Over this past weekend, I partook in the Mocking the Draft LIVE mock draft as the general manager of the New York Giants. I've already posted my selections several times, but I just wanted to take some time out to explain and justify my choices. It was a blast to do, and gave me a chance to flex my GM muscles.
At the end, we graded each other's mock drafts. I received grades ranging from B+ to A-. The only reason I didn't get an A is because of my first round selection. So, hear me out, and I'll tell you why this draft gives us more than a good chance at a repeat Superbowl victory.
The draft tracker can be found right here
In an effort to make this mock as realistic as possible, I tried to be as "Jerry Reese" as possible. I used my own big board of about 150 prospects, and separated into neighborhoods. I had 21 neighborhoods in total with about 7-8 players per neighborhood. This was my method of selection
-> 9 positions (QB, RB, OL, DL, LB, TE, WR, DB, ST)
-> Higher neighborhoods (BPA) got a bonus
-> Positional value (WR, DL, DB) got a bonus, while (RB, OL, LB, TE) was graded down. (QB, ST) was ignored.
-> Positions were graded down if I took a player at that position in an earlier round (double-dipping)
-> Slight bonus was given to "need" if two or more positions were in the same neighborhood
-> Trades were considered as per draft value chart, but I did not consider trades unless I was getting at least 100 points in value. Nobody is going to take advantage of Jerry MF'in Reese.
That's it! Let's get to it.
1) Alshon Jeffery, WR South Carolina
Round 1 was certainly a period of insanity. The first couple picks went regularly enough, with Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III went 1 and 2. Then it went sort of off-kilter. Morris Claiborne to Vikings. Ryan Tannehill to the Cleveland Browns, and the biggest shocker, Coby Fleener to the Miami Dolphins. This move was almost universally panned, and the Dolphins GM admitted that he made a reach. Regardless, those Coby Fleener fans will have to be disappointed.
I chose Alshon Jeffery, WR out of South Carolina. Why?
Jeffery was not a locker room cancer, by all accounts was a good teammate, AND had legitimate production in 2010 (80 rec, 1500 yds, 18 YPC, 9 TDs) and though he had a down year, he still had 49 catches for 762 yds, 15.7 YPC and 8 TDs. You can only catch passes if you are targeted. In 2010, he caught 67% of his targets, so that ain’t an issue. I can’t find info for 2011, but I’m a 100% sure he saw a decrease in targets. His separation issues are overblown. He’s got traits that translate well to the nfl. He’s physical, and he gets separation by boxing out the opponent. He’s shown a fantastic ability to adjust to errant balls thrown his way, which is highly translatable. Great body control, goes up and gets the ball at its highest point and is a natural pass catcher. That’s why I’m so excited about him. I’m not worried about the weight issue. Hakeem Nicks had weight issues coming out of college. He showed up at 216 at the combine. Probably dehydrated himself to lose weight and couldn’t do drills, his playing weight is probably around 220-225, which is fine.
It was either between him or Janoris Jenkins for BPA. Jenkins is a great prospect in his own right, but he has more red flags than Jeffery does, and is a little short for the Giants' liking. So that was it, Jeffery it was. A few red flags? Sure. But as long as he isn't a cancer, is willing to work hard (coaches publicly praised work ethic) and has shown to be an animal, you take him and don't look back.
2) David Wilson, RB Va Tech
Far and away BPA. Insane speed, nice vision, good blocker. We lost Brandon Jacobs, but we added a firecracker to our backfield. I took a chance on skipping Lamar Miller (barely higher than Doug Martin, and a bit higher, though same neighborhood, as Wilson) in the first round because the positional value didn't match up. I gambled that one of the big three would be available in the 2nd.
I was correct. Doug Martin didn't go until pick #54. Lamar Miller went at pick #59. After a few minutes of holding my breath, I ran up to the podium to hand in my card. Wilson was there and now adds explosiveness. We probably could still bring back Jacobs, because we need a power back, or just let Hynoski take the short yardage snaps. Wilson provides insurance for Bradshaw, and is a big play threat waiting to happen. It might also allow Da'Rel Scott to focus only on kickoffs and punt returns.
3) Bobby Massie, OT Ole Miss
Had an early 2nd round grade on him, so to get him in the 3rd was a coup. He’s a RT only, but have a feeling he’ll be a damn good one. Athletic, with nice footwork. Average strength, but technically sound. He could be capable of starting mid-season, if need be. I really, really liked this pick.
Once again, I waited with bated breath to see if he'd last. Outside of Cordy Glenn and Riley Reiff themselves, Massie is probably tied for best RT prospect with Kelechi Osemele. Osemele went early in the 2nd round, and would probably be a better guard anyway. He's strong. Massie has great footwork and a nice punch. He'll compete with James Brewer behind David Diehl for snaps. If Brewer wins, Massie has the potential to kick inside to guard as well, so we have our bases covered.
4) Tyrone Crawford, DE Boise St.
Crawford, in a recent interview, said he models himself after Justin Tuck. I like this kid already. He’s raw, but has great measurables. Moves well for a 270 lber, and can play all spots on the line. He’ll sit and learn for a bit, which is the plan all along. If there’s anybody that develops monster DE’s, everybody’s first thought would be the Giants. He’ll help the eventual loss of Osi Umenyiora, and like Alshon Jeffery, reload at a position of strength.
We missed out in the first on Andre Branch, Whitney Mercilus, and Nick Perry. In the 2nd, we missed out on Cam Johnson, Chandler Jones. Crawford's upside alone makes him worthy of a late 2nd round "flier." Massie was better value in the 3rd, plus filled a need, so I took him, but the insanity that was Crawford in the 4th had every other GM applauding the pick.
5) Justin Bethel, FS/CB Presbyterian
This was my most disappointing pick. Not because I don’t like Bethel. I really like him. But there were two prospects that inexplicably had dropped that I was looking to snatch up. One was Michael Egnew, an athletic TE that underachieved this past year. The other was Brandon Taylor, my 3rd ranked safety in the draft (behind Barron and Smith) who went one pick before. I was left scrambling, but Bethel is a great compensatory pick. Smooth, large athlete who is a strong coverage CB. He looked smooth in drills, and could potentially replace Antrel Rolle down the line.
6) Marcus Forston, DT Miami
I cannot believe he was still left. He’s a powerful player that’s got the first step of a DE. He’s got some motor concerns and was out all year with an injury, but he’s a project that’s sure to pay dividends in the future. He reminds me of Marvin Austin, who we drafted in the 2nd round in 2011. Chris Canty looks like a cap casualty in the near future, so Forston will be able to fill in quite nicely in the coming years and replenish our DT rotation.
I fully expect our DL rotation in 2013 to be Linval Joseph, Marvin Austin, Marcus Forston, plus another draft pick. All insane upside picks that did relatively little in college. Reese looks for athletes at certain positions and this was no exception.
7) Keith Tandy, CB WVU
Purely a BPA pick. Tandy was one of the better cover corners for WVU, was named to the all Big-East team and has really good size at a little over 6 feet. He’s going to contribute right away in STs, and has a very strong shot at making the roster as a 5th CB for us.
Honestly, he should not have even made it this far. Less corners were picked before him. Oh well, that's what'll keep you at the bottom, other GMs.
UDFA) James Hanna, TE Oklahoma
A "need" pick for sure. Workout warrior: Hanna ran the 40 in 4.49 seconds, had a 1.59 10-yard split, put up 225 pounds 24 times and registered a 36" vert. He ran the 3-cone in 6.76 seconds and the short-shuttle in 4.11. He has 33 1/8" arms and 9 7/8" hands. This is from a 6’4 252 lbs player. Not sure why he wasn’t drafted, but if we can make Kevin Boss and Jake Ballard into decent TE’s, we’re going to get someone good with Hanna.
I didn't go after a TE earlier because the value just wasn't there. I didn't view it as a massive priority because we have Bennett, and (eventually) Ballard. Dwayne Allen gone before I picked in the 2nd. Fleener went 8th overall to Miami (LOL). Egnew went in the 5th, but I wasn't going to take a TE over a DE with better value. I waited, and nobody thought of the best combine performer at TE, so I snatched him up.
UDFA) Micah Pellerin, CB Hampton
High upside CB with great size and again, went with someone with nice coverage ability. Will fight it out with Keith Tandy. Another corner with a 5th-6th round grade for me. Should've been drafted. Oh well.
UDFA) Jacquies Smith, DE Mizzou
Not extremely athletic, but a hard worker and non-stop motor. Team leader and lunch pail guy that got production in Missouri. Should be a practice squad player for a few years until we’re ready to unleash him. Will challenge Justin Trattou and Adrian Tracy. Nothing like good 'ol competition.
UDFA) Markus Zusevics, OG Iowa
Dirty, nasty vicious guy. Nice measurables and good size. Good pass protector. Decided to take a flier on someone with a mean streak on an off chance he can make the roster.