Wednesday, April 26, 2006Mock Draft: Day Five
So far we'll had a couple of predicted trades and now a legitimate trade (Denver trading pick #22 to San Francisco for pick #37 & 68) puts a new wrinkle into things.
21) New England -- Antonio Cromartie, CB, Florida State
Strengths: Probably the best pure cornerback in the draft based on size and skill set; extremely long arms will eventually make him almost impossible to beat down the field; Was named first-team All-ACC in sophomore season despite playing as a backup.
Weaknesses: Missed of all 2005 season with torn ACL; Never experienced life as a starter; Still has raw skills that must be developed.
Why This Pick: Outside of Asante Samuel the Patriots secondary was awful last year. Cromartie is underdeveloped, but his potential will be too much to overcome.
22) San Francisco (via trade from Denver) -- LenDale White, RB, USC
Strengths: A total power back who bulls over tacklers and has a nose for the end zone, much in the style of Ricky Williams when he was stoned.
Weaknesses: Mind is totally fucked up as he dropped from a sure top-10 into the late first round due to a poor combine season; hamstring injury could be worse than originally thought.
Why This Pick: The 49ers need weapons on offense but there isn't a quality receiver out there. White and Frank Gore will allow the Niners to become a running team and Alex Smith can be brought along like Ben Roethlisberger was.
23) Tampa Bay -- Richard Marshall, CB, Fresno State
Strengths: Aggressive player who looks to make things happen in the backfield; Excellent in run support; hard hitter.
Weaknesses: A shade over 5'11 and 185 pounds, he could get a little bigger and stronger; still very raw in terms of skill.
Why This Pick: The Bucs will think about trading down because they want to go with offense, but Marshall is the type of player that defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin loves. A go-getter with tons of upside.
24) Cincinnati -- Bobby Carpenter, OLB, Ohio State
Strengths: Ideal outside linebacker in terms of size, rush ability and sideline-to-sideline coverage; Very coachable and an ideal football mind; Tough-minded mentality and physically
Weaknesses: Not good at shedding additional blockers; not a very good tackler; A.J. Hawk took a lot of pressure off of him.
Why This Pick: Marvin Lewis wants to build the defense and the best way to do that is to take the best guy on the board and not worry about needs.
25) Dallas (via faux trade from N.Y. Giants) -- Manny Lawson, OLB/DE, N.C. State
Strengths: Amazing athletic ability for a down lineman; So explosive and quick that he could drop in coverage and hang with any tight end; Did long jumping and hurdles for N.C. State track team.
Weaknesses: Only 240 pounds means he will need to add at least 25 pounds to his frame; Probably relies on speed a little too much.
Why This Pick: Jackpot! The Cowboys traded down and still got their man. Lawson is a bit of a project, but he's so athletic he could be major playmaker on special teams as Parcells and Co. work on his ability to be an NFL DE.
26) Chicago -- Leonard Pope, TE, Georgia
Strengths: He's 6'8 for starters which means he's a huge target in the red zone, the dead zone, zone coverage, really any zone you could think of; Also a great leaper to catch all of Kyle Orton's ducks.
Weaknesses: Not a great blocker; Speed is not in the category of the elite tight ends; Could be more physical and tough.
Why This Pick: Tremendous value, this is a Top 5 quality receiver in this draft. Much like Heath Miller was the red zone star for the Steelers, Pope will be that for the Bears.
27) Carolina -- Demeco Ryans, OLB, Alabama
Strengths: Real smart player has the ability to become a leader on the defense in due time; Does everything by the book, tackling, gap assignments, etc.
Weaknesses: He's a little undersized and a little underwhelming; Not a naturally great athlete and will not be a good coverage 'backer
Why This Pick: Will Witherspoon left for free agency wishes and although Ryans is mostly an outside backer, he will be shuffled around as needed.
28) Jacksonville -- Sinorice Moss, WR, Miami
Strengths: Like his brother, Santana, Moss is a burner with world-class speed; Though he's short (5'8) he has a real solid frame; Home-run hitter.
Weaknesses: Might be limited to a slot receiver or a return specialist in the NFL; Hasn't always been healthy.
Why This Pick: The Jaguars needs more weapons for Byron Leftwich, Moss gives them the big-play potential they don't have otherwise.
29) N.Y. Jets -- Eric Winston, OT, Miami
Strengths: Excellent size and footwork from days at tight end; Should still be able to add 10-15 pounds and maintain high potential; Very competitive, smart player.
Weaknesses: Still not 100% after suffering broken leg in 2004 and struggled in 2005 with speedy pass rushers (see Wimbley, Kamerion) ; Still learning the nuisances of the position.
Why This Pick: Whether it be Chad Pennington, Matt Leinart, Jay Cutler, Patrick Ramsey or Brooks Bollinger the Jets quarterback will be lacking in mobility and need the protection.
30) Indianapolis -- Laurence Maroney, RB, Minnesota
Strengths: Well-schooled running back searches out his holes and bursts through them; Extremely productive in college and also spent time as a kick returner.
Weaknesses: Not the ideal size for a feature back; Does not like to feel contact and will shy away from the hit and lose out on extra yardage;
Why This Pick: Running back is a need and Maroney is a good fit. Maroney understands how to run on turf and behind a big offensive line, two things Indianapolis has.
31) Seattle -- Ashton Youboty, CB, Ohio State
Strengths: Solid athlete comes from a program rich in tradition of rpoducing top-notch cornerbacks; Great footwork, fluid movements keep him step-by-step.
Weaknesses: A little overaggressive means he will give up the big play; Not good against receivers who like to stretch the field.
Why This Pick: Seattle already has a franchise cornerback in Marcus Trufant, Youboty will be an excellent pick to play the boundary, he's a great cover guy against short-route runners.
32) Pittsburgh -- Tamba Hali, DE, Penn State
Strengths: Hard-working kid that gives full effort on every play; Very quick off the ball and aggressive in his rush; Can play defensive tackle in some sets or even drop in coverage.
Weaknesses: Physically he will not get much bigger; Only timed in at a 4.85 in combines; Will not give much help on the running game.
Why This Pick: These are the type of players the Steelers thrive with -- team-oriented guys who will work hard and respect the game.