Friday, February 27, 2009

Getting Draft Ready: The Mock Draft
Hit Parade

We love mock drafts.

Though there is clear and compelling evidence that once "experts" begin trying to speculate what will happen in the bottom half of any round (even the first) their accuracy degrades remarkably, we wait breathlessly to read their opinions and analysis. So we offer up links to seven of our favorite mock drafts (none of who believed Rashard Mendenhall would fall as far as he did, and all of whom projected the Steelers as selecting an offensive lineman in the first round) ~ enjoy:

Scott Wright's Draft Countdown: Mr. Wright's current mock draft (which has not been updated since before the NFL Combine) is a two round effort. He is projecting Oregon center Max Unger as the #32 choice and Jarron Gilbert, a defensive end from San Jose State University, at #64. Both players have been moving up draft boards since the combine, and we have seen some who are projecting Mr. Gilbert at #32.

NFL Draft Dog: Another two round effort, this one is in agreement with Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times with Eben Britton, an offensive tackle from Arizona, at #32. With their second round pick Draft Dog projects Wisconsin's Kraig Urbik as the Steelers' choice. The folks at Ourlads Scouting Services assessed Mr. Urbik's performance at the Senior Bowl thusly: "Good drive blocker and use of hands in the running game. Gave ground too quickly at times in pass protection. Physical player that projects outside as a right tackle."

FF Toolbox: This site offers multiple mock drafts from multiple writers. They currently have a two round mock draft up, with Alex Mack (Center, California) as the consensus first round pick. As for the second round the writer's are all over the map. One writer (Randall Weida) has the Steelers choosing Duke Robinson, an offensive guard from Oklahoma, at #64. Meanwhile another writer (Ricky Dimon) sees William Beatty, the offensive tackle from Connecticut, lasting until the end of the second round (we see that as being very unlikely). Asher Allen, a cornerback out of Georgia, is still another writer's choice (Raul Colon) ~ and an interesting choice. Finally, Jamon Meredith, offensive tackle from South Carolina, is the choice of two writers (Ben Standig and Joel Wesler).

NFL Draft Blitz: This mock draft offers up seven rounds of projections, but only the first round is available for free. In that round Eben Britton is projected as the Pittsburgh pick.

My NFL Draft: A one round mock draft, they are projecting Alex Mack as being available at the end of the first round.

Draft Daddy: Sometimes it is nice to see something different, and this one round mock draft is that. In this one Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez are hanging around until the second half of the first round (picks 19 and 20 respectively); and Alex Mack, Eben Britton, Max Unger,et al are not projected as first round choices. Instead the Steelers will select . . . D.J. Moore, a cornerback from Vanderbilt. According to FF Toolbox Mr. Moore ran a 4.58 40-yard dash (outside the top ten), and had a vertical jump of 39.5 inches (third best amongst cornerbacks).

Draft King: A one round draft that projects Duke Robinson, the offensive guard from Oklahoma, as the Steelers choice at #32.

The Football Expert: Like FF Toolbox, this site offers up multiple mock drafts. Players like Alex Mack, Duke Robinson, and Troy Kopog (an offensive tackle from Tulane about whom Ourlads said "More physical than athletic. Struggled with the speed of the edge pass rushers.") figure prominently in the Steelers' plans.

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