|I can't wait to see Patrick Peterson play in the NFL.
I put up a mock NFL draft last Thursday before the first round started, and of course I went back to see how I did. For comparison's sake, I also included Mel Kiper's final mock draft picks. I did not look at Kiper's mock draft before I made my choices, so any similarities are completely coincidental.
1 point for the correct team and draft slot
.5 points for the correct team
.5 points for the correct draft slot
1. Carolina Panthers
Me: Cam Newton (1)
Kiper: Cam Newton (1)
Actual pick: Newton
I still don't like this pick, but I thought it would happen. The Panthers now have two douchebag quarterbacks. I hope both of them fail in the NFL.
2. Denver Broncos
Kiper: Von Miller (1)
Actual pick: Miller
This is a good pick by the Broncos. I seriously considered choosing Miller for this spot, but I figured the Broncos could still get a good edge rusher at the beginning of the second round. Good nose tackles are harder to come by, which is why I put Dareus here.
3. Buffalo Bills
Kiper: Marcell Dareus (1)
Actual pick: Dareus
The guys on the teevee keep saying that the Bills like Ryan Fitzpatrick, which is fine . . . but I don't think Fitzpatrick is a Super Bowl quarterback. They need to upgrade the position at some point, whether that comes in free agency or next year.
4. Cincinnati Bengals
Me: A.J. Green (1)
Kiper: A.J. Green (1)
Actual pick: Green
Hooray for choosing correctly! If the Bengals are going to have any chance of winning in the near future, it will be with Carson Palmer at quarterback. Green seems like a good guy, and his personality probably meshes with Palmer's better than Chad Ochocinco's.
5. Arizona Cardinals
Me: Patrick Peterson (1)
Kiper: Patrick Peterson (1)
Actual pick: Peterson
The Cardinals seem to dig talented defensive backs in the first round (Antrel Rolle, Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie) and that infatuation continues. I'm a tiny bit surprised that the Cardinals didn't pick Blaine Gabbert. I didn't expect Gabbert to still be available at #5, and it doesn't seem like the Cardinals have a franchise quarterback on the roster. Some suspect that Kevin Kolb will end up in Arizona before the next season starts, so maybe QB isn't a need for them if that's the case.
Me: Julio Jones (.5)
Kiper: Julio Jones (.5)
Actual pick: Jones
I don't really understand this choice for the Falcons. They could have picked a complementary receiver to Roddy White later in the draft, but they don't really need two elite receivers. I think Jones will be a good player in the NFL - if he can stay healthy - and he can help them run the ball, too, but I don't really see him as pushing them over the hump and getting them to the Super Bowl.
7. San Francisco 49ers
Actual pick: Aldon Smith
This is a little bit of conference/team bias, I guess, but I don't trust a defensive lineman that comes out of Missouri. The Big 12 isn't exactly known for defense, and Missouri hasn't been a powerhouse when it comes to producing NFL defensive talent.
8. Tennessee Titans
Actual pick: Jake Locker
The Titans got rid of a mentally unstable, mobile, inaccurate quarterback in Vince Young for a . . . mentally stable, mobile, inaccurate quarterback. I think this was a huge reach for the Titans. Locker seems like a quality individual, but I just don't see him being successful there. They need a lot of pieces around him.
9. Dallas Cowboys
Me: Tyron Smith (1)
Actual pick: Smith
I think Smith will be a good left tackle in the NFL, but he needs to add some weight and get a little stronger. He reminds me a little bit of D'brickashaw Ferguson of the Jets, a skinny-ish guy with great mobility.
Actual pick: Blaine Gabbert
I like the idea of the Jaguars drafting a quarterback in the first round, because I don't think David Garrard will last much longer as a solid starter in the NFL. But in my opinion, the Jaguars gave up a little too much to move up six spots; they might have been able to draft Christian Ponder or Andy Dalton at #16, but they obviously valued Gabbert quite a bit more than those other guys.
11. Houston Texans
Me: J.J. Watt (1)
Actual pick: Watt
Suck it, Kiper.
12. Minnesota Vikings
Actual pick: Christian Ponder
Right position (quarterback), wrong guy. I figured the Vikings would take a quarterback, but I didn't think Ponder would go this high. He's probably a second round talent, but quarterbacks are overvalued right now because teams can't win without good quarterbacks in today's NFL. He's definitely a gamble this high.
13. Detroit Lions
Actual pick: Nick Fairley
There are literally four players I hate in this draft - Cam Newton, Fairley, Ryan Mallett, and Justin Boren - and of course my favorite NFL team had to pick one of them. I guess I'll root for him not to be a bust, because I'm still a big Lions fan. But Fairley is a dick. Ugh.
14. St. Louis Rams
Actual pick: Robert Quinn
I don't have much to say about this one. I'm not extremely familiar with Quinn, since he didn't play in 2010.
15. Miami Dolphins
Kiper: Mike Pouncey (1)
Actual pick: Pouncey
The Dolphins need offensive linemen. I guess Pouncey counts. I think he's going to struggle against NFL nose tackles. Jon Gruden and Mel Kiper were impressed with Pouncey's mobility, but NFL centers don't pull very often at all, unless they're named Dermontti Dawson. So what's the point? Bad first round pick, in my opinion.
Me: Ryan Kerrigan (.5)
Kiper: Ryan Kerrigan (.5)
Actual pick: Kerrigan
Right player, right spot, wrong team. To me the Redskins are perhaps the most boring team in the NFL with the ugliest uniforms, so any thoughts I have about this pick just disappear into the void. Yawn.
17. New England Patriots
Actual pick: Nate Solder
Right position (offensive tackle), wrong guy. I think Solder's a good pick, because he's a little more athletic than a lot of the guys the Patriots have had on the offensive line. If they're going to continue to run their pro-style spread and protect Tom Brady, then they need a tackle who can move well and stay in front of some 3-4 outside linebackers. Solder's thin, though. He needs to get a lot thicker.
18. San Diego Chargers
Actual pick: Corey Liuget
Right position (defensive tackle), wrong guy. I didn't think Liuget would still be on the board, so the Chargers got a little bit lucky here. Good choice.
19. New York Giants
Actual pick: Prince Amukamara
New York is where highly drafted cornerbacks go to die. I thought Amukamara had some potential, but he will surely be cursed due to his selection by the Giants.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Actual pick: Adrian Clayborn
Right position (defensive end), wrong guy. Clayborn should be a good strongside end for the Buccaneers. I like this choice for a good, young team.
Actual pick: Phil Taylor
Jon Gruden really loved saying "Phil Taylor from Baylor." Taylor plays a little soft, in my opinion. I know he's a huge guy and looks the part of a nose tackle, but he's just not as stout as I would like to see in a nose man.
22. Indianapolis Colts
Actual pick: Anthony Castonzo
Castonzo was rated as maybe the #2 offensive tackle in the draft, so to get him at #22 is a pretty good deal for a team that really needs help on the offensive line.
23. Philadelphia Eagles
Actual pick: Danny Watkins
Watkins seems like a great kid, but I have to be honest . . . he just doesn't look like a great football player. He just looks a little bit raw, and I'm not a fan of drafting "raw" in the first round, especially when "raw" is already 26 years old.
24. New Orleans Saints
Actual pick: Cameron Jordan
Jordan should be a very good player for the Saints, but we'll probably never hear about him very much because he's a 3-4 defensive end.
25. Seattle Seahawks
Actual pick: James Carpenter
To be honest, I wasn't familiar with Carpenter prior to the draft. But I know the Seahawks need offensive linemen, so at least it addresses a need.
Actual pick: Jonathan Baldwin
Baldwin is a very good talent, and he tested faster (4.49 in the forty) than I would have expected from watching him play at Pitt in college. His size should be a great asset, but I'm not a big fan of Baldwin's personality and character. If he can keep his nose clean, the Chiefs have a really explosive offense. Wow.
Actual pick: Jimmy Smith
The original version of my mock NFL Draft actually had Smith going to the Ravens, but I gave Smith to the Eagles at the last minute and did some rearranging. Smith just looks like a Baltimore Raven. Hopefully his off-the-field issues don't follow him to Maryland, because I think he could be a Pro Bowler for them.
Me: Mark Ingram (.5)
Kiper: Mark Ingram (.5)
Actual pick: Ingram
I don't share a lot of people's optimism about Ingram. I think he's a fine pick for the Saints, who need a running back. With their passing offense and Sean Payton calling the plays, Ingram should be very solid. But I'm not expecting greatness from the kid.
29. Chicago Bears
Actual pick: Gabe Carimi
The Bears are another team that I think is extremely boring, and I don't really care what they do. Carimi's more of a run blocking right tackle, so I'm not sure he fits what Chicago is trying to do. If they change offensive philosophies and get back to running the ball, he could fit very well.
30. New York Jets
Actual pick: Muhammad Wilkerson
Wilkerson slipped a little bit, too. I figured he would get picked by the Chargers at #18, but Liuget slipping to #18 allowed the Jets to get Wilkerson here. I like the pick, but I hate Rex Ryan, so I have mixed emotions.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers
Actual pick: Cameron Heyward
Heyward fits perfectly in Pittsburgh's front seven, but this pick makes no sense to me. Pittsburgh's offensive line and secondary aren't very good, but they picked a 3-4 defensive end, which to me is not a difficult position to fill. I typically like what the Steelers do in the draft, and obviously, they've been one of the best teams in the NFL for the past couple decades. So I guess I shouldn't argue, but it's just an odd choice.
32. Green Bay Packers
Actual pick: Derek Sherrod
The Packers offensive line is getting a little bit older, and it makes sense to protect the franchise quarterback. I'm not a huge fan of Sherrod, but addressing the LT position isn't a bad idea.
I gave myself a .25 point boost because I said Da'quan Bowers would be picked by the Buccaneers. Of course, he wasn't chosen until the second round because of his knee injury, but it was still the Bucs who selected him. Even without that little nudge, though, I was within a point of the NFL draft "expert." I had a few picks that were the right position but the wrong player, so I had some narrow misses there. Oh well. Not too shabby for being a random college football blogger . . .
. . . but not too good, either.
It was fun, though.