A little less than 6 days remain until the football fanatic's dream: The NFL Draft. It is a bittersweet time. With its arrival marks the end of the mock draft season, a time when dreamers like me wish they were running an NFL team. A time of controversy and a time of debate. A time when some people condemn us for writing these mocks, requesting more tangible posts. To them I say, let us have our couple of months of fun! My last mock of 2012 after the jump.
*TRADE: Many rumors going around about what the St. Louis Rams will do at no. 6. It was reported that Trent Richardson is their first priority, and Jason La Canfora of NFL.com thinks Fletcher Cox could be a potential Ram. With that said, I think the Rams should take T-Rich and then TRADE the 33rd and 39th picks to the Denver Broncos for the 25th and 87th picks. The route I would take if I were Les Snead, would then be to take Stephen HIll at 25 and complement the gigantic receiver with Bradford's former #1 receiver, Broyles, in the 3rd, a smaller, quicker, sure-handed receiver.
2nd round (via St. Louis): Jerel Worthy (DT), Michigan State, 6'2", 308
I don't like the idea of taking Worthy or Still in the 1st round, but trading back for more picks and still ending up with who I think is the better of the two is fine with me. Run defense is easily Worthy's best attribute, but that doesn't mean he can't contribute as a pass rusher: "May not put up huge sack numbers, but is a constant thorn in a quarterback's side in pass rush situations. Swims past lesser linemen with a shake and quick, violent hands." HIs strength is off the charts and is ever-growing, and he is a very smart defensive linemen who pointed out potential hot receivers before the snap. A great replacement for Bunkley.
2nd round (via St. Louis): David Wilson (RB), Virginia Tech, 5'10", 206
Wilson is a prospect that I am starting to warm up to. With Doug Martin likely gone by the late first round, we take the next best option. Wilson is a guy who has very few weaknesses (ball security and pass blocking), and correctable ones at that. He is an explosive back with track star speed and more power than one expects. He has great vision, soft hands, and excellent home run ability making him a valuable commodity. Not to mention, Wilson is a man of tremendous character; he showed up to the Combine in a suit and tie (a first in Combine history) and is an extremely devout Christian.
2nd round: Derek Wolfe (DT), Cincy, 6'5", 295
By now you should know why I called this mock the WWW.edition. Wolfe rounds out the 2nd round and is the last of three "W's" in this draft. You all know everything about him. You are all enamored with him, and so am I. I assume you all believe the late 2nd round is the perfect juncture to grab him. Enough said. NEXT.
4th round (via NYJ): TY Hilton (WR), Florida International, 5'10", 183
Coming from a rising Florida International football program, TY Hilton is often regarded as the most explosive player in this draft. After a hamstring issue prevented him from participating in all-star games and the Combine, Hilton put on a clinic at his pro day, consistently running the 40 yard dash in the 4.3 range. I originally had Joe Adams going here, but the praise Hilton received for his soft hands and his ability to make the catch in traffic, and Adams's lack thereof changed my mind. Hilton would be a great slot option in Manning's offense and a terrific returner.
4th round: Ryan Steed (CB), Furman, 5'11", 195
My favorite pick of the draft, not sure if my fellow Bronco fans will agree. This would be a perfect pick if we can get Asante Samuel. Either way, in a very shallow corner class, our best option left at 25 is Janoris Jenkins, and I've already been blasted for that selection. So what does that leave? In my mind, I think we should grab a project starter with Norman and Steed being the top two in that category. Steed is an adequately sized corner with extremely long arms, useful in jamming the receiver and making plays on the ball. He was a top notch playmaker at Furman, and questions about not facing a high level of competition were mollified some when he showed that he belonged at the Senior Bowl. He also got the best of Brian Quick every time the two faced off during the regular season. Steed is a solid developmental starter.
5th round (via St. Louis): Emmanuel Acho (OLB), Texas, 6'2", 238
Acho has been gradually rising up draft boards since the Combine, so I'm not sure if he'll make it to the early 5th. Whatever the case, Acho is a man of great morals and character, following in the footsteps of his brother. An extremely intelligent player with a high football IQ who is solid in all aspects of the linebacker game. If DJ is traded for Samuel, many will likely call for a high pick to be used on an OLB, but I'd be content with Acho in the 4th or 5th as our selection.
6th round (via NYJ): Olivier Vernon (DE), Miami, 6'2", 261
If Vernon makes it to us in the middle of the 6th round, we all owe the Jets a thank you. Olivier Vernon is a guy with as much upside as any DE in the country. He possesses an explosive burst off the line and has an arsenal of pass rushing moves. He currently weighs about the same as Dumervil but is taller and has a "long, athletic build with room for additional muscle mass." Vernon has "plenty of athletic talent worthy of developing." He could turn into a special player for the Broncos, despite his lack of exposition to college competition due to the Miami booster scandal that eliminated him from the first 6 games of his junior campaign.
QB: Manning, Hanie, Weber
RB: McGahee, Wilson, Moreno, Fannin
WR: Thomas, Decker, Caldwell, Hilton, Hill
TE: Tamme, Dreessen, J. Thomas, Green
LT: Clady, Harris
LG: Beadles, Ramirez
RG: Kuper, Davis
RT: Franklin, Clark
DE: Dumervil, Hunter
DT: Warren, Worthy
DT: Vickerson, Wolfe
DE: Ayers, Vernon
WLB: Woodyard, Acho, DJ
MLB: Mays, Irving
SLB: Miller, Mohamed
FS: Adams, Moore
SS: Carter, Bruton
CB: Champ, Porter, Harris, Thompson, Steed