What kind of a weekend would it be in mid-February if we weren't given a Friday gift of a new mock draft? Josh Norris has provided us with such a bounty, with an updated 1st round mock draft.
First off, a top level view. I've mentioned the impact it could have on the Rams' pairing (as it currently sits...) should teams in the top 15 take a couple quarterbacks off the board. Indeed, Norris has West Virginia QB Geno Smith opening the 2013 NFL Draft with Mike Glennon of North Carolina St. at 7th to the Cardinals. I think that's worth crossing our fingers for.
More interesting to me is the insinuation in this mock, and it's a fair one IMO, that the first 32 picks will come to be dominated by the selection of linemen on both sides of the ball. Let's look at the position breakdown of this mock:
Defensive linemen alone make up more than a third of this first round. Throw in the half dozen O-linemen, and more than half of the first would be linemen. For the sake of getting this out before COB, I'll skip the history and just note I can't remember the last time a first round was so dominated by linemen, should this come to pass. Plus, we should all be rooting for some sucka at the end of the round to pull the string on Eddie Lacy. You know you want to, Seattle...
So, as always, let's build up through that top 15. The Geno Smith pick is becoming more and more common, so I'll suggest the first surprise was Sharrif Floyd at 3. You may remember a certain individual listing him as his rising DT of the 2012 season... (BTW, I love the comments on that video) But I digress.
I know a certain congregation of Rams fans will be disappointed to see Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson off the board at 8 to the Bills. I wouldn't be surprised if he puts on an impressive showing at the combine and the hype builds up (and don't see it can't happen -- hi, Dontari Poe!). What might make things tougher for the Rams would be Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher at 11 to the Chargers and Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson at 12 to the Dolphins. With the tackles off the board and Patterson gone, it's a familiar name at 16:
16. Chance Warmack: G, Alabama
I consider Warmack the best player in this draft, regardless of position. The Alabama product is a reliable pass protector with an aggressive attitude to finish off blocks. Warmack would give the Rams an identity up front.
No arguments here. More O-linemen fly off the boards in between the Rams' two picks as North Carolina G Jonathan Cooper goes to Dallas at 18 and the Bears take Alabama OT D.J. Fluker at 20th. Florida International FS Jonathan Cyprien, who's picking up some draft stock heat as of late, jumps the Rams to the Bengals at 21. Norris then offers a name I'm not sure I've seen to the Rams to this point:
22. Alec Ogletree: ILB, Georgia
After the Rams added Jo-Lonn Dunbar last offseason, the team was not sure whether he would play the strong or weak side. Ogletree is a better athlete than Dunbar and could instantly improve the Rams' coverage in short-to-intermediate areas. With some grooming, Ogletree has the tools to be a stud on the weak side.
Hmm. I like Ogletree as a prospect, but this one leaves me a bit uncomfortable. On some level, it's the optics of getting through day 1 and not addressing RT or WR, especially given the end of the Titus Young era in St. Louis (we'll always remember the good times...wait, were there even any times at all?).
Norris' first round ends with a bit of a run on receivers: Cal WR Keenan Allen to the Vikings at 23, Clemson WR DeAndre Hopkins to the Texans at 27 and West Virginia WR Tavon Austin at 29 to Bill Belichick (I would be sick...).
Thoughts? Reactions? Physical disorders attained after getting through the mock? (don't blame them on Norris - he's a fine evaluator)
Let's discuss on this fine Friday.