So, Friday evening and most of Saturday afternoon, MockingTheDraft had their first live mock and I had the honor of representing the Colts. Scheduled on only be five rounds, it ending up being seven. Here is the breakdown of what happened. I'll try and narrate my thought process as well.
Round 1, Pick 1: Andrew Luck, Quarterback, Stanford University
-I don't really need to explain this one.
Round 2, Pick 34: Chase Minnifield, Cornerback, University of Virginia
-The end of the first saw a number of guys on my BPA list go to other teams. New England took Mark Barron at 27, Chicago took Mohammed Sanu at 19, Green Bay took Peter Konz at 28 and Michael Floyd went to Philadelphia at 23. So, between Brandon Thomspon and Alfonso Dennard I took Minnifield.
Chase Minnifield has somehow gotten the label of being a zone guy and that's just not true. Minnifield performs well in both zone and man coverage. His father was a Pro Bowl corner for Cleveland so Minnifield has been raised around the game. At 6' 185 Minnifield has got the perfect build to play corner in the NFL. He's got the necessary personality traits to excel at the next level and pairing Minnifield with Powers goes a long way toward helping shore up the Colts secondary. Several teams, especially Buffalo, were extremely upset I stole Minnifield right out from under them.
I want to go ahead and address Dontari Poe. I don't like him as a prospect and I've been very vocal about that. I don't think he can consistently produce at an NFL level because his disappeared too many times in games against Conference USA, much less better, competition. Poe wasn't even on my board.
Round 3, Pick 65: Trade. Gave New Orleans 65th and 193rd for 91st, 155th, 219th, 2013 2nd, 2013 4th
-Watching the end of the second round was horrible as every single player I had targeted came off the board. Alameda Ta'amu went to Dallas 45. Josh Chapman was snatched up by the Texans at 48. Kevin Zeitler went to New England at 48. Buffalo repaid me for taking Minnfield by getting Fleener at 47. Detroit took Ben Jones at 54. The trade New Orleans offered was too good to pass up. I didn't see any great prospects for the third round so I moved back to the end, where I could use my list of fourth round prospects. I picked up an additional fifth round pick as well as one high and one mid round pick for the 2013 draft. (Though this had no bearing on the mock, it made sense in playing the role)
Round 3, Pick 91: Nicolas Jean-Baptise, Nose Tackle/Defensive Tackle, Baylor University
-I reached a bit here, by consensus of the group. Perhaps that's true (though for some ranking sites I took him right smack dab in the middle of his range), but the drop-off from Jean-Baptise to the other nose tackles was too great to risk. Jean-Baptise is roughly the same size as Chapman (Both are 6'1. Chapman is 310, Jean-Baptise is 335). During his senior season, Jean-Baptise had 36 tackles with 8.5 tackles for loss. Jean-Baptise also shined at the East-West Shrine Game, absolutely dominating the East squad's interior line in the game and the West's interior in practice. I would have preferred Chapman, but Jean-Baptise is in the same mold.
Round 4, Pick 98: Ryan Broyles, Wide Receiver, University of Oklahoma
-There were a ton of receivers left on the board when I went on the clock with the second pick of the fourth round. Knowing that a run on receivers was coming, I decided to take a gamble on Broyles, and the pick was universally met with approval from the group. If Ryan Broyles hadn't gone down with an ACL-tear, then we'd be talking about being lucky to get him at 34. He is a stand-up citizen and if you've ever seen the Sooners play, you know Broyles has a great feel for the sideline, excellent body control, runs crisp routes with a full route tree, and makes great catches without using his body. Broyles's size at 5'11 185 has some pegging him for the slot, but I think he has the speed to also play outside. Since his ACL was repaired by Dr. James Andrews, I have no doubt Broyles will make a full recovery and become a favorite target of Andrew Luck.
Round 5, Pick 129: Jordan White, Wide Receiver, Western Michigan University
-I hadn't planned on going receiver twice in a row. I considered taking Tank Johnson, ILB, TCU (Tampa took him at 133. I also considered going corner again with Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa (Buffalo at 140). I had hoped Casey Heyward would've fallen, but he went mid-round in the fourth to Dallas at 114. But White, a third-fourth round prospect offered too much value to pass up. While the Colts might be able to resign Garcon or Gonzalez, it's far from guaranteed. White is a good sized prospect at 6'0 215 and is projected to run a 4.48 40. His route tree is limited and needs some polishing, but he does run those routes he knows well. He has good body control and, unlike guys like Quick, Criner, or Jones he makes catches with his hands and not his body. Value trumped need, and the pick was universally hailed by the other GMs present.
Round 5, Pick 155: David Paulson, Tight End, University of Oregon
-Here is another pick I was trying to trade, to grab picks 172, 203, and a 2013 fourth from Kansas City, but he pulled out of the deal. The two guys I had my eyes on were Paulson and Cyrus Grey, the running back from Texas A&M. However, Seattle traded up 148 and took him. So I went with Paulson. The Oregon tight end had a quite season, but looks like a sleeper prospect. Paulson has a good body at 6'4 245. He runs fluid routes, especially across the seam. His blocking seems to have improved and he looked good at the East-West Shrine Game. With a bit of good coaching, Paulson could surprise and I felt like he was the best value in the mid fifth, especially since he's rated a 3-4 prospect.
Round 6, Pick 162: Joel Foreman, Offensive Guard, Michigan State University
-Some of the guys I targeted with this pick were taken. Asa Jackson and Omer Bolden were off the board. Lonnie Edwards, the Texas Tech standout, went one pick before I took Paulson. Foreman has the potential to be a starter. His season was solid, and he has excellent technique in both run and pass blocking which is of vital importance to an offensive lineman in the NFL. At 6-4, 310 Foreman fits with the move of bulking up along the front. He may never be an All-Pro right guard, but he has the tools to be a starter.
Round 7, Pick 219: Mike Daniels, Defensive Tackle, University of Iowa
-Though Bill Polian is gone I had to keep the Iowa-Colts connection going. The guy I really wanted was Grant Garner, the center from Oklahoma State. Unfortunately, Tennessee took him at 204. Fortunately for me, Daniels fell and the pick got an approving declaration of "steal" from moderate setonhallandsteelers. Daniels is a "tweener" defensive tackle at 6'1 280, which may be why he fell so far in the draft. Daniels has a non-stop motor and ended his senior year with 67 tackles, 9 sacks, and 10.5 tackles for loss. I figured with pick 219 taking a high motor defensive tackle to try and convert to a 3-4 end was worth a shot.
So there is the draft. Not as much defense as I went in with on my board, but people were overdrafting rush linebackers and 3-4 defensive ends. That let my get two great receivers in the fourth and fifth rounds. I did manage to address the biggest holes on the defense by nabbing another starting cornerback and a nose tackle, though there are questions as to whether Jean-Baptise can play from day one. I was also banking on some defensive conversions, including resigning Mathis and Anderson and turning Moala and Nevis into 3-4 DE's. I also didn't take any strong safeties because there weren't any for any kind of reasonable value. Barron went in the first and Harrison Smith was overdrafted in the second round. I gamble Delano Howell would be available as a UDFA and I was right, but I don't know if he offers much upgrade over Lefedge.