Now with new beginnings in Minnesota, Mocks can again be altered as they will a million freakin times in the next few months. This one is taking into consideration who our coach is and with the assumption Norv Turner will be our OC. Norv Turner and Mike Zimmer know each other from way back in his days with Dallas when Turner was molding Troy Aikman, and Turner had disputes in Cleveland a while back supposedly telling the owner off for his moves during the year and this offseason. Thats why dispite what he did for that offense (even without a real QB and no rushing game) they are letting him test the waters elsewhere... So ya this mock takes both of those guys along with Rick Spielman into consideration.
FA Signings: Matt Asiata, Everson Griffen, Vincent Rey, Michael Johnson, Fred Evans, J'Marcus Webb
Walking The Plank: Jared Allen, Toby Gerhart, Kevin Williams, Chris Cook, Jerome Simpson, Letroy Guion etc. etc.
1st: Darqueze Dennard, CB
Darqueze is the type of CB that was trusted to be left on an island.. When your on the top defense in college football that and you have that much trust, that says alot. His safety talked about barely ever getting any action because QBs just didn't want to try and pass it to Dennards side of the field. He's a very physical all around talented DB. With him playing in the backfield across from Rhodes and with Smith behind them, you've now got one hell of a DB group. Hopefully Prater could learn to play in the slot. If not they could possibly try to snag Harris from the Broncos, he's known for playing well in the slot and if the Broncos do win the SB you can expect alot of cap casualties.
2nd: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB
Ofcourse this is with the assumption that in the East-West Shrine Game he plays as expected and shows he can play just as commanding of a game even with more competition. If so, with a good combine showing as well you can expect him to rise to the 2nd round. So if Norv Turner thinks this is their guy, grab him while you can! All 32 teams have scouted this guy, so if he shows off what he's made of, alot of teams are going to consider him.
3rd: Daniel McCullers, NT
This guy is one huge future NFL run-stuffing, QB nightmare machine, but for now hes a giant doughy player that Zimmer could mold into a great. So much potential but didn't live up to expectations, as even his coach has stated. Still did a good job and was a very good NT, worthy of a 3rd round pick. Possible someone grabs him before the 3rd.
3rd: Gabe Jackson, OG
He's a very good offensive gaurd, that could protect his QB even in the defensive SEC.. not much more needs to be said right? Alot of talented offensive lineman in this draft could push him into the third. Granted with O-lineman, you kinda have to wait till the combine to even have an idea of which lineman will go where. But this is a mock and you know Norv Turner would want a replacement at the gaurd position to our new QB's left.
4th: Max Bullough, LB
Solid LB, easily worthy of a 4th round pick. Helped lead the Michigan State defense to the Rose Bowl, even though he was suspended from playing in the game. The problem with Bullough is that he isn't the best in coverage, but is great against the run. Well that fits Zimmers style. Zimmer likes to focus on stopping the run and daring QB's to throw. With the addition of Darqueze Dennard and Rhodes hopefully growing even more, we would have a good enough backfield to be able to play that style.. Plus you know how how Spielman likes to pair up some picks.
5th: L'Damian Washington, WR
Gotta throw Turner and our new QB another bone. L'Damian is a very tall 6'5 and very athletic, good body control. Atleast from the games I watched of him. He made alot of clutch plays for Mizzou and I was impressed. Honestly didn't really do much research on his grading after I saw he was expected to go somwhere from the 4th-6th. But I like him. And those tall WR's that can win jump ball scenarios are always good for a developing QB.
So from the players I mocked this is what you could expect next year. Granted I didn't include any of the lower rounds and UFA's but so far atleast this how I would see it mapping out:
Hybrid 4-3/3-4 (Zimmer loves situational rotations)
DE: Robison, Floyd, Johnson, Griffen
DE/OLB: Robison, Griffen
DT/NT: McCullers, Floyd, Evans, Griffen
DT/DE: Floyd, Griffen
MLB: Mauti, Bullough, Rey, Cole
WLB: Greenway, Hodges, Rey
SLB: Robison, Griffen, Cole (Greenways become too slow to play the Sam, while Audie showed right away he can get into the QB's face)
CB: Rhodes, Dennard, Prater, Sherels, Blanton, Steeples
S: Smith, Sendejo, Sanford, Raymond
Air Coryell (Deep passing to open the run)
QB: Cassel, Garoppolo
OT: Kalil, Loadholt, Webb
OG: Jackson, Fusco, Berger
C: Sullivan, Baca
RB: Peterson, Asiata
FB: Felton, Ellison
TE: Rudolph, Carlson, Ford
WR: Patterson, Jennings, Wright, Washington, Smith
Aaaaand I'm not going to bother with the special teams haha