Ok, things have changed sufficiently enough that I can't resist putting my second mock draft. Under classmen have done declaring and we know who is in and who is out. Also, many have risen and fallen and obviously will continure doing that.
In addition, this time I am considering one more factor which I have seen few consider. I am considering all the 2013 free agents also. I noticed in last year's draft that Buddy definitely hedged himself against potentially losing some 2012 free agents. And I think a lot of teams do look one year ahead in deciding their draft.
2012 FAs re-signed : stevie, chandler, choice, hagan, morrison
2012 FAs let go: bell (injury prone), corner, davis, ruvell martin, parrish (injury prone), bryan scott, torbor
2013 FAs most likely re-signed: jackson, byrd, levitre
2013 FAs to be replaced in draft: merriman, corey mcintyre, david nelson, donald jones, namaan roosevelt
Injury-prone cuts: mcgee, merriman (later in the season if mercilus works out sooner than expected)
As you can see we can lose as many as 7 WRs by this time next year. 5 even if we re-sign stevie and hagan. I definitely think we are drafting 2 WRs in this draft.
Here's my draft. Once again, I am using cbs draft prospect rankings for this. I will use other rankings as well in April.
1. Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, 6'4 265 lbs, Illinois
Many will definitely find fault in him but I think he is the best option. He has both power to bull rush and speed. He might a one year hit but he is no maybin. He has no fast metabolism which will take his weight to 228 lbs. He doesnt need to be great at coverage as we are going to play a hybrid defense and he fits the rusher role in both. He fits Nix's mold of a pass rusher. For the first 4-5 games he doesnt even need to play. He can learn behind merriman and contribute more once merriman goes down. He is no von miller but could be aldon smith. He ofcourse led the nation in sacks this year.
2. Alshon Jeffery, WR, 6'4 229 lbs, South Carolina
I had jeffery going in the first round in my first mock which was a big reach. Looks like he has fallen further enough that I am taking him in the 2nd round. That's great news for us. He is the guy who Nix was talking about being uncovered even when covered.
3. Bobby Massie, OT, 6'6 325 lbs, 5.17 40 time, Ole Miss
This guy is my favorite pick. I havent seen him in many mocks here so check this guy out. This guy declared suddenly and that's why he was under the radar. But his scouting reports are awesome. If he had stayed one more year he would be a high 1st round pick. He too can sit for the first quarter of the season behind hairston and eventually start at LT. He looks like a potentially great prospect for the future. One who can stay here for many years.
4. Alameda Ta' Amu, NT, 6'3 337 lbs, Washington
He was supposed to go much higher but fallen down. He would be a good early 4th round prospect. We still are not able to improve our run defense substantially and we need another big guy in the middle in rotation. He is built similarly to dareus but does not have the same rushing ability. But he is an excellent run stuffer. Could be great if Troup doesnt work out.
4b. Brandon Brooks, OG, 6'5 353 lbs, Miami (OH)
Based on the report, looks like a small school prospect with very high upside. He is already where we want Jasper to be. He will be behind Urbik improving his technique. I think he can be better than Urbik given time. He will make our inside runs and goal line situation so much better. A lot here dont want to draft Oline in this draft. I think we are nowhere close to being powerful and deep enough.
5. Rhett Ellison, TE, 6'5 250 lbs, USC
He can be developmental TE. A good option for 5th round.
5b Jeff Fuller, WR, 6'3 220 lb, Texas A&M
He has also fallen to around 5th round. He can be another big size receiver who can be depth and developmental prospect.
6. Phillip Blake, C, 6'2 320 lbs, Baylor
We need a good center backing up Eric Wood as he is getting close to being labelled injury prone. In many ways, Blake is a perfect fit. That's because he is quite old for a rookie at 26. But he also has a lot of experience playing. He wont be expected to be a starter but a really good backup.
7. Cody Johnson, FB, 5'11 252 lbs, Texas
For a full back you need a guy like a bowling ball. Cody Johnson is exactly that but he can run the ball too as he showed in Texas. With Corey Mcintyre only there for one more year we can have cody johnson in practice squad this year and promote him to the roster next year. That is if he is not better than mcintyre already.
You will see there are 2 defense guys and 7 offense guys. Many of you will discard this right away but I think we need quality in defense and depth in offense. Just by drafting more defense doesnt make us better. Maybe we can get a depth CB instead of a TE but I wouldnt change anything else.
This scenario addresses all our immediate weaknesses (passrusher, WR, LT) and stil keeps the option of upgrading via free agency open.
What do you guys think?