Although it is marred with labor and lockout talk, the NFL draft is a great thing to watch. Each player has worked 10-15-20 years of their lives to make it to the ultimate dream: The National Football League.
Recently, Chicago Tribune writer, former NFL player and Glenbard West Hitter Matt Bowen shared what it was like to be drafted in the 6th round by the St. Louis Rams:
Bowen expressed how tough it was to wait for his name to be called, watching and waiting for the 197 picks before him. It was nerve racking, gut wrenching, and then finally when his name was called, the roller coaster of emotions skyrocketed to elation!
This is why I love every aspect of the NFL Draft. Here is my mock draft (all player profiles are courtesy of walterfootball.com)
1. The Carolina Panthers select..... Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama Newton is just too risky! Gotta take a cornerstone for the defense.
2. The Denver Broncos select.... Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU Tempted by the QB's out there, the Broncos want to sure up the defense and Champ Bailey isn't getting any younger, so the Broncos take the safest bet here.
3. The Buffalo Bills select.... Cam Newton, QB, Auburn The biggest risk in the draft, the Bills have to get some excitement going in Buffalo, Newton brings it. With Fitzpatrick, Newton can learn how to read NFL defenses for a year or two and then take over.
4. The Cincinnati Bengals select.... A.J. Green, WR, Georgia This is a tough one. The Bengals would love to go defensive, but there are just too many questions on the offense. Does Palmer come back? Well having AJ Green to throw the ball too would help out. A very unpredictable team and draft pick though, if they have given up on Palmer, Gabbert is their guy.
5. The Arizona Cardinals select.... Von Miller, DE/OLB, Texas A&M Miller is the best available pick for the Cards. They also might want to look at Gabbert, but a vet QB is probably a better option.
6. The Cleveland Browns select.... Julio Jones, WR, Alabama Too much of a weapon to pass up! He is a stud and will make Colt McCoy look like one!
7. The San Francisco 49ers select.... Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska Harbaugh wants to look at a QB, but he understands how bad a CB is needed for the 49ers. Prince is not too far behind Peterson.
8. The Tennessee Titans select.... Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri They are shocked he is there, but happy as can be. The mobile QB can help solidify a bad QB Situation for the flaming thumbtacks.
9. The Dallas Cowboys select.... J.J. Watt, DE/DT, Wisconsin Wisconsin baby! A lot of people might think Quinn is the choice here, but Watt fits the 3-4 scheme better and will be an asset to the Cowboys.
10. The Washington Redskins select.... Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn The hole left by Hanyesworth is too big of an issue, and even though Fairley has struggled in workouts, he played like a stud last year. Redskins's owner Synder loves the big name.
11. The Houston Texans select.... Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina Are you kidding me? Opposite Mario Williams? The Texans can't pass this up, even if they are going to a 3-4 defense!
12. The Minnesota Vikings select.... Jake Locker, QB, Washington Time for Locker to clean up the Farve mess.
13. The Detroit Lions select.... Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College The former high school Bear helps secure the up and coming Lions.
14. The St. Louis Rams select.... Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue The Rams want to get a weapon for Bradford, but it is just too much of a reach for a poor group of wideouts.
15. The Miami Dolphins select.... Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri Get your rush on!
16. The Jacksonville Jaguars select.... Cameron Jordan, DE, California Keep getting your rush on!
17. The New England Patriots select.... Mike Pouncey, G, Florida The Patriots, for the first time in a while, draft where they are supposed too. Can't pass this one up!
18. The San Diego Chargers select.... Cameron Heyward, DE/DT, Ohio State 2011 might be the year of the D-Lineman (sackmen)!
19. The New York Football Giants select.... Tyron Smith, OT, USC They can't believe what some people have slated as the #1 OT drops to them at #19. Ground and pound.
20. The Tampa Bay Bucs select.... Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson The Bucs need a rush man, and they are going to gamble on Bowers.
21. The KC Chiefs select.... Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois The Chiefs need that big body in the middle, and a lot of scouts believe Liuget, even though he played in a 4-3 in college, can be that big body.
22. The Indianapolis Colts select.... Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin Picking up Carmini, will help protect the later part of Manning's career.
23. The Philadelphia Eagles select.... Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado This is a question of depth, and the Eagles love their CB's.
24. The New Orleans Saints select.... Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa A stud who showed some conditioning issues during the season, but will play well across from Will Smith
25. The Seattle Seahawks select.... Muhammad Wilkerson, DE/DT, Temple This is not the sexiest pick, but the Seahawks address a need here with an athlete.
26. The Baltimore Ravens select.... Cameron Heyward, DE/DT, Ohio State Baltimore still prides itself on "D" and Heyward can be the perfect 5 technique for them.
27. The Atlanta Falcons select.... Nate Solder, OT, Colorado Protect the franchise!
28. The New England Patriots select.... Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois New England just knows how to stockpile picks. I see them taking a RB here to add some depth. U of I's LeShoure helps "Shoure" up this position.
29. The Chicago Bears select.... Stephen Paea, NT, Oregon State The Bears are desperate for an OL and WR, so there for Jerry Angelo will select... a DT.
30. The New York J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets! select.... Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor Rex has been patiently waiting for Taylor to drop into his lap (or feet, insert joke here).
31. The Pittsburgh Steelers select.... Marcus Cannon, G, TCU The Steelers would love if Pouncey dropped to them, but they have to get some OL help, and Cannon is the man.
32. The Green Bay Packers select.... Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama Ryan Grant is coming off of injury and Jackson did not get the complete job done last year. How about a Heisman Trophy Running Back for the World Champs?
There it is, my first mock draft ever. These are basically impossible to predict because of trades, but I really did enjoy it. Here is to the NFL Draft!