Wednesday, March 4, 2009

mock drafts, take 2

A few weeks ago I went through a list of mock drafts to see where Eugene Monroe was tabbed by the various pundits. Now it's after the combine, so let's do that again to see what effect the combine had on his draft stock.

(A quick tangent about "draft stock" and the combine: I really hate when my team (the Lions) take a player who wasn't particularly highly thought of before the combine but who "really rocketed up the draft boards" after the combine, or some such phrasing. Frankly I think if a player's four years of playing actual football games weren't enough of a resume to draft him high and pay him millions, one meat market weekend shouldn't suddenly change anyone's mind. This is the part of the NFL draft that drives me nuts. That said, however, Monroe was already thought of as a top-five pick by many before the combine, so the fact that his "stock" has risen slightly since doesn't really trigger this reaction for me.)

Here is the pre-combine list of mocks. Throwing out the highest and lowest (mainly because one mock, probably compiled after an all-night bender on Wild Turkey and cocaine, left him out of the first round, and I don't otherwise know how I should figure the average) his average draft spot was about 5th. Here are the updates:

James Alder ( 1st - Detroit Lions
Nolan Nawrocki ( 2nd - St. Louis Rams*
Yahoo Sports/Nat'l Football Post: 2nd - St. Louis Rams#
Don Banks (Sports Illustrated): 3rd - Kansas City Chiefs
Tony Kornheiser (his own blog): 3rd - Kansas City Chiefs*
Rob Rang (CBS Sports): 4th - Seattle Seahawks
Chris Steuber ( 6th - Cincinnati Bengals
Mel Kiper (ESPN): 6th - Cincinnati Bengals
Pete Fiutak ( 6th - Cincinnati Bengals
Steve Silverman (NBC Sports): 14th - New Orleans Saints

*Nawrocki hasn't actually updated his since the original one, and Kornheiser has but not since the combine
#I wanted there to be a Yahoo mock draft when I wrote the first post, but there wasn't. Now there is.

So, again throwing out the highest and lowest picks, Monroe moved up a spot, from 5th to 4th. Still just one pundit who thinks he'll go first overall, and that I think is mainly because many of these guys are fixated on Matt Stafford.

(Tangent alert. I speak in this paragraph as a Lions fan. If you want to skip ahead that's cool. With the disclaimer out of the way, I absolutely hate this notion that a bad team must get a quarterback before it does anything else; and further I hate the notion that since Stafford (or in the minds of some, Mark Sanchez) is the best quarterback in the draft, he must naturally be a Franchise Quarterback. The Lions have sucky suck sucks at practically every position and they frankly need the best player available, except Crabtree. Whoever that is, they should take. I don't know for sure whether that's Monroe, or Jason/Andre Smith, or Aaron Curry, or what, but it is not Stafford. Stafford is often compared to Jay Cutler as a Franchise Quarterback. Oh really? A first-overall quality quarterback can't do any better than be compared to the 16th best quarterback in the league in passer rating and the one who threw the second-most picks all year? Fuck. That. Gimme a lineman or a linebacker or something.)

OK sorry about that. I'm done there. Anyway, the combine seems to have had the effect of boosting Monroe's "stock" somewhat. However, Monroe's getting out-benched rather badly by Baylor's Jason Smith was pretty publicized, and overall that bench press was not a great showing. Monroe makes a move upwards primarily, I think, because of the absolute self-nuke job Andre Smith managed to pull at the combine. A. Smith is too talented to drop out of the first round, but he effectively removed himself from competition with J. Smith and Monroe. I think most of the above picks are fair - they generally reflect whether the pundit thinks Monroe or J. Smith is a better choice - except Silverman's. That's not too puzzling though - Silverman simply underrates all the tackles. None of the three even sniff the top ten in his mock. It's a bit weird given the NFL's propensity of late to think very highly of left tackles (Jake Long, yo) and probably dismissable.

Check back tomorrow for my rant on the utter hypocrisy of the Mountain West playoff proposal.

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