How much fun is this?
Have you ever tried to write up a mock draft? Really tried, knowing that tens of thousands of monthly readers will be viewing it?
Fun? Challenging? An entertaining exercise in NFL fandom, this is not.
Frustrating? Sapping of volition? Emasculating? That's more like it. The annual NFL Draft, our second favorite time of year here at NOPF (behind only training camp) is a bittersweet season. No team can really lose. All the real work is done by team-paid professionals, whose job this is.
Well, mock draft prestidigitation isn't our job. It's a time-sapping, cerebrally-draining effort that will invariably find disagreement, dissension and disembowelment coming down from every angle of public NFL fandom.
That being said, here's our second attempt.
1 Oakland QB Jamarcus Russell LSU
2 Detroit WR Calvin Johnson Georgia Tech
3 Cleveland T Joe Thomas Wisconsin
4 Tampa Bay DE Gaines Adams Clemson
5 Arizona S Laron Landry LSU
6 Washington DE Jamaal Anderson Arkansas
7 Minnesota WR Ted Ginn, Jr. Ohio State
8 Houston RB Adrian Peterson Oklahoma
9 Miami DT Alan Branch Michigan
10 Atlanta DT Amobi Okoye Louisville
11 San Francisco LB Lawrence Timmons Florida State
12 Buffalo CB Leon Hall Michigan
13 St. Louis DE Adam Carriker Nebraska
14 Carolina QB Brady Quinn Notre Dame
15 Pittsburgh CB Chris Houston Arkansas
16 Green Bay WR Dwayne Jarrett USC
17 Jacksonville S Reggie Nelson Florida
18 Cincinnatti T Levi Brown Penn State
19 Tennessee TE Greg Olsen Miami
20 New York Giants WR Dwayne Bowe LSU
21 Denver DE Charles Johnson Georgia
22 Dallas WR Robert Meachem Tennessee
23 Kansas City DB Aaron Ross Texas
24 New England (from Seattle) LB Patrick Willis Ole Miss
25 New York Jets DE/LB Anthony Spencer Purdue
26 Philadelphia RB Marshawn Lynch Cal
27 New Orleans G Ben Grubbs Auburn
In our first mock, we had the Saints taking Tennessee WR Robert Meachem. Two reasons we're changing that: first, he ran well at the combine and has improved his stock out of the Saints' reach. Even Dallas at 22 may be too low for him. Second, with Joe Horn run off the squad, the Saints need to add experience to the receivers corps, not more youth.
At this point, it depends on whether or not the Saints are scared of 6'2, 323 pound NC State nose tackle DeMarcus "Tank" Tyler. They need need a big presence behind Hollis Thomas, but this is still the same front office and scouting staff that was burned by Johnathan Sullivan and had to see the de-evolution of Grady Jackson. Tyler inspires some of the same fears, and supersized defensive tackles may be in their denouement in the first round. Examine recent super-sized first round picks: Marcus Tubbs (Seattle), William Joseph (New York Giants), Dewayne Robertson (New York Jets), Vince Wilfork (New England), Jimmy Kennedy (St. Louis) and Sullivan. Only Wilfork isn't catching "bust" labels nowadays.
Knowing Loomis, he is going to insist on the best player available. Tyler isn't that, he would be a need pick here, with this board. Towering Florida DE Jarvis Moss is very tempting considering Charles Grant's unhappiness with the franchise tag. The set of cornerbacks available at this point don't seem to fit the Saints' system which uses a lot of man-to-man on the island. Raw but gifted Fresno State CB Marcus McCauley projects well in the system but isn't developed enough to be a first-round pick.
Grubbs, 6'3, 305, is a dominant guard prospect who could bump offensive line leader and statesman Jamar Nesbit sooner than later. The former defensive tackle and tight end blossomed into a fast, durable, well-balanced interior lineman and is one of the top overall prospects on the board at this point.
28 New England WR Craig Davis LSU
29 Baltimore OL Arron Sears Tennessee
30 San Diego WR Sidney Rice South Carolina
31 Chicago DT Demarcus Tyler NC State
32 Indianapolis DT Brandon Mebane Cal
Saints seven-round projection:
2nd Round: CB Johnathan Wade Tennessee
Precocious cornerback and track champ has the skills to play in the Saints' man-up system. Product of Evangel Christian in Louisiana. Stunning athlete, and in need of good coaching to prevent from being a stunning bust in the NFL.
3rd Round: TE Ben Patrick Delaware
Wide-bodied 6'3, 252 small school prospect is a fast riser with smooth hands.
4th Round: WR Steve Breaston Michigan
Deep speed threat and heir apparent to the return jobs.
4th Round: CB Corey Graham New Hampshire
Raw and untested at New Hampshire despite being a fifth-year senior and a four-year starter. Solid measurables and great size at six feet and change.
4th Round: OL Mike Otto Purdue
Fantastic size at 6'6, 300 and tough as nails. 50 starts at left tackle for Saints pipeline school Purdue.
5th Round: LB Victor Worsley North Carolina
Body for either inside or outside linebacker ran a sub-4.5 40. Never lived up to big-recruit hype.
6th Round: DT Jeremy Clark Alabama
Blue-collar slobber-knocker is productive and tireless, but limited and unstartable for the forseeable future.
7th Round: DE Noland Burchette Va. Tech
High-motor overacheivers were the focus of the 2006 Day 2, here's following that trend.