Bored/Passing Time Mock Draft....

There is a lot of football left to be played and as a general rule of thumb I don't give into Mock Drafts until after the season. But I've grown incredibly bored with the "Hasselbeck vs Luck as our starter conversation" and with getting my house packed up for a big move. So to pass the time, I did a few mock drafts on Fanspeak....and while I hate their ratings (and Drafteks), they do give some idea as to who might be available when we pick. So here we go....

I see the following needs as a priority: C, CB, ILB, OLB, RB, S

Round 1, pick 24: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson. I had hoped that Reggie Ragland would fall to us and he did in 1 out of 10 drafts. Outside of him, there weren't many impact defensive players that made it to the 24th pick. Kenny Clark (DT, UCLA) and Deforest Buckner (DE, Oregon) were there when I picked but with the emergence of our younger guys this season I felt like Alexander filled a bigger need. Did anyone see him shut down ND's Will Fuller? Alexander doesn't possess the prototype NFL CB body but his size is definitely sufficient (5-10, 190lbs). He doesn't look all that great in zone coverage (he loses WRs) and is perfectly suited for a defense that plays a lot of man coverage. Welcome to Indy, kid. He has a very similar skill set to Vontae and could play outside or in the slot immediately.

Round 2, pick 55: Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame. It was tempting to go with Dan Voltz (C, Wisconsin), who I think is the better player, but the knee injury he suffered in October makes that a risky pick this early. That said, Martin brings a lot of value to our interior offensive line. He is a solid all-around blocker that grades well in both run blocking and pass protection. He has the added value of playing both C and G at ND. He may not be as athletic as his brother (Zack Martin, G, Dallas Cowboys) but he might be smarter as he calls the line calls for the Irish and he shows a talent for recognizing blitzes. Other options I considered were Noah Spence (OLB, Eastern Kentucky) and Josh Perry (OLB, Ohio State). Spence would be a great pick and would really help our poor pass rush. Unfortunately, I don't know that he will be available when we pick unless we take him in the first. Perry would also be a great addition to our OLB corps. He wouldn't necessarily bolster our pass rush but he would be an ideal edge setter in our scheme that just makes plays.

Round 3, pick 87: Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA. What can I say other than Perkins is my favorite RB in the 2016 draft. The kid is a tough runner with amazing balance and excellent vision. Plus he fits perfectly with our offense in that he excels and pass blocking and catching the ball out of the backfield. Go watch some of his film (2014 - Oregon and K-State; 2015 - BYU and Stanford) and you see a kid that makes quick decisions through the hole and is constantly staying on his feet after contact. I also gave some consideration to Karl Joseph (SS, WVU), Jalen Mills (FS, LSU) and Deon Bush (FS, Miami. I think the latter two would make a nice pairing withClayton Geathers down the road. Joseph, on the other hand, is a nice player but I don't see he and Geathers as our ideal safety combo of the future. In the end, I decided that a 33 year old RB, Boom, Zirlon Tipton, and Josh Robinson just aren't that great moving into next season.

Round 4, pick 119: Antonio Morrison, ILB, Florida. Will he be there this late? I don't know. Should he be there. Nope. The kid makes plays all over the field and is one of the most intense players in CFB. Prior to the injury in the Brimingham Bowl last year, he had made 87 of his 101 tackles against SEC opponents and was a surefire early round draft pick in 2015. But he suffered his second major knee injury in the bowl game and he came back for another season. The normal expectation after tearing a knee ligament is 10-12 months. He was back on the filed in 6 months. Florida's director of sports health marveled at how intensely he rehabbed this year saying that he would "show up at 5:30 am and push himself until 7 that night." It's paid off as he added 15 lbs and has become a more active pass rusher while still playing at a high level. He's a bit undersized (6-1, 229 lbs) and has problems once linemen lock on to him, but he has the motor and the talent to be a solid player in the NFL. Other players I considered with this pick were Brandon Shell (OT, South Carolina) and Bryce Williams (TE, East Carolina). Shell is an interesting player that is ideally suited to play RT but with Denzelle Good on the roster I felt like adding ILB depth was more important. Williams is a player that I really like, particularly if we let Fleener walk. He has a similar build (6-6, 258) and skill set (smooth route runner and good hands) and is a more active blocker.

Round 5, pick 149: Dadi Lhomme Nicolas, OLB, Virginia Tech. Like Morrison, he is an undersized (6-3, 236 lb) LB that has tremendous motor. He has an excellent first step and would provide a lot of impact rushing from the edge. He isn't strong at the point of attack and isn't ideal for setting the edge. Let him work to develop additional pass rush skills and you won't be dissapointed. He is fluid in coverage and can recognize run plays. Overall, he's a much better player than Jonathan Newsome who has yet to develop, though there is still time. Another player I considered was Jordan Lomax (FS, Iowa) but felt that a pass rusher was more valuable.

Round 7, Pick 213: Cole Toner, OT, Harvard. Sure, he played against Ivy League competition. I've actually watched him play this year and he has NFL size (6-7, 300 lbs) and NFL feet. He has good bend for his height and excels in pass protection and run blocking. Again, it's against Ivy League (don't forget that he went up against Zach Hodges daily last year) and its hard to gauge how strong he is but I think he will hold his own at the Senior Bowl. I also considered Alex Balducci (DT, Oregon) and Blake Frohnapfel (QB, UMASS) here. Balducci is just a space eater that we could rotate with David Parry, who is more active. Frohnapfel is an intriguing player. He has NFL size (6-6, 229 lbs) and a strong arm with decent touch. He needs to improve his accuracy but he might be a player worth drafting if Hasselbeck decides to hang'em up.

Sadly, this draft has a strong safety class and I didn't manage to address the position. There were certainly times when I considered taking a safety but I felt that the players I took present more value to our roster. Maybe next year.

Thanks for the read. Now let's go beat the Steelers.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.