NFC West: Shawn Andrews
We discussed the first one about a month ago, summarizing Kiper's thoughts and supplementing them with my own.
This updated look works from Kiper's updated mock, continuing with the Arizona Cardinals, who hold the 13th overall choice.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
Kiper's give: As I've noted before, Arizona hasn't drafted an offensive lineman before the fifth round since 2007 -- and it's about time. Martin might start on the right side, but he has the physical tools to become the blindside tackle here. Questions remain about what the Cardinals will do at quarterback -- my guess for now is they simply stick with Kevin Kolb and hope that investment pays off -- but there's no question they have to be better up front regardless of who is back there.
Sando's take: Jeremy Bridges, Levi Brown and Brandon Keith all showed poorly in pass-blocking ratings from Pro Football Focus. Kiper is right in saying the Cardinals need better protection regardless of their quarterback's identity. Arizona's pass-blockers need help from their quarterbacks, too. Kolb had no feel for his line after arriving by trade at the last minute. His feel for the pocket also seemed shaky. Improved protection becomes more important for teams with less instinctive and anticipatory quarterbacks. Note that Anthony Davis, Ryan Clady, Branden Albert, Jammal Brown and Shawn Andrews were the five tackles drafted most recently with the 10th through 16th overall picks. Martin was the player Kiper targeted for the Cardinals in his previous mock as well.
Also from O'Neil: says defensive tackle Brandon Mebane and center tackle Chris Spencer returned to practice for the Seahawks. Mebane has not played in more than a month.
Greg Johns of seattlepi.com says Hasselbeck wasn't the only Seahawks player missing from practice Thursday. Johns: "Their short-handed offense practiced without receivers Mike Williams and Golden Tate and tackles Russell Okung and Tyler Polumbus once again. Additionally, fullback Michael Robinson remained sidelined by a sore hamstring and defensive tackle Colin Cole has already been ruled out this week by coach Pete Carroll with an ankle sprain, though Brandon Mebane did return at least in a limited role Thursday after sitting out three straight weeks with a calf strain."
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says it's a good thing for the Seahawks that Hasselbeck won't be subjected to what awaits Seattle's quarterback against the Giants in Week 9. Boling: "The Giants’ destructive defense has knocked five quarterbacks out of games this season. They’ve recorded 24 sacks. Coming out of an Oakland game in which he was sacked eight times and knocked loopy, Hasselbeck does not need to be subjected to the Giants. At this point, the 4-3 Seahawks are in the NFC West Division race, which few would have envisioned at the start of the season. As such, next week’s divisional game against Arizona is more important than Sunday’s game against the Giants."
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says right guard Stacy Andrews won't have much time to see his brother, Shawn Andrews, when their teams play one another Sunday at Qwest Field.
Also from Farnsworth: Whitehurst prepares for his first NFL start. Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates: "Charlie threw the ball well (in the preseason). He was able to get out of the pocket, do some keepers. I thought he had a successful preseason. He threw a couple picks that you wanted to take back. But he needs experience, and this is a good opportunity to really get in and see what he can do in a regular-season game."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic isn't sure whether Beanie Wells will play for Arizona against the Vikings. According to coach Ken Whisenhunt, Wells suffered an extremely rare allergic reaction to an injection for the running back's surgically repaired knee. Whisenhunt: "Very, very seldom do you have a reaction like he did. So there is really nothing wrong with his knee. It's just about getting the swelling out."
Also from Somers: Clark Haggans appears likely to miss another game for the Cardinals.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Steve Breaston's knee responded favorably to the injection that led to Wells' allergic reaction. Urban: "Whisenhunt himself has used (the drug) to ease knee discomfort. It’s just that Wells’ knee reacted badly. He plans to practice Friday. Whisenhunt said Wells definitely needs some work Friday in order to play Sunday."
Also from Urban: Larry Fitzgerald's trip back to Minnesota is for business, not pleasure.
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch examines the relationship between 22-year-old Rams quarterback Sam Bradford and 70-year-old position coach Dick Curl. Curl: "He wants to learn, so he's very willing to listen. This is important to Sam; he's a proud individual. And because of that he spends the time and does what's necessary in order to, down the road, become the player that he wants to be."
The Sports Xchange midseason report on the Rams offers this quote from coach Steve Spagnuolo: "I told the team that they ought to feel good about where they're at, 4-4, especially after being 3-4. We got a long way to go. We got a tough road ahead. We all realize that, and the main focus will be getting some things reassessed, re-evaluated during the bye week. The coaches will do that. We'll do some improvement things on Wednesday, and then the whole focus will be on San Francisco."
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com ranks the 49ers 27th in his weekly power rankings.
David White of the San Francisco Chronicle offers a 49ers midseason review. White: "Want to find the genesis of a promising season gone terribly wrong? Go back to the offseason, when Mike Singletary crowned the unproven Smith as his one and only option at quarterback -- then watched his unbending decision backfire in a flurry of interceptions, sack-fumbles and game-losing decisions. Only now, with Smith tabled by a dislocated shoulder, is Singletary willing to try a Plan B after refusing all offseason to devise a credible backup plan at the quarterback position." Lending full support to Smith made sense once the team identified him as its starter, but the 49ers' decision to replace Shaun Hill with David Carr was a head-scratcher. Their decision against pursuing another quarterback also appears sketchy.
Ray McDonald of the 49ers reflects on the team's first eight games. McDonald on Justin Smith: "Justin is ballin’ right now. He’s a great player, a Pro Bowl-player, and you know he is going to continue to play well in the second half of the season." Smith has stepped up his game recently, at least from what I've seen.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Scott from New York writes via Facebook: Two Questions, 1) Most fans on the PD's Bulletin Board are confident the Rams will draft [Aaron] Curry unless Detroit does, what do you think? 2) Any chance Rams leave meetings with a WR, maybe [Marvin] Harrison?
Mike Sando: The buzz on Curry has been substantial, but I've heard differing views. A general manager I spoke with about a range of issues here at the NFL owners' meetings said he wouldn't feel comfortable drafting Curry among the top five picks. He said he would feel more comfortable drafting Curry between the eighth and 12th picks.
That surprised me because Curry projects as one of the safest picks in the draft by most accounts. The GM's thinking reflects the lack of consensus at the top of the draft. Teams aren't excited enough about any of the prospects to feel great about selecting them among the top five or so choices.
As for Marvin Harrison, I would see no reason for the Rams to release Torry Holt and then add another receiver who might be closer to the Hall of Fame than his prime. Harrison would come cheaper at this point, presumably, but I think this is the time for the Rams to breathe some life -- and by that I mean youth -- into their roster.
The team has already made great strides in that area. The Rams have gone from one of the five oldest teams in the league to one of the five youngest, all in a matter of weeks.