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St. Marie, Mock Draft Madness 1-10
By Nic St. Marie
Special to gzl-football.com

Having not done a mock draft myself in quite some time, I was inspired to put one together myself. I don't know anything about the draft class, but I'll probably just fill in by the known top positions. First goes a QB or CB, 2nd pick could include a WR or a tackle along with the positions available to the #1 pick. 3-5 can include defensive linemen and maybe one stud linebacker or HB. Once you get to pick 6 everyone but TE, FB, S, K, or P can be picked. So I should stop after the top 5.

Let's see how far we can get. Wait a second, who has the first pick?

Ravens 1.1 - LT Michael Millen
They won't need a QB for another 7-9 seasons. And the CB position for this team is as good or better than mine. So, why are they here?

It's not a WR, and they just added JJ Watt to their front 7. Damn, this is a stacked team. Gasper, how are you doing all this? It's looking pretty obvious who the pick is now. *changes ? to...

LT Michael Millen is what Al Davis hoped Bruce Campbell and Robert Gallery could become. The biggest baddest body-guard the game has ever seen. He looks like the next Walter Jones as a pass blocker, yet more like Jason Peters as a run blocker. No one this big should be both as powerful and as fast as this guy is. Yet he's skilled enough to look like he's already a starter for this league.

Wait. The Ravens have 7.1 you say? Phew, that team was starting too look too scary.

1.1 - QB Jonathan Higgins
The Bengals did draft Tannenhill at 1.8, and he can be a franchise QB. But at 1.1 the Bengals will struggle to look past the greatness of Higgins. Since they've been unable to trade this pick so far, Higgins is the best choice and they'll move Tannenhill at some point to a team that needs a QB, perhaps after the first 5-10 QB injuries during the season.
Best Alternative? - Besides a trade would be OT Millen. He'd look fantastic across from LT Cooper and give the Bengals a big building block on the OL.

1.2 - CB Tyrone Booker
Book this one right now, if the Bengals don't pick Booker the Falcons will. This team imploded a season ago, but still has the nucleus of a dynastic offense. The young defense was getting murdered a season ago, and while stopping the run was itself a chore the opposing passer rating was 88.99. In other words, this secondary made the opposition into a pro bowl quarterback. Booker is a stud, even as a rookie, and will immediately be the difference between where they were and a league-average or better opponents passer rating.
Best Alternative? - If Booker is gone, the Falcons can go with Millen but should trade back. Ultimately, they should draft Hasty or Wagner, also corners, just a few picks later if they can.

1.3 - trade for 3 1sts next year OT Michael Millen
The Dolphins are ecstatic to see this stud fall into their laps. They have a lot of older OL that are not going to be there when this team is at it's best. Miami will pick Millen and start trying to move Long or Snee.
Best Alternative? - Tough for this team, there are some good defensive players still out there. Going out on a limb to say Ron Green, defensive tackle.

1.4 - CB Blaine Hasty
This is where the draft turns. The Jets have a lot of needs, and this is where the next tier starts to form. But looking at the most important positions, they are looking at all of the very good backup young QB's around the league and playing it patient. Instead of overpaying to move up for Higgins, they can trade more ordinary compensation for Tannenhill or wait for Higgins to fall, as another mock suggests. A lot of QB's have moved, but their availability is much less expensive even to move again. Hasty is fast, has great hands and awareness, and will immediately improve the secondary of the Jets.
Best Alternative? - I can list 5 easily. I'll go with WR Donald Lake, as the Jets offense needs a feature player pretty badly.

1.5 - DT Ron Green
The Jaguars can pick BPA at this point, and I doubt the big man can avoid catching Herr's eye. Green would be right at home next to Pat Sims on maybe the best run defense in the whole league.
Best Alternative? - I'll say they would go with WR CJ Washington, but without a lot to back it up. I have no idea what Herr will do.

1.6 - CB Dee Wagner
The Saints are actually a loaded team, although some parts of the roster are aging. I predict at at CB or WR, where the aging is due to start slowing guys down is where the Saints go with this pick. Wagner is a guy with room to grow, can reach 96 SPD as a 6'1" corner and already have great acceleration and hands, with good awareness.
Best Alternative? - For the Saints it might be to take WR CJ Washington, to work towards being the focal point of the offense in a couple years.

1.7 CB Kyan McGrady
The Browns would take any of the three CB's already off of the board, but as an otherwise outstanding roster need to cover the deep ball far better than they currently do. McGrady is a six-footer with deep speed, who has good awareness and hands. He's ok on the jam, but could use improvements in his agility and acceleration. Ultimately, he can be a 10 year starter and star in this league, and can work in as the Browns nickle and starter as needed even as a rookie.
Best Alternative? - DE Amos Houston, a fearsome pass rusher with good strength, he'd be an instant upgrade over the current RE and perhaps help with the Browns struggles against the run as well.

1.8 - OLB Jorge Mays
The Eagles are in a pretty good position right now, with good or great players all throughout their offense and defense. This can be a luxury pick, and in this case I see them taking the top linebacker off of the board. Jorge Mays is a little short, and lacks elite hands. Oh, and he could work on his tackling. He'll beat most blockers to the edge to meet backs out of the backfield, and will not be outrun by tight ends deep. This guy can play as a 3-4 OLB as well without much trouble, at 244 lbs and with 75 STR and 86 ACC, he should be a fantastic speed rusher when he's asked to do that.
Best Alternative? - Again, the Eagles can go whatever direction they want, but I'll pick HB Riddick Owen to take over for Jamaal Charles within a year or two.

1.9 - WR Donald Lake
Lake can be a featured piece in an elite offense, like a better Kenny Britt. The Panthers have a lot of good #2 type WRs, but could use that elite WR and Lake needs a little work to get there but has a better than 50/50 chance to get there. At 6'4" but with good speed and hands, Lake might just be the best WR in this class.
Best Alternative? - HB Gerard Campbell is not the same type of back as McCoy, but he'd be a great thunder to McCoy's lightning this season with the ability to take over the next season.

1.10 - HB Gerard Campbell
The Panthers defense is very talented, and the offense could use a boost now and in the future. Campbell is a pick that makes the Panthers a little more balanced and adds a lot of power to the position just as McCoy is in the last year of his prime. This reminds me a lot of Steven Jackson taking over for Marshall Faulk, and would be the perfect take-over plan.
Best Alternative? - Panthers can go BPA at a position they don't need, but one need-based pick could be C Fernando Wilson, perhaps the next best OL and a certain first round pick.

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