As I write this, the NFL.com Draft Countdown is ticking down the seconds up to the draft. Right now, it is (was) 18 days, 0 hours, 26 minutes, and 35 seconds until the draft. I found that if you check in every day when you wake up and before you go to sleep, the time seems to go by faster.
For many people (including me), there is extreme anxiety leading up to the Colts' pick. How will we spend the remaining 18 days, 0 hours, 25 minutes, and 32 seconds? Likely loitering around MHR, checking football headlines online just waiting for a new one to pop up, or switching channels between Fresh Prince of Bel Aire and NFL Network every 15 seconds. Well, at least that's what I, a high school student, will be doing. The majority of users here will probably be at work... Sorry to burst your bubble. Hopefully you take your lunch break or off time to peruse my following mock draft and take part in the festivities of the Mock Draft Season.
1st round: Kendall Reyes (DT), UConn, 6'4, 300
I think it's safe to say that Fletcher Cox, Michael Brockers, and Dontari Poe have solidified themselves as top 15-20 picks. With that in mind, my next DT in line is Reyes. He is the model of consistency, he has a great work ethic, a high motor, big quick hands, he has a pass rushing game and a run defense game. Perhaps most importantly, Reyes's frame is still growing, making him more of a force inside. I'd say he's the Doug Martin of DTs: he doesn't particularly shine at any one thing, but he does everything at a high level. An all-around stud at the position.
2nd round: Bobby Wagner (LB), Utah State, 6'3, 235
I list him as simply a LB because he has the versatility and athleticism to play both outside and at Mike. Wagner was a tackling machine as a 4 year starter at Utah State, and shot up draft boards after a spectacular Senior Bowl week, in which he proved that he was not only a run stopper, but could also perform adequately in pass coverage. He missed the Combine due to a bout with pneumonia, but lit it up at his Pro Day with 40 times in the high 4.4s and low 4.5s, while also posting a vert of 39.5" and a broad jump of 11 feet. A guy who could step in when DJ's time is up, or even solidify the MLB position for years to come, should Irving not pan out.
3rd round: Billy Winn (DT), Boise State, 6'4, 294
Winn is viewed widespread as a player who can fit in both the 3-4 as an end, and the 4-3 in the interior. He posted mediocre numbers at the Combine, much to the dismay of scouts considering he is seen as one of the most athletic players in the draft, but revitalized his reputation by running the 40 in 4.85 seconds twice at his Pro Day, as well as performing well in positional drills. Winn posted consistent production throughout his entire career, playing primarily on the inside. "Overall, Winn is an active interior defender who can keep off blocks and stay active in the pass and run defense alike."
4th round (via NYJ): Ronnie Hillman (RB), SDSU, 5'9, 200
Hillman is a prospect I'm really excited about. He reminds me of the great Marshall Faulk (another former SDSU RB star) as far as skill set and size. He has good speed and great quickness, a savvy runner. Hillman is also a good receiver out of the backfield, yet another skill Faulk was known for. He has a good burst in a short area to make guys miss, and has the quickness to be an effective short-yardage back in the NFL. A "surprisingly adept inside runner" who also "possesses very good speed to beat linebackers to the edge." Hillman has great vision and is a legitimate breakaway threat. Acclaimed for his work ethic and hustle on the field.
4th round: Josh Norman (CB), Coastal Carolina, 6'0, 197
The general consensus around here is that we are set at CB for at least this year. The future of the position, however, remains cloudy. Champ will be 34 when the season starts and our new starter, Tracy Porter, is under contract for only one year. Enter Norman, a very talented and very confident corner prospect. He has great size (almost identical to Champ), long arms, and good athleticism to be a standout press corner. Norman does not have top flight speed, but his size and strength poses an advantage at the LOS against receivers. He is a project, but being developed under an all time great can help make for a smooth transition into an elite NFL corner.
5th round (via St. Louis): Philip Blake (OC), Baylor, 6'2, 320
I wonder how awkward it would be if the Broncos drafted Walton's successor at Baylor to provide competition and possibly be his successor in Denver? I have us taking the anchor to the Baylor o-line here. The man who protected RG3 and also paved lanes for him and Ganaway. He will turn 27 during the 2012 NFL season, but this comes as a result of 6 years of college football experience, which scouts will undoubtedly like. Being a former tackle, he has the ability to pass protect very well. His agility and size allow him to dominate the opposing linemen in the run game. Change is needed at the center positon - at the very least depth, and Philip Blake can supply that.
6th round (via NYJ): Michael Calvin (WR), California, 6'3, 210
Awhile back, a good friend of mine (a huge Cal fan) told me to keep an eye on this guy. He said that amidst the hype surrounding Kendricks and Marvin Jones, Calvin is a potential diamond in the rough. I took his advice with a grain of salt... that is until Calvin, a 6'3", 215 LB receiver who was not invited to the Combine, ran a 4.32 40 (which would be 1st among all receivers), posted a 40.5 inch vert (good for top 5 among all receivers), and leapfrogged his way to a 11.1 ft broad jump (just ahead of Stephen Hill for 1st among all receivers). His combination of size, speed, and good hands could make him a major contributor down the road. In the meantime, he'll be groomed as DT, Decker, and Caldwell do their thing.
QB: Manning, Hanie, Weber
RB: McGahee, Hillman, Moreno
WR: Demaryius, Decker, Caldwell, Calvin, Hill
TE: Tamme, Dreessen, Thomas, Green
LT: Clady, Harris
LG: Beadles, Ramirez
OC: Walton, Blake
RG: Kuper, Davis
RT: Franklin, Clark
DE: Doom, Hunter
DT: Reyes, Warren
DT: Winn, Vickerson
DE: Ayers, Beal
WLB: DJ, Woodyard
MLB: Wagner, Irving, Mays
SLB: Von, Mohamed
FS: Adams, Moore
SS: Carter, Bruton
CB: Champ, Porter, Harris, Norman, Syd
There's my newest mock. Hopefully you guys embrace more warmly than previous ones. Let's see how you feel this time around.