We all know that the draft is coming up, and while free agency is still going on, it is in it's twilight and the news has died down some. In this post, I'll post my 7 round mock draft with people that I would consider and the ones that I hope / would like to see us take along with some free agents that I wouldn't mind seeing us pick up. Here we go.
I'll start off with free agency.
Rolando McClain --- he was released by the Raiders on friday, and for obvious reasons. He is crazy on and off the field for good and bad reasons. He really is a wildcard when it comes to his acting off the field. He's been arrested, suspended, and he also said that he was off the Raiders in 2009 on his Facebook because he was kicked out of practice for starting a fight. He was drafted 8th overall in 2009 and considered as one of the safest picks of the draft, but no pick is safe in the NFL. The Raven's can really turn around a guy like him, and our coaching staff and front office can exploit a players potential, which makes me think that Rolando McClain is a perfect pick up to replace Ray Lewis in the MLB position. Rumor has it that Courtney Upshaw may play MLB this coming season, but I think that he is more suited on the outside with his speed. To me, Ozzie needs to get this done, and that is signing Rolando McClain.
Richard Seymour --- There are health and motivation concerns here with Seymour headed for a steep pay cut, but there have never been questions about his ability to stuff the middle. He hasn't been the same since he left New England, but I think he is worth a shot at signing. Imagine Ngata and Seymour inside, with Suggs and Dumervil coming off the edge. Unstoppable is the only word I can think of to describe how they would be. Yes, he is a bit lazy and injury prone, but I think in the right system, his old self can really turn it around.
Onto the draft... I'll get right into my mock.
1st Round -- Matt Elam (S, Florida).
We can go multiple ways with this first rounder, and I hope that we trade down. I feel like there is so much depth that we can trade anywhere and still get a guy with first round value. Elam most likely won't be around in the second round, but I'll keep us in the first round.
Elam was an incredibly consistent performer for the Gators over the past few seasons. He’s a fast physical tackler and one of the main reasons why Florida had one of the toughest defenses in all of college football. His physical presence should fit in well with the pro game though he must improve his overzealous tackling to adapt to the NFL’s flag happy rules. Elam also excels in coverage as his speed allows him to span most of the field. His play can allow corner backs to play more aggressively without fear of getting beat due to Elam’s coverage abilities. His size and tenacity should make him solid in run support once he cleans up his technique.
2nd Round -- Barrett Jones (C, Alabama)
Barrett Jones is an exception player for many reasons. He can play every position on the line, he graduated with a 4.0 GPA which implies that he is an extremely intelligent person which will hopefully translate into quickly learning any complex offensive schemes in the NFL, and he's won multiple awards. Barrett Jones isn't just versatile, he's versatile and talented, which is a rare combination.
3rd Round -- John Jenkins (DT, Georgia)
Jenkins will instantly be one of the biggest players in the NFL, and he is not a slug. The big man will flash surprising quickness and he can actually run a little bit. He has very good stamina in game for someone who weighs near 350. Forget about moving Jenkins backwards with one on one unless you go at his legs. He will tie up double teams and re-route running plays that enter his area. Even though he is massive, Jenkins can actually collapse the pocket and generate some pressure on the quarterback.
4th Round -- Aaron Mellette (WR, Elon)
If you thought Appalachian State WR Brian Quick was a great small school prospect, then just wait until you get a look at Elon's Aaron Mellette, the top overall offensive playmaker on the FCS level. This past season, Mellette hauled in a whopping 113 passes for 1,639 yards and caught 9 touchdowns in just 11 games of action. The 6'4, 212 pound senior pass catcher possesses the type of size that will certainly raise the eyebrow of NFL scouts. He may not be a true speedster, but Mellette is the type of big, physical, sure handed receiver who excels on underneath routes, and he also possesses the type of leaping ability to out jump smaller defensive backs on fade routes and deep bombs. Aka - a perfect Anquan Boldin replacement.
4th Round -- Tyrann Mathieu (CB, did not play in 2012 season)
Mathieu is an aggressive, physical defensive back with the quicks, speed, and feet to mirror gifted wide recievers. His combative nature and trash talk gets under the skin of his opponents, and his knack for forced turnovers can bring something that is lacking in Baltimore. He is a gutsy player who has no fear of bad outcomes, and his bold decisions also create plays when he is returning punts.
********** I'm gonna stop doing reports on the players, just people who I'd like to see us take. **********
5th Round -- Xaxier Nixon (OT, Florida)
5th Round -- Ricky Wagner (OT, Wisconsin)
6th Round -- Ace Sanders (WR, South Carolina)
6th Round -- Keith Pough (OLB, Howard)
6th Round -- Khaled Holmes (C, USC)
7th Round -- Rashard Hall (S, Clemson)
7th Round -- Phillip Lutzenkirchen (TE, Auburn)
Thanks for reading guys and gals! I'd love to hear y'alls opinions also!