Finally, finally, finally….the wait is almost over! The Big Day is almost upon us. The hundreds of scenarios have been played out over and over and the anticipation on the big finish is oh so close. The 2010 NFL Draft will bring in a ton of excellent players (hopefully), but it also issues in the start of the 2nd Annual Bird Cage Mock Draft Competition! Get ready to lock and load those picks in for good as we roll towards a ton of fun in mocking the picks.
The Mock Draft Competition will operate in two parts: 1)Mocking the entire first round of all 32 teams and which players the team will pick, just like Mel Kiper and Todd McShay. 2)The second part will be offering up your Falcons Full Mock including all the picks that the Birds look to make throughout the entire draft. Some may ask why do both, and the answer is simply……because the first round will affect your Falcons draft, give you something to check throughout the entire draft, and just that its more Football, Falcons, and Fun.
This may come across as quantum physics at first glance, but it’s really not to bad once you get the hang of it. The 1st round of the NFL Mock Draft (all 32 teams) will feature scores for “direct hits” and “trade picks.”
1. “Direct Hits” will receive 2 points. A direct hit consists of accurately picking the correct player at the given position on the board. For example, say Jim predicts that the St. Louis Rams will select QB Sam Bradford with their 1st overall pick and that actually happens, it will be awarded 2 points.
2. “Trade Picks” will receive 1 point. This is a scenario where a prediction has a team taking the correct player, but not in the accurate position of the draft. For example, say Bill has the Falcons taking OLB Sean Weatherspoon at their #19 pick, but the Falcons actually trade up to #15 to take Weatherspoon, then Bill would score 1 point. (Highly unlikely scenario, but it did happen a few times in the 1st Competition).
1. “Direct Hits” will be the same and will net the same score.
2. “Trade Picks” will also be scored the same (even though its very unlikely someone could get this one)
3. Fans will also get 1 point for a “Position Pick” which means if they predict what football position they select at a certain draft pick, but not the exact player, they will receive a point. For example, say Ted has the Falcons taking Center Matt Tennant in the 3rd round, but the Falcons actually select a different Center JD Walton, they would get a point for guessing that the Falcons would take a Center at that spot even though it wasn’t the right one player.
Total points from Part 1 (Entire NFL 1st Round Mock Draft) and Part 2 (Falcons Full Mock) will be added together to determine Champion.
Confused? If so please feel free to post any questions in the blog or email me anytime at email@example.com
Submissions for both mock drafts will be taken and saved to an MS Excel or MS Word with the date and time of your submission. Mock Drafts can be changed or altered at anytime before the final deadline, which is Wednesday, April 21st at 11:59 pm.
Here’s some tools that will help you become Mock Draft Champion:
DOL’s 1st Round Mocks 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0
1 St. Louis Rams
2 Detroit Lions
3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4 Washington Redskins
5 Kansas City Chiefs
6 Seattle Seahawks
7 Cleveland Browns
8 Oakland Raiders
9 Buffalo Bills
10 Jacksonville Jaguars
11 Denver Broncos
12 Miami Dolphins
13 San Francisco 49ers
14 Seattle Seahawks
15 New York Giants
16 Tennessee Titans
17 San Francisco 49ers
18 Pittsburgh Steelers
19 Atlanta Falcons
20 Houston Texans
21 Cincinnati Bengals
22 New England Patriots
23 Green Bay Packers
24 Philadelphia Eagles
25 Baltimore Ravens
26 Arizona Cardinals
27 Dallas Cowboys
28 San Diego Chargers
29 New York Jets
30 Minnesota Vikings
31 Indianapolis Colts
32 New Orleans Saints
1st Round – #19
3rd Round – #83
3rd Round – #98
4th Round – #117
5th Round – #149
5th Round – #165
6th Round – #171
6th Round – #189
Rolando McClain, Daryl Washington, Jerry Hughes, Sean Weatherspoon, Eric Norwood, Darryl Sharpton, Vuna Tuihalamaka, Jamar Chaney, Sterling Lewis
Erik Cook, Matt Tennant, Ted Larsen, Joe Hawley, J.D. Walton
3) Wide Receiver
Damian Williams, Ryan Wolfe, Jordan Shipley, Riley Cooper, Armanti Edwards, Emmanuel Sanders, Jacoby Ford
4) Defensive Tackle
Brian Price, Arthur Jones, Jared Odrick, Cory Peters, Tyson Alualu, Torrell Troup
Everson Griffen DE, Brandon Graham DE, Brandon Lang DE **, Roderick Battle DE **
Traye Simmons CB **, Perrish Cox CB, Javier Arenas CB
7) Tight End
Dorin Dickerson, Michael Hoomanawanui, Michael Palmer **
Jeromy Miles S, Mike Iupati G, Chris Campbell OT, Chris Scott OT **, Dace Richardson OT/OG, Rashawn Jackson FB
** Part of Local players visit on April 12, does not count as one of the 30 “official” visits
1st Round – #19
After going back and forth and forth and back, decided to come back where it started with Sean Weatherspoon. So many scenarios and so many possibilities ranging from taking a defensive tackle, a center, a defensive end, and even a wide receiver, but the decision came back not over think it too much. The Falcons were one of the worst in the NFL in getting off the field on third down. Spoon has had two private workouts, he adds instant athleticism, tenacity, and a great work ethic that will immediately upgrade the linebacking corps. The Falcons passed on going outside linebacker last year and the player that went two picks later (Clay Matthews III) had 10 sacks and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie. Weatherspoon is a superb tackler, is a fierce competitor, and adds the much needed playmaker skill set to the LB corps. The only other team that may snag Weatherspoon is the New York Giants, but he seems a perfect fit at weakside linebacker, rather than a middle linebacker in NY. Welcome to the ATL Mr. Weatherspoon!
3rd Round – #83
Once considered one of the biggest strengths on the team, the wide receiving corps took a major step back last year with the injuries to Harry Douglas and Brian Finneran, average-to-subpar performance of Michael Jenkins, and inexperienced work of Eric Weems. The Falcons look to most assuredly take a wide receiver, just a matter of when. Riley Cooper can add height, strength, speed, and athleticism that the Falcons are looking for in a wideout. Cooper was extremely productive in his final two seasons after waiting behind Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy. Cooper has excellent hands and runs superb routes. Also had a private workout with the Falcons.
3rd Round – #98
Its almost a certainty that the Falcons will take a center with all the ones they’ve worked out and having the ability to groom Todd McClure’s future replacement. Tennant is a superior team leader and is one of the most athletic lineman in the draft with the potential to pack on more weight to his frame. One of more cerebral lineman that is known for his nasty streak. Will need to develop and improve his run blocking prowess, but already is an extremely good pass blocker. The fact that he was Matt Ryan’s center during his record breaking senior year can’t be denied. Not a consensus, but generally regarded as the next best center after Maurkice Pouncey. Extremely quick, versatile, and has all the intangibles. Also had a private workout with the Falcons.
4th Round – #117
If the Falcons pass on defensive end with their first overall pick, than its probably a signal that either Kroy Biermann, Lawrence Sidbury Jr., or both in rotation could be starting opposite John Abraham in September. Dimitroff mentioned to DOL that they’re happy with their defensive ends and expect the return of Peria Jerry to boost the pass rush. The talent level dramatically drops off in terms of potential after the first round. Te’o-Nesheim follows the trend of extremely productive college careers that Dimitroff likes: almost 200 tackles, 47 tackles for a loss, and 30 sacks in 4 years. Has nice size (6’3, 267) and speed (4.75) to develop. Although the Falcons would signal they are comfortable with the current set of defensive ends, John Abraham has been somewhat injury prone and his contract will run out after the 2011 season. Te’o-Nesheim has been shooting up draft boards for good reason and will be a gem for someone. No private workout, but the Falcons reportedly had representatives at his pro day.
5th Round – #149
Owens likely won’t be around when the Falcons draft at this point, but a sub-par senior season may allow him to drop. This would be amazing news for the Falcons. Owens has a huge upside and looks to probably be a better pro player than he was in college, thanks to one certain defensive coordinator he played under. Owens didn’t have a fantastic senior season (4 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks) in a very forgettable defensive season for the University of Georgia. Jeff Owens probably was limited to returning from a season ending ACL injury. The UGA D-Tackle may have helped his stock significantly with a 4.97 forty time and ripping off 44 bench reps of 225 lbs. Although the defensive tackle position is one of the deeper ones on the roster, Peria Jerry’s injury history and Jonathan Babineaux’s legal issues would make this a fantastic choice. Throw in the fact that Owens size is the perfect fit for Smith and Van Gorder’s system and you have the makings for magnificent selection. Also, how awesome would it be to have a Georgia Tech guy(Vance Walker) and Georgia guy (Jeff Owens) manning the interior line? Not listed as working out at Local Pro Day, but hard to believe the Falcons wouldn’t bring him.
5th Round – #165
The vulnerability of the offensive line after the 2010 season would make the selection of at least two offensive lineman a really good idea. Newhouse offers great versatility after playing most of his entire career at left tackle, but projects inside to guard where his strength and size can be used more effectively in the pros. Lined up at every offensive line position and did extremely well during the week of the East-West Shriners Game. Very quick, strong, and agile for a big offensive lineman. Durable after starting every game but one over three years as a starter. Helped lead TCU to a top 5 finish in scoring offense, total offense, and rushing offense. Newhouse could pair with Tennant, Sam Baker, and Garrett Reynolds to provide for some serious depth and talent for years to come. Could learn for a year and possibly be ready to take over a starting role at some point. Has great size at 6’4, 326 and moves tremendously well for his size.
6th Round – #171
Jefferson would add the much needed size to the cornerback corps, sitting at 6’0, 193 lbs. He also possesses very good speed (4.42 forty) and quickness. Extremely good in zone coverage and has good recovery speed. Even though he needs some development in man-to-man, Jefferson can use his size and strength to give a solid press on opposing receivers. Can come and compete for a 5th CB position and develop rather slowly as opposed to having to come in and immediately produce. The Fresno State CB also adds a much needed boost to special teams as a kickoff and punt returner. The Falcons only worked out three cornerbacks and one was one for Locals Day. The Falcons will likely take a cornerback at some point and the pick they gained for shipping Chris Houston might be a good slot, considering he will be low on the depth chart under Dunta Robinson, Chris Owens, Brian Williams, Brent Grimes, and Chevis Jackson.
6th Round – #189
This was the toughest of all the positions to rationalize in taking so late. Tony Gonzalez is at the end of his career and Justin Peele may be a stop gap, but little more. The Falcons can surely go TE a lot earlier, but good value can be found here with Peek. There are other prospects that have more upside in the passing game, but they have to block first in Mularkey’s scheme. Peek is a reliable, very well-rounded tight end. His blocking skills were honed in the rough and tumble SEC paving the way for Alabama’s national title run. Peek is athletic enough to find the soft spots and stretch the field enough for the Falcons needs. He showed great ability in having a big game against the extremely athletic Florida in the SEC Championship Game and also had an excellent Senior Bowl in catching a long TD pass. Peek has very good size at 6’5, 252 and is not a burner, but is an excellent pass-catching in a run first, play-action offense. Peek can be a great value here since he doesn’t have eye-popping measurables or speed, but could flourish in the right system. The Falcons decide to wait since they’re obviously happy with Gonzalez in first, Peele as an excellent #2 TE option, and Keith Zinger has made long strides since being drafted in the 7th round.
So there it Bird Cage, the Final Mock is in the books (Entire NFL 1st Round Mock Coming Soon) and now it’s……
Take your time and feel free to make any needed changes before the final submission date of Wednesday, April 21st at 11:59 pm. Discuss, analyze, and examine what you think the First Round will look like and what the Falcons will do. Both Mocks don’t have to be included together.
Coming Monday: A Panel of Falcons Experts give their picks
Coming Wednesday: NFL Draft Eve