The practices are in, the games have been played, and other sites have filed their columns on the winners and losers from the week in Mobile. You can determine who our winners and losers are by comparing this draft to our early entrant deadline mock.
Picks with explanations after the jump.
First, a quick introductory note: As part of our coverage of draft season, I’m going to be writing a series of “re-drafts” by year. I do this for a couple of reasons: One, I’m curious as to how historical evaluations change year-by-year. A redraft of 2005 would have looked quite different in 2007, 2009, and 2011. (Aaron Rodgers wouldn’t have even been on anyone’s radar in 2007!) I wanted some historical record going forward to see how my opinions would change year-to-year. I am interested to see how the balance between career-to-date and projected career going forward changes as each year passes, and to find out where the tipping point is when “career to date” is all that matters. By starting this process now, I can keep going every year and have an accurate understanding of what I was thinking at the time, rather than letting hindsight bias interfere with my analysis.
The other reason I’m doing these mock drafts is that they’re a great way to generate content and discussion during football’s slow season.
I’m starting with 2011 because it’s an obscenely talented draft and those are more fun. Here’s a fun1 question: how many of the players eligible for the 2011 draft, knowing what we know now, would have gone #1 overall in 2013? Without looking it over, I’m going to say “ten”.
I should be clear here: I’m not interested in team/prospect fit so much as I am value added by a player’s career and value as an asset going forward. I am using the original teams picking in these slots, rather than using the results of draft-day trades. A 2011 redraft after the jump..
1 – Fun not guaranteed.
The reasons why Jadeveon Clowney is an elite prospect are easily recognizable. Clowney is an athlete in every regard. He is a menace on the edge despite being constantly double-teamed. When you don’t block him at all, the resulting hit on your running back ends up on SportsCenter for months at a time. He checks every box.
So is there something that he could work on to help his transition to the NFL? His attitude and demeanor have been much discussed this year in the media, but we took a look at what he’s actually doing on the field. And we found something other than clichés designed to take up segments on major networks.
Specifically, we looked at Clowney’s game against Clemson from this past year. One thing that stuck out was Clowney’s issues with keeping contain on several occasions.
Film breakdown after the jump.
(ed. note: Earlier this evening your editor found an unaddressed envelope in his mailbox. Inside was a yellowed piece of paper on which had been typed at the top, “Mock Draft For Publication Jan. 16 2014.” vixticator’s unmistakable signature was at the bottom. Attempts to contact him for editorial clarification were unsuccessful, so we simply publish the contents “as is”.)
Meant to publish this before the first Senior Bowl practice. There are a number of players I need to watch much more of and in subsequent additions to the mocking madness it’ll be updated for that. On the other hand, snubs such as Mister Manziel and Mister Barr were quite intentional. Play the game who got snubbed, who didn’t get seen with the entire family.
Other notes: primarily going straight value here (more or less!), match with team I’ll start thinking of at some point later in the process.
Working from this mock draft, I’ll explain the picks I made in as much or little detail as they warrant…
I had to make some decisions on players who had yet to declare in the last draft, and now we have final decisions by everyone relevant to this draft. David Yankey is entering the draft. Ed Reynolds is, too, which wasn’t a given, and thanks to some other shuffles on the board he makes this two-round mock. Vic Beasley and La’El Collins are staying in school. I have adjusted my mock from the 13th accordingly. I also made a couple of changes based on what the Zone Reads scouts told me.
I’ll follow this up with a bit of analysis for each pick later on.
In an attempt to provide some optimism for the many Detroit Lions fans whose visages are currently frozen in WTF-face upon hearing about the hire of Jim Caldwell as head coach, the Zone Reads writing crew brainstormed some potential hires who would have been even worse: