The Hof Mocks the Draft

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16. Andy Dalton, QB – TCU: Dammit Gene! You sonuvabitch! Mel Kiper said Dalton was a 4th round pick! OH GOD! That’s it! NO MORE SEASON TICKETS FOR ME, THIS TEAM DOESN’T EVEN *WANT* TO WIN! OK, now that that’s out of your system are you feeling better? Maybe one day we’ll look back on GM Gene’s pick of two offensive tackles back-to-back in 2009 and four D-linemen in his first four picks of the 2010 draft and how he picked a ginger QB from a second-rate school that everyone originally said would be a mid-round pick at best and say “Wow, all that BAP/build through the draft/draft big guys and premium positions first sure was a load of crap! Thank God Dan Synder bought the Jaguars and picks up free agents according to polls that he puts on his Twitter feed!” …but somehow I doubt all that. I believe that Dalton is Gene’s guy and he’s going to get him one way or another. The kid fills every “GM Gene criteria” that we have harped on over and over – he’s a senior, he’s got the accolades, character guy, consummate professional etc. etc. etc.  But Dalton also has the arm to make all the throws (he doesn’t have a cannon, but he can make every throw), he’s got the accuracy and anticipation to be good on the pro level, the kid does not lose games ever, and he is extremely versed in the philosophy, verbiage, and execution of a pro-style system. The Jaguars’ ideal identity is to have a dominating defense, a dominating offensive line, a smashmouth running game, and I believe Gene (and Jack) wants to run an accurate, efficient short-to-intermediate passing game. Dalton is the guy who will excel in this role and he  should be our future cornerstone/(ginger)face of the franchise.

ALTERNATIVES (in order and if available): Cam Jordan, D’Qwan Bowers, Christian Ponder, Mike Pouncey, Ryan Kerrigan, Adrian Clayborn

17. D’Qwan Bowers, DE – Clemson: Because if anyone can afford to gamble, they can, with essentially three 1st round picks. Bowers was talked about as a sure top-5 and possibly #1 overall pick less than a month ago – if he’s healthy, he’s a difference maker and the Pats could use some pass rush help. He is certainly worth the gamble for the Patriots and has the size and push to be a good 3-4 end.

18. Cameron Heyward, DE – Ohio St: The Chargers’ defensive line has seen a lot of turnover from free agency and Heyward has not had the talk surrounding him this offseason that his pedigree would suggest. He is massive and strong and is a good pick to keep the Chargers’ defense on point and keep their linebackers freed up to start making more plays.

19. Gabe Carimi, OT – Wisconsin: Pretty simple equation, here. The Giants need O-linemen badly. Tom Coughlin likes O-linemen – even enough to let one marry his daughter. Coughlin is a big-time “needs” drafter. Carimi is the best guy left on the board and will offer the “push” the Giants need to keep their power running game churning.

20. Ryan Kerrigan, DE – Purdue: Mark Dominik has been doing a damn fine job of building this team recently and has been going right for what they need. Kerrigan will be a solid pro player and brings the pass rushing element to the D-line after rebuilding the interior last year. If Kerrigan succeeds, expect #3 pick last year Gerald McCoy to flourish, as well, with less attention being forced his way.

21. Phil Taylor, DT – Baylor: Very big, very nasty, and completely immovable, Phil Taylor is the missing piece for the Chiefs. They have a budding offense, build around a dynamic running game and efficient passing attack and their defense was surprisingly good last year. They have a legitimate pass rush, a solid playmaking secondary, and some good, young pieces on their line. Taylor is the lynchpin that puts it all together.

22. Anthony Castonzo, Boston College: They’re offensive line looks like crap and saying Peyton Manning doesn’t operate well on the run would be quite an understatement – just ask him how much he likes throwing 11 picks in three games. Running out of time to squeeze the ole Fivehead for all he’s worth, like a 36 year old grapefruit.

23. Jimmy Smith, CB – Colorado: Smith has the size, measurables, and skills to be an absolute terror at cornerback and would make a fearsome pair with Asante Samuel. The only problem is he has a reputation for lying to his coaches, wanting to be a celebrity more than a football player, and too much partying with alcohol and drugs. Andy Reid seems to think he can set him straight…third time’s the charm?

24. Aldon Smith, DE – Missouri: The Saints really don’t have a lot of needs beyond the front 7 of their defense – there are no 4-3 linebackers to speak of worth a first round pick and Smith, though raw, has a ton of upside and is a quality pick for a fairly complete franchise.

25. Christian Ponder, QB – FSU: The Whitehurst experiment was lackluster, at best. Though I like Mallet or Kaepernick around this area,  I think Pete Carroll is content continuing a West Coast attack and grooming Ponder behind Matt Hasselbeck for a year (or maybe going right with the rookie).

26. Muhammad Wilkerson, DT/DE:  The Ravens love big uglies and Wilkerson is the biggest, meanest monster man left on the board. He’s huge, a mauler, and will affect the run and pass from the line without putting all the burden on the Ravens’ LB’s.

27. Johnathan Baldwin – WR: Thomas Dimitroff is another self-proclaimed needs drafter and if you’re a Falcons fan, you can’t really blame him, the way he’s been pickin’ em. The defense isn’t great, but has received a lot of attention lately – if the Falcons want to maximize Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez, who’s likely in his final year in the league, the answer is a legitimate #2 receiver. Roddy plays more of a Flanker or “Z” position with his slight build, so the Falcons will be looking for an “X” to beat press coverage. Baldwin is the prototype. Hopefully, he shows up.

28. Brooks Reed, OLB – Arizona: The Patriots have a decent defense that’s being held back by a pedestrian pass rush. Bowers will add a significant push from the line and Reed is the most explosive guy left on the board. Plus, the Patriots (like the Colts) love white dudes.

29. Derrek Sherrod, OT – Mississippi State: Not much to think about really – their offensive line has been neglected year after year after year and last year it hit a breaking point after allowing 10 sacks in one game against the Giants and making Jay Cutler feel more brain dead than Austin Collie after watching an episode of Jersey Shore: Italy.

30. Marvin Austin, DT – UNC: The Jets have enough of an offense with their running game and recently purchased receivers – they’ll look to get some youth for the defensive side in the draft. Austin is the type of disruptive badass (on and off the field) that Rex Ryan would just love to play with.

31. Corey Liuget, DT – Illinois: Welp, not exactly our biggest area of need, but we’re BAP guys, thank you. Ziggy Hood came along nicely towards the end of last year, but the other linemen, Aaron Smith (DE), Casey Hampton (NT), and Brett Kiesel are 35, 33, and 32, respectively. Liegut has the size and athletic potential to play across the line and will afford our veterans a few snaps off while he grows into his role.

32. Adrian Clayborn, DE – Iowa: Clayborn is not a great pass rusher, leading me to believe he’d fit better in a 3-4 where his ample size and strength will make him a solid DE. He is not dominant against the run or pass, but has a very balanced game and will be a good, aggressive addition to a Packers’ defense that isn’t starved for an immediate contributor. As he grows into his role and the D-line meshes, the Pack will continue to be an extremely formidable heading in 2011 and beyond.