Mocking The Mockers
By Cian Fahey
It's that time of the year.
I mean...mock draft season.
With the draft just weeks away, every so-called “expert” is coming out with a mock draft of his/her own. Seven rounds with 32 picks in each round (not counting compensatory picks), the only thing more grueling than following the draft itself over those three days is reading through all of the mock drafts leading up to that point.
Instead of trolling through pick after pick, this breakdown should allow you to get some sleep at night:
LSU ILB Kevin Minter
Expert Choices: Clark Judge, Pat Kirwan, Dane Brugler, Charley Casserly, Josh Norris, Matt Smith
Minter is considered an all-around player, but the knock on him is that he doesn't excel in any area. Playing in LSU's defense could potentially have hidden any number of his flaws as he played behind a dominant defensive line and excellent secondary for much of his career.
Notre Dame ILB Manti Te'o
Expert Choices: Charles Davis, Bucky Brooks
Te'o made as many headlines on the field as he did off of it. His storybook final season with the Irish was marred by a poor performance in the BCS National Championship loss against Alabama and an off-the-field incident that has haunted his public perception since January. However, he would fit well in the Ravens' organization. The strong standard set by the franchise as a whole would help to protect Te'o from the media attention while his style of play fills a need for the Ravens on the field.
Florida SS Matt Elam
Expert Choices: Will Brinson, Gil Brandt
Elam could potentially play free safety depending on where he is drafted, but the physically-gifted youngster would be expected to slot in at strong safety for the Ravens immediately.
Tennessee WR Justin Hunter
Expert Choices: Pete Prisco
Hunter is a big-bodied receiver with the ability to stretch the field. His presence would immediately replace the physicality lost following trading Anquan Boldin. Playing alongside Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones would give the Ravens three receivers with the deep-ball skills necessary to complement QB Joe Flacco’s big arm.
Florida State DE Cornellius “Tank” Carradine
Expert Choices: Daniel Jeremiah
The prospect also known as “Tank” could have been a top-five pick in this draft had he stayed healthy. (Carradine tore his ACL towards the end of his final college season.) Carradine is hoping to work out before the draft – which would go a long way in determining his draft stock – but presuming he is healthy, he could easily be the steal of the draft and a long-term replacement for Terrell Suggs.