Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Friday, April 28, 2006

NFL Mock Draft: Gavin Edition

Finally. Oh-Dark-30 over in Toronto. The Mock Draft is done. Yes, it took some work last night in Montreal, and some crunching during the five freaking hours I spent in a minivan today, but it is done. So enjoy it suckers. Feel free to rip it apart, even if it is a work of inspired genius. You'll notice that I'm adding my egotistical Gavin Creed to this draft. Basically, I refuse to pull a Pete Prisco anywhere. Hopefully that holds up.

1. Houston
Needs: O-Line, LB, Team
Gavin Creed: Both
Reggie Bush, RB

I know, it’s the popular choice, but honestly should anyone consider someone else? I have watched Reggie Bush eat this country alive for the past two years. No one could touch him. Then I almost did what I hate… let pundits nitpick and convince me he wasn’t worth it. No way. While he still will need a decent offensive line, Reggie has Barry Sanders-esque ability to create his own hole in a way no one but Barry could. He immediately gives David Carr a better safety valve when his pocket collapses yet again. Even with Carr, I am a firm believer in not giving up too soon on QBs when they have no good help, especially at the line. If they ever figure out that protecting Carr could be a good idea, he will be much improved. Until then, Reggie Bush is the correct choice.

2. New Orleans
Needs: QB, WR, OL, Defense
Gavin Creed: Both
D'Brickishaw Ferguson, OT

New Orleans does have Drew Brees, although if they decide to keep him for more than one year they will have to restructure his contract. I would recommend doing so. None of the QBs in this draft could be considered a huge upgrade to Brees, even in the long term (perhaps if Young learns an NFL offense but there is no guarantee on that). So that leads us to Mr. Ferguson, oddly slipping down some draft boards while being the best tackle prospect in years to come out. New Orleans used their first round pick last year on Oklahoma's Jammal Brown, who showed a lot of promise. They have second year player Ben Archibald on the other side, not exactly an impressive player. Getting two solid young bookends like that would put New Orleans' offense on the track to long term success.

3. Tennessee
Needs: QB, WR, DE
Gavin Creed: Both
Mario Williams, DE

You’re going to notice a trend with these awful teams that, well, there was a reason they were that bad, and generally it’s because neither side of the ball could do anything right. Anyways, Steve McNair is apparently out and Billy Volek, who used to be the QB of the future, apparently is no longer in favor. Not sure when that happened. If there was a gamebreaker WR in this draft I would select it for Tennessee, who depended far too much on their TEs for my liking. Unfortunately there isn’t, so I have to fall back to plan B. That would be QB. Now we are in a bit of a conundrum between Matt Leinart and Vince Young. One the one hand you have Norm Chow as the offensive coordinator. On the other you have a more athletic version of Steve McNair. You know what? I can't do this. Billy Volek is a quality QB. Tennessee should actually give him a shot. Matt Leinart is not a significant upgrade and Tennessee can use this pick on Mario Williams, a huge upgrade to their young, leaky defense. Yes, Kyle Vanden Bosch was a nice surprise, but the depth isn't there and getting this type of edge rusher is just what the doctor ordered.

4. New York Jets
Needs: QB, RB, WR, OL
Gavin Creed: Offense
Matt Leinart, QB

The Jets, as I've written before, are prototypes for the Gavin Creed. They couldn't score at all and are far too dependent on a brittle quarterback in Chad Pennington. They will be ecstatic to have a winner like Leinart step in, especially one who has already had good experience running a complex NFL-style offense. Hopefully Leinart does get a chance to sit, but this would be a no-brainer.

5. Green Bay
Needs: D-Line, LB, OL, WR
Gavin Creed: Defense
AJ Hawk, LB

With the signing of Charles Woodson, the Packers can focus on their horrid run defense. The addition of Hawk could have similar results to Lofa Tatupu with the Seahawks. He is a huge talent and the Raiders especially will be sad to see him off the board. The Gavin Creed gives the offense a pass with the return of Lord Favre and the hoped-for health of Ahman Green, Najeh Davenport, and every other playmaker the Packers have to offer.

6. San Francisco
Needs: OL, Defense
Gavin Creed: Offense
Winston Justice, OT

If the 49ers draft Vernon Davis here I will pencil in the Hawks for the NFC West title for about ten more years, because of how ridiculous a pick that would be. Instead, the 49ers desperately need to protect Alex Smith. An aging Larry Brown is not the answer. Winston Justice has been shooting up draft boards and is the necessary complement for this struggling team.

7. Oakland
Needs: QB, Defense
Gavin Creed: Both
Vince Young, QB

No way Young slips past this team. Aaron Brooks is MOST definitely not a long-term answer, as anyone who has watched a remote amount of NFL the past few seasons would attest. Thus they need a QB in the worst way, and Young is far too big a talent to bypass for the unproven Jay Cutler. The defense will still be awful next year, though.

8. Buffalo
Needs: WR, OLine, DLine
Gavin Creed: Offense
Vernon Davis, TE

I would love to have the Creed pick out the offense even more, because of how abysmal it was, but Colin can attest to his fantasy-team killing Buffalo defense. It was not very good, in fact it was terrible, especially against the run. Getting Haloti Ngota would be a very good pick. Instead, though, I will acknowledge that Vernon Davis is still around and here it actually makes sense. His addition could be similar to Antonio Gates in taking the pressure off of Willis McGahee and with the loss of Eric Moulds Buffalo is in desperate need of a playmaker.

9. Detroit
Needs: Attitude Adjustment, OLine, LB, CB
Gavin Creed: Both
Michael Huff, CB-S

While Matt Millen will probably be tempted to take another wide receiver, there isn't an offensive player in the draft left to go this high. Therefore he is left with one heck of a good CB to pair opposite Dre' Bly. And Detroit fans can rejoice that the defense can see some improvement. Remember, they have some terrific young defensive lineman. Boosting the secondary could have a big effect.

10. Arizona
Eric Winston, OT

This actually becomes a little tougher for the Cardinals, because in this draft both Winston Justice and D'Brickishaw Ferguson are off the board, not exactly leaving much in the way of a top-ten offensive lineman. I don't care. The next best on the list is OT Eric Winston, so welcome to the Cardinals Eric.

11. St Louis
Needs: OLine, QB, DLine
Gavin Creed: Defense
Haloti Ngata, DT

I was actually pretty torn on this pick, because I really do like thinking about Jay Cutler. It is going against the Gavin Creed, but I don't see Marc Bulger having another healthy season. He is a victim of the Mike Martz offense, so taking Cutler gets good marks from me. However, the defense is still abysmal. The Hawks just demolished it twice and now they have lost a couple "key" tackles (by "key" I mean they started, not that they were all that good). It's a little ridiculous from any Rams fan's perspective to draft another defensive tackle, but when you can't stop the run you have to continue to start in the trenches. Hint: La'Roi Glover is old and Jimmy Kennedy hasn't proven anything yet.

12. Cleveland
Needs: WR, OLine, LB
Gavin Creed: Both
Kamerion Wimbley, DE/LB

While Cleveland's offense has a lot of question marks, they have the young guns already there (Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow Jr) to make some noise. On the flip side, it's time for former defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel to get some personnel to fit his 3-4 scheme. Wimbley is just perfect for it, a versatile player who has the speed to run down a receiver and the skills to rush the QB.

13. Baltimore
Needs: OLine, WR, RB
Gavin Creed: Offense
Jay Cutler, QB

I just can't let Cutler drop farther, and since the Kyle Boller experiment appears on its last legs, getting a nice talent like Cutler is going to look like a steal at number 13. If not a QB, the Ravens would probably have gone after the best RB available, DeAngelo Williams.

14. Philadelphia
Needs: WR, DE
Gavin Creed: Offense
Chad Jackson, WR

The howls you hear are coming from the Denver Broncos who desperately want Jackson. Well, if I'm the Eagles I HAVE to know that Reggie Brown is not the answer, Greg Lewis isn't an acceptable #2, and who knows what Todd Pinkston can bring to the party. Get the best WR in the draft and actually give Donovan McNabb someone to throw to when he drops back 80 times a game.

15. Denver
Needs: WR, RB, OLine
Gavin Creed: Balanced
Santonio Holmes, WR

Luckily for the Broncos, there isn't a significant talent gap between Jackson and Santonio Holmes, who will give them some competition for Ashley Lelie and some replacement for Rod Smith. Note: the Balanced line refers to the fact that the Broncos had a good offense and a good defense last year. There wasn't a gigantic weakness in either unit.

16. Miami
Needs: WR, OLine, LB, DT
Gavin Creed: Both
Brodrick Bunkley, DT

Miami did show large improvements during its first year under coach Nick Saban. However, there are still rather glaring weaknesses on both sides of the ball, and getting a nice young defensive tackle this late in the draft has to be seen as a major coup for Dolphin fans.

17. Minnesota
Needs: QB, WR, RB, LB
Gavin Creed: Both
Chad Greenway, OLB

As I have written before, Minnesota is going to be slightly overrated this season because of how they ended up, winning a few games against poor teams. Unfortunately, this has led to management deciding against many big splashes outside of the Hutchinson debacle. Any team that has its leading playmaker named Koren Robinson has some serious offensive issues. Unfortunately, there really isn’t an offensive player left on par with some of the defenders, thus Minny moves forward with Greenway. They won’t be disappointed. He is disciplined and fluid.

18. Dallas
Needs: QB, WR, Oline
Gavin Creed: Offense
Sinorice Moss, WR

This might seem a little high to take Moss, but his small playmaking ability will only be accentuated across from Terrell Owens. The Cowboys didn’t take my advice last year and watched their offense self-destruct and kill their playoff opportunities. They would be well advised to heed it now and add another young skill player to work with Drew Bledsoe... regardless of the crap Colin spews out about how great they're going to be.

19. San Diego
Needs: WR, CB
Gavin Creed: Balanced
Johnathan Joseph, CB

San Diego desperately needs a young WR, and if any of the big three (Jackson, Moss, Holmes) falls to them they will select them quickly. However, they do have a reasonable Plan B with as many good corners as are still available. Quentin Jammer hasn’t progressed as hoped and so a possible replacement is necessary. Joseph isn’t a character risk like Jimmy Williams and so is chosen ahead.

20. Kansas City
Needs: Replace Aging Everywhere, Defense
Gavin Creed: Defense
Ernie Sims, OLB

The Chiefs could just as easily go with DE Manny Lawson, but getting another terrific young OLB to pair with Derrick Johnson should be too much to pass up. While I would prefer that they begin to start filling in the gaps behind the offensive line and wide receiver corp, that's what the rest of the draft will have to accomplish.

21. New England
Needs: CB
Gavin Creed: Defense
Tye Hill, CB

The Patriots finally get some additional secondary help for when all their players get injured. Hill’s a quality corner with terrific potential. You can be sure that whatever corner Scott Pioli selects it will be a smart choice.

22. San Francisco
Needs: See above
Gavin Creed: Both
DeAngelo Williams, RB

Not too often a team gets a shot at a running back this good this far down in the draft. Again, DE Manny Lawson would be a good choice, but DeAngelo Williams is way too good to pass up. Frank Gore proved nothing last year. Giving Alex Smith a tackle (Winston Justice) and a SOLID back in Williams would go a long way towards starting 49ers fans towards the path of believing their management wasn't completely incompetent.

23. Tampa Bay
Needs: WR, LB, CB
Gavin Creed: Balanced
Manny Lawson, DE

So Lawson drops to #23, where the Bucs can really use his skills and youth as Simeon Rice and Co continue the aging process. A WR would be preferred, but there just isn't anyone truly available.

24. Cincinnati
Needs, DT, DE, OLB, CB
Gavin Creed: Defense
Bobby Carpenter, OLB

The Bengals need defensive help desperately, especially against the run. Carpenter should immediately provide help, pairing with promising rookie Odell Thurman to give the Bengals and guru head coach Marvin Lewis some terrific young options. However, if they pick a freaking offensive player here I'm going to flip.

25. New York Giants
Needs: WR, RB, OLB, CB
Gavin Creed: Both
Ashton Youboty, CB

Will Allen is gone, victim of being overrated and finally discovered at it. In his place is a lot of questions. Youboty is more polished than Antonio Cromartie and is just plain better than Kelly Jennings, so he gets the nod here.

26. Chicago
Needs: WR, TE
Gavin Creed: Offense
Mercedes Lewis, TE

Chicago desperately needs an offensive playmaker and Mercedes Lewis might actually be better than Vernon Davis. An underrated blocker, Lewis can stretch the field down the middle and hopefully help the Bears score enough points to take pressure off their defense.

27. Carolina
Needs: RB, OLB
Gavin Creed: Balanced
LenDale White, RB

I couldn't do it. I couldn't drop White out of the first round. I just like him too darn much. Carolina could really use his power and durability up the middle in the NFL. If he is anywhere close to the player he was at USC they won't regret it.

28. Jacksonville
Needs: Offensive help
Gavin Creed: Offense
Leonard Pope, TE

The Jags couldn't do much of anything against the Patriots in the playoffs and were "victims" of an incredibly weak schedule in which they thought they were far better offensively than they truly were. I'm still not sold on Byron Leftwich the QB, but at least Pope can give them another vertical threat down the field.

29. New York Jets
Needs: See above
Gavin Creed: See above
Laurence Maroney, RB

The Jets get their replacement for Curtis Martin, and a darn good one at that. Oddly these running backs, although not tremendously less talented than last year's, are getting pushed to the bottom of the draft. Doesn't make a ton of sense, huh?

30. Indianapolis
Needs: RB, CB
Gavin Creed: Balanced
Joseph Addai, RB

One more good RB left. The Colts have that gaping hole (no, I do not believe that Dominic Rhodes is a long term answer) and so can easily fill it. A perfect way to fall to #30.

31. Seattle
Needs: DE, CB
Gavin Creed: Best in the NFC, baby
Daryl Tapp, DE

Basically the Hawks are down to two needs. One: a corner to go opposite Trufant. Two: a DE to give depth behind aging veterans. There are good players still available to satisfy both needs. However, I want Ty Law, and so will focus on the next best defensive end available. That would be Daryl Tapp from Virginia Tech, who I like far better than that Mathias Kiwi guy, mainly because I actually saw Tapp play multiple times on big stages and perform well. He's undersized but that seems to fit right into what Ruskell likes.

32. Pittsburgh
Needs: Oline, RB
Gavin Creed: Balanced
Nick Mangold, C

Luckily they can't draft Jerome Bettis or his growing girth. Still, getting the best center available is a steal considering the aging going on in the interior of that overrated Steeler line. Not a bad way to end the first round.

Well... that's it! I'll be live-blogging on Saturday so be sure to tune in!

posted by Gavin @ 2:34 AM  1 comments


At 2:12 AM, Blogger nach said...

With all the draft talk, I found this intersting review of the 2000 draft (when we grabbed Alexander depite having Watters) at footballoutsiders. I agree-it's pretty much a crapshoot.


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