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Author Topic: *Sigh*... 2014 Mock Draft...  (Read 8723 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« on: Oct 31, 2013 at 15:48 »

Sort of sickening to think about the draft halfway through the season, but what else is there to do?  Have to think this will be in the 1.10 +/- 3 range, inclined to think we may be picking in the single digits.  

R1.  WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M, 6'5", 230#, 4.50.  Some very good options at this spot, including possible heirs to Ben, and some franchise LT players.  But with 2 more years on Ben's deal and lots of needs across the board, I think we pass on a very good crop of QBs early and plug other holes.  At OT, Jake Matthews will probably be gone (Giants?), leaving Michigan's Tyler Lewan, Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio, and possibly Florida State's Cameron Erving and Tennessee's Antonio Richardson as LT picks.  But as vital as LT is, picking early in R2 still leaves decent LT options, whereas there are only a few big impact players on offense like Evans.  Would you draft Jake Long, or Megatron?  

I'm not implying that Evans is as talented as Johnson.  But he's got the same size, he's got great hands, huge catch radius, and he has been amazingly productive against top defenses (Bama).  Manziell jitterbugs out of the pocket and tosses it up for grabs, and Evans comes down with it in triple and even quadruple coverage.  Once he has the ball in his hands, his eyes are big for the end zone, and he is quick to get to a fast stride.  Speed is his question:  he doesn't have Johnson's 4.32 speed, and estimates vary on whether he's under 4.50 or closer to 4.70.  I think he's closer to 4.50, which makes him a slightly bigger A.J. Green, rather than a Gronkowski-speed WR.  Speaking of Gronkowski, Evans would give Ben a larger target, almost TE-sized, that he desperately needs.   Our younger guys have nice speed, but Ben's ability to consistently convert has suffered ever since Ward retired.  Heath and Evans give Ben nice big consistent targets, while AB and Wheaton give him the shifty speed.  (I'm assuming Sanders is allowed to leave.)

R2.  OT James Hurst, North Carolina, 6'6", 305#.  Hurst has estimated 5.28 40 speed, which isn't elite, but it's quite a bit faster than any tackle currently on roster.  Hurst grades well but needs to work on his footwork some.  Working with OG Jonathan Cooper on the left side of the NC line, the two burst holes for RB Giovani Bernard to exploit.  Hurst held his ground against Jadeveon Clowney in the Tarheels' opener, and I think he's a R1 talent who can man the blind side, but who is going to get lost in a crowd of OTs drafted early in 2014.  

R3 - Traded to Cleveland Browns (Shamarko Thomas).

R3 (Comp - Wallace). NT Beau Allen, Wisconsin, 6'3", 325#.  An extraordinarily weak 3-4 NT class.  Not sold on ND's Nix in R1, and other prospects like Tennessee's 6'6" Daniel McCullers look like fool's gold to me.  Allen is a solid run-stuffer in the Badgers' new 3-4 scheme, and has the size to plug the holes.  But what I like most is his motor.  He's not going to rack up sacks, but he's being under-valued as a NT.  We need a guy to anchor the middle and make the guys flanking him better, and Allen can do that in a way Mac apparently can't.

R4. CB Pierre Desir, Lindenwood, 6'1", 205#.  Small school sleeper.  With lots of good talent at the top of this draft, it's tempting to re-stock a position in dire need of help, but I see some value with Desir.  You'll hear more of his name as the draft approaches.  He's got a knack for the ball, and a nice thump as a tackler, but I think he's only going to run around a 4.50 and not get drafted earlier than this.  If he runs sub-4.4 he jumps up a couple of rounds.  Big jump in LOC is the question.

R4 (Comp - Lewis).  S Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois, 5'11", 192#, 4.59.  Nice bookend to Shamarko, can play either S spot.  Broke a finger and was wearing a cast and still racked up 5 INTs in 6 games while tackling like a whirling dervish.  Lacks elite top end speed, but Clark never had that either.  Ward will bring a sense of danger to the secondary.

R5.  TE Colt Lyerla, Oregon, 6'5", 250#, 4.59.  Lyerla left the Ducks to enter a drug rehab program after being busted by cops who observed him in a car sniffing coke.  Potential first round talent, borderline undraftable.  Has the speed to win one on one receiving matchups and can be a nasty blocker.  Legal proceedings could delay his availability for camp and regular season.  Is he Hernandez, or Tyrann Mathieu?  Steelers need to drop the illusion of only taking squeaky-clean players, given their recent history.  If Lyerla can be trusted, he's worth the gamble.

R6.  OT/OG Cornelius Lucas, Kansas State, 6'8" 328#, 5.29.  Huge converted TE who plays mean and has decent movement, but needs to be coached up on fundamentals.  Could fit at 4 spots on the line, with best value as a potential LT backup.

R7. ILB Marcus Spruill, Syracuse, 6'1", 224#, 4.64.  Will Sean Spence's miracle return happen?  Will the light come on for Vince Williams?  Who knows.  It's worth it to bring in some competition at the very least.  Spruill is a bit on the light side, but he flies around on the field and isn't there to serve cupcakes.

R7 (Comp - Mundy).  CB/S Louis Young, Georgia Tech, 6'0" 196#, 4.55.  Hard worker who wants it.  Has decent speed and size but not a ton of productivity.  Could be a nice tweener.  Nice physicality, and probably an upgrade over some of the current backups.
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aj_law
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« Reply #1 on: Nov 01, 2013 at 08:46 »

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« Reply #2 on: Nov 01, 2013 at 13:23 »

Evans and AB would be a killer tandem, love it.  And hopefully Beau Allen will be the next great NT, it would immediately improve the defense.  If the Steelers hit on those two positions, it could go a ways to improving the team.  If the OT in R2 also hit, we may have something on our hands for 2014.  Hopefully Shamarko improves, OL injuries come back healthy, etc, etc. 

They're tied for a top 8 pick, hope they don't screw that up in the second half.
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« Reply #3 on: Nov 03, 2013 at 18:57 »

Let's see...two offensive tackles, a WR, and just about every position on defense is all we need.

Yeah, I'd say it's not a minute to soon to think draft.
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« Reply #4 on: Nov 19, 2013 at 09:46 »

Scratch the TE from that mock.  He dropped out of his substance abuse program, not worth the risk.

OK, so we appear to be moving from a ~1.8 +/-2 to a 1.15 +/-2 situation. 

At 1.8ish:  OT Jake Matthews, WR Sammy Watkins, WR Mike Evans, OT Taylor Lewan, ILB CJ Mosely, OT Cyrus Kouandjio.

At 1.15ish: WR Marqise Lee, TE Eric Ebron, CB Jason Verrett, CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, S Hashean Clinton-Dix, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

Basically, moving from LT/WR --> TE/CB, for best value. 

Down on NT Louis Nix right now.  Down on CB Bradley Roby. 
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« Reply #5 on: Nov 21, 2013 at 11:05 »

I have my doubts about Sammy Watkins at the NFL level, although that's based more on the eye test than anything else. Even with the league as it is, not sure he's a great value at 1.15. He gets a lot of free runs in open space in that Clemson offense.

As I do every year, I'm hoping that the Steelers will get a Furman guy. Dakota Dozier as a late-round OG could be a good option.

I'm wondering, however, if we should retain Velasco (decent this year), move Pouncey to guard w/DeCastro, Foster as a sub. Would give us more picks to spend to find a decent OT.
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« Reply #6 on: Nov 21, 2013 at 14:22 »

Definitely keep Velasco, either him or Pounce to OG, Foster as sub or RT.  Still need a LT.

I'm liking the idea of a big receiver (Mike Evans, one of the TEs) in R1, then maybe Hurst in R2, who can IMO become a LT.
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« Reply #7 on: Nov 21, 2013 at 16:37 »

Yeah, Velasco is a keeper, they lucked out there.  And I'm liking the idea of a big WR or a pass-catching TE with wheels - and not to replace Heath but to put out there at the same time.
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Merman1983
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« Reply #8 on: Nov 22, 2013 at 09:38 »

Read that the reason Velasco was still around after week one is that he can only play center.  Not true if there's any truth to that but it makes sense since he's obviously a talented player but most teams want their backup lineman to be able to play multiple positions.

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« Reply #9 on: Nov 22, 2013 at 11:20 »

I'd keep Velasco at C then, since Pouncey can back him up.

And yes, a second receiving TE would be to double up, not replace Heat.
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« Reply #10 on: Nov 26, 2013 at 09:30 »

QBs.  You're going to hear Teddy Bridgewater get a lot of talk as the top QB available, possibly being drafted ahead of Clowney if a team like Jax gets the 1.1.  Marcus Mariota will get top-10 talk, but I think his stock may slide some, and Tajh Boyd's bad game and shorter stature may not matter as he climbs back into mid-R1.  Manziel will go somewhere in R1, and may overtake Mariota when all is said and done. 

IMO, guys like Derek Carr, Zach Mettenberger, and Brett Hundley are all being overrated as R1/R2 cusp guys.  Carr has nice stats, but MW LOC?  How did that work out for brother David?  Mettenberger, he's got the size and arm strength, just not sure he's got the decision-making and production.  I saw Hundley in one game and was not impressed at all (Stanford).

I like McCarron and Murray, and I think they will be considered ahead of Carr, Mettenberger, and Hundley, although Murray's size is a ?.

Here's a name to watch:  UCF's Blake Bortles.  If he comes out, I think he could be the third or fourth guy taken, ahead of McCarron and Murray.  Right now, if he were there R2, I'd grab him as Ben's replacement, but there's a chance he'll be a dark horse R1 guy.
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aj_law
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« Reply #11 on: Nov 26, 2013 at 13:11 »

I like McCarron (bonus points for Webb) and Manziel.

Manziel is gonna be a solid pro...too bad he's a fucking douche.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #12 on: Nov 26, 2013 at 14:05 »

I like McCarron (bonus points for Webb) and Manziel.

Manziel is gonna be a solid pro...too bad he's a fucking douche.

I like McCarron, too.  And Manziel has allayed some doubts - not all - and I agree that he could be a solid pro.  But I would be concerned about his size, he's shorter than Brees, closer to Vick-sized.  See him as sort of a bastard hybrid of the two, and injury concerns have to be a part of his eval.  On character, I like McCarron a lot, looks like a quality guy on and off the field, but the question of surrounding cast always enters:  does he get a free ride with the best team in the country?  Even with many of his weapons underclassmen, there's quality talent there (Yeldon, Cooper).  Trying to find an NFL comparison for McCarron.
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aj_law
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« Reply #13 on: Nov 26, 2013 at 14:21 »

Trying to find an NFL comparison for McCarron.

Matt Ryan.
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« Reply #14 on: Nov 26, 2013 at 15:10 »

Trying to find an NFL comparison for McCarron.

Matt Ryan.

Hey, I kinda like that.  It may appear in the Finny draft write-ups!
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pensodyssey
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« Reply #15 on: Nov 26, 2013 at 16:15 »

Trying to find an NFL comparison for McCarron.

Matt Ryan.



Hey, I kinda like that.  It may appear in the Finny draft write-ups!

Hmm.  Seems to me Ryan has a better arm.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #16 on: Nov 26, 2013 at 17:20 »

Trying to find an NFL comparison for McCarron.

Matt Ryan.



Hey, I kinda like that.  It may appear in the Finny draft write-ups!

Hmm.  Seems to me Ryan has a better arm.

The fuck does it matter?  You'll just delete my shit anyway.

Ryan's arm strength is... OK.  More about precision.
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« Reply #17 on: Dec 10, 2013 at 11:18 »

I'd keep Velasco at C then, since Pouncey can back him up.

And yes, a second receiving TE would be to double up, not replace Heat.

My dream draft scenario is that we manage to trade Pouncey for maybe a mid-2nd rounder. Possible?
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« Reply #18 on: Dec 10, 2013 at 12:21 »

I'd keep Velasco at C then, since Pouncey can back him up.

And yes, a second receiving TE would be to double up, not replace Heat.

My dream draft scenario is that we manage to trade Pouncey for maybe a mid-2nd rounder. Possible?

Possible, but unlikely.  For cap relief and younger starters, I'd trade Woodley for... I dunno what.
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« Reply #19 on: Feb 05, 2014 at 15:49 »

The QB rankings are all shaken up since we posted last.  But it's moot for us, doubt the Steelers look at them anyway.

Re-reading Manimal's comment, if we could trade Pouncey for a R2, I'd do it, and sign Velasco and Wallace back.  Pouncey has not lived up to the hype IMO, and the recent Jonathan Martin texts WRT to doing drugs with Mike Pouncey (not to mention the Hernandez connection) point to trouble ahead - maybe.  Something smells foul.  Trade him to Arizona and let Arians have him.

TONS of value in R2-3, too.

OK, new quickie mock.

1. WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M, 6'5", 225#, 4.58 (est.).  Ranked 13th by NFLDS; player comparison Vincent Jackson, but also an even better version of Alshon Jeffrey.  Some fears he's another lumbering Mike Williams type; I don't see it, but his combine will be telling.  Big WR, H-back/hybrid, who cares:  he adds a dose of big and nasty to the offense, and nasty is the theme of this mock.  Also worth noting:  good YAC, comeback ability, low drop rate, good distribution of passes (screens, shorts, medium, longs).  Also:  he's young, which is a factor (20; will be 21 in August):  still developing, and definitely would be a long-term prospect.   Alternate:  TE Eric Ebron, #14.

2. S Deone Bucannon, Washington St., 6'1", 216#, 4.57 (est.), #65.  Shamarko Thomas has shown, in limited play, the ability to play S or nickel, and nice hitting ability.  I think he will continue to improve, and despite his height limitations, don't forget he's got 4.37 straight line speed and a 40+" VJ.  He looks like a Bob Sanders type SS, but could have the range and cover skills to play centerfield.  Adding another S with some pop and ball skills would complete the secondary transformation, and while there are several safeties I like in this class, Bucannon is widely known as the hardest hitting.  He played FS at WSU and reeled in 15 INTs, but most analysts have him penciled in as a SS; I think he and Shark could play either spot, and even switch up assignments.  The theme of nasty would certainly come to play here and receivers and even TEs would hear footsteps with Bucannon and Shark roaming the waters.  Alternate:  S Jimmie Ward, #81.

3 (comp). CB Terrance Mitchell, Oregon, 6'0, 190#, 4.57 (est.), #83.  Mitchell racked up some good stats playing across from the more highly heralded Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, whom offenses avoided, and some questioned whether it was wise for Mitchell to declare this year.  He has inconsistencies to his game, but with some coaching he could wind up being a nice value here.  I've been penciling in Lindenwood's Pierre Desir here, with Nebraska's Stanley Jean-Baptiste as the alternate, and those two have been generating some buzz as athletic, good-sized developmental types.  But I keep coming back to Mitchell and his stats, and even though he has his negatives (choppy pedal, so-so straight line speed, grabby hands), get him some time with Carnell Lake and I think he'll fit right into a nasty new secondary.  Alternate:  CB Pierre Desir, #76.

4. NT Justin Ellis, Louisiana Tech, 6'2", 342#, #140.  Classic NT frame, need to see him put up the bar 30 times at the combo, but passes the eye test.  Showed well at the Shrine and Senior bowl, and for a R4 pick I don't see how there's much separation between Ellis and R1 projection Louis Nix; in fact, Ellis's speed off the snap might put him higher than Nix.  This would allow the Steelers to develop a NT behind Mac, or to move Mac to end.  I'm in favor of retaining Al Woods, and Ziggy if on the cheap.  Ellis at this spot would give the DL plenty of options.  (Had previously ranked Wisconsin's Beau Allen highly, but late season games he didn't seem to factor much; did well enough at the Shrine, but looks like a R7/FA prospect in retrospect, sort of a Hokie prospect if we want a priority FA).  Alternate:  DT Daniel McCullers, #99.

5. OT/OG/C Wesley Johnson, Vanderbilt, 6'5", 290#, 5.12 (est.), #191.  I skipped past Johnson several times in the OL prospects, notably because he seems a bit small to play OT.  But here's the thing.  The Steelers like versatility, and Johnson (first-team All-SEC 2013) can and has played every OL position.  Smaller than optimal for an OT, but so is Beachum; he'll need to add strength and bulk, but his foot speed leads me to think he could be a zippier version of Beachum.  In any event, Beachum's play has pushed OT down the needs list, and getting a guy like Johnson, who practiced well at the Senior Bowl, could be an outstanding value.  Once he's up to 310# or so, he could be a candidate for LT.  Only allowed 1 sack every 171 snaps... in the SEC. Alternate:  OT James Hurst (broken leg), #128.

5 (comp).  CB/S Antone Exum, Virginia Tech, 6'0", 220#, 4.55 (est.), #166.  Exum and Kyle Fuller are VT's hard-hitting CB tandem, but Exum's 2013 season was sidelined by injury.  Had an outstanding 2012 season, and will need to see if he runs well in workouts.  Has the size to inspire fear in receivers, and the versatility to slide to safety.  Can bring the nasty, and could be a nice value if he's on the road to recovery.  If not for the ACL, he'd be a R2 prospect, with 40 time the only question.  Bring him in, put him on a longer time-frame for development, see where he fits.  I think he'd do well on the outside a la Xavier Rhodes, obliterating the sun, but only if his wheels are there.  Alternate:  CB Aaron Colvin, another injury value, #222.

6. ILB Andrew Jackson, Western Kentucky, 6'1", 259#, 4.82 (est.), #237.  Speaking of nasty... plays with a ton of mean, would drive the LB competition.  Straight-line speed needs proven, but is a tackling machine (95, 122, and 109 over the past 3 years).  Note to NFLDS:  he's not white, you have the wrong damned picture up, idiots.  Was getting a lot of attention as a small-school prospect for the 2014 draft, but seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle.  LOC is an issue, as is speed, but reminds me in some ways of a less out-of-control Vontaze Burfict.  Could be coached up into a legit force inside.  Alternate:  ILB Xavius Boyd, also of WKU, played OLB, #325.

7. TE Jordan Najvar, Baylor, 6'6", 262#, 4.88 (est.), #243.  Don't look for stats, this Stanford transfer to Baylor doesn't have 'em.  What he has is upside, and I think he can build on some nice Shrine practices and be a late round sleeper. Has the size to be an in-line blocker, and could develop into a decent enough #2.  Showed nice hands in the West practices.  Would certainly be a load over the middle.  Alternate:  WR/ATH Kain Kolter (Former Northwestern QB, could be an Edelman-style WR, possibly some trick plays) #308.
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« Reply #20 on: Feb 06, 2014 at 11:43 »

Can't really argue with the Evans pick, I guess.  Really depends on who is still on the board at 1.15.  Evans over Lewan?  Evans over Mosley?  Evans over best available CB?  Dunno.  Will have to do some due diligence there.  If they didn't have so many holes to fill, I'd say the Evans pick is a much easier one.  You want to shoot for BAA, but at one of your top 3 or so areas of need, no?

Going back to my original approach, they need a lot of help at CB, ILB, NT and S.  WR feels like 5th or 6th most pressing need.  OT might even be more important.  Something else to consider too is that WR is definitely the cheaper position to fill via FA over a position like CB or OT.

In the end, I still rather see them go all defense in first four or five rounds.  Focus on those 4 positions and consider a WR, WR/TE or OT, only if a highly rated prospect falls.  Maybe Evans grades out that high and warrants that pick.

Also, considering all the issues at LB, not too comfortable with waiting 'til R5 to address that position too.

*sigh*

When you have so many needs...
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« Reply #21 on: Feb 06, 2014 at 12:43 »

Shame about Spence too.  Guy looked like a dynamic player before that injury and I don't see him ever regaining his speed and quickness.  Would have eliminated one of the needs.


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« Reply #22 on: Feb 06, 2014 at 17:40 »

I hear ya, aj.  I think Lewan is better than a lot of the talking heads give him credit for, but if you look at guys who impact the scoreboard, a top WR is going to put more pop into the offense.  I've been screaming for a legit LT, but 2 things:  Beachum (Beachum, FFS!) has played the spot pretty darned well, and now we have Munchak to hopefully tease out the latent talent in guys like Adams and Gilbert. 

Mosley?  I think the same argument can be made.  (Look at highlights from the Bama-A&M game and Evans, not Mosley, jumps out.)  But there is a good point there:  the middle of the defense, with NTs maybe being relegated to 2-down players, may rely more on a stud ILB tandem than on flubbo cloggers up front, in this pass-happy era.  ILB is the position I have the most questions about:  can Vince Williams step up and be the man in year 2?  Can Spence continue the miracle comeback and get speed back?  Can a guy like SS/ILB Garvin make an impact?  I think you did hit the weakness of this mock, which is that one of the biggest needs got pushed late:  ILB has TOO many questions.  (Might be a place to try to find a FA?) 

That said, there is value outside of R1, and IMO the question of value always begs the assessment of dropoff.  How much do you lose waiting to R2 or R3 and getting a player then?  There's plenty of WR value in this draft, so that makes your case; but there are also prospects at ILB that could be closer to Mosley than you think.  IMO, Jackson is going to struggle some with LOC, but he's also going to be one of those later round (R4, 5) steals that everyone scratches their head about a few years down the road.  My biggest concern is whether he can digest a complicated playbook, which I think Mosley can.  I guess I was going for a Hail Mary at ILB in this mock, and I think if anyone is the late value it's Jackson.

Definitely agree WRT to going heavy on D though.  If we can shore up the secondary, get a NT prospect, and an ILB, that's a win for me.  IMO, the secondary is the biggest of these.  There are NT prospects in R2-4, and ILB you can find interesting guys all the way down to R4/5.  So why Evans in R1?  As said, he impacts the scoreboard, plain and simple.  Arguments can be made for the top 3 WR, but Watkins won't last, and I think Evans will be a better pro than Lee.  The next tier of WR is full of good prospects, but a guy like Evans or Ebron adds a big THUMP dimension to the receiving corps, like a Graham/Gronk/Vince Jackson sort of big body.  Goodbye Sanders; AB is the new man; and I expect Wheaton to develop as a speed threat.  But you need a third threat (besides Heat/Cotch/possession guys) and Evans/Ebron look like they fit the bill.  Evans is only 20 years old, so his rough edges (route running, temperament) can be fixed.  He's consistently put up solid numbers, and has shown he can eat a tough D like Bama for lunch. 

I think people fixate on certain aspects - long strider, a guy who is adept at improvising on broken plays but may not be a pure route runner - and miss the physical domination.  You can literally line him up at any WR/TE position and he'll demand attention.  One on one, and he's going to put up numbers.  Between him and AB, safeties will be shitting their draws.

I sorta like this draft, though I think there are R2 CB (Fuller) and R3/4 S (Bailey) who could be the picks.  I'd love to get both VT CBs, and see what Exum can do in a couple of years. 
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« Reply #23 on: Feb 06, 2014 at 18:10 »

I think people fixate on certain aspects - long strider, a guy who is adept at improvising on broken plays but may not be a pure route runner - and miss the physical domination.  You can literally line him up at any WR/TE position and he'll demand attention.  One on one, and he's going to put up numbers.  Between him and AB, safeties will be shitting their draws.

No way would this guy fit into an offense with a system guy/game manager like Roethlisberger.
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« Reply #24 on: Feb 07, 2014 at 12:59 »

I think people fixate on certain aspects - long strider, a guy who is adept at improvising on broken plays but may not be a pure route runner - and miss the physical domination.  You can literally line him up at any WR/TE position and he'll demand attention.  One on one, and he's going to put up numbers.  Between him and AB, safeties will be shitting their draws.

No way would this guy fit into an offense with a system guy/game manager like Roethlisberger.

JOHN E. FOOTBALL >>> BEN ROFFLESBIRDER, @ZZHOLE, WHICH ONE ONE A HISEMAN? 
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« Reply #25 on: Feb 12, 2014 at 17:54 »

Interesting series, love the stat breakdowns of top players.  Here's the R2-ish CBs, and not surprisingly Kyle Fuller, who I know I and aj are both pretty high on, comes out good.  As in, very good.  Surprised that Joyner actually doesn't rate so well; IMO he was sort of a Tyrann Mathieu type, but definitely need to eval how you'd use him (slot, S?).

Now I'm starting to think about a mock that starts Dix, Fuller...  how would the rest roll?

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« Reply #26 on: Feb 13, 2014 at 19:10 »

Another MARK DAFT PUNK!

Ra'Shede Hageman?  Was his grandfather on Dallas?

Definitely a Weird Name Theory candidate, but...who?

TBH, I haven't done much due diligence on all but a few yet, but...who?

FWIW, ATM, I'd still take Dennard over Fuller.
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« Reply #27 on: Feb 14, 2014 at 08:42 »

Hageman's a grown-assed man.
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« Reply #28 on: Feb 18, 2014 at 09:42 »

Steelers bring in ex-Lions S Louis Delmas.  Good player, could be a transition guy or backup but has serious (possibly degenerative) knee issues.  Getting interest from others, incentive-laden deal only IMO.  In a couple of years, no more Clark, no more Pola, so you need a transition vet IMO.  Unless we think Shark can take FS and we bring in a rook SS.

Been thinking about Pouncey lately.  Don't wish to damn by association, but.  Maurkice also wore the free Hernandez hat.  J. Martin didn't want to go to Mike's place to do drugs (assuming weed?), so odds are Maurkice does smoke - fine, until it's not.  But then Mike was part of the Incognito crowd, and so now I begin to wonder how much Maurkice is of the same mindset.  Not that that BS goes on in our locker room, but he'd naturally side with Mike, and it makes me wonder if Maurkice is the nice shiny character guy we'd hope for.  IMO, hasn't played to the hype, and has had recurring injuries.  Team did well with Velasco and Wallace, well enough to consider this.

Dolphins need to plug some holes along their line, the Pounceys would work well together, Maurkice ain't gonna be worth a big C$2 deal here, so trade him, use the backups from last year, kick tires in the draft next year.  Anyone agree?  What would we get for Maurkice with IIRC a year left to his rookie deal?
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« Reply #29 on: Feb 18, 2014 at 10:24 »

Agree about Pouncey, I move him if I can.  He's been an all-pro in the past but I've never really thought he was a good as advertised, kind of living off early success.  Add in the recurring injuries (forcing Legursky into SB 45 ffs) and his ties to Hernandez, possibly tied brothers drug use, etc., I think it's only a matter of time before something blows up. 

I'm not giving him a long term deal.  Deal him for a 2nd if possible and go with the Cody Wallace/Velasco mix for now. Use the 2nd to draft more goddamn speed on defense. 
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« Reply #30 on: Feb 18, 2014 at 11:25 »

Yeah, agreed on Pouncey.  Get something while you can.
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« Reply #31 on: Feb 18, 2014 at 11:28 »

Wow, would love to get a R2, was thinking all we could get would be R4, but who knows with these things?

Another R2, hmmmmm... BPA/D... sweet...
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« Reply #32 on: Feb 18, 2014 at 11:31 »

I wouldn't classify Pouncey as a recurring injury guy.  He's really had two freak injuries.  It happens.  More about bad luck than he's got weak knees or something.

There's also no way they get a R2 for an OC coming off a pretty severe injury.  His trade value is pretty low right now, IMO.  I wouldn't be looking to deal him, anyway.  I'd just have a sit down with him and make sure he's got his shit straight and he knows where his priorities lie.  Management probably has a better sense than anybody whether he's a "problem" player or not.

Besides, you can never have too many quality offensive linemen.  Just because a few guys stepped up last year and gelled towards the end of the season doesn't mean they can afford to let a Pro Bowl center go because he may or may not be of questionable character.

He's also still under his rookie deal.  I haven't looked up the numbers, but I can't imagine there'd be a whole lot of savings if they moved him now.  I'd let him play out his final year and then reevaluate next offseason.  Player contract years tend to be a boon for the team.
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« Reply #33 on: Feb 18, 2014 at 13:05 »

I wouldn't classify Pouncey as a recurring injury guy.  He's really had two freak injuries.  It happens.  More about bad luck than he's got weak knees or something.

There's also no way they get a R2 for an OC coming off a pretty severe injury.  His trade value is pretty low right now, IMO.  I wouldn't be looking to deal him, anyway.  I'd just have a sit down with him and make sure he's got his shit straight and he knows where his priorities lie.  Management probably has a better sense than anybody whether he's a "problem" player or not.

Besides, you can never have too many quality offensive linemen.  Just because a few guys stepped up last year and gelled towards the end of the season doesn't mean they can afford to let a Pro Bowl center go because he may or may not be of questionable character.

He's also still under his rookie deal.  I haven't looked up the numbers, but I can't imagine there'd be a whole lot of savings if they moved him now.  I'd let him play out his final year and then reevaluate next offseason.  Player contract years tend to be a boon for the team.

I agree with all of this.
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« Reply #34 on: Feb 18, 2014 at 22:59 »

I wouldn't classify Pouncey as a recurring injury guy.  He's really had two freak injuries.  It happens.  More about bad luck than he's got weak knees or something.


So… how many knee injuries before you've got 'weak knees'?
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« Reply #35 on: Feb 19, 2014 at 08:32 »

On the plus side, he's only 24.  But I just get the sense that he's not the clean-cut guy we might hope for.  Hope I'm wrong.  Just looking for value wherever it can be found:  not cap savings, since he's in his rookie deal, but certainly the pending C$2 deal looming.  Fair point on stocking as much OL talent as possible, always, and Velasco and Wallace being a set of data difficult to extrapolate over several seasons.  That noted, I'd say that having Munch as OL coach might help with taking lesser talent and getting the most from it; C/G is always a position where you can find value in the draft; the Dolphins may be desperate to cobble an OL in the wake of the Incognito/Martin fiasco, and willing to over-pay.

Not a great C class of rookies, but I'd poke the OGs as well to see if any can snap.  Plus we have the aforementioned guys who played well, and if I could get another R2 pick I'd roll the dice with Velasco and Wally.  Long-term cap savings, plus additional pick in a deep draft?
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« Reply #36 on: Feb 19, 2014 at 11:53 »

I wouldn't classify Pouncey as a recurring injury guy.  He's really had two freak injuries.  It happens.  More about bad luck than he's got weak knees or something.


So… how many knee injuries before you've got 'weak knees'?

To me, it's not about an amount of injuries as much as it is about how the injury occurred and whether he can make a complete recovery.  As I understand it, he's expected to make a 100% recovery.

Unless it's reported somewhere that he has something like a degenerative knee condition (similar to recent FA visit, Delmas), I chalk that kind of stuff up as a fluke, "wrong place, wrong time," kinda injury.  Par for the course and almost expected at some point in your NFL career for an offensive lineman.

If he's healthy, I still say "keep."  

I will admit that if a team does something stupid and offers a R2 for him this year, I'd definitely consider it, tho.  I just can't see that happening.  Giving up a high draft pick...for a C?  LTs are traded on the reg for mid to late day picks (didn't Steelers give up a 6th or whatever for Levi Brown last year?  Eugene Monroe?  Bryant McKinnie?  All traded away for a Mountain Dew and a case of Peeps?), but somebody gonna give Pittsburgh a R2 for a guy coming off knee surgery?  That's cray, cray, man...
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« Reply #37 on: Feb 20, 2014 at 13:31 »

Prisco's list of top playmakers doesn't just go the way of the mocks and throw whatever QB du jour are being mocked top 10 into the mix.  I don't always like Prisco, but I think he and Mayock are at least following their own gut in eval.

1. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina -- He is the best pure pass rusher to enter the league in a long time. Yes, there are questions about his attitude and other things. But he is a value player at a value position.

2. Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson -- Explosive plays are huge in the NFL. Watkins has that type of speed. I see star written all over him.

3. Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo -- He is a power edge rusher who did some really good things against some big-time competition. Watch his Ohio State game.

4. Greg Robinson, T, Auburn -- Watch the way he moves. He moves like he weighs 220 pounds, but he's 320. He lacks some technique, but that can be coached.

5. Jake Matthews, T, Texas A&M -- He could be higher than Robinson on some boards and might be a better prospect than former teammate Luke Joeckel, who went second overall last year.

6. Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA -- He has more edge speed than Mack, but I think he's a bit behind him. Barr is still learning the position though.

7. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State -- He is the top corner in a class that features some good ones. He has good size and played a ton of man at Michigan State.

8. C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama -- Linebackers who can run are valuable. Just ask Seattle. Mosley can fly.

9. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville -- He has a good command of the offense, and he can make all the throws. But why am I still not wowed?

10. Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State -- He is not as big as some inside players, but he is strong and quick. He is tough to block in one-on-one situations.

11. Taylor Lewan, T, Michigan -- Some killed him for the bowl game against Clowney two years ago, but he did some good things against him. He could be a top-10 pick.

12. Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida -- He is big at 6-5 1/2 and 240 pounds -- bigger than listed -- and he has a Ben Roethlisberger quality about him, without the big arm.

13. Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame -- I see Vince Wilfork in him. He has battled some weight and knee issues, especially last season, but his 2012 tape is impressive.

14. Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina -- There are reports he's added too much weight, but he played like a tight end who could get down the field at North Carolina. He's what every team wants now from the tight end spot.

15. Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M -- He is big and strong and can handle being jammed at the line. I wonder about his 40 time.

16. Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State -- Here's another speed linebacker. Shazier can really move at 222 pounds. Think Lavonte David.

17. Marqise Lee, WR, USC -- He has been picked apart for his play last season, but injuries slowed him and I think he pressed too much to do too much. The quarterback play wasn't great either.

18. Zack Martin, T-G, Notre Dame -- He proved at the Senior Bowl that he could play tackle, but at lot of teams think he's a guard.

19. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M -- I am really intrigued by what he does. But there are so many limitations as it relates to the passing tree. Can he overcome them?

20. Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama -- He can run and cover and with the success of Earl Thomas in Seattle, everybody is looking for that from a safety.

21. Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota -- At 6-6, 315 pounds, he is a huge lineman who can play in a variety of systems. I see him inside in a 4-3 like Leon Lett did for the Cowboys back in the day.

22. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU -- He is small at 5-11, 200 pounds, but he made a ton of plays in a tough league. He can also help in the return game. I like him more than most I think.

23. Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh -- When you watch him on tape, he reminds me of Geno Atkins. I am not saying he's that good, but he's impressive.

24. Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame -- He got hurt, got heavy and didn't play as well in 2013 as he did the year before. But he has big-time skills.

25. Cyrus Kouandijo, T, Alabama -- He had a bad Sugar Bowl, so he's getting killed for it. But he played a lot of good football at Alabama.

26. Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State -- He has good size and has the tools to play man coverage outside. He did give up some plays at times, but don't they all?

27. A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama -- He is much more than just a game manager like some of the other Alabama quarterbacks. I see some Matt Ryan in his game.

28. Dominique Easley, DT, Florida -- He suffered a knee injury last season, or else he'd be mentioned in the top-10. He has the same type of ability as Sheldon Richardson, who won Defensive Rookie of the Year honors last season.

29. LaMarcus Joyner, CB, Florida State -- He is small at 5-8, but he is a playmaker. I think he can play free safety or nickel corner.

30. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, TE, Washington -- After a great 2012 season, he tailed off some last season. But he has size and speed. He's one of my pet guys in this draft.

31. Jimmie Ward, FS, Northern Illinois -- Everybody is looking for those safeties who can cover. Ward, who has played some corner, is that type of player. I like him more than most.

32. Morgan Moses, T, Virginia -- He is an athletic 320-pounder who helped his stock at the Senior Bowl.

Just missed: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn; Kelvin Benjamin, WR, FSU; Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State; Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri; Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State; Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State; Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State; Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech; David Yankey, G, Stanford; Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville; Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU.
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« Reply #38 on: Feb 27, 2014 at 15:31 »

More mark darfts.

Kinda surprised with Kirwan's choice.  Listen to him on NFL radio and he's usually on point.  I'd be extremely surprised (read:  irritated) if Pittsburgh took a DE with their 1.15.
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« Reply #39 on: Feb 27, 2014 at 15:52 »

Yeah, not a big fan of Ealy or any DE R1.  The guy from NC looks like a better value in R3/4, IMO.

Dennard would be a good pick.  The safeties...  I think you can say there's not a ton of separation between these guys and guys you could find R2/3.  Not bad picks per se, but bad value, yes.  Not a ton separating HHCD and Pryor, IMO.
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« Reply #40 on: Mar 03, 2014 at 17:40 »

CJ Mosley vs. Ryan Shazier?  Discuss.

Likewise:

S Deone Bucannon: under-rated?  S Dion Bailey:  under-rated?  Pryor and Ha Ha Dix over-rated?

OT class:  strong at the top, deeper than people think?

CB double-dip:  grab a top prospect R1-3, but how about another in R4-7?  Late round possibilities include injury waivers (Colvin), and under-rated guys like Oregon's Terrence Mitchell and Rice's Phillip Gaines.  Antoine Exum: could be CB, S, if he heals - already ran well enough at the combine.

DL: surprisingly weak class? 

WR:  stuffed to excess.  There will be day 3 WR who would be R2 picks other years.  Value everywhere.  How much separation is there from tier 1 to tier 2, etc.?
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« Reply #41 on: Mar 03, 2014 at 18:19 »

I like the double-dip idea.  When the Steelers double-dipped for WRs they got AB in the 6th, wasn't it?
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« Reply #42 on: Mar 04, 2014 at 10:22 »

Mayock now lists S Jimmie Ward (NIU) as his #3, ahead of Bucannon (whom I like very much), but behind Pryor and Dix.  Sniffed this one out a few months back when he was rated R4-5, but R2 might be a little rich.  I'd still put him behind Bucannon, or R3, if we had a mid-3.  Which we don't.  So R2 or not.

Also called Bortles, who is in a contentious mix for the top QB among a shaky field.  I liked Bortles when he was getting zero press, as a possible R2 QB to groom behind Ben, with whom he shares some qualities.  At 1.15 not so much, and as a 1.1-1.10, I think the "draft a QB" craziness has set in. 

Lastly, Pierre Desir was tabbed by yours truly as a small school CB prospect to watch, and now he's shown well at the Senior Bowl and tested well at combine, and thus has probably moved from R3-5 up to R2 as well.  Big frame, some nice skills, compares to Cortez Allen.  R2 again seems too rich, but he could fall to the R3C, at which point he's in play: LOC will determine where he goes, and the 4.59 combine time is not blazing.  But he does get some good reviews from those in the know and looks pretty smooth.

Whiffed:  Beau Allen.  Tale of two tapes.  Forget the early season game I saw where his motor caught my eye, and he did have a nice Shrine showing.  A late season game he all but disappeared, wasn't a combine invite, and now appears to be a UDFA or R7 type.  Has the frame for NT.  Is conditioning an issue?  Will need to see the workouts. 

Likewise whiffed:  NT Justin Ellis, La. Tech, fell (far) short of the bar on reps.  But Ark. St. NT Ryan Carrethers, also on the small school NT radar, hit 31 IIRC, and so moves into play R5ish.  Has the frame, would need coached up to be sure.
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« Reply #43 on: Apr 03, 2014 at 12:41 »

Kiper's newest mock has the Steelers going Odell Beckham Jr in the first, Louis Nix III in the second, and Antone Exum in the third.

Is there a snowball's chance in hell Nix is there at the Steelers second round pick?  That would be quite a haul.
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« Reply #44 on: Apr 03, 2014 at 13:40 »

Kiper's off his nut.

Beckham at 1.15?  Don't think so.  Steelers had a combine visit with Donte Moncrief, and also brought him back yesterday for a formal visit.  I think they like his value at R2, and I'm going to make my early call a la Bell last year, he's their boy in R2.  Dropoff from Beckham?  Don't see any.  Better value. Off the charts metrics.

Nix in R2?  Well, just like RBs, NTs are getting some downward valuation, based on less time spent in the base.  I suppose he could fall to mid-2, but I think he gets snapped up late 1.

I like Exum.  Interesting player, could be a big Seahawks type CB, or more likely a big and nasty S.  Coming off some bad injury shit, but I think he'll be ready for camp, ran pretty well at Indy, IIRC worked out at pro day.  Not a R3.  R4 maybe, possibly as late as R5 with the knee questions. 
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« Reply #45 on: Apr 03, 2014 at 13:40 »

Interesting mix there.  Doesn't seem like N3 would be there at what, 47?
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« Reply #46 on: Apr 03, 2014 at 14:04 »

Forgot to put in the original post, he had all of Evans, Dennard, Gilbert, Ebron, etc. off the board by 1.15.  I think one of the CBs and probably Ebron has to be there.
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« Reply #47 on: Apr 03, 2014 at 14:16 »

Starting to lose interest in Ebron: fast, but not Vernon Davis-fast; way too many drops; bad pro day. 

Bleacher Reports had a R1 mock that had SF trade up from 1.30 (with the 2.61) to take Dennard; we sat tight and drafted Fuller.  IMO, dropoff from Dennard to Fuller (if any) is worth a 2.61.  So, I'd love to pick up the extra R2.
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« Reply #48 on: Apr 03, 2014 at 14:18 »

Starting to lose interest in Ebron: fast, but not Vernon Davis-fast; way too many drops; bad pro day. 

Bleacher Reports had a R1 mock that had SF trade up from 1.30 (with the 2.61) to take Dennard; we sat tight and drafted Fuller.  IMO, dropoff from Dennard to Fuller (if any) is worth a 2.61.  So, I'd love to pick up the extra R2.

Yeah I'd definitely be on board with this.
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