How is everybody's Monday going? Not as good as Tuesday which won't be as relieving as Wednesday, I'm sure. The good news is this will be a very short week for those of us whose weekends officially begin on Thursday. Not because we don't have school or work, but because our minds will have officially checked out of anything other than football long before then. Just don't let your professor or boss catch you relentlessly scouring Turf Show Times. Or, better yet, bring them along for the ride!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go shovel the snow off of the sidewalk next to the lawn which I just mowed on Saturday. So here are SB Nation's mock picks 21 through 24.
With the 21st pick, the Cincy Jungle and the Cincinnati Bengals select Cordy Glenn, offensive guard, Georgia.
The Cincy Jungle's rationale:
Heading into the 2012 season, one of the biggest needs for the Bengals was at guard. They lost Nate Livings and Mike McGlynn in free agency (which nobody is complaining about) and Bobbie Williams’ contract is up. They addressed the position by signing free agent Travelle Wharton, who will likely start at left guard, but they still need help at right guard. Cordy Glenn could jump in and start from day one and give the Bengals one of the better offensive lines they’ve had in the last few years. If that offensive line could keep Andy Dalton protected and open holes for BenJarvus Green-Ellis, the Bengals could find themselves pushing for a spot in the playoffs again in 2012.
I love this pick. It answers a crucial need with accurate value at #21. Cincinnati needs a guys like Cordy Glenn to solidify a fair to midland offensive line. While running back would get my attention here too, a lineman to open holes for a running back is a solid place to start. Quarterback Andy Dalton would love this pick, though a Rueben Randle here - a bit of a reach - would make his eyes gleam too. The Bengals need some quality depth on the defensive line, so with Reyes still on the board, he would have had me thinking twice.
With the 22nd pick, Chris Pokorny of Dawgs by Nature and the Cleveland Browns select Kendall Wright, wide receiver, Baylor.
Chris Pokorny's explanation:
It might seem unconventional for the Browns to go with two wide receivers in the first round. That was not the ideal case, as the team is without a starting right tackle. Mike Adams was taken earlier than expected, and it is no surprise that Jonathan Martin didn’t fall this far. Cleveland could also use an additional pass rusher, but there aren’t enough intriguing linebackers remaining worthy of a first-round pick. I don’t believe the Browns will take defensive end Nick Perry in round one after drafting a defensive end last year and signing two defensive ends as free agents during the offseason.
The concept of drafting both Blackmon and Wright is one that says, "let’s just start over at receiver already." For several years now, the Browns’ group of wide receivers has been regarded as one of the worst in football. If the Browns stick with Colt McCoy at quarterback, the only chance he has at growing is if the receivers around him do a better job at getting open. Between Wright, Justin Blackmon, and last year’s second round pick Greg Little, Cleveland will have patched the position they were sorely lacking at, and that’s just in the first round -- they’ll have 11 more picks after this to continue rebuilding the team via the draft.
Looks like the Browns are finally going to start playing offense, eh? That is until you remember that Colt McCoy is still behind center and they currently employ a stable of running backs of whom you have never heard. Maybe a pair new top-flight weapons will be just what their young QB needs, but I have a feeling that McCoy's deficiencies don't merely stem from the talent around him. It would come as no surprise if the Browns sought a replacement somewhere in the first three rounds.
Cleveland should have an ample opportunity to grab a RB early in the second round, but the same can be said for another WR. If they decide to pass on Richardson at No. 4, I could see them reaching for Doug Martin with this pick, though they probably shouldn't. More help on defense, at just about every position, could also be an option. Bear in mind, Mike Holmgren has only ever drafted one WR in the first round in 19 combined years as head coach and Browns team president: Koren Robinson in 2001. Whoops.
With the 23rd pick, Sean Yuille from Pride of Detroit and the Detroit Lions select Janoris Jenkins, corner back, North Alabama.
Sean Yuille's rationale:
As tempting as it was to go defensive line in the first round for the Lions for the third year in a row and select somebody like defensive end Whitney Mercilus, I couldn’t pass up the chance to improve the Lions’ secondary. A year ago, when it was suspected that Janoris Jenkins would go pro, many people had predicted the Lions to take him with the 13th overall pick. Then he decided to stay in school and ultimately landed at North Alabama after being kicked out of Florida.
There are definitely several character concerns surrounding Jenkins, but the Lions have a very strong locker room, especially on defense. There are a lot of leaders on the team who would take Jenkins under their wing, and he is talented enough to select, even with the concerns. He has been compared to Asante Samuel, who the Lions nearly acquired last summer and were briefly linked to at the end of March. Rather than give up a few draft picks and a high salary to trade for Samuel, the Lions’ best bet is to draft a player like Jenkins. He would fill a big need at cornerback and immediately improve the Lions’ pass defense.
Jenkin's is a player with "Boom or Bust" written all over him in my opinion. Character issues make this pick a NO for me. Why take a player that has "maybes" on his resume in the first round? I don't doubt Jenkins' physical talents at the college level. What I do doubt is how his level of maturity will translate to a team that should be mention as a Top 10 team for 2012? Detroit is on the rise as a franchise, so why not build with players that are less potentially problematic at this stage? Still on the board is Coby Fleener, who could add an amazing tool to Matt Stafford's arsenal. Bobby Massie would be an interesting pick here too. While a possible reach, he'd shore up a Detroit OL that just can't seem to hold together for four quarters of football.
With the 24th pick, Michael Bean from Behind the Steel Curtain and the Pittsburgh Steelers select Dont'a Hightower, middle linebacker, Alabama.
Michael Bean's reasoning:
James Farrior is old. Real old. It’s a wonder the 36-year old quarterback of Dick LeBeau’s defense has been able to play at as high a level as he has in recent years, but it’s about time to pass the torch. Lawrence Timmons is quite the talent and still has room for considerable improvement, but I don’t think too many fans are confident that he’s best suited to be the play caller and extension of LeBeau that is expected of the position. Hightower, however, would be a great fit. He called the plays for Nick Saban’s defense last season at Alabama. Though he may be somewhat inexperienced defending the pass in zone schemes, he takes fantastic angles to the ball, so I assume he’ll be a quick learn and be ready to take over the reigns as a starter as early as the second part of the 2012 season.
Pittsburgh's defense is old. Extremely old. It doesn't matter where you look on the depth chart. Just about every position is deeply deprived of youth. Unfortunately, this is not a problem that is easily ratified, nor is there an option which is widely agreed upon.
As a misplaced resident deeply imbedded in the heart of Steeler Nation, I've heard about nearly nothing else for months. Many want Poe, who could soon take over for the aging Casey Hampton. Others want a corner opposite of Ike Taylor, who I feel is vastly overrated, or another edge rusher for whom James Harrison to groom. Even some want Mark Barron to plug in next to Troy Polamalu. Few, though, have told me that MLB is the way to go. "We have Timmons," they say. "He's the man." But who is now second to play in the middle of Pitt's 3-4? Larry Foote. Oh..
Dont'a Hightower makes sense. After all, Farrior was cut as both an age and cap casualty. Timmons is a quality player, but he has yet to prove capable of signalling the defense, a skill in which Hightower excels. The Steelers could also go in just about any direction along their offensive line; however, there don't appear to be many options left for them in the first.
Check back tomorrow for picks 25 through 28. And make sure to cast your entry for TST's Top 4 Team Draft Contest.