an upgrade in your defensive backfield to stop teams from throwing on you at the end of games!

WR is another route I could see Cleveland going, but I think there will be good WR’s available in the second round. It seems like this team found their QB in Colt McCoy, and they obviously found a brutal RB in Peyton Hillis, so, with an improved defense, they should get a few more wins.  

Jon: You were right…I am surprised. Honestly, I think you just like saying things like “Prince is already one of the best” as if you were talking about yourself. The worst part about this is I was hoping Amukamara would fall to Dallas at #9. Shoot!

Truthfully, as much as I like Amukamara, I wouldn’t understand this pick for the Browns. Value wise, I’d put him about dead even with guys like Robert Quinn, Julio Jones, Da’Quan Bowers (if he’s not dead), and J.J. Watt. That in mind, all of those players are better fits for Cleveland, especially Julio Jones. We’re both on the same page in regards to Colt McCoy being a legit QB, but he has absolutely no chance to develop with Massoqoiohgokfghalkgalgk (whatever his freaking name is) and Brian Robiskie to throw to. While I have my concerns about Jones, such as why he only scored 15 TD’s, there’s no doubt he has the physical tools and the skills to be a big time receiver…perhaps even better than your man crush A.J. Green!

Prince: I'm not going to lie; I did want to be the one to take Prince...what a great name! What I was thinking here was, all the guys you mentioned have about the same value, but the corner position is really shallow. The draft is obviously deep in defensive lineman, and the Browns could get a legit starter later on. Honestly, living in Michigan and watching the Lions take a wide receiver in the 1st round every year has probably poisoned me (the exception being the Bengals pick because we all know they’re dumb), plus there will be decent WR’s left in round 2. Look what Colt did with the crap he had last year...a 2nd round receiver will be like Larry Fitzgerald for him!

#7   San Francisco 49ers QB Cam Newton, Auburn

Jon: Just kidding…I wanted to make Casey mad. On to the real pick.

#7   San Francisco 49ers DE/LB Robert Quinn, North Carolina

Jon: It would be absolutely devastating for the Niners if the draft actually went this way. They have significant needs in their secondary, so landing either Peterson or Amukamara would be huge for them. My guess is the latter will be available, since Cleveland can’t possibly be dumb enough to replicate Prince’s mistake. That having been said, this was a really, really tough pick for me, considering the way our mock has shaken out. With no stud CB’s left on the board, I’m left scrambling to figure out a way for SF to get decent value at #7. Julio Jones isn’t a great fit here and, while San Fran has a pressing need at quarterback…well, you already know how I feel about that.  The 49ers ranked 24th in pass defense last year, so upgrading a middle of the road pass rush seems like a logical alternative to finding help in the secondary. I honestly think Da’Quan Bowers is the better talent here, but questions about his fit in a 3-4 and significant concern about his long term durability all but rule him out. I suppose there are a lot of questions about Quinn too, but I’d certainly feel more comfortable taking him. In addition, Quinn’s ability to stand up and play as a 3-4 hybrid linebacker makes him a much better fit for San Francisco’s scheme. All in all, Quinn at least provides decent value for what has turned into a nightmare selection...I hope you feel encouraged Casey!

Prince: Apparently you’re still upset you won't be able to take Prince for the Cowboys. Trust me, Prince doesn't want to play for your crappy team. You are right though; this would be the worst possible scenario for SF (although if the first 6 picks went this way they might end up taking Newton, which I guess is the ultimate worst case scenario). This team really needs Peterson or Amukamara at #7, and since there are a few GMs in love with Newton and Gabbert, one of those corners should fall here. Hopefully for San Francisco, Patrick Willis and Quinn can just sack the quarterback every time he drops back so it won't matter who plays corner.

Jon: Why wouldn’t Prince want to play for the most underachieving team in the NFL? After all, his name is Prince…

Look, as a Dallas Cowboy fan, I am obligated to wish ill will on the San Francisco 49ers. My biggest wish for them would be to trade this pick, a third round pick, and a future first round pick to Carolina for the right to waste the top pick on Cam Newton. Then, once the lockout ends, I’d want them to sign Alex Smith to a gigantic long term contract, re-sign David Carr to the practice squad, and bring in JaMarcus Russell as “insurance,” thus completing their collection of the most putrid #1 overall picks in recent memory and forming the most disappointing and underachieving group of QB’s ever assembled! Am I asking for too much? Well, they’ve already brought together 50% of the group so you do the math…

#8   Tennessee Titans DE J.J. Watt, Wisconsin

Prince: Tennessee is really getting screwed in this mock draft. They would really love to have Nick Fairley here, but Landrum already messed that up. Their pass defense was 28th in the league, and both of the top corners are I guess I kinda screwed them over too. Yes, they have a serious need at quarterback, but there really isn't a great one out there. While this is a difficult pick to make, I have to go with Watt. Tennessee could have taken Da'Quan Bowers, but his knee injury is a legit concern. Watt can play both inside and outside on the Titan's D-line, and that's why I ended up choosing him. He’s great at rushing the passer in obvious passing downs and will also be able to hold up against the run. Watt is a hard worker who gives 100% on every play...unlike a former defensive lineman for Tennesse who is now on the Redskins.   

Jon: So, how many times are we going to say “they really need a QB, but all the QB’s suck?” Seems to be a pretty strong theme in this draft, wouldn’t you say?

While my initial impression of the pick was it was a slight reach, I’m not sure there’s a better alternative. Tennessee’s D-line definitely needs some reinforcements and Watt’s versatility would definitely help. Living in Big Ten country, I’ve seen plenty of J.J. Watt. I won’t lie, he’s a stud. You have to wonder, though, whether Tennessee would consider Julio Jones here given Kenny Britt’s off the field problems. Also, I’ll likely have a laughing seizure if they take Cam Newton here. How ironic would it be for Tennessee to force out one of the best coaches in the league over Vince Young, then give up on Vince Young…only to draft an even more inferior version of Vince Young?!?!?!?!? I NEED THIS BUD ADAMS! COME THROUGH FOR ME YOU OLD, SENILE MORON!

Prince: They probably will consider drafting Julio Jones, but already know they need help on the D-Line; they don't know if Britt is a lost cause yet. I think Watt's versitility is really what made me pick him over everyone else, but I won’t be shocked if they decide to go with Cam Newton.

Landrum: If Tennessee is on the clock and Cam Newton is still available, I think you'll want him drafted for an even greater reason than to just see the chaos in Tennessee. Remember, your Cowboys will be on the clock next and you might stroke out waiting for them to make their pick. Those ten minutes might be the longest and most agonizing ten minutes of your life.

#9   Dallas Cowboys LT Tyron Smith, USC

Jon: Here we go! Finally, one of us is picking for our team! On the plus side, I can’t possibly be worse at drafting than Jerry Jones, who has one of the worst draft records over the last five or so seasons. On the negative side, Jerry Jones is making the real pick…maybe this lockout isn’t so bad after all.

While Dallas has several areas of concern, the defensive backfield and the offensive line definitely stand out above the rest. I’d certainly love for Dallas to trade up for Patrick Peterson, or for Amukamara to fall to #9, but I don’t foresee either scenario happening. That having been said, our offensive line is completely and utterly terrible. I’ve been critical of Tony Romo (quite often actually), but it’s hard to kill the guy when he’s forced to run for his life on every single down. Marc Colombo is an absolute disaster at RT and another year of him would be absolutely unbearable. There are some durability issues with Tyron Smith, but he never actually missed a game in college so I’m not too concerned. While he played only RT at USC, his athleticism and foot work suggest he’ll be able to excel on the left side as well, thus allowing Doug Free to go back to his more natural position on the right side. Either way, at RT or LT, Smith would provide an immediate upgrade to the most depressing unit in football.

Prince: Oh no…here’s where you start thinking you’re smarter than NFL GMs. Unfortunately for Jerry Jones, it’s hard for me to argue against you on this one.

Of course, when the Cowboys have a high pick and need help on the O-line, there isn't a dominant left tackle. Usually offensive linemen go really high because of how important they are, but this year, most of them are seen as projects. It looks like Dallas will have their pick of any lineman though, as I don't see any team taking one before #9. Any help is an upgrade for that horrible line! In fact, I still clearly remember being on the phone with you when Alex Barron cost you the Redskins game with that horrible holding penalty...devastating. Just curious; what would you say the chances are that Dallas goes with Newton here?

Jon: That was one of the worst moments in my sports life. Season opener, I’m incredibly optimistic about the Cowboys’ chances, and Barron full on tackles Brian Orakpo to nullify the game winning touchdown and end the game…after I’ve begun celebrating at the top of my lungs. Just brutal. Maybe I’m going against my “Best Player Available” treatise a bit, but Smith is pretty high up on most draft boards and we simply can’t go through another season without giving Romo some semblance of protection. No wonder this guy gets hurt all the time!

On the question of Cam Newton…I will literally run myself over with my own car if the Cowboys take Cam Newton. Not only do I despise him more than mayonnaise (or bridges, or heights, or open water, etc.) but it would be completely idiotic to take a QB when we have so many other needs. Perhaps Jerry Jones plans on letting the offensive line suck forever and thus he needs a mobile QB. Who knows with this clown…

#10   Washington Redskins WR Julio Jones, Alabama

Prince: I have recently heard rumors that Washington is considering drafting Mallet here (I guess they finally realized Rex Grossman is not a good option), but looking at our mock draft, it seems like QBs will be available later on. I actually think there’s a good chance Jones ends up going to Washington on draft day, unless they decide to trade the pick. He had an amazing workout at the combine and could give a major boost to the Redskins passing game. With Sanatana Moss aging and Anthony Armstrong being their only other decent wide receiver, Jones should be able to make an impact his rookie season and I think he could be a beast in Mike Shanahan's West Coast offense. They still need to figure out what's going on at QB though…

Jon: I love this pick for Washington…just wasn’t sure if you were smart enough to make it! They have an incredibly low level of talent at the offensive skill positions, so Jones is an easy choice for them if he falls this far. You’re right though, QB is still a major problem, but #10 is too big a reach. I will say this however; I’m not a huge fan of Jake Locker, but if anyone was going to reach for him, Washington could be the right fit. He reminds me a lot of Jake Plummer, someone who Mike Shanahan had a lot of success with before. People seem to be all over the place on where Locker is going in the draft, but a trade down to take him (and net additional picks) might not be a bad idea.

Prince: It's great to see you have so much confidence in me making these picks. There’s definitely a possibility of Washington trading this pick, especially if Jones is already gone. Worst case scenario for them is landing a great pass rusher though, so they should be able to get good value at #10. They had a horrible defense last year, and will likely use most of their picks for guys on that side of the football. However, Jones is too good for them to pass up here, and wide receiver is a position where they really need help.


  1. Prince, I've never heard of this Sanatana Moss fellow... does he play for Washintgon?

    Landrum, somehow I knew you were going to pull something like that on me with the Niners' pick, and yet I still FULLY fell for it! It's like those haunted houses - you know some crazy guy in a mask is gonna jump out at you, but even if you brace for it you still jump when it actually happens.

  2. Wow I didn't catch the Sanatana Moss thing! You know what, I'm glad I didn't! Also, I'm so happy you fell for my obviously fake Niners pick...greatest moment in Boris Diaw Time history!