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2 Round Mock Draft – Picking The NFC West

Sep 1, 2012; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith (12) reacts after a touchdown in the first quarter against the Marshall Thundering Herd at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

One of the best things about this time of year, and my role here at 12thMR, is getting invited to participate in mock drafts with draft experts from around the country. This week, I took part in a 2 round mock for FPFootball.

There were 8 people involved, one picking for every team in a division. I, of course, was picking for the teams in the NFC West.

Picking for teams other than the Seahawks in a draft like this was an interesting challenge. I tried to prepare and make sure I knew what each team needed and the types of players they prefer, but I doubt the fans of those teams will like the decisions I made.

I can say that I took picking for our division rivals seriously. A lot of these picks are ones that I hope they don’t make when the real draft finally gets here in April.

Take a look. And be sure to click the above link to see how the entire 2 round draft unfolded. Let me know in the comments how bad I did.

Cardinals

Strategy: Fix the offense, especially the offensive line.

Drafted Players: QB Geno Smith, OT Terron Armstead

The original plan was to select OT Eric Fisher at #7, but he came off the board before then. That also meant that when Geno Smith dropped to the Cardinals it became a no brainer.  They need a franchise QB, and he’s likely the only one in this draft class.

Besides, the Cardinals were able to draft Terron Armstead in round 2. He’s a bit of a project compared to the first round tackles, but he has a high ceiling and will be better than the embarrassingly bad tackles who played the position for Arizona last season.

Rams

Strategy: Get Sam Brandford some weapons

Drafted Players: WR Tayvon Austin, S Jonathan Cyprien, TE Zach Ertz

Austin provides the Rams with instant upgrade for the offense. He’s not a classic route runner type wide receiver, but he’s still a dynamic athlete that will help Bradford. Ertz was the best player available in round 2 and made too much sense not to select. I know the Rams signed Cook in free agency, but he’s almost exclusively a receiver and offers nothing in terms of in-line blocking. Ertz adds an element that is missing in the offense, as well and just being an overall talent upgrade for the roster.

Jonathan Cyprien is a pick that will likely get some “what the heck?” comments. After Austin was taken, Cyprien gave me a chance to change the script by taking who I thought was the best player available. Safety isn’t a huge need for the Rams, but getting Cyprien gives them a young safety to pair with their young CBs and D-line as they build that defense for the future.

Seahawks

Strategy: Seahawks only have 1 pick in the first 2 rounds. Make it count by getting a playmaker.

Drafted Players: Khaseem Greene, OLB – Rutgers

Greene was a player I didn’t think would be available at #56. He’s an outstanding OLB who, like the other starting LBs in Seattle, is versatile enough to play multiple LB spots. Good against both the run and in coverage, Greene would give Seattle one of the best 4-3 linebacking groups in the entire NFL. I was more interested in getting a starting 3-tech DT, but none were on the board that I was comfortable taking at this spot.

49ers

Strategy: Fix the secondary, especially safety.

Drafted Players: S Matt Elam, CB Desmond Trufant, WR Quinton Patton

Elam was the best safety on the board, and will start right away. Trufant further upgrades their secondary, which is the closest thing to a weakness you’ll find in the 49ers defense.

Patton at the end of round 2 was good value, and provided them with another option at WR, where they need additional talent around their young QB. Thought about taking TE Travis Kelce here to replace the recently departed Delanie Walker, but Patton was above him on my draft board and also filled a need.

Topics: Arizona Cardinals, NFL Draft, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams

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  • Snapa

    Interesting choices

  • Snapa

    Great draft for the Rams, Cardinals are not taking QB in first round and Levi Brown returns at left tackle. They could go Warmack or Kenny Vaccaro. Greene’s speed makes him a natural pick for Seattle. He has trouble getting off blocks though. SF doesn’t need a WR as much as CB or TE

    • 12thMan_Rising

      Brown was one of the worst starting LTs before his injury. I know Arians said he’s fine with him, but I have to wonder if he really believes what he’s saying. plus, Armstead could play LG or RT for a year while he makes massive jump from Ak-PB to the NFL.

      who knows though, you’re probably right.

      • cdubbb

        Levi Brown was actually playing very well before his injury. Even noted by profootballfocus.com, they were surprised and said it looked as if he may be turning the corner. As a Cards fan I can say that it was clear that he was starting to play like a quality LT. And our two rookie Tackles, Potter and Massie, also showed very well last season. They both look to have starting ability.. especially Massie as RT.
        Cards go OLB in the first IMO… Ansah if he is there

        • 12thMan_Rising

          I’m certainly not stupid enough to argue with a Cards fan about the Cardinals. Thanks for your input. Massie’s overall rating for 2012 fairly awful, but you’re right about him turning the corner. I looked at the overall score, but not the game by game breakdown. He was much better in the 2nd half of the season.

          • David Jackson

            Hell yes he was zero sacks aloud in the last 8 games Massie is there RT no question. Levi will show people he is able to hold his own. Potter came along pretty well also for rookies forced into action.

          • 12thMan_Rising

            I was really surprised to see Massie’s stats. overall his rating were bad, and I remembered watching him and thinking he wasn’t an NFL OT, but that was early in the year. That much improvement over the course of the season is almost unheard of for an offensive lineman. really impressive.

        • David Jackson

          Ansah if he is there at 7 I bet they do pick him OLB is one of there targeted position.

    • David Jackson

      AZ likes either Fisher or Wormack at 7. Mike Jurecki who covers AZ daily likes Cooper but has tweeted me the organization likes Fisher or Warmack. I doubt Fisher is there at 7 so I’m guessing Warmack is there pick. That takes care of there line play especially with Levi back healthy at LT. If I was Keim I would also look at Barrett Jones cause he would give AZ the flexabity to start anywhere on the OL. Senior he was a center, Jr. He was a guard, freshmen and soph. he played Tackle. Two bad this mock doesn’t go past round two cause I’m seeing major interest in DJ Swearinger at FS in the third. Fourth I would pull the trigger on Vance McDonald TE to give Arians that two tigh end sets he loves and he and Housler would be dangerous.

      • Snapa

        Vance McDonald will likely be gone. Sexy pick, fast with high ceiling, a Keim pick but not an Arains pick, he wants a blocker. Look at film of Travis Kelce of Cincinnati. He can block. But that’s a third round pick.

  • WC

    Damn good job other than Geno. I think the Bills are gonna take him if he’s still there. Arians is going with Luck’s backup. I guess he sees something in him or doesn’t see a point wasting a pick on a non improvement to what he thinks he has

    • 12thMan_Rising

      You’re probably right about Geno, but every time I hear Arians talk about Stanton I think he’s putting up a smokescreen. I just don’t believe coaches and GMs in the weeks before the draft.

      • WC

        You know, I think I’ve changed my mind about a couple things, or forgot what I originally thought. First, I see Geno in Black and grey. I can’t explain that any further other than I see it in my mind’s eye and it’s a good fit. I think Barkley’ll go to the Cards and I think he’ll be a good QB. Nassib is a good fit for the Bills I think, but who knows. But I can’t shake this vision I have of Geno as a Raider. Anyways, keep it rising!

        • 12thMan_Rising

          Geno to the Raiders is an interesting idea. They very much need a QB, and are in position to go get him if they decide he’s the guy.

          I believe they’ll have to trade up to get him. Jacksonville has worked him out twice now. I think he either goes there, or someone trades with KC for the #1 to get ahead of them.

  • http://Allcougdup.com/ All Coug’d Up

    Yeah I see Geno being passed up by the Cardinals if he makes it that far. The Cards have 4 roster QBs, Arians is happy with Stanton as his guy for now and I think has it out that he is better than advertised if he get the reps. Fluker or Warmack make a WHOLE lotta sense for them there. That would leave round 2 open for another playmaker at wide receiver in Hunter or Wheaton, OR a nice addition to their weak DT spot with Kawaan Short (in this scenario of course)

    Other than that, you’re right, I hope not to see that draft (other than Greene for SEA, that’s a solid pick) shake out for the West.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      You’re probably right about Geno. I can’t believe the Bills don’t take him if he’s there. Every time I hear Arians talk about Stanton I think he’s it’s just the pre-draft misinformation. I just don’t believe coaches and GMs in the weeks before the draft.

      I also don’t believe that any QB on that roster other than Stanton and maybe Hoyer is worth a roster spot. They aren’t skipping Geno for Skelton or Lindley.

  • http://Allcougdup.com/ All Coug’d Up

    By the way, with the shape SF and SEA are in already, if they have someone they absolutely love drop in the first, don’t be surprised if either of them moves way up. It’d be easier for SF because of all the picks they possess, but SEA really doesn’t need much and could give up quite a bit to get a starting need.

  • Beer O’Clock

    I’m not sure I understand the “safety is not a huge need for the Rams” comment.

    Safety IS a huge need. Now that they’ve signed Jake Long, safety and WR are clearly their most urgent needs. Currently, the Rams have neither of their two starting safeties. One was cut to make room for the cap, the other signed with the 49′ers.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      My understanding on Jeff Fisher’s defensive scheme is that it doesn’t feature the safeties. (Kinda the opposite of Seattle). They have other needs in more high priority positions.

      This is similar to Seattle’s need at weak side LB. The need is there, but it is the least important of the 11 defensive players in this scheme.

      Poor word choice on my part. They do need players at the position. That is w/o question.

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