Return of the Zach…just in time for the NFL DraftPublished 2:14pm Thursday, April 26, 2012
Wow what a crazy and weird last five months it’s been. For those of you that continued to check my blog during that time, I am sorry to inform you that I had left the Daily Journal to pursue my dream of being a house husband while my wife slaved away at work. Just kidding. In that time, I got the opportunity to coach a Jr. High basketball team, start grad school and develop my inner chi.
But now I am back and just in time for what many have dubbed NFL Christmas…NFL DRAFT WEEK! I am not going to lie, outside of the NFL season this is my favorite time of year. It blends to of my favorite sports together, college football and professional football.
Let’s get to the picks and next week I will chronicle more of my triumphant return to the Daily Journal.
1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford – Already decided even before Peyton decided to lace up his cleats to play for the Denver Broncos
2. Washington Redskins – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor – Owner Dan Snyder took a new approach to his team…By trading away their future for a single player, rather than pick up great players past their prime.
3. Minnesota Vikings – ???? – Don’t ask me. I thought I had this one figured out months ago. I am thinking Matt Kalil, OT, USC. So the rest of the draft will be based off this selection. As a Vikings fan I can only hope that General Manager Rick Spielmann is blowing smoke about drafting Morris Claiborne. I don’t like the fact the guy scored a 4 on the Wonderlic test and he did also play in one of the best secondaries in college football. Kalil has the NFL pedigree that a lot of teams relish and also we are terrible at LT (Speaking of, those of you that wanted to get rid of Bryant McKinnie, see how good he actually was. Not to say he wasn’t overweight and not smart.).
4. Cleveland Browns – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama – The kid has been compared to Adrian Peterson. I wouldn’t rank him that high but he was the première back in college football. This is also a spot that could be traded to the J-E-T-S, Jets Jets Jets.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU – In a true dream world the Vikings would be able to speculate with the third pick and trade with Tampa Bay and still get Kalil at five, but the Bucs don’t lose out if we do draft Claiborne. I see this as the pick going forward.
6. St. Louis Rams – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St. – Since their Defensive Coordinator is suspended until Roger Goddell believes he is sorry, the Rams will look to give Sam Bradford a weapon for next season.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – (Tim Tebow, QB, Florida – Just Kidding) – Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State – The Jags are going to be playing for a QB in next year’s draft, might as well get the defense for the big 2015 push.
8. Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M – In my opinion might be a reach for the Dolphins. I am not sold on Tannehill and I believe they could trade down and still get him. Next year’s draft would be better suited for Miami to pick a QB.
9. Carolina Panthers – Quinton Couples, DE, North Carolina – No brainer. They need help on defense. Cam Newton only plays on one side of the ball and it’s the side that scores the most points.
10. Buffalo Bills – Mark Barron, S, Alabama – They play in the same division as the New England Patriots. If they can figure out a way to beat them, they have a chance to squeak into the playoffs. It won’t happen but this pick might bring them one step closer.
11. Kansas City Chiefs – David DeCastro, G, Stanford – Not a sexy pick, but if you are still thinking about having Matt Cassel at QB you need to make sure he is healthy.
12. Seattle Seahawks – Luke Kuechly, OLB, Boston College – I love this guy’s motor and wish that the Vikes could have a pick to get him. Pete Carroll will look to retool his aging defense and this is a cornerstone.
13. Arizona Cardinal – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame – A lot of people have speculated that is could be an OT. I am going with my gut that the Cards will have the two best receivers from Minnesota playing opposite one another next season.
14. Dallas Cowboys – Michael Brockers, DE/DT, LSU – DE was an extreme need last year, but the ‘Boys opted to go with an OT last season. They hope that this pick can add fight to their defense more than Pilar Sanders in a rage.
15. Philadelphia Eagles – Stephen Gilmore, CB, South Carolina – Last season’s “dream team” turned into a nightmare as they had to start Vince Young at QB. This pick makes sense as they just said sayonara to CB Asante Samuel sending him to Atlanta.
16. New York Jets – Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina – Jets now have Tebow, so drafting a wide receiver at this point doesn’t seem logical (might as well draft 6 running backs after this pick). Rex Ryan will go with what he knows…defense.
17. Cincinnati Bengals – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama – Last season’s darling in the playoffs will make the move for defensive improvement. The pot possession charge was dropped on Kirkpatrick, but it seems to be the MO in Cincinnati since Marvin Lewis took over.
18. San Diego Chargers – Chandler Jones, DE/OLB, Syracuse – My prediction for this pick is defensive help as the Chargers only had one player with more than 4 sacks. Will it mean anything at the end of the year…yes…GM A.J. Smith and Head Coach Norv Turner will be out the door.
19. Chicago Bears – Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois – In state player looks to put pressure on NFC North QBs. Although WR is a need, it will help the Bears LB corps from getting popped by OLs this season.
20. Tennessee Titans – Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis- This guy dropped from the top 10 in recent months. The Titans haven’t had a big man that could install fear like this since Albert “out of shape” Haynesworth.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Courtney Upshaw, DE, Alabama – More defense. I suspect that the Bengals are looking to take the “get ahead first” style of offense and ride a strong and aggressive defensive plan next season.
22. Cleveland Browns – Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor – A Percy Harvin clone. His numbers were amazing last season. The Browns now need to distinguish if that was because of his elite speed or defensive coordinators game planning for RGIII.
23. Detroit Lions – Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford- We all saw last season what Matt Stafford can do with time. Megatron has finally immerged as the best receiver in the NFL and the team is looking more like its 90s version. Protection is the key to keep Stafford healthy, draft Martin.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama – Another Bama player taken in the first round. The Steelers cut James Farrior and need a replacement. Offense is still clicking, but with playing more high flying teams this season, I can an upgrade on defense.
25. Denver Broncos – Doug Martin, RB, Boise State – Peyton Manning needs a decent running back for next season. I don’t have my usual draft guru for Denver by my side to tell me what the Broncos will do but Peyton does not need great receivers to throw for over 4,000 yards.
26. Houston Texans – Cordy Glenn, G/OT, Georgia – This is a great pick to give Arian Foster more room to run, but it doesn’t fill the vacancy by Mario Williams
27. New England Patriots – Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise Sate – We all saw the Super Bowl, the Pats can keep up offensively, but don’t expect their defense to shutdown the opponent. This is a move to fix that.
28. Green Bay Packers – Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame – After Nick Collins was cut by the Pack, this is the pick. Smith was projected to go to the Vikes in the second round but the Packers need to fill the immediate need.
29. Baltimore Ravens – Peter Konz, G/C, Wisconsin- He will be able to be taught by one of the best centers in the league over the last decade, but for now he will replace Ben Grubbs on the line.
30. San Francisco 49ers – Amini Silatou, G, Midwestern State – This might be a reach, but the 49ers seem to be pretty set at all other positions with the acquisitions of Randy Moss and Mario Manninham at WR and Brandon Jacobs at RB.
31. New England Patriots – Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut – I doubt the Pats will stay here in the first round but if they do this is their pick.
32. New York Giants – Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech – He is not the next Megatron or Super Freak, but he isn’t Troy Williamson. The Giants get a raw 6’4 receiver that could be another field stretcher opposite of Victor Cruz (and this one won’t shoot himself in the leg.)
Well those are my picks for the draft. I hope you enjoy and look forward to talking to you guys again soon,