Friday, April 24, 2009

mock drafts, take 3

(A couple quick Tony Bennett links to get you started. Here's one, here's another. They're interviews, pretty good, I enjoyed 'em you will too, go read, etc. etc.)

It is NFL Draft Eve. Like Christmas, only for grown-ups who didn't really grow up all the way. (I was going to say "like an adult Christmas" only that sounds like the holiday in which you get "adult toys" and I try to be PG-13, so, no. Just a small, probably unwanted window into my head.)

Anyway, my Christmas is already spoiled. I feel just like a kid who really really wants a ten-speed, overhears his parents saying "he'll love it, it's just what he wants", sneaks downstairs, and finds a two-speed girls' bike. I'm finally getting what I've always wanted, only it's a terrible version of it because Mom doesn't know the difference between bikes and the salesman said this was a really good one. That's what drafting Matt Stafford is like when your team has not had a good quarterback since the Eisenhower era.

Whatever, you don't want to hear about the Lions, you want to hear about UVA. So in this post (1) and this one (2) I dug up a bunch of mock drafts to see what the experts thought about Eugene Monroe's draft possibilities. Now that we pretty much know everything we're going to know about tomorrow, it's time for Take #3. Here are the mocks from around the GoogleTubes:

Chris Steuber ( 2nd - St. Louis Rams
James Alder ( 4th - Seattle Seahawks
Pete Fiutak ( 4th - Seattle Seahawks
Yahoo! Sports: 6th - Cincinnati Bengals
Don Banks (Sports Illustrated): 6th - Cincinnati Bengals
Evan Silva (NBC Sports): 6th - Cincinnati Bengals
Mel Kiper ( 7th - Oakland Raiders
Nolan Nawrocki ( 8th - Jacksonville Jaguars
Rob Rang (CBS Sports): 9th - Green Bay Packers

A few differences, notably, NBC's mock this time is done by someone who isn't Steve Silverman, who was dumb - Silverman's first mock omitted Monroe entirely. Which is why I've been dropping the top and bottom picks to find the averages. Having a sane writer do NBC's mock didn't help Monroe's average positioning, though. He's dropped a few slots in most of these, and has gone from the 5th pick to the 4th, and now, taking the averages and again dropping the top and bottom, the 6th pick.

A lot of the mocks now mention the occasional knee issues Monroe's had over the years, which was probably a factor. Andre Smith has also been creeping back up the boards. After the combine, a few writers openly wondered if Smith had worked himself right out of the first round, opening up more spots higher up for Monroe. Then they came to their senses and realized NFL teams, especially bad ones, generally don't let character issues get in the way of talent, and Smith is now solidly back in the top ten. So Monroe takes a little bit of a hit.

Me? Barring any trades, I think Monroe goes 6th, to the Bengals.

It won't be the Lions - Stafford is the pick, unless they don't get a deal done and take Aaron Curry instead. The Rams could use an OT, but Jason Smith seems to be generally considered the better pick by NFL types (witness the Yahoo draft, which ranks Monroe the #1 prospect in the whole draft but has the Rams taking J. Smith anyway.) The Chiefs are the most likely to deal their pick - if they don't, they'll take Curry, and if they do, that team didn't trade up for Monroe - probably Mark Sanchez. The Seahawks could take Monroe if both quarterbacks are gone, but I think they'll see this draft as a chance to get someone for grooming to succeed Matt Hasselbeck. Cleveland has a Pro Bowl LT already.

That brings us to Cincinnati. There's not the smallest doubt they need a left tackle - they gave up 51 sacks last year. (Hey, guess who gave up more? Ford Field turf - Matt Stafford. Matt Stafford, Ford Field turf. You guys will be seeing a lot of each other, up close and personal.) If my stab at mocking the draft is correct, the Bengals will have a choice between Monroe and Andre Smith. I'm guessing the Bengals are tired of being known as a rest stop on the road between college and the back of a squad car. Not to suggest Andre Smith is a likely candidate for prison himself, but character questions are character questions, and that tag is his, like it or not. Between the guy that's raised issues about himself and the guy who hasn't, the choice will be easy for the Bengals.

Since I'm in the business of making predictions, here are a couple more for the rest of our draftable types:

Clint Sintim - 2nd round
Cedric Peerman - 4th round
Kevin Ogletree - 5th round
John Phillips - 5th round
Antonio Appleby - 7th round

So there you go. Happy draft-watching. Me, I'll be spending most of the weekend desperately hoping the Lions remember they have a defense too (or actually, don't have a defense and need to draft one.)

No comments: