Gandhi mock draft 1.5

Gandhi

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My mock draft for this year is now concluded. I thought I would post this in a separate thread, since the other might be a bit confusing by now.
I am obviously also evaluating myself in a game like this – only because it is entertaining. I mean, mock drafts are mostly about having fun, and since we put ourselves in the position of a GM, I think I should look at how I did.

The entire journey is in this link, if anyone wants to read it:


This is how it went:

Trades

#71 → #76, #136, #203

#76 → #78, #222

First round

#4 – Marvin Harrison, wide receiver, Ohio State

#27 – Kool-Aid McKinstry, cornerback, Alabama

Second round

#35 – Chris Braswell, edge rusher, Alabama

Third round

#66 – Christian Haynes, offensive guard, Connecticut

#78 – McKinnley Jackson, defensive tackle, Texas A&M

#90 – DeWayne Carter, defensive tackle, Duke

Fourth round

#104 – Andru Phillips, cornerback, Kentucky

Fifth round

#136 – Jaheim Bell, tight end, Florida State

#138 – Tahj Washington, wide receiver, USC

#162 – Jaylen Harrell, edge rusher, Michigan

Sixth round

#186 – Dylan McMahon, center, N.C. State

#203 – Ty’Ron Hopper, linebacker, Missouri

Seventh round

#222 – Jarius Monroe, safety, Tulane

#226 – Fabien Lovett, defensive tackle, Florida State

My goal was to find players that fit with the playing style. They might not be the highest ranked players at that spot, but if I deemed it likely that they could contribute quickly, then I would take them.

Contrary to what some think, I don’t consider late round picks as close to irrelevant. I don’t think they are a blind lottery. I value them, and I believe that you can find good players for your team with research, analysis, and overall preparation, whereas another popular opinion is that it is pretty much about taking shots and hope for luck.

Anyway, on to the self-judging. I am very satisfied with most of my picks. I see Harrison, McKinstry and Haynes as homeruns, plug-and-play types. Chris Braswell might be my most questionable fit of the 14 drafted, but he is just so immensely talented, and I guess that if you are good enough, you automatically fit the scheme. Trading down in the second to target a guy like H-back Ben Sinnott or DT Kris Jenkins would also have been good options, though.

Looking back, I would have liked to draft McKinnley Jackson one pick later, and then push Carter down to my spot in the fourth round. By doing that, I could have selected safety Javon Bullard at Jackson’s spot, and I am a major fan of Bullard. I let him go passed because of the need for a giant nose tackle, and I shouldn’t have. Not that I don’t think good about Andru Phillips, by the way. I think he can be a stud nickelback, but he is just more of a NB/CB while Bullard is a S/NB, if that makes sense. Bullard is a nickelback that would be almost natural at safety, while Phillips is a nickelback that would be almost natural at outside cornerback. So, on that light I am not satisfied with the pick of Phillips, but I still don’t see any other options as the board fell. As I said, I screwed up in my own board.

I was very happy to add H-back Jaheim Bell and slot receiver Tahj Washington to the offense. Both positions are very important in Drew Petzing’s offense, and I feel like those two players are among the best on the positions in the draft. The Cards go where Kyler Murray goes, and I feel like these two picks will help him a lot.

Later in the fifth I got edge rusher Jaylen Harrell, and I guess you can argue that he doesn’t have as much upside as some of the other available edge rushers. My thinking was (and still is) that Harrell is more pro ready, and that his ceiling is still high enough, even if it might not be All Pro. I feel like he and Braswell instantly become two of the three or four best edge rushers on the roster.

I am very excited to be able to add center Dylan McMahon. I think he is a wonderful fit, and I would not be surprised if he could start day one. I would not be surprised if the opening day starting offensive line was:

Paris Johnson – Christian Haynes – Dylan McMahon – Will Hernandez – Jonah Williams.

Yes, that would be tough for Hjalte Froholdt, who in no way has played horrible, but I mean, then he can just play even better.

Ty’Ron Hopper and Jarius Monroe were first and foremost picked for their potential on the defense but would be able to contribute on special teams immediately. I think that both have a future role to play on defense, but the road to get there would probably be pretty long.

It’s a fair point that I should have taken wide receiver Ryan Flournoy over Hopper, but with Harrison and Washington, the WR room would be rather crowded. I would not be surprised at all if Petzing often uses only two wide receivers on many plays, so having those two with Dortch, Wilson and newcomers Chris Moore and Zach Pascal is just a lot. That said, Flournoy is a big and exiting talent, and maybe he is the type that it would be worth to try to keep on the practice squad while you develop him.

By the way, I strongly considered Joe Milton with my last pick. He clearly has some exciting tools, so maybe he is a guy to develop in peace while all the focus is on Kyler Murray and Desmond Ridder.

Should I have taken RB Will Shipley over Washington, or RB Isaiah Davis over Monroe or Lovett? Maybe. It is fair to argue that.

Overall, I would be satisfied with a draft like this. I mentioned it in the opening post that the team is closer to being good than many fans think, so getting multiple players in important positions within the system would be huge. I feel like the biggest needs would be filled with this draft class.
 

gmabel830

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I'd be very content if this ended up being our draft. I don't think we'd take quite as many EDGE/DT as you selected, but it would be good to at least increase competition during camp. I like Joe Milton too, so him or an RB over a third DT with your last pick would have made sense.
 

Fitz4Ever

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I dont mind some of your picks, but I just dont see us bringing in 14 rookies. At least 4-5 of them wouldnt even make the team.

If we are going to trade (other than #4 possibly) they need to be trade UPs to get highly coveted players, or packaging picks to improve our draft next year (something like 90 + 104 to some team for a 2nd rounder next year)
 

Krangodnzr

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Good, well thought out mock. I like most of your picks and the process you used to make them.

Id probably only argue against Jackson @78. He's a classic run stuffer type who adds very little to the pass rush. I think you can get him a lot later and could have used that pick on a boundary CB, a much greater value.

Philips goes a lot earlier than in your mock. I saw recently that some teams have a round one grade on him. I think there will be a run on CBs in round two because there is a deep pool of round two type CBs in this draft.

Over the years I've learned that it's wise to spot these positional runs so that you can stay a head of them. That's why #27 or #35 pretty much have to be a corner, or you end up with a developmental guy from Ball State later. Taking McKinstry is a wise move.

Braswell at #35 is one of those picks that I don't love, but I think that is where you have to take him. If he was even an average run defender, he would be in the conversation for round one, so #35 is a good spot to take him. The Cardinals have a fairly crowded edge room. None are stars but they do have like 4 or 5 capable NFL edge players, so a specialist like Braswell fits in because he wouldn't have to be an every down edge right away.

I love taking the two pass catchers in round 4 because I think that receiving group can use an overall infusion of talent. Bell can be a third TE who leaks out into the flat for easy YAC completions. Washington fills a backup slot position and could be a cheaper alternative to Dortch in the coming years and help out on special teams.

I like McMahon, but highly disagree that he can beat out Froholdt in year one. I think his upside is back up center in year one and compete down the road.
 
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Gandhi

Gandhi

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I don't think we'd take quite as many EDGE/DT as you selected
I did not expect it either, gmable. Going into the draft, I would have expected to get away with two defensive linemen, so this was just a result of how the board fell. I will say, though, that I would be more confident that Lovett could contribute right away than both Jackson and Carter, though their potential is probably bigger.

Do you agree that the d-line needs a big overhaul?

I like Joe Milton too, so him or an RB over a third DT with your last pick would have made sense.

Yes, I agree after further thoughts. I should have taken Milton or Isaiah Davis over Monroe.
 
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Gandhi

Gandhi

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I dont mind some of your picks, but I just dont see us bringing in 14 rookies. At least 4-5 of them wouldnt even make the team.

If we are going to trade (other than #4 possibly) they need to be trade UPs to get highly coveted players, or packaging picks to improve our draft next year (something like 90 + 104 to some team for a 2nd rounder next year)
F4E, you are most likely right. My thinking is that the team could use upgrades here and there, both in the top and rotational roles. And the more draft choices you make, the bigger the chance of hitting – especially is you have drafted players that fits your system well. In my mind, those players don’t need to be the highest ranked, and thus I don’t think that you need to trade up a lot. I think it is about scouting and analyzing.

That said, I would not be opposed to trade up in the first round, if the right player is there. Who is that for you? I would say either McKinstry or Latu, if they start to slide.
 
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Gandhi

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Id probably only argue against Jackson @78. He's a classic run stuffer type who adds very little to the pass rush. I think you can get him a lot later and could have used that pick on a boundary CB, a much greater value.
Thanks for the kind words, Krang!

I must say that I disagree on that. I don’t think he is your traditional run stuffer. He can certainly do that, but I think he has more pass rush-potential that given credit for. I could see him playing both nose tackle and 5-tech in Gannon’s system (though nose tackle with be the primary role).

Braswell at #35 is one of those picks that I don't love, but I think that is where you have to take him. If he was even an average run defender, he would be in the conversation for round one, so #35 is a good spot to take him. The Cardinals have a fairly crowded edge room. None are stars but they do have like 4 or 5 capable NFL edge players, so a specialist like Braswell fits in because he wouldn't have to be an every down edge right away.
But don’t you think that is a problem? I mean, rotation is great, but you also need to top guys. The players that the opposition fear, and that forces them to spend extra resources on stopping. That’s why I think Braswell would be a great choice. He has that potential, and he is undoubtedly in the first-round discussions with some teams.
 

Krangodnzr

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Thanks for the kind words, Krang!

I must say that I disagree on that. I don’t think he is your traditional run stuffer. He can certainly do that, but I think he has more pass rush-potential that given credit for. I could see him playing both nose tackle and 5-tech in Gannon’s system (though nose tackle with be the primary role).
Possibly, but pass rushing tackles go higher.

The scouting reports I'm reading on him pretty much state he was used as a 0 tech but isn't well suited for it and he struggled at times as a 0. That would mean he would be a good fit as an odd front NT. He also didn't test particularly well.

I do like him, but like him later. Texas A&M has a long history of producing quality DL so I would gamble on him.
But don’t you think that is a problem? I mean, rotation is great, but you also need to top guys. The players that the opposition fear, and that forces them to spend extra resources on stopping. That’s why I think Braswell would be a great choice. He has that potential, and he is undoubtedly in the first-round discussions with some teams.
We do need a top guy for certain, but this draft doesn't have a lot of guys that even have the appearance of someone becoming a top guy. Even Turner and Verse don't have top guy look to them.

But I do agree, Braswell is a great second option. He was stuck behind Anderson and Turner and finally got his chance this year so he does have some growth.

I'm a Mohamed Kamara guy if you want a OLB later. He's a little older and played at a smaller school, but Colorado State has a fairly long history now of producing pass rushers that stick in the NFL.
 
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Gandhi

Gandhi

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The scouting reports I'm reading on him pretty much state he was used as a 0 tech but isn't well suited for it and he struggled at times as a 0. That would mean he would be a good fit as an odd front NT. He also didn't test particularly well.
I just have another view. :) And I can see that several scouting reports back up my thoughts, especially from the Senior Bowl.

We do need a top guy for certain, but this draft doesn't have a lot of guys that even have the appearance of someone becoming a top guy. Even Turner and Verse don't have top guy look to them.

There are always players that surprise. Players drafted in lower rounds, where you would typically not expect to find game changers. A couple of players I have my eyes on could be Austin Booker and Jalyx Hunt. Your thought about Kamara is also good and interesting.
 

Krangodnzr

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I just have another view. :) And I can see that several scouting reports back up my thoughts, especially from the Senior Bowl.



There are always players that surprise. Players drafted in lower rounds, where you would typically not expect to find game changers. A couple of players I have my eyes on could be Austin Booker and Jalyx Hunt. Your thought about Kamara is also good and interesting.
Austin Booker didn't really test very well though and Hunt played at a smaller school than Kamara.

The knock on Kamara based on measureables is that he's short...but some of the short guys have actually used their shorter stature to their advantage since it's easier for them to get leverage against real long guys who struggle to get low. James Harrison comes to mind.

What I love about Kamara is that he has a ton of pass rush tools and he already has an understanding of what pass sets OTs are using and he knows how to counter. He is an older prospect, but that could be an advantage early on.

He is one of the most bendy guys in the draft too, so he's not like Chris Braswell who has very little bend. If we were judging Kamara vs Braswell in a neutral fashion (removing competition concerns and such), Kamara is a much better player on tape alone.

In fact, on tape alone I might argue Kamara is the best pass rusher in the draft.
 
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Gandhi

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Austin Booker didn't really test very well though and Hunt played at a smaller school than Kamara.
I don't really care how Booker tested, as I think he is a special case. He is so inexpierenced that it is a mystery how he could dominate like that. And he played a lot more athletic than he tested.

With Hunt it is kind of the opposite story in that he clearly needs a lot of work, yet tested through the roof.

With both, though, the developmental potential is huge, and that is what you draft for. You are right that Kamara has very good tape, but it is also against inferior teams, and with his stature and age there is a risk that he will not develop to something much better than now.

Having said that, I would be fine with drafting Kamara.
 
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