Mocking the draft, that is. Figured I might as well do one too.
I'll admit, I have done very little research. Apart from youtube clips, I have no access to game tape. Some of the players I may mock might be players I have seen mocked to us before because I don't study every player. So, here it is:
Round 1, pick #23: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Desmond Trufant has NFL bloodlines, with both brothers Marcus and Isaiah playing in the NFL with the Seahawks and Jets respectively. Desmond has good size at 6'0 190 lbs, and he has good speed, running a 4.38 40 yard dash. He can play man and zone and he can play on the boundary or on the inside. He isn't afraid to mix it up in the run game either. He consistently fights for the ball. From what I've seen, he always appears to be in position and making a play on the ball as evidenced by his 16 passes defensed as a junior, though I would like to see him turn more of those opportunities into interceptions. He could also stand to add some upper-body strength and refine his tackling technique. Pending Winfield's return, Desmond is probably a starter from day 1.
Round 1, pick #25: Deandre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Hopkins isn't the fastest wide receiver, nor is he the biggest measuring in at 6'1 214 lbs, but the simple fact is that he makes plays. All over the field. He is effective at every range, short, medium and long. He is strong enough to fight defenders for the ball and has reliable hands. He was a consistent performer and had great production in college with 3,000 receiving yards and 27 touchdowns. There aren't many knocks on him other than his size. He could stand to add a little weight, but he is big enough to play on the outside. Despite normally being very reliable, he may have an occasional drop due to his being overly focused. Make no mistake, even though Hopkins is one of the "safer" picks in this draft, taking him here is definitely NOT settling. He compares favorably to Reggie Wayne and could have an immediate impact as a reliable pass catcher for an inconsistent Christian Ponder.
Round 2, pick #52: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
Short has good size at 6'3 310 lbs. He was a force for the Purdue defensive line. He is very strong (he can reportedly squat 600+ lbs and bench 400+) and able to hold his ground. He won't be so easily pushed around by lineman at the next level. He has a quick first step, allowing him to penetrate his gap quickly. He can be a factor in both the running and passing game. He seems to fit naturally as a 3-technique defensive tackle in a tampa 2 scheme. There are some questions about his effort and motor, but those can (hopefully) be addressed at the next level. I like Short because he can stop the run and provides value as an interior pass rusher. In combination with Allen, Robison, and Griffen, he could be a dominant player.
Round 3, pick #83: Kiko Alonso, ILB, Oregon
Alonso is the guy I want manning the middle, provided we don't grab a guy like Ogletree earlier in the draft. He has good size for the position at 6'4 240 lbs. He could probably add a little bulk, but he is extremely athletic. He is a very instinctive player. Explosive and can add some pop in the run game. Athletic enough to handle man and zone responsibilities. He has good awareness when dropping back. Gets his pad level low to get underneath blockers. Has long arms. The bad part is that Alonso has only had one year as a full time starter. He also has some injury concerns, as well as off the field issues. However, if he can keep his nose clean, he has a good chance at being a great player.
Round 4, pick #99: Shamarko Thomas, S, Illinois
The players next to Harrison Smith are serviceable. Jamarca Sanford played well too. However, I think we need another playmaker next to Smith. Should Sanford and Raymond falter, Shamarko Thomas could be that guy.
Round 4, pick #117: Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
This one may be a stretch as there is a good chance that Franklin is gone before this pick. However, if he is here, I think he would provide good value for the Vikings. Toby could be traded, leaving a void at the backup spot. Franklin could be a nice change of pace back. He also seems to be a good character guy with aspirations of being a mayor after his football career.
Round 5, pick #148: Alvin Bailey, OG, Arkansas
Anyone with eyes could see that our guard play was a weakness along the offensive line. Bailey wasn't as good in 2012 as he was in 2011, but he could be an upgrade over either one of our current guards. He had good combine numbers. Definitely has starter potential.
Round 6, pick #179: Aaron Mellette, WR, Elon
Mellette's combination of size and speed (6'2 215 lbs, and a 4.54 40) makes him an interesting prospect in the later rounds. He'd be a bit of a project, but could blossom into a decent player with the right coaching. With the dearth of receiver talent on the roster, it couldn't hurt to take a chance.
Round 7, pick #213: Ty Powell, OLB, Harding
Powell isn't very well known, but he is a solid player. Has good numbers. Why not take a chance. He'd be the first player drafted out of Harding in 30 years.
Round 7, pick #229: Michael Mauti, ILB, Penn State
A very good linebacker who has family members that played at Penn State. Not extremely athletic and has some injury issues, but if he can find a way to get past those, he could find a niche.
Round 7, pick #231: Montori Hughes, DT, Tennessee-Martin
Would be a project tackle. Had a solid senior bowl and combine performance. Many off the field issues. If he doesn't pan out, no harm no foul.
So there it is. Let me know what you think in the comments below.