Tag Archives: sam darnold

Mockery Draft 2.0

About a month ago, I did my silly little mock draft and now because of some time to kill and anticipation for this year’s draft only being a few days away – here is another.   Now instead of going with just “my gut” – I’m going with my gut, what rumors make sense, what makes sense for the team selecting and a good amount of second-guessing on my part.  So enjoy the Mockery Draft, Second Edition.

Source: Joe Robbins/Getty Images North America
  1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC:  There is a strong consensus saying the Browns will take Josh Allen, but I think that’s just a smoke-screen trying to bait anyone who’d pay a fortune for the number one pick.
  2. New York Giants: Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State: In the original, I had the G-Men taking Josh Rosen. . .then I almost went with the consensus that would have the Giants taking running back Saquon Barkley – but out of nowhere I think the Giants take the guy who is as close to a guarantee in this draft when it comes to being a starter 10 years down the line.
  3. New York Jets – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma: Kept this the same.  This is who the Jets want, this is who they’re going to get.
  4. Cleveland Browns  – Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State: Originally had them taking Chubb here, but in this case they go with Ward to help out that secondary that got toyed with last season.  Kiper and McShay have Barkley going here but running back is not a need for a team that has Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde at the moment.
  5. Buffalo Bills (in MOCKERY TRADE WITH DENVER)- Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming: I still have this going down and I still think it’s stupid.
  6. Indianapolis Colts – Roquan Smith, ILB/OLB, Georgia: Originally had Barkley getting drafted here but I have the Colts taking the best linebacker in the draft, who can be a leader to that defense for years to come.
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers– Derwin James, Florida State, DB: There is a lot of talk of keeping James in the state of Florida, I believe it.
  8. Chicago Bears – Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame: Almost changed this one up – there is a good chance Nelson gets taken by the Colts or even the Browns.  If Nelson isn’t the guy for Chicago, and with Roquan Smith also gone – I’d expect Trumaine Edmunds to be the pick for Chi-Town.
  9. San Francisco 49ers – Tremaine Edmunds, OLB, Virginia Tech: You can never have too many pass rushers in this league – especially while one of them is awaiting domestic abuse charges. . .
  10. Oakland Raiders – Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama: Raiders have their eye on Smith.  They don’t get him in this version of reality and nobody wants to trade with them.
  11. Miami Dolphins – Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville: Dolphins get the steal of the draft.  Jackson ends up starting by mid-season.  Fast forward 10 years from now – Jackson ends up being the best of the quarterbacks in this draft.
  12. Denver Broncos  (in MOCKERY TRADE with Buffalo)-  Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA : Still like this trade happening and love the fit for Denver with Davenport.
  13. Washington Redskins – Mike Huges, CB, Central Florida: Keeping it chalk two picks in a row.
  14. Green Bay Packers – Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama: The Green Bay front office is tired of hearing Aaron Rodgers bitch and belly ache about releasing his washed up buddy Jordy Nelson – so they give him a young target with exceptional route running abilities.
  15. Arizona Cardinals– Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA: At the end of it all, Josh Rosen has to sit it out and be the last quarterback drafted out of the most-talked-about.  Cardinals make this move out of desperation and it doesn’t work out in the long run.
  16. Baltimore Ravens – Vita Vea, DT, Washington: I had him going in the twenties the first time around.  That didn’t seem right.  This looks like a Baltimore move though.
  17. Los Angeles Chargers – Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame: Chargers strengthen up an offensive line, for a quarterback in Philip Rivers who has the tools this year to give it all one-more-try.
  18. Seattle Seahawks – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State: A lot of people have Barkley going top-five in this draft but all of that talk makes no sense.  This is a great draft for running backs and Barkley is one of those “looks can be deceiving” type of players.  As big as he his, he isn’t a “between the tackles” type of runner and has run out of the shot-gun and/or option his whole career.  This can work wonders in Seattle though, where that type of offense works well with Russell Wilson.  This is a premier spot for Barkley.
  19. Dallas Cowboys – DJ Moore, WR, Maryland: Originally had them taking Calvin Ridley, and although Joshua Jackson, corner out of Iowa or Harold Laundry, defensive end out of B.C. are probably the picks most others would assume, the Cowboys are looking to help out Dak and win with this offense as presently suggested.
  20. Detroit Lions – Harold Laundry, DE, Boston College: Almost had the Lions taking Sony Michel in this spot, but they can land a quality back in the second round.  Laundry is the last of the “real-upside” pass rushers in the first round.
  21. Cincinnati Bengals– Billy Price, G/C, Ohio State: Most likely they’d plug him in at center and they’ll go on to their general expectations of boring mediocrity for the 2018 season.
  22. Buffalo Bills – Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa: This pick ends up being a better long term one than their quarterback pick of Josh Allen (woof)
  23. New England Patriots –  Isaiah Wynn, G/C/T, Georgia Very unpredictable team, but here I think they’d lean towards the versatile offensive line prospect who they can plug wherever he fits best, on day one.
  24. Carolina Panthers – Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU: Originally had them taking a bigger receiver over Sutton, but that’s just silly.
  25. Tennessee Titans – Leighton Vander Esch, ILB, Boise State : This guy wasn’t even in my original mock, but there’s a lot of buzz recently about him sneaking into the first round.  This would be a spot for him to land.
  26. Atlanta Falcons – Da’Ron Payne , DL ,Alabama: Falcons defense played better last year, no reason to stop adding to it.  Adding d-line talent against teams that like to run it like Carolina and New Orleans would help them out greatly in taking the NFC South.
  27. New Orleans Saints – Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina: Oh lets just give one of the best offenses in football, the best tight end in the draft.  Brees can make this guy a pro-bowler in his first season.

     

  28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama: With Shazier gone they are going to need a new face for the future of this defense.  I don’t think Evans is a “face” type of guy – but definitely a quality starter.
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma: They said they won’t reach for anybody.  If this happens though, this is just dumb luck.
  30. Minnesota Vikings – Will Hernandez , G, UTEP:  This pick didn’t change for me.  A little bit of optimism here for a team that has very little needs, except for this one.
  31. New England Patriots -Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville: Pretty sure they need a corner. . . right?
  32. Philadelphia Eagles – Sony Michel, RB, Georgia: Sticking with this pick because it’s ridiculous and pound for pound, this is probably the best running back in this year’s class.

Beating Vegas: Going Wild in Southern Cal

Arizona +7 at USC

The Arizona Wildcats go into the home of the USC Trojans this weekend and this is a battle between two quarterbacks who have been on a very different road in getting to this point of the season.  The Trojans’ quarterback Sam Darnold was the pre-season Heisman favorite, with a lot of NFL scouts touting him as the best signal caller in the nation, who was supposed to lead the Trojans to the playoff this year.  The Trojans are currently 7-2 with a middle of the pack defense and an offense, that although is putting up  33 points per game – was expected to do even better.  Darnold is having an okay season throwing 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions (second most in the Pac-12).  The real answer to this offense’s success has been running back Ronald Jones who is 112 yards away from a thousand yard rushing season and is averaging 6.7 yards a carry.  Jones is the fifth best -statistical – rusher in the Pac-12 conference – one spot above him though is Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate.   Tate in just six games has accumulated 960 rushing yards and averaging nearly 14 yards a rush.  Coach Rich Rodriguez’ offense doesn’t look to throw the ball much but if they do Tate is netting a completion percentage of 68.7%.  The other ball carriers on this team average at least 5 yards a carry (all four of them).   The Wildcasts defense stepped up when they went against another highly touted Pac-12 quarterback in UCLA’s Josh Rosen and forced the quarterback to toss 3 interceptions.  Arizona is playing very well as a unit as Tate is proving to be right there with Bryce Love as the best players in the Pac-12 conference.  USC is playing with hurt pride and defending their undefeated home record this week.  Arizona’s wins have either come in blowouts or by thin margins while USC has proven to be mostly unreliable so far this year.

The Pick: Arizona +7

Rice +10.5 at UAB

It was only a few years ago that the University of Alabama-Birmingham ended their football program.  They figured it was costing them too much money to be competitive and decided to pull the plug.  2017 became the “the year the Blazers come back.”  Many figured it would remain to be a bottom dweller.  History proved it was never a good program anyway so after being dead for two years, they would definitely be a door-mat to anyone who stepped to them.  Funny how things turn out, huh?  Currently UAB is 5-3 and knocking on the door of becoming “bowl-eligible.”  The Blazers offense is predicated off of the success of their ground game and running back Spencer Brown who is averaging 5.6 yards a carry and has a total of 909 rushing yards so far this season.  Quarterback AJ  Erdely has been efficient as well, throwing nine touchdowns and only 2 interceptions but more impressive than that are his 10 rushing touchdowns this season.  This isn’t a surprising stat when you realize that UAB’s scoring percentage in the red zone is 87%, which ranks them higher than Penn State and Louisville’s red-zone attacks.  This will be key when going against a Rice red-zone defense that is allowing opponents to score 89% of the time. (And just to see the other side of things: UAB’s red zone defense 70% sandwiched between the likes of Ohio State and Alabama while Rice’s red-zone attack scores 71% of the time which knocks down the Owl’s chances of scoring to a 49% in the red-zone.) The Rice Owls have been on the wrong side of lob-sided scores all season and stand at 1-7 so far this year. The offense is ranked 229th in total yards, 251st in passing yards and 116th in rushing yards.

The Pick: UAB -10.5

 

Virginia Tech -2.5 at Miami

Here goes one that the “sharps” are big on.  Getting Va Tech under a field goal, while you can.  There are many reasons why.  First one, as we saw last week, Miami will just let any team hang with them.  Even teams they should blow out by a large amount like UNC or Duke.  Yes, we all saw that ridiculous touchdown that put the Seminoles away, but in truth – Florida State is in a down year, with injuries and inexperience stripping them of reinventing their dominant looking selves.  Miami is a good team.   A marginally good team.  They’ve been “bleh” against the spread and they are usually given too many points because they are such a large “public” favorite.  Virginia Tech has a quarterback in Josh Jackson who goes under the radar and it’s a crime.  Jackson is completing 62% of his passes with 17 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. Behind his is a running back committee of Travon McMillian, DeShawn McClease and even Coleman Fox — they all are racking up over 4.5 yards per rush between them.  Miami is mediocre when it comes to stopping the rush (allowing 4.1 yards a carry) but are stingy when it comes to letting ball carriers get into the end-zone, allowing only 3 rushing touchdowns so far this year.  Miami pass defense has looked great this year, holding opposing quarterbacks to 50% completion percentage but look at the competition and you’ll see why.  The number is perfect where it’s at right now and if it goes up to 3, you shouldn’t hesitate to buy the half a point.  This will be a close one but in the end, Virginia Tech has the better pass defense, the better rush defense and the better quarterback.  Don’t fall for the hype.

The Pick: Virginia Tech -2.5

Four Team Teaser of the Week: Wisconsin -1.5; South Carolina +35.5; Purdue -2 and Baylor +4.5

Good Luck and Wager Wisely!

G.W. Gras

Twitter @GeeSteelio