Todd McShay Jumped the Gun on Geno Smith?

This week saw ESPN Insider Todd McShay post a new mock draft with an interesting change from past mocks–he has the Raiders taking Geno Smith with the third-overall pick.

The small problem with this is the rumored trade of backup Seahawks quarterback Matt Flynn to the Raiders. While it might not be finalized just yet, if Flynn is headed to Oakland that means he’s likely going to be the starter–and it also means that McShay has once again posted a mock only to have it upset immediately by news in the NFL (McShay’s last mock was out of date within days due to the Percy Harvin trade earlier this month).

McShay’s mock is still worth an analysis, especially since Flynn is still a Seahawk (for the moment). It’s also worth noting that McShay included a brief second-round projection on this mock too, which is listed at the bottom.

A reminder, as with every mock we analyze, McShay’s latest mock has been added to the NFL DR Mock Comparisons page.

1. Kansas City Chiefs – Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel

No shocker here–few are looking elsewhere at no. 1 at this point. McShay has decided to join everybody else on Joeckel after projecting Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei here in his last mock (March 6).

2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Oregon OLB Dion Jordan

McShay had Joeckel going here last time–which is only natural given Joeckel’s standing on draft boards if he were to put Lotulelei as the first-overall pick. While some have Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher going to Jacksonville due to needs on the line, the pass-rush is a big need and Jordan is talented in that aspect. A growing percentage of mocks have Jordan going to the Jaguars.

3. Oakland Raiders – West Virginia QB Geno Smith

Ah, here is Smith. Yes, the Raiders may be swapping out quarterbacks, and it seems that McShay is none-too-believing in the wide-held theory that Oakland’s interest in Smith is merely a ploy to trade down. Smith would give Oakland a franchise quarterback and solve the Carson Palmer question once and for all (by making him expendable), but if they’re indeed getting Flynn then it simply makes no sense.

4. Philadelphia Eagles – Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher

This one makes sense. The Eagles need to protect Michael Vick if they expect him to succeed this season (unlike in 2012). Injuries and a lack of depth have been a major concern, and Fisher offers a top-end tackle who could be installed at either the left or right side as a long term solution.

5. Detroit Lions – BYU DE Ezekiel Ansah

Ansah is another consensus pick at this point, as most people are aware of the Lions’ favor of Ansah after coaching him at the Senior Bowl. Ansah is extremely athletic and while raw he offers a replacement for the departed Cliff Avril with potential in the range of Aldon Smith or Jason Pierre-Paul.

6. Cleveland Browns – Alabama CB Dee Milliner

The projection of Smith to the Raiders takes a quarterback out of the equation, so Milliner is the best possible pick for the Browns even if they weren’t going to stick with Weeden under center. Joe Haden and Milliner would make for an impressive duo at corner.

7. Arizona Cardinals – Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson

The Cardinals need help on the offensive line, and Johnson is one of the top tackles in the draft. The pairing makes sense, with Geno Smith off the board, but Johnson is still a reach here. I’d expect Arizona to look into trading down or grabbing a pass-rusher in the likes of Jarvis Jones or Barkevious Mingo at seventh-0verall.

8. Buffalo Bills – Alabama OG Chance Warmack

I’m chalking up these last two picks to McShay’s prediction of Smith having a domino effect on other top-ten picks. The Bills could use some help at guard, but not quite enough to justify adding Warmack at eighth-overall. This is another situation where trading down would be ideal if Smith is gone. This is a very high  projection for a guard, as tackles are usually more of a priority and guards tend to be drafted lower (first taken in 2012 was David DeCastro 24th overall, first taken in 2011 was Danny Watkins 23rd overall).

9. New York Jets – LSU OLB Barkevious Mingo

The Jets need a pass-rusher, and Mingo is as much a valid pick at ninth-overall as Georgia outside ‘backer Jarvis Jones. Both offer help for a team that has suffered from a lack of pass-rushers for years.

10. Tennessee Titans – Florida DT Shariff Floyd

This is quite a value pick, as many mocks have Floyd going to the Raiders at third-overall, and the Titans would be ecstatic to take Floyd here. While Tennessee may be in need of a guard, talent can often trump need in the top-ten.

11. San Diego Chargers – Utah DT Star Lotulelei

Lotulelei has had a rocky several weeks since the combine, as a heart condition made him drop in many mocks from top-five to the 10-20 range in the first-round (McShay had Lotulelei going to Kansas City first-overall previously). The Chargers get a talented nose tackle to shore up a defensive line that has seen many departures in recent years.

12. Miami Dolphins – North Carolina OG Jonathan Cooper

This is another pick that I believe is foiled by a recent roster addition, as the signing of free-agent Lance Louis makes the addition of Cooper quite redundant. Miami has extra talent at guard in youngster John Jerry, so it’s more likely they splurge on a corner here (Florida St.’s Xavier Rhodes, for example) than a guard.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – West Virginia WR Tavon Austin

While this may be a bit of a high projection for Austin, he’s an explosive slot receiver and has been climbing draft boards for a while now. Austin would give Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman another weapon to go along with Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams at receiver.

14. Carolina Panthers – Missouri DT Sheldon Richardson

I’m still not a huge fan of Richardson projections to Carolina, as he’s a bit undersized for nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme at 6’2 1/2″ and 294 lbs. Nevertheless, Richardson is a valuable tackle and Carolina has a need there. If Lotulelei were to drop to 14th, expect the Panthers to pick the Utah product over Richardson.

15. New Orleans Saints – Georgia ILB Alec Ogletree

The Saints have a need at middle linebacker now that they’re moving to 3-4, and Ogletree is a great solution due to his coverage abilites as an ex-safety. The Saints have numerous needs on defense, so Ogletree certainly isn’t out of the question even if he’s not the best on the board.

16. St. Louis Rams – Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson

The Rams have a severe need at receiver with both Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson elsewhere in 2013, so Patterson makes perfect sense. St. Louis would love if Tavon Austin fell out of the top-15, but either way they get an impact receiver to bolster the passing attack.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Georgia OLB Jarvis Jones

Were Jones to fall this far out of the original top-ten projection, the pass-rushing needy Steelers would likely jump on Jones. While his athleticism may be questionable in some scouts’ eyes, Jones was extremely productive in college and is one of the better 3-4 pass-rushers in the draft–not to mention a steal at 17th-overall.

18. Dallas Cowboys – Texas S Kenny Vaccaro

Vaccaro is a flexible safety who can play both safety positions–making him quite valuable to a rebuilding defense in the middle of a scheme change. There’s a chance Vaccaro won’t still be on the board by Dallas’ pick in many analysts’ opinions.

19. New York Giants – Alabama OT D.J. Fluker

It seems to be a trend now that mocks are featuring Fluker in Giants blue. I’m still not buying the Giants taking a tackle when they have so many needs elsewhere.

20. Chicago Bears – Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert

Unless McShay knows something else about the Bears’ offense that everybody else doesn’t, Eifert simply makes no sense. Whether you like Martellus Bennett, the Bears didn’t sign him long term to be replaced by Eifert in only a few years.

21. Cincinnati Bengals – Washington CB Desmond Trufant

If you’re looking at a player making a jump up the first-round, Trufant is one of them–he’s not even a consensus first-round pick. I’m not entirely sure why McShay thinks Trufant to the Bengals makes so much sense, as Cincinnati recently re-signed Pacman Jones and Terrance Newman, not to mention decent depth at corner to boot. Expect Cincinnati to instead shore up the offense in some way.

22. St. Louis Rams – North Carolina DT Sylvester Williams

The Rams would be adding high profile tackles in back-to-back first-rounds with the addition of Williams (Michael Brockers was selected out of LSU 14th-overall last year). The Rams could use a tackle, and Williams is another big body to shore up the defense after getting a receiver earlier on.

23. Minnesota Vikings – Florida St. DE Bjoern Werner

The Vikings are another team with two picks in the draft, and McShay has them adding to the defense with their first pick–taking another previous top-ten projection in Werner. Jared Allen isn’t getting any younger and he’s still demanding top money, so Werner’s pick could add leverage when contract talks start up with Allen.

24. Indianapolis Colts – Florida St. CB Xavier Rhodes

Colts fans, don’t get your hopes up–Rhodes won’t be around by pick 24. Desmond Trufant may still be, however, and he’d be a solid pick up for a defense that seems determined to improve over past seasons.

25. Minnesota Vikings – California WR Keenan Allen

The Vikings still need a receiver even after adding Greg Jennings, and Allen is as good as it gets in the receivers group with Patterson and Austin gone. Minnesota would bolster both the defense and offense with Werner and Allen.

26. Green Bay Packers – Florida St. OT Menelik Watson

The Packers have a definite need at tackle with the amount of injuries they’ve sustained over past seasons. Watson is still a bit of a developmental player due to his lack of football experience, but he’s a monster in size and has a ton of upside. Running back can be addressed later by Green Bay.

27. Houston Texans – Clemson WR DeAndre Hopkins

Andre Johnson isn’t getting any younger, and the Texans need a passing attack to be a true Super Bowl contender moving forward. With Johnson and Hopkins in the short term, Houston’s offense won’t just be Arian Foster and Andre Johnson any longer.

28. Denver Broncos – Notre Dame ILB Manti Te’o

Fan affiliations aside, I still don’t like this pick for Denver. Te’o isn’t an everydown ‘backer, and the loss of Elvis Dumervil creates a clear need in the pass-rush department. Denver already has multiple solutions at inside ‘backer on the roster, so they can afford to look at corner or end early and bank on a later linebacker.

29. New England Patriots – Syracuse OG Justin Pugh

While I would normally throw such a reach under the bus in normal circumstances, the Patriots aren’t known for following widely held opinions of prospects–see last year’s multiple reaches in our earlier Patriots Past Drafts feature. New England’s line is getting old and Pugh would be another young body for the future.

30. Atlanta Falcons – Florida St. Cornellius Carradine

Carradine would be the second Florida State pass-rusher taken (Bjoern Werner the first). The Falcons have less of a short-term need at pass-rusher now that they’ve nabbed Osi Umenyiora, but he’s clearly not a long-term solution–Carradine can be. There are some question marks with Carradine, but he’s a solid pick up with the 30th pick.

31. San Francisco 49ers – Georgia DT John Jenkins

The 49ers’ defensive line needs a young infusement, and Jenkins offers just that. Justin Smith may be on his way out after 2013, so Glenn Dorsey could move to end and Jenkins take over at nose tackle in his sophomore campaign.

32. Baltimore Ravens – Louisiana Tech WR Quinton Patton

The trade of Anquan Boldin leaves a hole at receiver, and Patton teaming up with Torrey Smith makes for a potentially lethal duo for the future.

Second Round Projections

  1. Jaguars – USC QB Matt Barkley
  2. 49ers (via Chiefs) – Stanford TE Zach Ertz
  3. Eagles – Florida St. QB E.J. Manuel
  4. Lions – Connecticut CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson
  5. Bengals – Florida S Matt Elam
  6. Cardinals – N.C. State QB Mike Glennon
  7. Browns – N/A (exercised in 2012 supplemental draft)
  8. Jets – SMU DE Margus Hunt
  9. Titans – Texas A&M DE Damontre Moore
  10. Bills – Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib
  11. Dolphins – Houston CB D.J. Hayden
  12. Buccaneers – Purdue DT Kawann Short
  13. Panthers – Tennessee WR Justin Hunter
  14. Saints – N/A (forfeited due to bounty investigation)
  15. Chargers – Ark. Pine Bluff OT Terron Armstead
  16. Rams – Alabama RB Eddie Lacy
  17. Cowboys – Oregon OG Kyle Long
  18. Steelers – USC WR Robert Woods
  19. Giants – Boise St. CB Jamar Taylor
  20. Bears – LSU ILB Kevin Minter
  21. Redskins – San Diego St. TE Gavin Escobar
  22. Vikings – Ohio St. DT Johnathan Hankins
  23. Bengals – Texas A&M RB Christine Michael
  24. Dolphins (via Colts) – LSU DE Sam Montgomery
  25. Packers – South Carolina S D.J. Swearinger
  26. Seahawks – Missouri Southern DT Brandon Williams
  27. Texans – Alabama DT Jesse Williams
  28. Broncos – Connecticut OLB Sio Moore
  29. Patriots – Marshall WR Aaron Dobson
  30. Falcons – Cincinnati TE Travis Kelce
  31. 49ers – FIU S Johnathan Cyprien
  32. Ravens – Wisconsin C Travis Frederick

So, how’d McShay do in your opinion?


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