Zone Reads Twitter Mock

Last night, vix and I mocked the first two rounds of the draft on Twitter, alternating picks. As a bonus for website readers and forum viewers, we did a third round privately.

Here’s the thread with the picks and discussion. Feel free to discuss either here or there.

If you’d like to see the Twitter conversation with the original picks, you can find it here.

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Team Mock Draft: New Orleans Saints

I thought I’d do a few of these while it occurred to me. I don’t know how many I’ll finish by draft time, but based on our rankings and projections, these are drafts that I think match a team’s needs well with the expected talent available at each position. (I’ve also included some other possible selections for the Day One and Two picks, in case the player I mentioned is already gone or that need has been filled.)

I’ll start with my favorite team, the New Orleans Saints.

Round 1, Pick 13
Bud Dupree, EDGE, Kentucky

I expect Dupree to be the last of the “big four” (I do not count Shane Ray among that group anymore) edge guys available at this point. That makes him a good value here and an obvious selection for a team hurting on defense.

Possible Alternatives: Randy Gregory, EDGE, Nebraska; DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville; Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

Round 1, Pick 31
Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA

You can see my reasoning in the previous mock draft I wrote. Hundley would be allowed to sit until he was ready, and in an ideal situation as well. If the Saints don’t think their quarterback of the future is here, though, several potential options remain:

Possible Alternatives: Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA; Nelson Agholor, WR, USC; Owamagbe Odhigizuwa, EDGE, UCLA; Carl Davis, DT, Iowa; Henry Anderson, DE/DT, Stanford

Round 2, Pick 44
Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State

I think Smith’s elite deep game is going to offer the Saints offense a major factor it lacks after the Kenny Stills trade. I think Smith can be even better than Stills as a deep threat; I also think he’ll develop into a well-rounded-enough receiver to justify the pick here. If he’s gone, Sammie Coates and Phillip Dorsett offer alternatives.

Possible Alternatives: Stephone Anthony, LB, Clemson; Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State; Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest; Eli Harold, EDGE, Virginia; Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota

Round 3, Pick 75
Ali Marpet, G, Hobart

“Athletic small-school lineman” is a prototype that’s worked well for the Saints in the past: Bloomsburg’s Jahri Evans and Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Terron Armstead currently anchor down crucial positions on the offensive line. Marpet could slide right in to replace the departed Ben Grubbs.

Round 3, Pick 78
Paul Dawson, LB, TCU

An instinctive playmaker on film who isn’t as fast or fluid as you’d like, Dawson slipped down some boards after poor speed times at the Combine. He’d likely be available here, where he’d represent good value.

Possible Alternatives (Picks 75 and 78): Tre McBride, WR, William and Mary; Rashad Greene, WR, Florida State; Grady Jarrett, DT, Clemson; Tre Jackson, G, Florida State; Laken Tomlinson, G, Duke; Dayrl Williams, OT, Oklahoma; Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB/S, Oregon; Eric Rowe, CB/S, Utah; Clive Walford, TE, Miami-FL

Round 5, Pick 148
Kenny Bell, WR, Nebraska

A Matt Waldman favorite, Bell compares in many ways to the Saints’ departed 2013 fifth-rounder, Kenny Stills. Similarly, Bell could start off in a limited role in year one before expanding to be a bigger part of the offense. (I’m assuming Marques Colston and Nick Toon don’t stay on the roster past 2015, and the jury is out on late-season pickup Jalen Saunders.)

Round 5, Pick 154
Derrick Lott, DT, Tennessee-Chattanooga

Lott is one of my favorite small-school prospects in this draft, a defensive tackle who crushes film and whose combine measurements stack up to that performance. (A 7.30 three-cone time at 314 pounds is crazy!) The middle of the Saints’ defense has been questionable, despite the resources spent on Akiem Hicks, John Jenkins, and Broderick Bunkley. Lott adds a player who can be an aggressive part of a rotation early on until he’s ready for a bigger role.

In addition to these two players, the Saints may strongly consider a candidate for slot cornerback– Lorenzo Doss, Quandre Diggs, Senquez Golson, Bobby McCain, or Bryce Callahan are all viable options.

Round 6, Pick 186
Josh Robinson, RB, Mississippi State

The Bowling Ball Bulldog has been seriously underrated nationally– I have him as a high fourth-rounder; I project him in the sixth here because that’s closer to where most rankings have him. If the Saints are looking for a thumping clock-killer who breaks every tackle possible, Robinson is a guy who could make moving on from Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson very easy.

Round 7, Pick 230
Alani Fua, LB, BYU

A linebacker whose versatility will be a selling point for Rob Ryan, and whose agility and athleticism will probably allow him to be a valuable special-teams contributor right away.

Our First Complete Mock Draft

The NFL released the official list of compensatory picks Monday at the owner’s meetings, which means we have the complete and finalized order of picks for the 2014 NFL Draft (barring any further trades). We haven’t published anything in a little while, and while I don’t have a full and complete update of our big board to share with you, we’ve been working with enough new information that I feel comfortable at least attempting to complete a draft of 256 players. Will it work? Will I run out of information before getting to the end? Who knows?

I’m not putting trades in this mock; it’s complicated enough as it is. And it’s not a straight value draft; I’m going to try to place some team fittings or the ways I think they will draft, although I won’t reach for a specific position (maybe quarterback).

And now, for the draft-related content you’ve all been clamoring for, like the salivating dogs you are!

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Zone Reads Post-Combine Mock Draft

While we continue to put together our big board and player database, we thought we’d give you something to read by doing another mock draft based on how we adjusted our boards after the Combine. Plus, we’ve only gotten to watch more and more tape since then, so we’re starting to form more solid impressions of some players (and first impressions of others).

The three-round mock we conducted live last night, after the jump.

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Zone Reads Writers Pre-Combine Mock Draft, 2/19

Last night, the Zone Reads team got together for a two-round mock draft where we rotated picks among us. Myself, Matt, vixticator, and tweedybirdd rotated selections, with one of our film scouts, Trey Hamel, filling in for some second-round selections as needed.

Each writer provided a brief analysis of his pick with the selection. Our draft boards don’t all agree, but I encouraged everyone to stick to their boards. Take it up with whoever made the pick if you don’t like it. The complete mock is after the jump.

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1/26 Mock Draft, post-Senior Bowl

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.

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Vixicator’s “Mocking the Draft: Part I”

(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.

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