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  • Contributors


    Cris Collinsworth

    Former Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals and Emmy-winning analyst from Sunday Night Football and Inside the NFL.
    Dave Lapham
    Has called game for the Bengals radio network for 25 years. Analyst for Big 12 games on Fox Sports Net. Played 10 years in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals.
    Turk Schonert
    NFL quarterback for 10 years with the Bengals and Falcons. Has served as quarterback coach for the Buccaneers, Bills, Panthers, Giants and Saints and Offensive Coordinator for the Bills.
    Phil McConkey
    Played 6 years in the NFL as a WR, punt returner and kick returner for the Giants, Packers, Cardinals and Chargers. Played college football at the Naval Academy and served in the U.S. Navy before joining the NFL. Best remembered for his oustanding game in Super Bowl XXI.
    Josina Anderson
    Josina "JoJo" Anderson is contributing reporter on Showtime's Inside the NFL and is a weekend co-anchor/reporter/producer for FOX 31 Sports in Denver, Colorado. Josina produces the nightly sportscasts and covers the Denver Broncos, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado Rockies.
    Jerry Jones
    NFL Draft Expert, has published the acclaimed Drugstore List since 1978.
    Russell S Baxter
    Researcher, writer and editor covering the NFL for over 30 years.
    Andy Freeland
    Statistician and researcher for NBC's Sunday Night Football.
  • Mock Draft 3.0 (#17-#32)



    This is the second part of the mock draft. To view the first part, click here.

    17) Minnesota Vikings - DT - Kawann Short - Purdue: Kevin Williams has brought back fond memories for Vikings fans this year of when he was in his prime, due to his impressive play this season. He is however 32-years old, and with nobody currently on the roster looking fit enough to be his eventual replacement, drafting Kawann Short would allow the team to get an extremely talented prospect and let him learn from one of the best defensive tackles of the past decade.

    18) St. Louis Rams - WR - Keenan Allen - California: The first round pick they obtained from the Washington Redskins has ended up being a lot higher than just about anyone expected. Still, the Rams can get a very talented and valuable player with it by selecting Golden Bear standout Keenan Allen. The Rams invested a second round pick in project prospect Brian Quick last April, and they're also getting immediate returns this year from fourth-rounder Chris Givens, but adding a dynamic playmaker like Allen would give them a potentially terrifying stable of receivers once you add in slot demon Danny Amendola.

    19) Dallas Cowboys - G - Barrett Jones - Alabama: While Nate Livings has played rather nicely for the Cowboys after being let go by the Cincinnati Bengals, the same cannot be said of Carolina Panthers castoff Mackenzy Bernadeau. The Cowboys desperately need to repair the offensive line this spring, and grabbing former Outland Trophy winner Barrett Jones would be a step in the right direction. This is a bit high for Jones, but he uses his hands and feet better than just about any other lineman in this draft class, and his ability to play multiple positions would be of great value to an unsettled line.

    20) Cincinnati Bengals - LB - C.J. Mosley - Alabama: Two key members of the Crimson Tide go back-to-back here as the Bengals, desperate for help in the linebacking corps, scoop up C.J. Mosley in the hopes that he'll be able to provide a strong mixture of everything. He has the ability to play in either a 3-4 or 4-3 defense, and shows strong skills as a pass-rusher, run stopper, and a man in coverage. He should be in higher demand than both of his former teammates Dont'a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw were last year.

    21) Pittsburgh Steelers - DE - Sheldon Richardson - Missouri: It's become very obvious that Brett Keisel and Casey Hampton are both in steep decline, and Ziggy Hood is looking like a miss. That might cause the team to be a bit wary of selecting another Missouri product to play on the defensive line, but Richardson is an athletically imposing specimen with a strong burst very effective hands. Richardson is blessed with just about everything you'd want in a dominant defensive lineman, but the questions about him revolve around his commitment and motivation to play like a star. Putting him a strong locker room full of well-respected and hardened veterans should keep him on the straight and narrow though, much to the rest of the league's chagrin.

    22) Seattle Seahawks - G - Jonathan Cooper - North Carolina: Outside of Russell Okung and Max Unger, the Seahawks have a lot of question marks and retreads playing on their line. Infamous 2011 first-round pick James Carpenter has done nothing in his first two years in the league to justify his high selection, John Moffitt and rookie J.R. Sweezy are two more young players who have yet to impress, and Paul McQuistan is unfortunately one of the McQuistan brothers. Cooper has been one of the most impressive offensive lineman in the NCAA this past season, and has firmly pushed himself into first round conversation. He is a quick and fluid mover with quick hands and feet, but can be exposed at times by strong bull-rushing defensive tackles.

    23) Indianapolis Colts - DT - Jesse Williams - Alabama: I feel pretty sure in saying that 2013 may very well be the first NFL Draft where two foreign-born defensive lineman are selected in the first round. Williams, form Brisbane, Australia, possesses an intimidating blend of athleticism and size and would be a great fit for the Colts as they continue to fill out their new 3-4 defensive scheme. They seem to have locked down their linebackers with Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis on the outside, and Kavell Conner and Pat Angerer inside, but the defensive line and secondary both need a lot of work still.

    24) Chicago Bears - OT - Dallas Thomas - Tennessee: This is a bit high of a selection for Thomas, but with the Bears having such glaring needs on the offensive line, the pick if justified. He could play at either tackle or guard, and just needs to improve his footwork to go along with his balance and strength. A move inside to guard or over to right tackle may actually be rather beneficial to his future prospects. For the Bears, one would assume that they don't really care where he plays, just as long as he plays competently.

    25) New York Giants - DE - Sam Montgomery - LSU: The Giants grab some very nice value towards the end of the first round in the form of Sam Montgomery. His talent justifies a much higher selection than this, but the order and needs of the teams selecting around where he should be drafted don't really match-up with the value and skill-set Montgomery brings. This opens the door for New York to swoop in and grab him, giving them not only a very talented player, but someone who could end up being a starter sooner than one might expect. Justin Tuck was a superstar in 2010, but he hasn't been the same player the past two years. And of course we all know about the several publicized conflicts that have occurred between the organization and Osi Umenyiora.

    26) Green Bay Packers - TE - Tyler Eifert - Notre Dame: The frustration that Packers fans have with incumbent tight end Jermichael Finley is well documented. Since his breakout season in 2009, he's been accused of being lazy and immature countless times, and it seems like change is necessary. Pairing Eifert up with Andrew Quarless would give the Packers a strong duo of tight ends, as is all the rage in the NFL right now, and Mike McCarthy loves to utilize his tight ends in several innovative ways. More weapons for Aaron Rodgers = Bad news for the rest of the league.

    27) Baltimore Ravens - DT - John Jenkins - Georgia: A significant part of the struggles the Ravens have had on defense can be attributed to the lack of an imposing force in the middle of the defensive line. Ma'ake Kemoeatu and Terrence Cody have both done their best impressions of blocking sleds, and as a result, teams have found it much easier than usual to run up the middle on the Ravens. Adding John Jenkins, quite possibly the largest mammal in this draft class, would give the team a potential stalwart to lock down the middle of the line.

    28) Denver Broncos - DE - Alex Okafor - Texas: One of the more underrated and well-rounded players in the Draft class, Alex Okafor knows how to get after the quarterback just as well as he can set the edge in the run game. It's very clear to just about anybody who watches the Broncos that 2012 second-round pick Derek Wolfe is not a defensive end, and needs to be moved back inside. Okafor would easily allow them to do that and replace him with somebody much better suited for the role, as well as provide a nice compliment to Elvis Dumervil on the other side.

    29) San Francisco - S - Matt Elam - Florida: It's hard to find an area on the 49ers where they really need to improve. If I had to pinpoint one spot, it would probably be their safeties - namely Donte Whitner, who is a solid run defender but is prone to lapses in coverage. Moving him to a role coming off the bench in a sub package would probably be more advantageous to the 49ers, and replacing him with who could be a better version of Whitner with Florida safety Matt Elam. He's just as physical of a run defender and displays better skills dropping back in coverage.

    30) New England Patriots - WR - Justin Hunter - Tennessee: A midseason slump hurt Hunter's stock a little bit, but he's still too talented to drop out of the first round completely, especially after rebounding the past few weeks. The uncertainty surrounding Wes Welker has been well-documented, and while Hunter is not the same kind of player, if he does take his talents elsewhere in 2013, the Patriots will be left with Brandon Lloyd and seven tight ends. Hunter is a quick and polished route-runner who would give Brady a nice and shiny new toy to play with for the final stretch of his career.

    31) Atlanta Falcons - DE - Dion Jordan - Oregon: Jordan is one of the most interesting and intriguing prospects in the entire Draft, looking a lot more like a small forward than anything that belongs on a football field. He needs to add weight and fill out his lanky 6'7" frame, but he is a fast and versatile project player who can provide value as a situational pass-rusher as a rookie while he develops into an everyday player. John Abraham is still chugging along at a rate where's it's hard to believe he's 34 years old, but he is, and the Falcons are going to need to start planning for the future.

    32) Houston Texans - OT - Eric Fisher - Central Michigan: Duane Brown is an All-Pro at left tackle. Derek Newton is considerably less than that at right tackle. The loss of Eric Winston has had a big impact on the Texans and their running game, and they need to upgrade their right tackle spot if they want to get back to the ground dominance they had in 2011. Eric Fisher can play either tackle spot, and for Houston would be able to come in and potentially start on day one of they feel he is far enough along, and he doesn't have issues with the level of competition coming from the MAC to the NFL. He's a strong and aggressive player who will provide value in the run game and as a pass protector.

    Comments 17 Comments
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Good call on the Falcons needing a pass rusher.

      Hey, where's the Redskins pick? Oh yeah, that's right. Is anyone still criticizing that deal?
    1. Docta's Avatar
      Somebody to keep an eye on: Ezekiel Ansah. He came to BYU to play track, but his coaches decided to introduce him to football once they saw him. He never played a snap of football before and didn't even know how to put on his pads, but they put him on special teams in his first season anyway. The next year, he learned how to play LB + DL. He only got to start his senior year, but he's made the most out of it.

      After seeing how JPP panned out, it'd be stupid to let him fall out of the 1st. He's definitely faster, and isn't as raw as JPP was. It's unreal how much Ansah has improved with how little experience he has. You can already assume that this guy has a killer work ethic.

      Now just wait until the Patriots snatch him up..
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      The Bears will take any OL help, but guard is where they feel most comfortable right now. Louis is on IR, but was the best lineman on the team this season. Bears feel Carimi may be a guard as well. He graded out highly once Louis was out. C-T should be the focus. I wouldn't be surprised it the Bears just went for Fisher.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Docta View Post
      Somebody to keep an eye on: Ezekiel Ansah. He came to BYU to play track, but his coaches decided to introduce him to football once they saw him. He never played a snap of football before and didn't even know how to put on his pads, but they put him on special teams in his first season anyway. The next year, he learned how to play LB + DL. He only got to start his senior year, but he's made the most out of it.

      After seeing how JPP panned out, it'd be stupid to let him fall out of the 1st. He's definitely faster, and isn't as raw as JPP was. It's unreal how much Ansah has improved with how little experience he has. You can already assume that this guy has a killer work ethic.

      Now just wait until the Patriots snatch him up..

      how do you figure? JPP started playing football his junior year of high school. Ansah didn't start playing football until his junior year of college.





      As for the Draft, Mosley would be a nice pick for the Bengals and something I think is a very real possibility.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      Good call on the Falcons needing a pass rusher.

      Hey, where's the Redskins pick? Oh yeah, that's right. Is anyone still criticizing that deal?
      [Raises hand.] I still think it was a lot, as good as Griffin is. I feel like I'm a broken record here, but we really need to let that deal play out--we're talking about first round picks in 2013 and 2014. Maybe Griffin is worth it, but... it's not easy to replace two first round picks and it's going to take a long time to sort out what that deal really means.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      I'm not saying that this is what the Redskins were thinking, but...

      My soccer team, Chelsea, paid 50 million pounds for a striker who was arguably on the downside of his career. But Fernando Torres was a big name, a huge star worldwide. Chelsea, a club looking to market itself in other countries, probably put as much importance on his marketing value as they did his footballing ability.

      RGIII is the same kind of figure. Under Lil' Danny's dismal reign, the Redskins had slipped into the unthinkable in DC... irrelevance. People had stopped caring. Increasingly, they had stopped going to the stadium. That famed waiting list for season tickets was revealed to be a myth. This was a club in trouble. And then along came a guy who has ignited fan passion. He's young, dynamic, charming, mature, a quarterback and he's black.

      Just a little bit of success and bingo, the latent devotion the city has for the Redskins exploded into life again. The 'Skins own the town. And it's almost entirely due to one man, RGIII.

      When you measure the guy in terms greater than football, the Redskins got a bargain.
    1. Docta's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Bengals1181 View Post
      how do you figure? JPP started playing football his junior year of high school. Ansah didn't start playing football until his junior year of college.
      Raw at this point in their careers. I actually don't think "raw" is even a good term for Ansah. He might be inexperienced, but he's further along in the process than most players usually are.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Docta View Post
      Raw at this point in their careers. I actually don't think "raw" is even a good term for Ansah. He might be inexperienced, but he's further along in the process than most players usually are.
      I'm gonna need further explanation of "the process". Dude is just finishing up his 2nd year of playing football EVER. He's raw and inexperienced no matter how you slice it.
    1. Docta's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Bengals1181 View Post
      I'm gonna need further explanation of "the process". Dude is just finishing up his 2nd year of playing football EVER. He's raw and inexperienced no matter how you slice it.
      First, watch him play. Watch how he uses his hands. If you didn't know about him at first, you'd never realize that he hasn't been playing for that long. They play him at LDE, OLB, and DT.

      There's a difference between raw and inexperienced. Every inexperienced player just gets labeled with being raw.

      EDIT: Playing at multiple positions can really benefit a player. Aldon Smith, Chris Long, Henry Melton, and Alex Okafor all played on both the outside and inside in college. When you're undersized and have to play inside, you're forced to use your hands, which in turn helps your development. JPP tried to just outrun the tackle in college.
    1. cml's Avatar
      Although I can't tell you a player, since I don't follow prospects closely enough, from a Patriots perspective I'd say if I had to wager on a position for a first round pick, it would be OL / DL. BB likes the idea of building from the center out, and given the problems they have had finding a WR to fit into the system, I'm not sure that they would use a 1st round pick on a wideout.

      Also, I'm not totally convinced that Bill would be uncomfortable with having Lloyd and 7 tight ends.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      I'm not saying that this is what the Redskins were thinking, but...

      My soccer team, Chelsea, paid 50 million pounds for a striker who was arguably on the downside of his career. But Fernando Torres was a big name, a huge star worldwide. Chelsea, a club looking to market itself in other countries, probably put as much importance on his marketing value as they did his footballing ability.

      RGIII is the same kind of figure. Under Lil' Danny's dismal reign, the Redskins had slipped into the unthinkable in DC... irrelevance. People had stopped caring. Increasingly, they had stopped going to the stadium. That famed waiting list for season tickets was revealed to be a myth. This was a club in trouble. And then along came a guy who has ignited fan passion. He's young, dynamic, charming, mature, a quarterback and he's black.

      Just a little bit of success and bingo, the latent devotion the city has for the Redskins exploded into life again. The 'Skins own the town. And it's almost entirely due to one man, RGIII.

      When you measure the guy in terms greater than football, the Redskins got a bargain.
      He has certainly revived fan interest, I will give you that. He has the potential to be a remarkable player, too. From a revenue and excitement point of view, he's certainly worth the price. I'm only worried about the Redskins' ability to put a competitive team around him long term (and I'm also trying to remind myself that until three weeks ago, the ultimate outcome of Washington's season looked pretty bleak). In that instance, the trade is a gamble that just may pay off; he may be able to improve the players they put around to the point that Washington can become a serious Super Bowl contender, at least on offense.

      One of my problems in evaluating the trade is always viewing it through the lens of Browns fan. I thought (and still think, in spite of Griffin's obvious talent) that the Browns giving up so much for Griffin would have made it basically impossible for them to rebuild the franchise and Griffin would have been walking into a horrible situation. The Browns would have RGIII (who is pretty clearly a cut or two above Brandon Weeden), but not their current runningback (who's pretty good), their starting right tackle (also solid), no first round picks in 2013 and 2014, and they would more than likely not have used a second-round supplemental pick on Josh Gordon (who is clearly the best receiver on the team, a promising player, and whose play might be as responsible for rescuing Greg Little's from assumed oblivion as any coaching up by the staff). As good as Griffin has been, I don't see how even could make this roster work this season without those pieces and without the promise of those future picks. His speed, I'll grant, is an incredible equalizer, but it would have stopped a process of talent acquisition through the draft with him and I don't harbor any illusions about free agents dying to come play in Cleveland. Perhaps it was the appropriate trade for Washington, and maybe a little distance from it (combined with some success for the Browns using their model) will help me see it that way.

      I do still think, however, that Washington will miss those first round picks in a few years. They may be able to plug the gap with free agents, but that's expensive (and it doesn't always work, especially at particular positions). Hopefully he stays healthy and we get to enjoy the show, either way.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      (Also, add to the Redskins' fear of irrelevance that the Nationals recently drafted the top prospect in baseball in consecutive years and had opened a new park. The Redskins aren't used to that kind of, albeit then still potential, local competition for sports interest and revenue. Sure, the Caps are pretty good and I believe they draw, and the Bullets/Wizards have been good from time to time, but Washington isn't used to baseball. It had to make Danny, Inc. nervous.)
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      It's possible that the Nats scared the 'Skins, but the timing doesn't really support that. The draft was in April. Nobody knew in April how good the Nats would be this year. Strasburg basically missed the entire 2011 season.

      The RGIII deal was made because the 'Skins desperately needed a QB. Without one, the Shanahans and probably Bruce Allen would be out, fired.

      I agree that those two first-round picks will be missed. But the price was worth it, both in football and non-football terms. If RGIII goes on to have a 15-year career, those two picks won't look very important. Heck, how many teams have busted on their first two picks in consecutive years? The 'Skins will have plenty of time to build around him. Now that they have receivers, and now that the zone option has helped the offensive line, their biggest need is in the secondary. They'll find what they need, eventually.

      Meanwhile, the Browns flounder. I'm not knocking your team. But they still have a problem at the most important position in football. Of all the needs to have, that particular one is the worst. Weeden may yet turn out to be pretty good. But for all the talk of building a team starting in the trenches, the truth is that without a quarterback, it's time wasted.

      After nearly two decades of futility, the Redskins finally got one. For that, two top picks is a bargain.
    1. mikesteelnation1's Avatar
      Kaba there is no way on God's green earth the Steelers take a defensive lineman in this draft in the first round. Especially a de. Not with 2 1st round de's the last 3 years. Especially when both have played above the line, and keisel isn't going anywhere. Especially when you say the kid has locker room issues. The Steelers don't draftlockerroom problems in the first.

      Our first will be a rush olb, a safety, or an o lineman.. (unless a highly rated guy drops- we go bpa unless it's close) sorry kaba, but giving us a de is just plain ignorant of our roster. That's 10000000% not happening... Just sayin..
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      Wax, I'm just saying, the Nationals had built a new park and had drafted Strasburg and Harper by that point. They were an emerging threat to contend for some consumers' money that the Redskins were used to receiving.

      Also, again, I'm not saying Weeden is RGIII, but I still wouldn't yet classify him as a 'big problem' at quarterback, either. The team has been built inside to out, and I'm okay with that. We'll see how it goes these next few weeks.
    1. Ragar's Avatar
      Though Finley is somehwat of a dissappontment, he is still a good servieable TE, he is playing this year as an "average" TE (15th in TE yds, 17th rec, tied 9th in 20+ yd plays) and as he's under contract next year at a low salary number $7.9 mill, there's no reason to drop him. (edit: should be noted that Finley is 4th on the team in reception, 5 rec behind the Number 2 on the team)

      Also, the Packers have 5 good TE's on teh roster(Quarless never got off IR this year after breaking his leg at the end of the year last year), and all except Tom Crabtree are under contract in 2013,(Crabtree is restricted FA) Ted Thompson is not Matt Millen and he will not take another TE, especailly in the first rd. when defensive pass rush is still a priority, as well as a Center/Guard and RB. The pick you have to Baltimore - Jenkins, would actually fit very well into the 2 DL approach that Capers uses on most downs.
    1. edave's Avatar
      I also don't think Tyler Eifert will be the Packers pick, but I had to do some research on him. Regardless what the fans think of Finley, the team likes him and appreciates his contributions on the field. Now McCarthy and crew do love TEs so I wouldn't rule it out entirely but first round is a pretty big get under the circumstances.

      One interesting aspect of picking Eifert... How many teams have two Mackey Award winners at once (D.J. Williams won it in 2010)?