In the spirit of being a month out from the NFL draft. I did another mock draft. This time I used PFN. Here is how the draft went:
#25- WR Quentin Johnston: Banks was on the board here and I was really torn between the two. Johnston has some flaws, but he is a top 10-15 talent and I couldn't pass on the value. It also sets the pecking order for our receivers with an eventual bona fide #1.
#57- LB Jack Campbell: There were a slew of options remaining in the second round and I was going to select Brents at CB, but he went the pick ahead of us. Campbell was still on the board, and so was Schmidtz, but none of the C's were off the board, so I felt pretty good plugging a hole on the D with this pick. Okereke cannot do it himself, and I am not sure we can count on Beavers being back at the start of the season. With Davis, Okereke, Campbell, and Beavers/other, I think we are much improved at LB.
Trade- I traded our 3rd round pick for Cleveland's #98 and #126
#98- CB Darius Rush: Got the CB I wanted even after making the trade. Rush may struggle a little early, but I believe he will be a fine CB2 for us. Allows Robinson (if he can ever stay healthy) to play the slot where he did well as a rookie.
#126- C Olusegun Oluwatim: With Bredeson set to be our starting C, I draft double O as our C of the future. I still think a free agent signing may be in order but it doesn't have to be a top caliber starter. I would sign Jones and let him mentor double O for a year or two.
#128- Edge Zach Harrison: Freakish athleticism and a long body. Might need a year to adjust and gain some weight but has the makings of a nice complement to Thibs and Ojulari.
#160-RB Tyjae Spears: Quality backup to Barkley and would slot in at RB 3. Can catch the ball as well, and is a bargain in the 5th. Probably will be long gone in reality.
#172- G Chandler Zavala: Mammoth of a man at 6'5' and 340, and is insurance against injuries and with Bredeson moving to C. Lemieux is a walking injury waiting to happen and McKethan might not be ready for the start of the season.
#209- S Javon Hicks: I drafted hicks as a 4th S or ST player. Has decent height and will need to earn his way into some play at safety.
#240- C Alex Forsyth: Drafted to be the 3rd C, and possibly replace Kretier at LS when he retires. Can play G as well, so there is a spot for him. Hell, it's a 7th round pick so if it doesn't work out it isn't a huge loss.
Trade- SF wanted to move up to 243 so I flipped picks with them
#247- DT Byron Young: Big, powerful guy who will need a year or two to develop, but has the makings of being a serviceable back up.
#253- DT Cory Durden: Same makeup as Young. My intent with back to back DT picks is to reenergize the development pipeline and have one of these two be an eventual replacement for Leo.
I think this is a pretty solid draft, and I think if Rush can settle into CB2 our defense is pretty stout with Campbell contributing at LB. Offensively, C is fixed (on paper anyways) and we got an eventual #1 WR for DJ. Spears is insurance for Barkley, and we added depth to the OL and DL. Let me know what you think.