Found myself with a little too much time on my hands this thanksgiving week, so i decided to throw together a little mock draft and see what my friends at the DN thought of it. Went mostly defense here and as i was just looking it over i regret my lack of O-line picks.
My mindset for this draft was for us to be picking somewhere between 4 and 8.
Let me know what you think and any changes you would make, as im sure there are many.
DEREK CARR, QB
SCHOOL: FRESNO STATE
6-3, 215 lbs
Carr has been on-point this season with his quick feet to avoid the rush and top-shelf arm strength to sling the ball all over the field, making NFL throw after NFL throw. He shows ability to read coverages and recognize pressure at the line of scrimmage with several pre-snap adjustments.
In my opinion Carr already shows more pre snap apptitude and a greater ability to lead an offense than anything the Vikings have put on the field in the last three years. I think he will be a great fit for our offense, as long as he is better than his brother.
TRENT MURPHY, DE
6-6, 260 lbs
The toughest guy on the tough Cardinal D, the 6-6, 260-pound former track star leads Stanford in sacks and TFLs this season.
A guy I have been eyeing all season. Plays OLB/DE for Stanford on both side of the line, standing up and with a hand in the dirt, but I think he plays best with his hand in the dirt. Murphy is strong at the point of attack and good at reading the play. Has been a force getting into the back field all season. He may be off the board in the first round. But then again… you never know when it comes to the draft. After all, no one thought Floyd would fall to us last year.
DANIEL MCCULLERS, DT
6-6, 351 lbs
Despite his inexperience, McCullers' size and ability to disrupt things from the middle often made him the focus of an opponent's blocking scheme. Has been double-teamed on most snaps and has even seen triple-team blocks often. Despite the attention, McCullers' size and strength make him tough to move in the running game. He plays with better leverage than one might expect given his frame, holding up well inside and sliding off blockers to handle two-gap responsibilities when playing the 3-4 nose guard. He was equally impressive against the run when Tennessee switched to a four-man front in 2012.
A position I thought we should have addressed last season, McCullers may be the NT the Vikings have been missing since Pat’s departure.
DE'ANTHONY THOMAS, RB
5-9, 170 lbs
Thomas is an intriguing player with lots of big play capabilities. Thomas can line up in the backfield or in the slot and is extremely fast. He instantly creates mismatches and is a player the defense must always account for. May be a great change of pace back and catches a lot of passes in Oregon’s offense. Thomas is also an electric returner.
He won’t break many tackles as he relies on his speed and agility to break defenders ankles or simply outrun them. His size may make him an injury liability and injury history may cause him to slip in the draft. May also just be a "product of Oregon’s offense". In my opinion he is a playmaker worth taking a shot on.
HAKEEM SMITH, SS
6-1, 180 lbs
After redshirting in 2009, Smith simply led the Cardinals with 88 tackles, including six tackles for loss and in doing so earned the Big East's Defensive "Rookie of the Year."
While Smith's tackle numbers slipped slightly (84 tackles) in 2011, he developed into much more of a reliable defender in coverage, seeing his number of passes broken up jump from one in 2010 to nine last season. He also notched his second career interception and continued the reliable, physical tackling that has already helped him notch four forced fumbles over his career, resulting in his earning First Team All Big East accolades in 2011. if Hakeem could only turn pass breakups into interceptions, he’d be a much more highly though of draft prospect entering the 2014 NFL Draft.
Jordan Tripp, OLB
6-3, 238 lbs
Jordan Tripp is a big, athletic linebacker with four years of playing experience, although he earned a medical redshirt for the 2011 season after playing in only three games. A fifth-year senior, Tripp is a likely candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award, given each year to the most outstanding defensive player in the FCS. While Tripp is listed at 6’3 1/2″ and 237 pounds by Montana’s official website, he looks a bit longer, possibly because still has room to fill out his frame if desired.
Tripp is an intense player with a great motor, yet he stays focused and disciplined. He always knows his assignments and does an excellent job of setting and keeping an edge.He is also good in pursuit, especially from the backside. If he has to weave through the middle of the field, however, he’ll have tendency to "pinball around" as offensive linemen shove him. He always seems to be around the ball.
Bit of a homer pick here being a Montana native. Tripp might be one of the best NFL prospects to come out of MT in the last few years and plays ILB as well as OLB. And I love small school prospects.
Or maybe we will draft another kicker or punter here.
Ohh ooh no a long snapper!
BENNETT JACKSON, CB
SCHOOL: NOTRE DAME
6-0, 195 lbs
Jackson started all 13 games at cornerback last year. He proved to be an above average cornerback, moving into one of two vacancies at the start of the season. Jackson ranked third on the Irish with 65 tackles, and recorded 45 solo stops and collected four interceptions.
Our secondary needs some help. The sixth round may be a bit late to address CBs in the draft but I am kind of hoping for progress from Rhodes and hopefully the addition of a veteran in free agency. With the addition of Hakeem Smith in the fourth I think more of the pieces are coming together.
SPENCER LONG, OG
6-4, 315 lbs
Long has been a fixture on the Nebraska offensive line each of the past two seasons, starting all 27 games at right guard. Long is part of a veteran Nebraska offensive line returning for the 2013 season, as the Huskers have three returning starters and five seniors overall with extensive playing experience. The 6-4, 315-pound Long is the most decorated of Nebraska's returning offensive linemen. During his junior season, Long was chosen as a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection, and also earned second-team All-America honors from the Associated Press and the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
Long will drop on draft boards due to a knee injury he sustained early this season that ended his year. He would be a much higher pick if it were not for his unfortunate injury. Given our recent history of drafting players with knee injuries, I found this pick fitting.