Monday, April 23, 2012
Blogger Mock Draft 2.0 analysis
By James Walker
It was a fun-filled day of mock drafting at ESPN.com. As AFC East general manager, I made several bold moves that I thought would help the division improve.
Here is a recap of everything that transpired in our second blogger mock draft:
Pick: Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill
Analysis: Miami had the first pick in the AFC East at No. 8. NFC North general manager Kevin Seifert sent feelers my way to see if I was interested in trading up for the Minnesota Vikings' No. 3 pick. I let Seifert know I liked Tannehill, but certainly not that much. I took my chances and stood pat at No. 8. The two players I liked most for Miami were Tannehill and North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples. It turned out both were available. But Miami's biggest need is finding a future at quarterback. So I grabbed Tannehill without giving up the farm to do it. Tannehill probably won't play in 2012. But Miami isn't a contender next season anyway.
New York Jets
Pick: South Carolina DE/OLB Melvin Ingram
Analysis: The Jets made the first of several trades in the AFC East -- and they did it with a division rival. New York sent its first-, third-, fifth- and sixth-round picks to Buffalo to move up six spots. The Jets get a potentially elite pass-rusher in Ingram, whom they are hot on and can immediately help New York's defense. For Buffalo, the team moves back and gains four draft picks for the price of one. The Jets feel they are only a couple pieces away from getting back into playoff contention. Regaining a pass rush is one of those pieces.
New England Patriots
Pick: Alabama S Mark Barron
Analysis: I did a very un-Patriot move in this draft. Instead of trading out of the first round, I used New England's two top picks to move up in the first round to grab the best safety in this draft: Mark Barron. The Patriots were 31st in pass defense last year, and it was an issue right down to the final drive in the Super Bowl. I didn't want to wait until the end of the first round to address the secondary. So I worked out a trade with NFC West general manager Mike Sando and gave him an offer he couldn't refuse. I offered Sando two first-round picks for the No. 12 overall pick and a fourth-rounder. With the pick, I considered Barron and South Carolina corner Stephon Gilmore. But I felt safety was a bigger need. Receiver Julian Edelman spent time at safety last year, for example. New England still has two second-round picks to fill other needs.
Picks: Iowa OT Riley Reiff and Georgia Tech WR Stephen Hill
Analysis: I really like what I did with Buffalo in this mock draft. As expected, I didn't like Buffalo's options at No. 10 to match its needs. My two targets -- Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd and Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff -- were both still on the board. But I wasn't sure about them at that spot and wanted better value. So I made the Jets trade, knowing they were hot on Ingram, and Buffalo got Reiff six spots later where the team is much more comfortable. Floyd was off the board, by the way. However, I knew the Bills had three extra picks from the Jets. I also kept my eye on how the draft was progressing at the end of the first round. Hill, a speedy and big-play receiver from Georgia Tech, was still available with the No. 32 pick. Bills head coach Chan Gailey knows Georgia Tech well. So I quickly worked a trade with NFC East general manager Dan Graziano for Buffalo's second-round pick and two fourth-round picks to the New York Giants to get Hill. Buffalo got its long-term answer at left tackle and a big-play receiver to pair with Steve Johnson in the first round. That would cap a tremendous offseason for Buffalo.
Now it’s your turn. Comment below on how I did for your AFC East teams.
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