I received some tweets, e-mails, and blog posts concerning the upcoming 2012 NFL mock draft, so I thought I’d do a ‘lil post on it and share some thoughts. Make sure to pass along your questions and comments for future mailbags.
Hola BleepingIdiots. Where will Ryan Tannehill go? I sure hope he comes to Miami!
- from @JMurillo72
And he very may will! Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill is most likely to be the third quarterback drafted behind the number one and two picks in this year’s draft: Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. He’s a strong-armed, mobile QB who many have linked to the Browns, Dolphins, Chiefs, Seahawks, and Eagles, all in the first round.
However, many teams are concerned with his lack of experience. He came to College Station and was moved to wide receiver, but still sat in on quarterback meetings and film sessions. After then-starter Jerrod Johnson flamed out, Tannehill started his final 19 games as a QB. He probably needs some bench time to develop his timing and anticipation, as well as time to work on his ball security.
His range is somewhere from pick 8 to pick 16. I would hazard to guess that, barring a team trading up to a top seven pick, Miami will choose him at #8 overall. They could try to play a cat-and-mouse game and trade back a few picks, but they could risk another team leapfrogging them. Although, if you ask the fans in Miami, screwing it up would be the norm for Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland.
Do you think Trent Richardson is worth a top 5 pick?
- from Ian M. in Cleveland, OH
The last time we saw a prospect as clean as Richardson, in terms of the running-back position, was back in 2007 with Adrian Peterson. Richardson has just about everything you could want in a ‘back: size, speed, agility, physicality, hands, pass protection. He excels in all facets of the game.
There is a popular sentiment growing in the NFL that the running-back position is no longer worthy of a first round pick. Many teams have found surprises in the later rounds (Michael Turner, Jamaal Charles) and sometimes in undrafted free agency (Arian Foster, LeGarrette Blount). Whether because of the rule changes or the incorporation of the spread offense, the passing game is becoming more and more important in today’s NFL, and many believe the RB position is no longer an ancillary need.
To me, that is all up to a team’s tastes and preferences. The 49ers, Texans, and Broncos all made the playoffs last year with run-first offenses. Frank Gore, Willis McGahee, and Knowshown Moreno (and Tim Tebow for some people) were all first round running-backs. If you’re offensive mantra is “ground-and-pound,” say, like, the Jets or the Bengals, why not trade up a few spots to get a stalwart like Richardson? Shonn Green and Benjarvus Green-Ellis are serviceable at best, but a guy like Richardson can single handedly win some games for a team. One team hovering around the top five pick (Cleveland, Tampa Bay, St. Louis) will come away with him. And they won’t regret it.
Which top prospects could fall out of the first round?
- From Alex J. in Lehigh, PN
An obvious one is North Alabama corner Janoris Jenkins. Many see him rivaling LSU corner Morris Claiborne as the #1 pure cover corner prospect. He has fluid hips, runs well, and excels in man-to-man. However, he has an extensive list of off-the-field issues. His multiple arrests for assault and marijuana possession got him kicked out of Florida and he landed at North Alabama. He admitted to scouts at the combine he continued to smoke after transferring. He could fall to the second or even the third round.
Ohio State offensive tackle Mike Adams and Virginia Tech corner JayRon Hosley both tested positive for marijuana at the combine. Both were seen as late first-rounders before, but now both will likely slip to the middle of the second.
What players do you think are underrated/overrated?
- from S. Resfer, Fredericksburg, VA
Overrated: Dontari Poe, the defensive Tackle from Memphis, who had an impressive performance at the Scouting Combine back in Feburary. However, after reviewing his college film, many scouts have questioned whether he’ll be able to transition his athleticism effectively to the pro game. His college production was somewhat lackluster, and there are questions concerning his motor, as he had the tendency to take plays off.
Mark Barron, the safety from Alabama, is shooting up big boards and some think he could go in the top 10. I tend to think of him as more of an “in-the-box” safety, a player who plays close to the line of scrimmage to make plays in the backfield and help in run support. Can he play in man-to-man coverage and cover receivers by himself?
Also, I’d pump the brakes on taking a guy like Stanford TE Coby Fleener in the first round. He is the top player at his position in this weak tight end class, but his blocking leaves something to be desired. And although he’s athletic, he isn’t considered a quick-twitch athlete. He’s a fast guy once he can gain momentum upfield. His game most resembles that of an Owen Daniels of the Texans: not a prolific player, but one who will produce given the chance.
Underrated: I am a big fan of Boise State RB Doug Martin. His game is in the mold of a Ray Rice. He is decisive in his cuts, has good speed and size, and can stay on the field for third downs.
Another Boise State player, linebacker Shea McClellin, is a versatile player who is probably best as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. Green Bay and New England are targeting him at the bottom of the first, although he may go higher than that.
In the later rounds, a guy like Illinois WR A.J. Jenkins has top-notch speed and deep threat capability. He has good size and explosiveness, but is raw when it comes to his route running. He could also stand to develop the constant ability to separate from press coverage.
That’s all for today. Enjoy the draft, everyone!