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View Full Version : January Post-O'Brien Mock


bhsman
01-07-2014, 11:34 PM
I wanted to do another mock earlier due to the bowl games being played, but decided to wait on McNair hiring a new head coach. That patience paid off when O'Brien was hired, giving me a lot of material to churn through in terms of his history, his offensive preferences, seeing the remaining bowl games play out, etc. In that time, a few things have changed:

-Yawin Smallwood, ILB out of UConn has declared for the draft

-Brandon Scheft, T out of Iowa has decided to return for another year

-James Hurst, T out of UNC, unfortunately broke his left leg during his bowl game; this is unfortunate as I felt he played well and considering his experience in the ZBS (which is the type of offense run by Brian Ferentz at Iowa, who is the incoming OLine coach) he would have made a nice pick in the third round

Before moving forward, I'm going to make a few assumptions:

-We are staying in the 3-4 but moving to a more traditional 2-gap system that allows the OLBs to get more sacks rather than relying on internal pressure; Watt will still get his sacks like Richard Seymour would with New England, but allowing Mercilus to not be matched with an LT every snap should make him more productive.

-O'Brien, following from his work with New England and Penn State, will focus on using Tight Ends to create mis-matches on offense.

-As much as I would love to draft Clowney first overall, I'm going to follow my own advice and change things up by drafting a QB first. That said, I feel like going defense in the first allows more flexibility, whereas going QB at 1-1 forces you to invest more in the offense.

-As with my first mock, I think we get at least an extra 5th due to losing Barwin, but no more than that. We will probably get more compensatory picks, but I'll wait until there's official notice before adding them.

-The team re-signs notable free agents Garrett Graham, Ryan Harris, Joe Mays, and Antonio Smith. The team allows Andrew Gardner, Greg Jones, Deji Karim, Earl Mitchell, Daryl Sharpton, Wade Smith, and Ben Tate to leave in free agency. The team will look to sign a FA nose tackle and maybe a safety. In addition, the team will also cut Brice McCain, Matt Schaub (designated as a June first cut), Tim Jamison, Derek Newton, Case Keenum, Brad Smelley, and Toben Opurum, giving the team roughly $22 million cap room to work with in 2014. This was all done with the help of Overthecap.com's cap manipulator, so feel free to take the info with a grain of salt.

In any case, here we go!:

Round 1) Teddy Bridgewater - QB, Louisville

Round 2) Austin Sefarian-Jenkins - TE, Washington

Round 3) JuWuan James - T, Tennessee

Round 4) Yawin Smallwood - ILB, UConn

Round 5a) Ricardo Allen - CB, Purdue

Round 5b) Andre Williams - RB, Boston College

Round 6) Beau Allen - DT, Wisconsin

Round 7) Connor Shaw - QB, SCAR

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Decided to mix things up a little, and while I've kept some guys from my old list (Andre Williams is probably the most likely to change, between the need for more defensive talent and the fact that O'Brien's offense is not so predicated on the run that between Foster, Dennis Johnson, Grimes (who I felt played very well against Tennessee) and maybe Ray Graham, we have a decent stable of running backs. In any case, I'll review the picks:

Teddy Bridgewater is a name that will surprise nobody (unless you assumed I was some Clowney sycophant, I guess). While he does not fit the mold of a O'Brien quarterback physically like a Bortles or Mettenberger might, it is his mind that will earn him the first overall selection. With such an investment, we need to give him some tools to work with beyond a good wideout corps and some talent on the offensive line.

Austin Sefarian-Jenkins is a name I wasn't really concerned with until O'Brien was hired and brought along George Godsey, tight ends coach with New England where they coached players like Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez; say what you will about a partyboy like Gronk or a scumbag like Hernandez, they were incredibly effective in O'Brien's offense. Pairing ASJ with Ryan Griffin, Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham will give a group of talented and experienced tight ends that is rivaled only by the wide receivers, in addition to giving us an heir to Owen Daniels once his contract runs out.

JuWuan James is my replacement for James Hurst; big and athletic, he could fit in at right tackle (assuming Brennan Williams isn't at 100% following his surgery and Quessenberry fits in at LG) and go from there. Another option here would be South Carolina's gigantic Corey Robinson, though his tendency to give up sacks and his height (6"8) leave me a little concerned.

Yawin Smallwood is a player some of you might recognize from my first mock. In addition to a good size for his position (6'4, 236lbs), he has also shown a good ability to cover with eight pass breakups this year. If we can get him at the top of the 4th, that would be really good value for the team. Another name that could be picked here would be Andrew Jackson out of WKU.

Ricardo Allen and Andre Williams are both players from my last mock that I really like, though while Allen could help take up the slot corner spot left vacated by cutting McCain, I'd like to see the team pick up a vet to hold it over. Williams is a turf-eating monster that would be great value in the 5th, but if we can't get him there players like Henry Josey or Alfred Blue could be available. If the team feels like we have enough running backs, this pick could also go to a defensive lineman.

Beau Allen rounds out the last of my old mock picks; as I said before, I think the team would have to sign a vet to complement this pick, but Allen has been a great at defending against the run and drawing blockers for the Badgers, and is big enough to sit in the middle of a three-man front.

Connor Shaw is the wild-card pick; I've kept my eye on him ever since he had to step in for Stephen Garcia (who was playing like absolute dog****e) for the Gamecocks and has played very well. Never seems to rattle under pressure and throws a beautiful deep ball. This year alone he's thrown for over 20 touchdowns to just one interception. My main concern with him is that he never seems to take a snap from under center, but he could make for a good backup if we end up not keeping TJ Yates (whom I believe could have some renewed value under O'Brien). If that is the case, I'd love to see this pick become JC Copeland, fullback out of LSU, to replace Greg Jones - assuming we can't grab Copeland as a fullback.

Wolf6151
01-08-2014, 12:46 AM
I agree with your assumption that we stay with the 3-4 but move to a more traditional 2 gap system. I agree with most of your player cuts but think that Earl Mitchell, Case Keenum, and Deji Karim will be back for at least traning camp, and most likely make the roster. I really like your draft with the exception of 6 and 7. I'd take Bruce Gaston instead of Allen and some additional O-line depth or defensive depth in the 7th instead of Shaw because Keenum makes the roster. Those 6th and 7th round changes are my only nit picks, otherwise very good mock.

bhsman
01-08-2014, 12:57 AM
I agree with your assumption that we stay with the 3-4 but move to a more traditional 2 gap system. I agree with most of your player cuts but think that Earl Mitchell, Case Keenum, and Deji Karim will be back for at least traning camp, and most likely make the roster. I really like your draft with the exception of 6 and 7. I'd take Bruce Gaston instead of Allen and some additional O-line depth or defensive depth in the 7th instead of Shaw because Keenum makes the roster. Those 6th and 7th round changes are my only nit picks, otherwise very good mock.

I'd love to keep Mitchell if we were switching to a 4-3, but he doesn't strike me as suitable for a 2-gap NT. Maybe if we switch him to defensive end? I also wouldn't mind keeping Newton (gasp!) and having him become depth at guard to cover up his terrible footwork.

As for Shaw vs. Keenum, I'm just more impressed with Shaw than I am down on Keenum, but if you don't like it I'd rather grab a guy like Copeland to be Vonta 2.0.

Wolf6151
01-08-2014, 04:15 AM
I'd love to keep Mitchell if we were switching to a 4-3, but he doesn't strike me as suitable for a 2-gap NT. Maybe if we switch him to defensive end? I also wouldn't mind keeping Newton (gasp!) and having him become depth at guard to cover up his terrible footwork.

As for Shaw vs. Keenum, I'm just more impressed with Shaw than I am down on Keenum, but if you don't like it I'd rather grab a guy like Copeland to be Vonta 2.0.

Mitchell at DE is what I had in mind with Bruce Gaston at NT. I'm not saying he'd be the next Haloti Ngata but he'd be serviceable in a 2 gap system. I think Keenum will be adequate depth at QB, he's got brains and heart to handle the position if necessary and already has some NFL experience. I wonder how much of Newtons terrible season is due to his offseason knee surgery and the fact that he never got to fully heal or rehab. Maybe with a new offensive scheme and coaching staff he might be serviceable as well. There's no way for us to know since we don't have all the info.. I wish him the best, but the RT position needs a serious upgrade in productivity. Copeland in the 7th would be nice, dudes a stud bull. I'd also look at some OG depth like Ryan Groy or Andrew Norwell, maybe Spencer Long as well depending on injury status.

bhsman
01-08-2014, 02:29 PM
I think Keenum will be adequate depth at QB, he's got brains and heart to handle the position if necessary and already has some NFL experience.

Meh, I'm not impressed with Keenum and I think he's lacking that ability to sense pressure, which I feel is worse than responding to phantom pressure. Yates still has some potential, I feel, and fits the mold of what O'Brien looks for in a QB and could retain the backup role.