Gandhi mock draft

Gandhi

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For many years I have participated in a GM mock draft at a Danish platform. All 32 participants control their own team, and I obviously choose the Cardinals.

Because I have 11 picks this year, I decided to write posts about each pick in this thread, and then update the original post as the game goes along. Like an ongoing story. Otherwise the first post would be very, very long.

I usually go into this game with some strategy or focus (some years it has been players with high floors, other times highest ceiling, etc.) This year I had specific focus on team-fits. I think that the coaches did a great job last season, and this teams are closer to be truly competitive than many fans know. Thus, with the right additions here and there, I can easily see the Cards making quite a turnaround from last season. To identity the right defensive fits I have looked back at what player-types Gannon used with the Eagles, squinting a bit to what defenses he worked with in Indy, as I believe that he last year largely worked with wrong player-types as it relates to his ideal vision of playing. From studying the Eagles’ and Colts’ defense, as well as Matt Eberflus’ and Brandon Staley’s (his and Gannon’s scheme are very close) versions of Vic Fangio’s defenses, I feel safe in saying that, while Gannon builds different defensive schemes based on which players he has at his disposal, he does have some recurring principles and strategies which requires certain player-types. Offensively, Drew Petzing is highly inspired by Kevin Stefanski, who he worked under in both Minnesota and Cleveland. Petzing runs a version of the west coast offense, and of course there are also specific player-types for this.

I expect that at least seven or eight of the 11 players turn out to be contributors.

I obviously work with a Cards board and an overall board, and then tries to make some sort of coordination between them to find out who to pick. Hopefully the two boards will match at each pick, but if not, then there could be several reasons that I choose a certain pick. It can be a preference for talent over fit, or conversely fit over talent. It can be because of supply and demand, or it can be because of my previous picks. Or in some cases it could be simple gut feeling. I will explain each selection, but I think I can already say that in the first couple of rounds I will look most to the overall board, while in the later rounds I will look primarily to the Cards board.

Semi-spoiler-alert!

With my first pick, I have never even considered trading down. In this game we are not allowed to use picks from other years or current players (since we would never be able to agree on the value), and that significantly limited the potential prize, but I would do the same in real life. Well, if the Vikings offer their two first round picks and Justin Jefferson, I will make the trade. Other than that, if you cannot guarantee me one of my two players, no thanks.

Another reason that I have not considered moving is that I have already made the pick. Or, the top two players on the Cards board are a long way in front of #3 (Laiatu Latu*), and those two are also the top two on the overall board (although closer to #3, Caleb Williams). That means that I would need two of the first three teams to select quarterbacks, and then I will be sure of one of them falling to me. I think that is realistically. I would be very comfortable with either at #4.

The two players in mind:

1 – Wide receiver Marvin Harrison, Ohio State.

2 – Wide receiver Rome Odunze, Washington.

We will see what I end up doing on Monday when the draft game start.

*Maybe I should clarify just a bit. I have no idea of how his medical situation is, and neither do you or anyone else other than the teams. Thus, I solely evaluate him by what he does on the field and have been doing for two seasons straight. I think he would be a wonderful fit.

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#4 – Wide receiver Marvin Harrison, Ohio State

Don’t overthink it.

I am actually leaning to the possibility that Rome Odunze is the better team fit, but I think that when you pick this high, you need to let talent decide, and I have Harrison ranked a bit before Odunze. Besides, it is not like Harrison is a bad fit.

Actually, there is even an argument to be made that Malik Nabers’ type of player could fit very well into Petzing’s version of a west coast offense, but you could make the same argument with Harrison and Odunze (though in a slightly different way), and I expect that they want more size in the wide receiver-room. That is why I have Harrison and Odunze ranked #1 and #2, while Nabers is #7.

As mentioned, the Cards are closer to being good than many fans realize, and Kyler Murray is the key to make it happen. He did a good job last year after coming back from the injury, but that was with highly limited quality among the wide receiver-group. I would be excited to see what he could do with better weapons around him.

Together with defensive line and edge rushers, WR is the biggest hole to fill in the draft, and since there is a fairly big jump from #2 on the Cards board to #3 (Laiatu Latu), this was an easy selection.

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My dream would have been if Laiatu Latu would slide far enough that I could get in striking distance of a trade up (without paying way more than I would like). I don’t see that as 100% impossible, just because teams might prefer players with a lesser injury history. However, as I mentioned, I think it is strange how many people are doing the same, as we have no earthly idea of his medical status. If he starts to slide, I would be highly aggressive in trying to move up around #20-#22 or so. Anyway, since the Rams took him, I will have to look for an edge rusher (which I see as a big need) later. I don’t think there is anyone worthy of this spot.

I forgot to mention in the original post that one of my strategies always is to draft players I have ranked higher than my current draft slot. I guess it would make more logical sense that I was satisfied in drafting a player that are ranked where I get him, but that is not the case. If I cannot get a guy that I have ranked at least several spots earlier, then I will always try hard to trade down.

I like to have prepared three-five players to target, about five picks before mine. This time they were:

Offensive guard Jordan Morgan, Arizona.

I know that he is in fact an OT, but I am salivating of the thought of his fit at guard in the Cards’ outside zone scheme. I did not draft him because I think there is a good chance that I can get a quality guard later.

Defensive tackle T’Vondre Sweat, Texas.

In Gannon’s scheme, a huge two-gapping nose tackle is essential, and Sweat is my highest ranked – and very highly ranked on the Cards board (#9) because of the fit. However, it is difficult for me to justify taking a two-down player, whose job pretty much is to take on blockers and be big, this high in the draft. It must be addressed, but hopefully I can do it later.

Defensive tackles Kris Jenkins, Michigan, and Darius Robinson, Missouri.

I have clustered these two together because my thoughts are exactly the same with them. I could see both being extraordinary picks who can contribute right away, and both also have major developmental potentials. They also both has skillsets that fits the Cards’ scheme very well. My problem, though, is the same as with Sweat. Their potential will not be fully utilized, and they don’t really fit on the outside - thus I can’t justify using a pick this high.

The Patriots at #34 offered me to trade back with them, but I was not going to risk losing my guy.

#27 – Kool-Aid McKinstry, cornerback, Alabama

I like pretty much everything about McKinstry. He fits Gannon’s scheme completely with his abilities in press-man coverage and zone coverage, his high playing IQ, and his physical play style. Sure, he could be a bit faster and have a bit more refined technique, but there is a reason why he was not picked in the top ten. The bottom line is that he has covered great WRs for three years, and when you are coached by Nick Saban, you typically become a good defensive back.

I feel like CB is a major need. I don’t see either Murphy-Bunting or the two draftees from last year as a #1, and it would do wonder to have that on the field.

I actually strongly considered trying to trade up with the Cowboys at #24, so that I would get ahead of the Packers and the Bucs, since I could see both target a CB. In the end, though, I decided not to, as I had the aforementioned alternatives if McKinstry got selected ahead of me.

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Round 2

At the end of round one, the players ranked higher on both boards than #35 was:

Edge rusher Chris Braswell, Alabama.

Only other player ranked higher than #35 on the overall board:

Wide receiver Xavier Worthy, Texas.

Wide receiver Keon Coleman, Florida State.


Players ranked inside the #35 on the Cards board, and a little outside #35 on the overall board:

Edge rusher Adisa Isaac, Penn State (#18 and #42).

Safety Javon Bullard, Georgia (#20 and #41).

Defensive tackle Kris Jenkins (#12 and #43).


This was an easy selection. I was not going to trade down, because I think the need is too big to risk losing the best prospect on the board.

#35 – Chris Braswell, edge rusher, Alabama

I really like Braswell (#11 on the Cards board), and I think he would be a great fit in the Cardinals’ 5-1 defense. Contrary to what many thinks, Ojulari had a fine rookie-season, and there is definitely reason to hope for further improvement. However, who is going to rush from the other side? Braswell plays so very powerful and has a lot of potential going forward. He has a lightning quick first step, can bend around the edge, can overpower blockers, can play the run fine. Sure, he needs to do things more consistently, but the talent is certainly there. I think he can produce already as a rookie.

I don’t know if this is a little funfact (but now I have at least mentioned it): At Alabama, Braswell took over for Will Anderson, who many wanted the Cardinals to draft last year, so this would be kind of like coming full circle.

I hope to find a good OG and DT in the third round, though the DTs could potentially wait a bit since the types needed are not necessarily very coveted by other teams. On the other hand, my list of good guard-fits are not that long, so I hope to not miss out.

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Round 3

When my first third round selection (#66) was approaching, I was a little confused as what to do. I tried to trade down a little where I felt more comfortable but was not able to find a trade partner.

My three highest ranked players were:

Cornerback Khyree Jackson, Oregon.

I think that Khyree Jackson is close to what Gannon see as the perfect cornerback stature. Gannon have always worked with big and tall players, that are also capable of playing press man-coverage. Khyree Jackson is all those things, and on top of that he is also very good in zone coverage – by far Gannon’s favorite scheme. However, since I took McKinstry in the first round, I think that this is too early for another cornerback. I am definitely not out of the CB market, but I am not targeting one before a later round.

Edge rusher Adisa Isaac, Penn State.

I think that Hayes is a very exciting prospect and have a lot of untapped potential. But it was the same as with Jackson. I will certainly not rule out drafting another edge rusher, but just not now where I took Chris Braswell earlier.

#66 Christian Haynes, offensive guard, UCONN.

I did not expect Haynes to be available at this spot. I know that everyone says that about all their picks, but then let me say that I did not want to trade down anyway as my pick approached.

I feel that Haynes is an extraordinary fit in the Cards’ wide zone scheme, which Haynes also have extensive experience in from UCONN. He is a good athlete, has quick feet and very good technique. On top of that, he is very good at handling rushers coming in from the side.

I guess that the reason he might still be available is that he did not measure perfect at the scouting combine. He is a little smaller than you would wish, and he have small hands. Further, he is a bit older prospect (23).

To me, the only issue is that he has played right guard at UCONN, but it seems like a very small problem to move him to the left. I think Haynes would be a plug-and-play OG.

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I was even more confused when #71 was approaching. I had many players left that will fit the Cardinals well, but I was also starting to feel a little stressed about the D-line. I think that it is a very big need (second behind only WR), and even though they don’t need to be special players in the scheme, they obviously still need to be there. I believe that Bilal Nicols and Justin Jones will be good contributor, but they are not enough. Gannon had success in Philly with a monster NT and a big rotation of other space eaters. However, it is obviously not illegal for them to catch the quarterback, and those types are usually drafted ahead of the big two-gappers who’s primary job is to occupy blockers. Thus, I would like to get into that market soon.

Having said that, my targets were:

Adisa Isaac and Khyree Jackson were obviously still available, but my thinking was the same as five picks before.

Nose tackle McKinnley Jackson, Texas A&M.

I think that Jackson is underrated, or at the least have a lot of untapped potential. I feel like this is a bit too early to draft him, just because of his lack of length and height to help him against blockers, as well as average production, but on the other hand, if I wait until #90 I obviously risk losing him. He is #26 on my Cards board, but I am not sure if the third round is too soon to start focusing almost exclusively on the Cards board (unless someone is by far the best available on the overall board).

Safety Calen Bullock, USC.

I think that Bullock is a good fit in the zone defense. He is very good in a two-high safety system, and yet also have strong ball production. That might be one of the only positions, though, where the need is not that big.

Safety Javon Bullard, Georgia.

Same reason for not drafting him as with Bullock, though he is a slightly different type. First, he is quite a lot shorter, but also quite a lot heavier. Second, he is not the same ballhawk as Bullock, but on the other hand he might be even better in coverage. Bullard can legitimately cover wide receivers.

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#71 – Trade down.

I wanted to trade down to a spot where I was more comfortable with taking any of my targets. As indicated, I didn’t have an obvious choice.

I actually had a deal in place with the Commanders. They would get #71, and I would get #78 and #152 (fifth round). I thought it was a fine deal to move down a little, probably still get one of the targets, and pick up an extra selection. However, in the last minute the Broncos gave me a better offer (#71 for #76 and #145). After some negotiations we landed on #71 for #76, #136 (first pick in fifth round) and #203 (sixth round). I mentioned to the Commanders that I had gotten a better offer, so now they had to throw in another pick if they wanted the deal. They denied, and thus, I traded with the Broncos.

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At #76, all three of my targets were still available, and now I also included WR Jermaine Burton. Actually, he is #28 on the Cards board and #55 on the overall, so maybe he should have been in consideration before. The reason he was not is partly that I took Harrison, but also that Burton is a headache, and could realistically slide further than this. The talent, though, is undeniable, and I think he would fit in well in the Cards’ west coast offense-version. And I am not out of the WR-market, so at some point Burton could become too good of a value-pick.

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#76 – Trade down

As I was on the clock, the Commanders came back with a new trade proposal. This time it was #78 and #222. As I had several targets, and it was only a matter of moving down two spots, I took the offer.

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Now I did not want to trade down anymore. I was targeting different players, and I did not want to lose out on all on them. I was still not that high on taking a safety (though, looking back, maybe I should have considered Bullard more strongly), and my other primary target, Malachi Corley, got drafted one spot ahead of me.

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

As mentioned earlier, Gannon’s defense needs a huge two-gapping nose tackle in the middle to function. Now, you can get those types later in the draft, but Jackson offers more. He is pretty short, but he uses that to his advantage by playing with a low center of gravity to get under o-linemen’s pads. He is surprisingly quick and mobile for a guy of that size, and he can provide a push on the o-line. You could even say that he is a 5-tech (DE in a 3-4) disguised in a 0 techs body. Though, in the Cards’ scheme, I don’t think there is any doubt what he will be used for, even though it does open up some possibilities.

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After the pick of Jackson, there were only 11 picks until I was on the clock again. Bullard got taken shortly after, but Bullock was still on the board, and now these were also in play:

Runningback Jaylen Wright, Tennessee.

I like his running style, and I think he would be a good fit. I don’t know if they need another runningback, but having a third option other than Connor and Carter would not be a bad thing.

Wide receiver Javon Baker, UCF.

Baker is a very good route runner, which WRs need in Petzing’s offense. Other than that, he is primarily a jump ball specialist, but I think that would also complement Michael Wilson and Marvin Harrison well. In my mind, everything is about making life good for Kyler Murray.

Cornerback Renardo Green, Florida State.

I don’t know that the Cards need another corner outside of McKinstry, since they signed Murphy-Bunting and drafted two last year. However, Kei’Trel Clark ended not even being in the game squad for several games late in the season, Antonio Hamilton is now in Atlanta, and I was not impressed with Starling Thomas (though he fought well). Green would certainly primarily be a nickel corner, but that is also fine. By the way, he was one of very few DBs to have a good amount of success against Malik Nabers last season.

Cornerback Caelen Carson, Wake Forest.

The reasoning is the same as with Green, only I am not sure if Carson would actually be best on the outside. He might, and Murphy-Bunting have not been a successful nickel since the Tampa-days. Anyway, I just like Carson’s game a lot, and think he is the exact type of CB that Gannon prefer.

In the end, I went with my sixth target:

#90 – DeWayne Carter, defensive tackle, Duke

I know that Carter is on the small side for a DT in Gannon’s system, but on the other hand, he had success with Javon Hargrave, who has a similar built, in Philly (Hargrave is very good, so that obviously also play a part, but you know…)

Even at his size, Carter plays as a Gannon-DT. He is very strong against the run and more than capable of occupying blockers and play two-gapping technique (technically 1.5 gapping). He is a highly powerful player with a non-stop motor. He can certainly also bring some pass rush, but his strongest side is stopping the run, and that is also what he would do in the Cards’ defense.

I think that the d-line was exposed several times last season, and that they absolutely need reinforcements. I like Bilal Nicols and Justin Jones, but I don’t think it is enough. It requires a strong rotation to make the system work, and I will not rule out that I could take one more defensive lineman later.

There are 13 selections between this and my next, so cross your fingers that some of my targets are still there.

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Round 4

#104 gave me problems. With the pick right after me, Jaylen Wright got drafted, and it didn’t take long before the same happened with Renardo Green, Caelen Carson, and Javon Baker. That meant that I did not know what to do, as I only had a few players ranked for that area. They were:

Andru Phillips, cornerback, Kentucky.

The highest ranked player on the Cards board. He plays zone coverage very well, but can also play some press-man, preferably as long as it is as a nickel back. He doesn’t have the size to play on the outside.

Josh Newton, cornerback, TCU.

He does everything well, but nothing extraordinary. He would be a nickel back, and might be a very good fit.

That was it. Other players that I thought about:

Gabriel Murphy, edge rusher, UCLA.

He plays with good technique and a big arsenal of moves. Seems like he has gotten some tips from Laiatu Latu. But I have a big problem with edge rushers with short arms.

Mohamed Kamara, edge rusher, Colorado State.

Very explosive and hand technique. Highly productive. But the same issue as with Murphy. The lack of length bothers me.

Jaheim Bell, H-back, Florida State.

Petzings offense works so much better with a H-back slash fullback. Bell have been used in every possible way in Florida State’s offense, and he have great YAC abilities.

Will Shipley, runningback, Clemson.

Not great between the tackles, but very good receiver and running to the outside. Would be a good fit.

Two of them were ruled out immediately, while I believe that both Bell and Shipley could very well be there later and would be massive reaches here. I tried my best to trade down but could not find a trade partner.

#104 – Andru Phillips, cornerback, Kentucky.

In the end I decided to go with the highest ranked player. And it is not like the Cards cannot use better cover guys, even after I selected McKinstry. Phillips would also surely play the nickel back, but that is fine, as I see McKinstry as a clearcut #1, and Murphy-Bunting is best on the outside. But the defense needs pretty much everything, and Phillips would definitely raise the level. I like Phillips’ game. He is clearly best in zone defense, but he does play very physical and instinctive. His obvious role would be kind of what Jalen Thompson is playing, but Rallis can figure that out.

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Round 5

I had hoped to get an edge rusher at one of the next two picks. I think it was horrible last season, and I only have hopes for Ojulari. Gardeck have been a personal favorite since he came into the league, but it is not like he cannot be upgraded. I have given up on Zaven Collins, and Dimukeje is what he is. Cam Thomas is a bad fit, and we’ll see with Tyreke Smith. I am not keeping my hopes up, though.

However, two players I had hoped would be available here were Jalyx Hunt out of Houston Christian (wild what he has become after only two years at the position – huge potential), and Javon Solomon (highly productive), but no, both got drafted not long before. Which meant that I did not see any valuable edge rushers at this spot.

My targets were largely the same as with the last pick, since as mentioned, they were ranked a lot lower on the Cards board at that point. They were:

Josh Newton, cornerback, TCU.

I simply just like his game. After drafting McKinstry and Phillips it makes little sense, especially since I don’t think his game translate well to playing safety, but as my highest ranked player, I did consider him.

Jaheim Bell, H-Back, Florida State.

Great fit, interesting player.

Will Shipley, runningback, Clemson.

I really like his game, but no, other targets make more sense to me.

Tahj Washington, wide receiver, USC.

The role of small speedster is up for grasp now. Wonderful fit.

Fabian Lovett, defensive tackle, Florida State.

After drafting Jackson and Carter, defensive tackle is not the priority. Having said that, I really like the fit.

Since there was only one pick between this one and my next, obviously I would get at least two of the mentioned targets.

#136 – Jaheim Bell, H-back, Florida State

A fullback or H-back is essential in Petzing’s offense, and Bell is the best in the draft. He has been deployed as everything from tight end to H-back to runningback to fullback to slot receiver, but to me, his best position is either as a fullback or H-back. He has said himself that teams have talked to him about making him play fullback fulltime, so I am not that crazy on this projection.

Bell is very dangerous with the ball in his hand, and his present alone will cause confusion among the defenders, which is one of his main purposes. The offensive scheme is about creating unrest and worry for the opponent, and having multiple options for both run and pass helps that (think Andy Janovich with Kevin Stefanski or Kyle Juszcyk with Kyle Shanahan), and that is what Bell can do.

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One pick between my last and this one, so I obviously had the same potential targets.

#138 – Tahj Washington, wide receiver, USC.

This guy is a wonderful fit for a west coast offense that Petzing wants to run. Washington is a slot receiver only, but that is fine. This pick is for a very specific role (which, by the way, is how I think very good team drafts), and I don’t see that player on the roster. I guess that Rondale Moore could play the role, but he obviously underachieved for several years. Washington gets a lot of yards after the catch as he has good vision and is very elusive, and he is more than willing to get hit by running into traffic. He is also surprisingly good at blocking, considering his size, so he can really help the run game as well.

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My next pick was not that long after (24 picks) the last, but Will Shipley had been taken, so I did not have any of my previous targets left. That is because I have changed my opinion with DT Fabian Lovett since my last pick. Not that I have changed my mind about him, but because I think another type would be better, as Lovett might be a bit too alike to what they already have. As mentioned earlier, a quality rotation on the d-line is important for the scheme, and in that regard, it might not matter much if players are the same types, so that they can replace each other without a change in play style. But on the other hand, it could also be a strength if Rallis can mix and match the three on the field during the game. I choose the latter.

My next primary target was tight end Tip Reiman, Illinois. Tight ends are a big part of Drew Petzing’s offense, and I really like Reiman. I don’t even think there is any doubt that he is the best blocking tight end in the draft, and I think he could be well utilized as a pass catcher. However, he was drafted two spots before I came up.

Now my targets were:

Jaylen Harrell, edge rusher, Michigan.

There is something to work with there. His tools are rare to find toward the bottom of round five.

Javion Cohen, offensive guard, Miami.

Truth be told, he was the highest ranked, so I “had” to consider him, but in reality, it was not more than a quick thought.

Khristian Boyd, defensive tackle, Northern Iowa.

This is the guy that made me change my mind about drafting Lovett. Boyd offers more pass rush than Lovett (a more powerful bull rush), and he gives versatility in that he can play the true nose tackle, but also kick out as a 5-tech (defensive end in a 3-4).

I did consider trading down a bit, since I have several team fits left, but in the end, it was actually a pretty easy decision. Harrell is significantly higher on the board than the next best edge rusher, and I feel like the need is bigger at edge rush than defensive line (after the selections of Jackson and Carter that is). I could see Boyd being there in the 6. round, as we are now in the stage of the draft where everyone’s board are different because it is almost exclusively about team- and scheme fit. In that case, I certainly might take Boyd, but for now I go in a different direction as I don’t want to risk losing him.

#162 – Jaylen Harrell, edge rusher, Michigan.

As I wrote above, there is something to work with here. Not that Harrell has been a monster at Michigan, but his level of play has a good floor as he has been steady and reliable. He also has the size and length you would want in an edge rusher. He has a quick first step, is powerful, can bend the edge. Not a great athlete, but a fine one.

In the Cards’ scheme he would most likely be the SAM (the Haason Reddick-role) and could be a quality backup to Ojulari. Is Harrell better than Zaven Collins, Dennis Gardeck, Dimukeje, and whoever else they have thrown out there? I don’t know, but I certainly think the potential is bigger.

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Round 6

Since Boyd got taken earlier, this was an easy pick. I did not consider trading down, and did not consider any other target.

#186 – Dylan McMahon, center, NC State

This might be my favorite fit-pick. McMahon’s enormous obstacle is that he is too small to play in the NFL, and he doesn’t look like someone who can gain a lot of weight. He is short, has short arms, lack power in his body. Everything else, though, screams a much higher draftspot than this, and a wonderful fit for an outside zone-scheme. He is a great athlete and moves both sideways and in space with ease. He is very coordinated, and clearly plays with a high playing-IQ.

You could argue that I should have drafted him before, now that I like him so much, but I don’t know if he will ever play in the NFL. He did play a lot for NC State – both guard and center – but obviously everyone is big, fast, strong in the NFL, whereas it is a little different in the ACC.

I was pleasantly surprised of Froholdt last year, and I don’t see the necessity to upgrade. However, McMahon has the potential to be great if he can overcome his disadvantages.

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I had hoped that tight end AJ Barner (Michigan) would be available here, but no, he was obviously not. I would have liked to add one more tight end to Petzing’s TE-heavy offense, and Barner would be a very interesting fit with his current abilities and big developmental potential.

Because of this, I had no clear cut-target, but instead several options. They were:

Fabian Lovett, defensive tackle, Florida State.

I have already explained my hesitation in an earlier write-up. Highest ranked player, though.

Dallin Holker, tight end, Colorado State.

Kind of an alternative to Barner, but then again, not really. I am not sure if Holker is a bit too much the same player as Jaheim Bell, and further, if that would actually be a good or bad thing.

Braiden McGregor, edge rusher, Michigan.

This pick would be almost exclusively about traits. McGregor does have some intriguing upside, but it would most likely take some time to get there. He could be a guy worth taking a chance on here in the sixth round, though.

Ty’Ron Hopper, linebacker, Missouri.

Like McGregor, Hopper is almost a lock on special teams, and thus for that reason alone worth keeping on the roster, which would give you time to develop him. Because he has a huge potential, and he is only available here because he has never been able to put it all together.

Omar Brown, safety, Nebraska.

I would like to get out of the draft with a safety, but I just haven’t been able to find the right match. I really like Brown as a deep coverage-safety.

Isaiah Davis, runningback, South Dakota State.

I especially like Davis as an outside zone-runner, but I am not sure if he brings too much of the same as Connor.

Ryan Flournoy, wide receiver, Southeast Missouri State.

If Flournoy had done in the SEC what he has done at Southeast Missouri State, he would without a doubt have been a second-round pick at the latest. The problem is that he has not done it in the SEC. Intriguing talent, though, and maybe this is the type to take a shot at.

Because of my big uncertainty, I tried to trade down a bit, but I was not able to find a partner. However, since I did have several options, it was not a catastrophe that I could not get out of the spot.

Also, as I mentioned with the last pick, I could easily see some of those players be available at my next pick, just because of the dynamic of the selection process this late in the draft.

#203 – Ty’Ron Hopper, linebacker, Missouri.

In a way this pick reminds me a lot of the pick of Owen Pappoe last year. A player (and even linebacker) that has a lot of intriguing traits and are almost certain on the special teams-unit – giving the position coaches time to develop the player. I would argue that Hopper has even better traits than Pappoe, and I could see Hopper develop into a bigger contributor. I think his abilities give him a chance to become a great coverage linebacker in Gannon’s zone heavy defense. Hopper can easily drop back in coverage, run sideline-to-sideline, come up to make the tackle. He can be a bit slow to get to the ballcarrier, which I interpret as either bad instincts or not being able to read plays fast enough, but both things can be improved with coaching.

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Round 7

Again, I tried to trade down. I had several targets here, so moving down, grapping an extra pick, and get two of those targets would have been great. Unfortunately, it takes a partner, and there was just no one there.

The targets were:

Defensive tackles Fabian Lovett (Florida State) / Justin Rogers (Auburn) / Keith Randolph (Illinois).

What flavor do I want? Lovett is the DT that can do a little of everything in the system. Rogers is the massive nose tackle that would allow McKinnley Jackson to be moved around some more. Randolph is the undersized DT that plays much bigger, like DeWayne Carter. They are the three highest ranked on the Cards board.

Safeties Omar Brown (Nebraska) / Jarius Monroe (Tulane) / Evan Williams (Oregon).

Brown and Williams are the classic deep coverage safeties whereas Monroe is more the aggressive, physical, ball-hawking player.

Edge rusher Braiden McGregor (Michigan) / Jalen Green (James Madison) / Bo Richter (Air Force).

I have had my sight on McGregor for a while as the athletic developmental prospect with a very high ceiling. Jalen Green might have a lower ceiling, but on the other hand he was extremely productive last season, albeit at a lower level (ended as the FBS leader in tackles for loss and was 0.5 sacks behind number one – despite Green playing five games fewer.) He is too small, though. Richter was an unknown to me until some days ago, but he had the third most sack yards, 11th most sacks, and second highest pass rush win rate, only behind Laiatu Latu, in the entire NCAA last season. And then he followed it up with an excellent Pro Day, showing great athleticism. He is also small, though.

Quarterback Joe Milton, Tennessee.

He clearly has some good tools to work with, and maybe you take a wild chance on a quarterback like that late in the draft.

Runningback Isaiah Davis, South Dakota State.

Tight end Dallin Holker, Colorado State.


I described those two at the previous pick.

In the end it came down to need, and a gut feeling about Monroe.

#222 – Jarius Monroe, safety, Tulane.

Monroe was a very good CB for first Nicholls State and then Tulane, but when he got to the East-West Shrine Game he was asked to play safety – and got awarded practice- and game Defensive MVP. Later, he has said himself that he felt very comfortable in there, and that the game slowed down for him.

He plays very physical but is best in a zone coverage system like Gannon use, where he can read the game, use his great instincts, and he might be the one of the best tacklers in the draft.

His ability to adjust to a completely new role – and even being told about it the night before – is very impressive. It backs up the idea that he can used in different ways, and with how interchangeable the two deep safeties are in the scheme, that could be very valuable.

Also, Monroe has extensive experience on special teams.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Obviously, I had the same targets for the selection two spots later. This was my last, but since I had several targets, I tried to trade down. New England approach me, but they couldn’t offer anything other than simply trading down, and then a pick for next year (which I think we are not allowed to trade), so I did not even consider it.

#226 – Defensive tackle Fabien Lovett, Florida State.

I strongly considered quarterback Joe Milton, I had focus on Lovett since the fifth round, so this was actually a pretty easy decision. He was easily the topped ranked player on the Cards board.

Lovett had for years shown his strong skills against the run, but at the East-West Shrine Bowl he showed dominant play as a pass rusher. It was a big encouragement to see.

Yes, I already drafted McKinnley Jackson and DeWayne Carter, but the d-line was horrible last season, so major change is needed. I have hopes for Bilal Nichols and Justin Jones, but I would not mind adding three more new pieces, and continue developing Dante Stills, to create a stronger unit. Lovett can play both nose tackle and 5-tech. I truly believe that Jackson, Carter and Lovett are great fits, and that they can produce already as rookie. They are already good at what they will be asked to do, so the acclimatization shouldn’t be that hard. That is, by the way, also why I would not be so hesitant to trust in three rookies on the line.
 
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Harry

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Without trade down opportunities, I think you have to take MHJ and no look back.
Definitely the safer pick. If the Giants offer their first and pick 47, I’d consider it. Since the Cards see the top 3 WRs as solutions, you’d be assured one plus a likely major contributor at 47. Look Edge or CB with pick 27.
 

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Doubtful that they see them equal. I have Nabers as #7 on the Cards boards, so very good, and potentially a solution, but clearly a worse fit than the two other.
I think it's easy if you stay at #4. MHJ is the consensus highest rated non-QB in the class.

In a trade down... Most boards have Nabers as #2 and Odunze anywhere from #3-7. If the big trade offer is there, I would be happy getting multiple picks and Odunze.

And...

God Påske!
 

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Doubtful that they see them equal. I have Nabers as #7 on the Cards boards, so very good, and potentially a solution, but clearly a worse fit than the two other.
Since their (AZ) board ranks players, you are probably correct when you say they don't see them as equals, but probably close enough to be happy with the WR they get. And, I say WR because it's our greatest position of need. But I must add that it's possible we are all influenced by all the hype for MHJ, so he's my top choice at #4. But if the team selects Nabers over MHJ, they must have a reason for doing so, knowing all the criticism that will follow. Odunze, besides being VG adds the ideal size for a team lacking in that area. Bottom, line I'm guessing they rank the three WR's as MHJ, Nabers and Odunze, and would be satisfied with anyone they get.
 
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Gandhi

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In a trade down... Most boards have Nabers as #2 and Odunze anywhere from #3-7. If the big trade offer is there, I would be happy getting multiple picks and Odunze.

You said it, Bach. "Most" boards. I think it is about fit, and how they want the player to fit. It is certainly reasonable to think that they want the slot, yards-after-catch, speedster to their Shanahan-style offense, but I personally am leaning more to the two bigger targets for the deep balls.

For that reason I would also be more than satisfied with Odunze and extra picks.

God Påske!

Tak, i lige måde!
 
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Gandhi

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But if the team selects Nabers over MHJ, they must have a reason for doing so, knowing all the criticism that will follow.

That is an interesting point, Garth. They should obviously not be affected by that, but if they take Nabers over Harrison, and it goes wrong, then they will look like fools, and I don't think it is impossible that a gamble like that could cost them the job. After all, Michael Bidwill is basically nothing else than a fan with inside access (and from what we have heard this offseason, a highly temperamental one.)

Another thought: what if Ossenfort are enamored with WR Brian Thomas? I think everyone can certainly see why that could happen (he is #4 on my Cards board), and he can probably be had outside the top 10. Thus, would that make him more likely to trade down? Brian Thomas plus two or three extra first round picks is not that hard to sell.
 
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Garthshort

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That is an interesting point, Garth. They should obviously not be affected by that, but if they take Nabers over Harrison, and it goes wrong, then they will look like fools, and I don't think it is impossible that a gamble like that could cost them the job. After all, Michael Bidwill is basically nothing else than a fan with inside access (and from what we have heard this offseason, a highly temperamental one.)

Another thought: what if Ossenfort are enamored with WR Brian Thomas? I think everyone can certainly see why that could happen (he is #4 on my Cards board), and he can probably be had outside the top 10. Thus, would that make him more likely to trade down? Brian Thomas plus two or three extra first round picks is not that hard to sell.
I'll tell you why I wouldn't do it, even if sounds like a good deal. And you have to bear with me. Other than two years in the Army, I've lived in NY my entire life. And worked in NYC for most of my working life. During that time, I had many friends who worked in Finance on Wall Street, and they were quick to give me advice (both good and bad). But one thing stayed with me and I think it pertains to this Draft. We all know that WR is a position of need and at pick #4 there will be a VG WR available. However, for teams wanting a QB there will probably be teams looking to trade up and we can secure added picks. And, that's where the Wall Street advice comes in, and it's pretty simple.

When it comes to the Stock Market remember, "Bulls make money, Bears make money, but Hogs get slaughtered."

So, I'm hoping we're not hogs and stay put at #4 and take the best WR on our Board. Now, if we move back to #5 or #6, knowing that a VG WR will be available, I consider that staying put.
 

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I'll tell you why I wouldn't do it, even if sounds like a good deal. And you have to bear with me. Other than two years in the Army, I've lived in NY my entire life. And worked in NYC for most of my working life. During that time, I had many friends who worked in Finance on Wall Street, and they were quick to give me advice (both good and bad). But one thing stayed with me and I think it pertains to this Draft. We all know that WR is a position of need and at pick #4 there will be a VG WR available. However, for teams wanting a QB there will probably be teams looking to trade up and we can secure added picks. And, that's where the Wall Street advice comes in, and it's pretty simple.

When it comes to the Stock Market remember, "Bulls make money, Bears make money, but Hogs get slaughtered."

So, I'm hoping we're not hogs and stay put at #4 and take the best WR on our Board. Now, if we move back to #5 or #6, knowing that a VG WR will be available, I consider that staying put.
The ideal scenario for the Cardinals would be for the Giants to be done with Daniel Jones and for their to be intense competition for pick #4.

A scenario where the Broncos, Vikings, and Giants all want McCarthy so the Cardinals shrewdly take the lesser deal but also get a blue chip receiver in the process.

I think that even though the Chargers essentially have no receivers, Harbaugh is going to take an OT based on his recent statements on how important the OL is. Alt is a very good OT and the Chargers would love to fix the OL once and for all. The Chargers will know it's a gamble that Alt will fall, so they will still and pick.

This is a scenario where the best non-QB ends up going #6 overall to the Arizona Cardinals.
 

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You said it, Bach. "Most" boards. I think it is about fit, and how they want the player to fit. It is certainly reasonable to think that they want the slot, yards-after-catch, speedster to their Shanahan-style offense, but I personally am leaning more to the two bigger targets for the deep balls.

For that reason I would also be more than satisfied with Odunze and extra picks.



Tak, i lige måde!
I agree on the bigger targets. If you look at the physical style of play Gannon is installing, I'm think the 2nd choice after MHJ would be Odunze and not Nabers. That makes a trade down easier, because it would be easire to trade back up for a pick, where you could get Odunze.

Og dejligt at se dig her. Mener at det var mig, som anbefalede dette site for mange åre siden, da jeg stadig var på TV2.
 
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Gandhi

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I agree on the bigger targets. If you look at the physical style of play Gannon is installing, I'm think the 2nd choice after MHJ would be Odunze and not Nabers. That makes a trade down easier, because it would be easire to trade back up for a pick, where you could get Odunze.

I agree. It would also be a bit strange to sent Rondale Moore away and not resign Hollywood Brown if they wanted those types. Sure, it could just be that they did not think they were talented enough, but I am leaning to that they want size.
Og dejligt at se dig her. Mener at det var mig, som anbefalede dette site for mange åre siden, da jeg stadig var på TV2.

Ja, det var dig, der anbefalede det. :) Og tak for det. Det er en fornøjelse.
 

Krangodnzr

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I'm fully in the: "Draft CBs after round 1 and keep drafting guys until you find the right ones camp"

I would have taken a front seven player or an OL with #27. I wouldn't be mad about taking a CB, I just don't think it's that useful when the pass rush is probably still going to suck.
 
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Gandhi

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I would like to see how this plays out but editing your original post is confusing. For those of us who are challenged could you post what your selection is with a new post. Thanks and GBR.
I will do both, Cardiac. My issue is that the full mock draft will then be divided into many small posts, but I will do both, so that it will make sense to everyone. :) Thank you for making me aware of the problem.
 
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Gandhi

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I would have taken a front seven player or an OL with #27. I wouldn't be mad about taking a CB, I just don't think it's that useful when the pass rush is probably still going to suck.
I thought a lot about it, Krang, but as I mention, I don't think it is worth taking a defensive tackle that high when the system is as it as, and I didn't have an edge rusher ranked high enough. Both position definately needs attention later, though. To me, the only reel alternative to McKinstry was Morgan, but I simply have McKinstry ranked higher on both boards.
 

oaken1

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I thought a lot about it, Krang, but as I mention, I don't think it is worth taking a defensive tackle that high when the system is as it as, and I didn't have an edge rusher ranked high enough. Both position definately needs attention later, though. To me, the only reel alternative to McKinstry was Morgan, but I simply have McKinstry ranked higher on both boards.
Except Gannon's system relies heavily on getting pressure with a four man rush.
A B grade DT is more beneficial than an A grade CB
 

MadCardDisease

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Yes, thank you for catching the mistake, Gmabel. It has been fixed, and sorry for the misunderstanding.

OK I was so confused with that #37. Plus I saw what looked like picks with you talking about why you might take them just below it so I wasn't sure if you had made the pick or were still thinking about it.
 

Krangodnzr

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I thought a lot about it, Krang, but as I mention, I don't think it is worth taking a defensive tackle that high when the system is as it as, and I didn't have an edge rusher ranked high enough. Both position definately needs attention later, though. To me, the only reel alternative to McKinstry was Morgan, but I simply have McKinstry ranked higher on both boards.
Based on the players you listed, I take Darius Robinson there.
 

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