A big thank you to CA reader TrueBlue87, who did a fantastic job recapping his part as the Colts' representative for the MockingTheDraft live mock draft. Discuss!
So, Friday evening and most of Saturday afternoon, MockingTheDraft had their first live mock and I had the honor of representing the Colts. Scheduled to be only 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 Minnifield, Brandon Thompson or 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 6'0 185 lbs, Minnifield has 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 he disappeared too many times in games against Conference USA competition, not to mention non-conference games against better offensive lines. 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.
Can anyone fill me in-- what is this places obsession with Chase Minnifield? He's good, but I don't know that he's appreciably better than Jayron Horsley or about 5-6 others on the board.
Also, um, Poe has a whole lot of talent. There are a whole lot of guys who would disappear in college who turned out to be OK. Also, having watched some of his tape, reports of his absence are greatly exaggerated. Sure, he's not super dominant all the time, but its not like he's a push over from whistle to whistle. I think a lot his issues have to deal with conditioning (which, well, comes with the territory) and plain old gap discipline. It looks to me like he thinks he has two options, both of which are bad: either full on sprint forward or a tentative hold on to my guy (s) until the runner comes my way. Top fifteen is a little high, but not having him on your board is a bit ridiculous.
@gbearrin I will also add, a lot of people still do not like Poe, he is a talented player that I do like and would love to have with the Colts, the thing with Chase that people liked was that he could offer secondary help and also the fact that he could help in the return game. I think he has upside, but he is also a questionable player, with his injury not allowing him to be at the combine his stock did not really change much, while a lot of DBs stock improved. I still would not mind taking a guy like this in the mid rounds but he is definitely not a 2nd round pick.
This mock draft is old, from way back in february. Ignore it.@gbearrin
I will say that I don't have as much a problem for Poe and I do see the need, If we knew that Ta'amu would slip to us in the 3rd I would be fine on passing, but this early in the draft you have to really look at the potential a player offers, and I think he offers a ton, the players in this range tend to be guys with tons of potential that did not show as well as you would like at times, or guys that have okay potential that showed very well.
I like Chase as well but he had his issues looking in the backfield to often and getting beat as well, combining that with the idea that I don't think our play in the secondary was as much of the DB's fault as the scheme I would rather address that later ,possibly even getting Hosley who I think will slip in the 3rd, and address a position that we do not currently have on our team.
Also yeah Broyles is a steal in the 4, he has really sure hands so that is terrific for a young QB, nothing worst than a WR dropping perfectly placed balls.
Also that trade did not seem too bad for either side, it is actually not that uncommon that a team will trade their next years draft pick for one that will come later this year if their player is still on the board.
Have not really heard much about the TE from ORE but if he is from there I am expecting that he is fast, lol so that is always a plus...
Pretty good draft though value wise, question though, did you think about trading the first at all and what offers if any did you get for it.
I look at the 34th pick as a second first round pick. I ask myself would I draft Poe in the first round? The answer is a resounding Poe. Yes, Poe has PHYSICAL ability, but I don't think he has the mental ability. With his athletic gifts, he should have been unblockable in Conference USA and should have given Mississippi State everything they could have handled. Instead, he was virtually. The Colts cannot afford any busts and Poe is a bust waiting to happen. There are better options at 34.
I went with Minnifield because we do need to get a legit #2 corner to pair with Powers and I feel like Minnifield is that guy. One of the things I've learned watching the NFL is you can't underestimate the importance of having a relative who was successful in the league. Like you said, Minnifield has his problems, as do all players in that range, but I feel his problems are more minor and not as entrenched as Poe's, or many other players who will be available at 34. (In case you can't tell, I really hate Poe as a prospect and will be furious if the Colts draft him because it's a huge mistake)
I didn't even think about trading the first pick because I don't think Manning can play at an NFL level anymore. Luck is the best QB prospect I've seen in several years and there is no reason to pass him up.
Hey what is the link to this mock I think it would be interesting participating in one, thanks
@TrueBlue87 Thanks, I feel the same about drafting Luck, I am not sure what to think of Manning at this point, but I think it would not be best for this franchise to risk not taking Luck.
Last thing I would not be mad if they selected either but I do think a dominate NT could have more impact on a team switching to a 3-4 than a CB. With Poe it is the coaching staffs job to bring out that potential and get the production out of the players that they should exert. I do love how Minnifield also offers us a return option as well, something that we are lacking.
Just like you I think about this as another first round pick with tons of value, I bet we will get tons of trade offers for this pick including future 1st, depending on what DB's were still left I would think about trading this pick and acquiring 2 second round picks(possibly to a team like Philly) and grabbing Ta'amu he really impressed me in the Senior Bowl.
I am thinking there are a lot of CB's that could slip:
Hosley, Gilmore, Minnifield, Dennard, Johnson, Boykin
I think there will be a ton of quality players taken in the 2nd round this year.
LOL! Someone gave up all those picks - including a 2013 2nd rounder! - for your 3rd? OMG! I mean, yeah, a mock draft doesn't have any following year consequences, plus it's not supposed to truly reflect what'll happen in the real world, but still... I'm LMAO at that!
There's a reason none of us work for any of these franchises. ;) :D
Re - the picks themselves:
Minnifield is an excellent pickup, IMO. You're right, he's more than a zone player. He's a good value here; I'd even go so far as to say an outstanding one. Some team will reach for him in the first, and if it's in the lower part of the first, it may not be that great a reach at all.
I also like getting Broyles in the 4th. Heck, pre-injury, I'd flip if Indy got Broyles in the *2nd*, so that to me is great value. I wouldn't apologize for passing on Poe in the 2nd either; not only am I little impressed with some of his games, but I don't see value in him in the second at all. Baptiste in the 3rd is a bit of a reach IMO, but not a sinful one, and he's definitely more of a value in the 3rd than Poe is in the second. Personally, I'd only accept Poe in the *4th* round (same place I'd value Baptiste, 4th or 5th), so passing on him is smart picking in my opinion.
I'm not impressed with the prospects picked in the 5th round, but if they were indeed the BPA's, then I won't quibble. 5th rounders are generally Hope For candidates rather than slamdunk ones anyway, so it's not a big risk. I certainly wouldn't blame you for picking them unless there were crystal-clear better prospects there. At worst, it wouldn't hurt to have some slightly larger special teamers drafted anyway, so despite my judgement of the *prospects* themselves, I've got little trouble over your actual selection of them.
I'm glad you didn't reach for a midrange safety. This class has one good guy on top (Barron) and nothing properly valued until the 6th round (in my humble opinion), so despite the team's need, it's smarter not to push your luck by wasting the pick.
Overall, not bad. Not bad at all.
Nicely done, TB! I've never been a big follower of mock drafts, but I found this to be an informative and entertaining read!
Great job TB. I moved this to the front page to get some more discussion. Again, fantastic job with both the draft and the write up.
To be fair, I came out of the draft with two DTs. Jean-Baptise is a nose/1-tech and Daniels is a DE/3-tech. I was also looking for fit as well as value and I just wasn't seeing it. A lot of the mid-level guards dropped out of the draft entirely, so you could get some guys as a UDFA. Plus, I like Reitz as a starter at LG next year.
Plus, this is a good year for receivers and there are several good tight ends. Drafting on pure need kills teams.
@TrueBlue87 As we all know the best laid plans of mice and men...
That said, if your scenario played out and the Colts landed Jean-Baptiste in the 3rd it would work. He's not going to be a stud but as a bridge during this transition he'd be a good fit. He's a big guy with surprising quickness. What I love about your pick there is that his mistakes are all coachable.
Loved your draft actually. Love the move down for Jean-Baptiste in order to stockpile picks for what will inevitably be a young roster. Loved the Minnifield pick too--some might scare off from the knee scope but the guy's started a lot of games for Virginia. Groh knows how to build CBs and Minnifield should be a hit.
Excellent analyses and draft strategy. I have no clue how the other GMs picked, so I can't be too critical of what you've taken, but I'd like to see some more love in the trenches. One DT and one OG probably won't cut it, I'm afraid, unless we make a few splashes in free agency. That being said, I wouldn't be unhappy if this is how our draft ended up.