TH mock draft: 11 – 15

I do not have a long intro in me today (too much work, aaarrrggghh!!!), but here are the links to the first ten picks in our 2008 NFL mock draft:

The real Miami Dolphins already have made a liar out of us by signing Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long. Brad Jones, the Dolphins’ mock drafter, had LSU’s Glenn Dorsey heading to South Beach.

And Long was supposed to be on his way to Atlanta to protect Chris Redman’s blind side, but that ain’t happening now either.

So we stand at 0-for-2 in the mock draft heading into this weekend, but it must go on. Hit the jump for picks 11 – 15.

1.11
The Buffalo Bills [Curveballs 4 Jesus] select Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
.

The Buffalo Bills are looking to improve on a good draft class last year and a decent showing from their young team in last year’s regular season. Bills fans are filled with hope for the future as players like Trent Edwards and Marshawn Lynch, with help from veteran Lee Evans, to get things moving on the offensive side of the ball.

On the defensive side of the ball, the key pickups of Marcus Stroud at tackle and Kawika Mitchell at linebacker fill needs, with a key opportunity to teach and develop Paul Posluszny’s linebacking abilities (Poz is going to end up being a phenomenal player – mark it down). I like the way the Bills organization is building this team, and hopefully this is the year that the almost decade-long streak of not making the playoffs will end. So with all that said the three primary areas of need ranked in order of importance are 1) wide receiver, 2) safety/cornerback, and 3) tight end.

I really liked Malcolm Kelly a month ago, and so did the Bills. It looked all but certain that the Bills were going to go with him to supplement Lee Evans. It is time for another playmaker on offense (Josh Reed and Roscoe Parrish are NOT the answer). However, we recently saw that Malcolm Kelly is also not the guy for us. He had a terrible pro workout, running a 4.68 in the 40. Then, Kelly turned around and blamed the turf and Oklahoma’s choice of facilities in brat-tastic fashion. We wanted a “T.O.-like big receiver,” Malcolm … but not a T.O.-like attitude.

So, with Kelly out the door, our other choices at receiver fall to Limas Sweed of Texas, Devin Thomas of Michigan State, and Early Doucet of LSU. I hesitate to take any of these guys at #11, but a receiver is definitely what the Bills need right now. There are no safeties out there that I am in love with (I like, but don’t love, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie), and although we haven’t had a great tight end for years, I don’t think we would draft a tight end as high as #11 either. I am willing to see what incoming free agent Courtney Anderson has for us.

If we are going to draft a much-needed receiver, we may as well take our pick and get the first receiver in the entire draft, instead of waiting for round 2 after they have been picked over some. With the #11 overall pick in the 2008 Hazean Mock Draft, the Bills select Devin Thomas of Michigan State.

Thomas gives us that big receiver playmaker ability, coming in at 6-2 and 216 lbs. I am betting the two inches we lose between Kelly and Thomas will be made up by his 4.40 speed in the forty, large wingspan, and all-around work ethic, which Kelly obviously lacks. He is the kind of guy that is going to catch the ball inside of ten yards and then scorch you for a touchdown. This would be a great supplement to Evans deep threat and Lynch’s running ability, and it opens up the offensive playbook a bit more. Not to mention that he can also return kicks.

1.12
The Denver Broncos [Fantasy Football Librarian] select Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
.

Attempting to get into Shanahan’s mind on draft day is a tricky thing, particularly following a slew of rather underwhelming recent draft picks and a season that most Broncos fans would probably rather forget about. Not surprisingly, the Broncos have a lot of needs – they must stop the run, they must increase their red zone efficiency, they must find another receiver to complement injured Brandon Marshall (and c’mon, are Keary Colbert and newly acquired Samie Parker really the answer?).

I think overall the most glaring needs are at DT and OT. In a dream world, the Broncos would have liked to have acquired a DT like Glenn Dorsey or Sedrick Ellis – but both are already spoken for; the next DTs are not necessarily worthy of a #12 overall pick and there could be value found there later on in the draft. So I’ll turn my attention to the O-line, which is also sorely in need of help.

With Clady already gone to the Ravens in this mock draft, Chris Williams, OT from Vanderbilt, looks like a great long-term solution for the Broncos who have lost left tackle Matt Lepsis to retirement. Williams is hot off a great Senior Bowl performance and the guy has shown overall excellent athleticism. And get this – over the course of 836 snaps his senior year, the Vandy QB was sacked just once with Williams in at left tackle.

So with the overall #12 pick in the 2008 Hazean mock draft, the Broncos select Chris Williams. Williams, a former teammate of Cutler’s at Vandy, will fill in the gapping hole at left tackle – and most importantly, he will be there to protect Denver’s most prized possession: Jay Cutler. For a highlight reel of Chris Williams, check out this video on rivals.com.

1.13
The Carolina Panthers [Peter Schrager from Fox Sports]
select Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh.

Make it two Januarys in a row spent watching football on the couch for John Fox and his Carolina Panthers. Both playoff-less seasons, injuries to Jake Delhomme left serious voids at the quarterback position down the stretch. The Chris Weinke experiment in ’06 was a disaster, and as pleasant a story as Vinny Testaverde’s comeback was for the Chris Berman types on ESPN to hoot and holler about, the Panthers were horrendous with him under center. Let’s not even discuss the David Carr Era in Charlotte.
Yet, with that said, undrafted rookie free agent Matt Moore really started to show flashes when given some snaps and there’s some high praise in Panthers’ circles for former Northwestern signal caller, Brett Basanez. With Moore and Basanez on board as young hurlers capable to go if Delhomme goes down, there’s actually a lot less of a dire need at quarterack in Carolina than you might expect. Some even say Moore can give Delhomme a run for his money as the opening day starter.
Jordan Gross was given the franchise tag this off-season, and though he’s played both right and left tackle in his time at Carolina, the Panthers could certainly use a first round pick to plug in on the O-Line, whether for insurance if Gross is gone after this season–or as a starting left or right tackle this year.
Jeff Otah–a mauling presence out of Pitt–has tremendous potential and may be too tempting to pass up at #13. At 6’6 and a generously listed 330 pounds, he has the size and talent to be the NFL’s next great offensive lineman. One need only to watch what Otah did one-on-one with Chris Long when the two played head-to-head to see how scary a talent he is.
The Panthers will look long and hard at Branden Albert, and may consider a DT along the lines of a Ketwan Balmer, at 13. The fans, meanwhile, may be clamoring for Brian Brohm. But if it shakes out this way, I think the pick is Jeff Otah, offensive tackle, out of Pitt.

1.14
The Chicago Bears [Football Jabber] select Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College
.

With all the glaring needs for the Chicago Bears on the offensive side of the ball, they have not done much to help themselves in free agency. They continue to insist that they know what they are doing with the QB position as we have seen Brian Griese depart and Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton stick around. Adrian Peterson and last year’s 3rd-rounder Garrett Wolfe are still in place to go in behind Cedric Benson. Muhsin Muhammaad and Bernard Berrian are gone, enter Marty Booker and Brandon Lloyd. The tackle position is John Tait.

Jerry Angelo and the Bears seem to have a real hard time conceding that they may not have drafted the answers at the QB and RB position. Both positions can be addressed in upcoming rounds without them admitting they were wrong by taking one in the first round. With this the logical choice would be to help a depleted offensive line to protect their average playing boys. 10 of their last 16 picks over the last two years have been on the defensive side of the ball, they have not drafted an Offensive tackle since Marc Columbo in 2002. Maybe they think he is still on the roster.

With OT’s flying off the board they may be faced with having to reach at the #14 spot but they have not given themselves much choice. Ideally they would bring someone in that could eventually work the left side of the ball while John Tait moves over to the right. Gosder Cherilus of Boston College is a Right Tackle that the Bears will select praying that he can someday play on the left. If that doesn’t work out at least they got themselves a solid RT once they learn to accept it.

1.15
The Detroit Lions [Joe Strahl] select Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State
.

Well, drafting in the first round as the Lions means wide receiver has to be the pick, right? Well not this year! Martz is gone, Marinelli would rather play defense every possession and just punt on first down and Millen has to finally be on a short leash. I mean what stat for ineptitude does the Ford family need to see about this period? Whoops tangent, tangent, tangent.

This is a very deep running back class that makes Felix Jones as tempting as an interview request to a Steinbrenner ditto for Mendenhall, but for the second time in the Millen era the pick is defense! The Lions have no problem picking a position that is perceived to have depth, see 20007 (Calvin Johnson despite Roy and Mike Williams, and Furry), 2006 (Sims despite Lehman and Boss), 2005 (Mike Williams despite Roy and Rogers) and 2004 (Roy despite Rogers).
So despite an offseason that has seen them add retreads without much left in the tank like Brian Kelly or other teams’ underachievers like Leigh Bodden or their own underachievers like Travis Fisher and Daniel Bullocks, DOMINIQUE RODGERS-CROMARTIE is the pick.
Cromartie could become as dominant as the other Cromartie (Antonio of the Chargers) and after he pulled a Mike Mamula show at the Combine and the Senior bowl could/should have gone higher.

So despite the fact that the thought of taking Desean Jackson makes Millen’s hands shake and missing out on Devin Thomas was like a punch to the Adam’s Apple, the choice at corner for the WR rich NFC North is Rodgers-Cromartie.

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One Response

  1. […] The Hazean: Mock Draft – Picks 11-15 […]

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