I'm dropping a 2-round 2011 mock Tuesday morning, so I thought I'd throw out a preview with a pair of notes.
NOTE 1: The order is largely irrelevant. The chance that the team I have going first overall will actually pick there is relatively small. Same goes for my Super Bowl winner. Granted, I'm only posting this here at TST, so I doubt there's a lot of fans of other teams who are going to take offense, but in case you're over here from some other community, please don't throw out the "There's no way the ________ are picking ____th! You're a frimpling er-tard."
NOTE 2: If anything, this just throws out names to keep an eye on, but it also helps me get my mock template together. So, if you have any suggestions to improve my mocks or the college previews I did last year in tandem with Turf Show Radio, let me know.
Notes done. Mock now...
1.) Jacksonville Jaguars - Andrew Luck: QB, Stanford
Just for the record, I don't think Luck will declare after this, his redshirt sophomore, season. Stanford is quickly improving under Jim Harbaugh; the Cardinal went 3-1 against ranked opponents last season and nearly won their bowl game against Oklahoma. After hovering at the back of the polls or just outside them for much of the year, Stanford enjoyed their first winning season in eight years thanks largely to Luck and now-Viking Toby Gerhart. And excuse the pun, but get ready for a flood of not funny brothers of this one, but he's got the happy-go-lucky atttude that endears fan bases to franchise QBs (think what Sam Bradford has and Jimmy Clausen doesn't). Enough about the prospect.
Jacksonville still needs a quarterback because they decided taking Tyson Alualu at #10 made more sense to the franchise than making Tebow a Jag. Of course, ESPN shat itself, passed out and shat itself again when they realized the Jaguars will play Denver, Tebow's new team, in week 1 of the 2010 season, threatening to relegate the Favre story to just 82.8% of all football coverage. Even with David Garrard signed through the 2013 season, Jacksonville is either going to move to Los Angeles and need to create a fan base or stay in Jacksonville and recreate their fan base (no slight to the people at Big Cat Country, but the numbers don't lie). The reality is that teams that need a quarterback take one at the top of drafts. Detroit did it. We did it. And if Jacksonville is #1 next year, they'll do it. Good luck. (Sorry, but I have to get these out of my system now.)
Mocking the Draft focus: Analyze Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck
Two more preview picks after the jump.
5.) St. Louis Rams - ...
You really thought I would give you a Rams pick? Nah, this is just to tease our position. I have the Rams tying another team for the 4th and 5th picks and losing the coin toss. Moving on.
6.) Carolina Panthers - Marvin Austin: DT, N. Carolina
I've got Austin coming out of the best defense the Tar Heels have ever had - they could supply five first rounders this year. Let's start from the Panthers perspective. The Panthers took DE Everette Brown in 2009, and he produced along the lines of a second round DE. Without Julius Peppers and his 10.5 sacks from last year gone to Chicago, Brown's got his work cut out for him. And yes, the Panthers could go after a DE here, but Charles Johnson produced in limited time as well. The biggest issue here is their interior D-line; Carolina just isn't getting much there. It's a large reason why Carolina gave up nearly 125 rushing yards per game despite boasting a plus LB corps. An athletic tackle who can disrupt the run and add something to the pass rush would be a huge add - cue Austin.
I've been tracking Austin from his days in high school when Scouts ranked him as the top DT in the 2007 class (Insider). Since then, he's shown a ridiculous skill set to match an agility you rarely find in a 6'3", 300 lb. frame. His issue has been consistency. Granted, it hasn't been an effort issue, but more of a mental issue in terms of assignments. Against Virginia Tech last year, I remember watching him on two consecutive plays overplaying the ball, allowing Ryan Williams (RB, Va. Tech) to cut back nice runs (more to come on him later...). In any case, Austin is a high-ceiling talent that, with an improved 2010, will be a top10 pick.
7.) Seattle Seahawks - Robert Quinn: DE, N. Carolina
Quinn has sniffed the top of many a big board this preseason, including holding the #3 spot on MTD's top 75, for good reason. Just barely 20 years old, Quinn notched 11 sacks last year, though he was sackless in 7 games. Really, that's all he has left to prove is consistency. He has everything else you look for in a top DE. Production is a byproduct of a combination of tangible and intangible factors - the tangibles are there, and I have no reason to think the intangibles aren't. He's going to be another key member of UNC's defense this year.
As for the Petehawks, despite receiving many an accolade for their draft class, their only D-line addition was DE E.J. Wilson. He could be a decent run-stopping end, but he won't help a pass rush that lost their sack leader, Patrick Kerney, to retirement. Kerney, who again led the Seahawks in the category, finished with just 5 sacks...the same number as Chris Long. Unless they get a much better season out of DE Lawrence Jackson (who accumulated just 1/2 of a sack in Seattle's final 11 games), they're going to need to add talent here.
Mocking the Draft focus: Get to know North Carolina's Robert Quinn
I threw these two out, because I figure they'll be getting a lot of hype going into the draft and should be likely targets for the Rams. Sixty-one more picks on Tuesday. Holler.