It’s just a mock draft, OK? It might not pan out. Still, if you’re a proud Georgia Tech fan, this is one to clip and save. (Or, seeing as how Sporting News Today is an online-only publication, to print, clip and save.)
Here’s the Sporting News Today pre-combine mock draft: The No. 2 overall pick (going to Detroit) is Derrick Morgan, the defensive end from Tech; the No. 12 overall pick (going to Miami) is Demaryius Thomas, the wide receiver from Tech. And now you’re asking: How long since we saw a local school produce two players in the draft’s top dozen?
Answer: Ten months. Matthew Stafford went No. 1 overall last April to Detroit, and Knowshon Moreno went 12th to Denver.
But wait! Sporting News also has Tech’s Jonathan Dwyer going to San Diego with the 28th pick in Round 1. (As you might have heard, the Chargers cut LaDainian Tomlinson.) So: How long since a local team had three first-rounders in one draft?
Seeing Morgan slotted as No. 2 overall is a bit of a surprise, but only a bit: He has been projected at/near the top five since December. Seeing Thomas at No. 12 a week after he broke a bone in his foot during training in Arizona is a shock. But his whole rocket-up-the-draft-board trajectory has been remarkable. Nobody considered him a first-rounder in January.
Oh, and you’re asking: What of the Falcons? You won’t be shocked to hear that Sporting News has them taking a cornerback, though not Kareem Jackson of Alabama (the projected pick in Todd McShay’s latest mock draft on ESPN.com) and not Kyle Wilson of Boise State (the choice of ESPN’s Mel Kiper and SI.com’s Don Banks). SN goes with Patrick Robinson of Florida State.
Scouts Inc. rates Robinson the sixth-best corner and the 45th-best player in the draft. (Link requires registration.) Taking him with the 19th (or 20th) pick might seem a reach. But that’s why mocks are such fun. One outlet sees something another doesn’t. At issue is what Thomas Dimitroff and the Falcons might, or might not, see. Speaking of which …
And now, as promised/threatened: As he readies for the combine, Dimitroff takes about cornerbacks, pass rushers and yes, mock drafts.