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tdwii's 2008 off-season & mock draft v1.0


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i figured it's time for my first official mock and off-season 'wwtdwiid' thread...a couple of things i'll point out before getting into it:

1) this mock includes being able to trade deangelo hall to a team that is on the cusp of the play-offs or feels that they are one player away from contending for a sb opportunity. thus, i think he can fetch a pick in the 18-24 range (this draft reflects that deal). as such, i pull the trigger. getting what i can for hall is one of my priorities for the following reasons:

- he's shown a preference to test the market anyway at the end of 2008. however, if someone makes him the highest paid cb in the game with a close to $100m deal, he'll jump. a team won't take him on without a long term contractual commitment. if hall balks, threaten the franchise tag - play chicken with the guy.

- he's not happy here and petrino does not need him since he's gone 1-6 with him.

2) i'm not dipping into free agency much at all this off-season. i would prefer to not accumulate additional contracts from fa where the goods are always overpriced until we find out which of our young talent pans out (or more importantly does not pan out). with 2008 looking like a developmental year, i'd rather we improve our cap situation and health rather than try and secure veteran talent (i.e: joe horn, ed hartwell...)

3) the draft assumes an early draft slot within the top 5, but not a specific position (like 4th).

fa acquisition: drayton florence

florence has lost his starting job in sd to antonio cromartie and as a ufa, will have opportunities. with the loss/trade of deangelo hall, the falcons do need a veteran presence at cb. lewis sanders proved incapable of being able to man a starting position. florence is probably more suited to the #2 cb position, but the hope is that chris houston can develop into the falcons #1 cb. 2007 has been a learning year for houston, but he s shown improvement. he still has a ways to go though. florence is originally from ga, so starting in his hometown could be a big attraction and the falcons might be able to secure him for fair value.

other than this acquisition, i stay away from the fa market from a big dollar perspective. there might be one year deals i would cut based on situations and availability, but they would be bit players lewis sanders types.

1st: brian brohm/qb - louisville

obviously there will be a lot of debate over what the falcons should do with what is certain to be a top 5 pick (or higher). the fact of the matter is that you could make a strong case for almost any position at this slot; rb, ot, dt. any make sense from a positional fortification standpoint. however, waiting until 2009 to draft your qb centerpiece means waiting until 2010 for him to be somewhat nfl fluent. the falcons can t wait that long. there are 3 options in round 1 that people will discuss as possibilities; the two others being matt ryan & andre woodson. but brohm makes the most sense in this regard. the moment he becomes a falcon he may become the most knowledgeable falcon as it relates to petrino s offense. we are not talking about a 3rd round prospect here. we are talking about a player who was largely considered the #1 qb heading into the college football season. his familiarity with the offense that he would be inserted into gives him a leg up when all things are considered equal. in the midst of a disappointing 2007 for louisville, brohm has still be extremely productive and has improved on his previous years performance.

nfl comparison: matt hasselbeck

**1st (acquired for deangelo hall) rey maualuga/mlb usc

one of the most not talked about reasons as to why the falcons have never been a great defensive unit over the last 10 years is this. the organization as a whole has been content with keith brooking as it s best player. at his best, brooking was a player who made lots of tackles and had good mobility side-to-side. but he was never a difference maker and certainly was not an effective tone setter for the unit. yet the falcons, identifying with the local boy done good theme promoted him as an elite player. as such, this culture in some ways hampered other players from stepping out of brooking s shadow that the falcons were more than happy to cast. maualgua becomes brooking s immediate replacement. if i m reading the tea leaves correctly, this off-season will see the falcons bid adieu to many of the players that have come to identify it in recent years. brooking is the key piece that needs to be replaced. he s not incompetent mind you, but he s become a clumsy player whose performance has really had difficulty even bordering on adequate. his contract value has escalated and quite frankly it s cheaper to let him go than to keep him. maualuga reminds me of troy polamalu only in lb form. his pace is furious and he looks to be fired out of a cannon when he explodes to the ball carrier. he ll need some refinement, but that s what good coaches are for. maualuga becomes our tone & tempo setter eventually.

nfl comparison: troy polamalu

**2nd: phil loadholt/ot oklahoma

in all honesty, if he declares, i do expect him to be loooonggg gone by this point. who knows, maybe he pulls a marcus mcneil or winston justice and falls far past where many thought he would. and most draft pundits don t have him as a 1st round prospect yet. but my sneaking suspicion is that they will. even under dan reeves, the falcons never sought to bring in big mauler type o-lineman, but those days are over. at 6 8 350, loadholt fits that bill, but his athleticism is frightening. he was colorado s mr. basketball runner up as a high school senior. his drawback is that he s got one year of major college football under his belt since he did a 2 year juco stint. but simply put they don t make many men loadholt s size with his athleticism and the falcons have sorely needed a lt they can build around since the better days of bob whitfield. in less than 1 season though, loadholt has established himself as a major force to be reckoned with. his coming out party was his performance against highly touted de prospect calais campbell where he rendered him useless. since then, he s continued to dominate and can be the type of anchor petrino's offense will need to allow his qb time to scan the field and make his reads.

nfl comparison: marcus mcneil

2nd (acquired from houston) mike hart/rb michigan

he s not the big back petrino has historically preferred. but hart is a very physical runner and would compliment jerious norwood superbly. more and more teams are employing rbbc situations and with norwood still not having proven that he can carry a load akin to even 15 carries/game, hart would seem to be an addition that would limit the wear and tear on both players while at the same time maximizing their abilities and talents. another aspect to love about hart is how much weight he put on his back to reverse an absolutely horrific early season collapse by michigan. his leadership was essential in turning the wolverines fortunes around and might have been the most impressive aspect about his senior season. he was always productive in college but his physical traits have been his big drawback in terms of measuring his pro skills. but hart is going to make a tremendous pro who will work on his shortcomings and become a complete player. he should help solidify the falcons ground attack.

nfl comparison: joe morris

3rd: heath benedict/ot- newberry

of the falcons existing o-lineman, todd weiner is probably the most accomplished and the best (along with

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seriously, matt hasselbeck is not a top 5 pick....

if you were doing a draft of all the players, or just all the qb's in the draft, hasselbeck is not in the top 5, maybe not the top 10.

manning, brady, mcnabb, palmer, rothlesberger, bulger, romo, maybe farve, brees, eli manning? vince young?

i can't fathom having "matt hasselbeck" as the qb that rebuilds this team. the falcons are essentially rebuilding and matt hasselbeck in his prime isn't worth a top 5 pick.

if your project brohm to being matt hasselbeck, that's a heckuva way to waste a pick.

additionally, why waste 2 fourth rounders when you haven't addressed the depth issues across the defensive and offensive lines.

zbikowski is sorry as well....he hasn't made a play in 2 years! lol

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very nicely done.

some comments:

1. brohm - 1st off, i have no problem drafting him. some analyst seem to count on it because brohm played well in petrino's system in college. but historically, college coaches that have moved to the pros have historically ignored players, especially qb's, who have excelled in their college system. so i could very easily see us not drafting him because of that. my counter point to that argument however is this. the vast majority of college coaches making the jump to the nfl have done so because they succeeded in college, but they tend to fail miserably in the nfl. they avoid drafting players who have excelled in their system, so maybe, just maybe they should draft a player, especially a qb, that has excelled in, and intimately knows that system. drafting brohm is bucking the trend of avoiding players you coached in college, but maybe it will also help buck the trend of college coaches failing in the nfl.

2. i don't think maualuga is coming out, just a feeling. and if he does, i'm not sure i want him. this is the only pick i really have an issue with. i'd much rather see us take laurinaitis if he were available.

3. i really think mike hart would be a good back for us. i like this pick & wanted to put it in mine, but i just didn't see it happening. if we get him though, i think it would have to be with our 1st pick in the 2nd round.

4. i really like benedict, but i think he would move to guard in the nfl, but that doesn't mean we don't need him. he could replace forney at rg & we could make due with weiner for 1 more season imo.

i love the next 3 picks (z, flynn, & raji) and coutu in the 6th is dead on where he should be. in my mock it was almost a coin flip, either he or serna here would be a great pick imo.

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seriously, matt hasselbeck is not a top 5 pick....

if you were doing a draft of all the players, or just all the qb's in the draft, hasselbeck is not in the top 5, maybe not the top 10.

manning, brady, mcnabb, palmer, rothlesberger, bulger, romo, maybe farve, brees, eli manning? vince young?

i can't fathom having "matt hasselbeck" as the qb that rebuilds this team. the falcons are essentially rebuilding and matt hasselbeck in his prime isn't worth a top 5 pick.

if your project brohm to being matt hasselbeck, that's a heckuva way to waste a pick.

since 2003, hasselbeck's average 16 game season consists of

60.74% completion rate

7.3 ypa

3650 passing yards

25 td's

15 int's

in addition...

1 sb appearance

4 playoff appearances

41-24 record

2 pro-bowls

...and he's done this with only 2 wr's achieveing 100 yard seasons (although bobby engran is on pace for one in 2007).

what you're limited purview fails to see is this about hasslebeck. who drafted him? that would be mike holmgran. who traded for him to be his starter in seattle. that would be mike holmgren. there are similarities between how brohm would come in under petrino based on his knowledge and execution of his system in another locale. but at the end of the day, hasselbeck has been an extremely effective and central piece to the seahawks success.

additionally, why waste 2 fourth rounders when you haven't addressed the depth issues across the defensive and offensive lines.

o-line wasn't addressed via a selection in round 2 & 3?

zbikowski is sorry as well....he hasn't made a play in 2 years! lol

obviously opinions vary on this guy. but i maintain that he's gone from overhyped to over criticized. he'll not only make a solid pro, but be a guy the team can rally behind.

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2. i don't think maualuga is coming out, just a feeling. and if he does, i'm not sure i want him. this is the only pick i really have an issue with. i'd much rather see us take laurinaitis if he were available.

lauranitis is the safe pick for sure. but i think he's gone by 18. even so, there is something unique about maulauga that has really sparked my interest.

3. i really think mike hart would be a good back for us. i like this pick & wanted to put it in mine, but i just didn't see it happening. if we get him though, i think it would have to be with our 1st pick in the 2nd round.

i suspect houston's pick will net us anywhere from the 41-45 slots in the draft. i think the chances are good hart will be available particularly seeing how rb's seem to be falling these days on draft day.

4. i really like benedict, but i think he would move to guard in the nfl, but that doesn't mean we don't need him. he could replace forney at rg & we could make due with weiner for 1 more season imo.

good point.

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good mock.

rey maualuga is a hitter, but he is also very undisciplined in his assignments. he is constantly sucked up by play action and misdirection. discipline is his biggest weakness. he could be the next ray lewis.

mike hart would be a great pick up. a leader first and a relentless runner second. he easily replaces dunn.

phil loadholt is a big physical specimen. could you share some more insight on this guy? i know you are very familiar with him. if he compares to marcus mcneil then we need to definitely draft him.

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since 2003, hasselbeck's average 16 game season consists of

60.74% completion rate

7.3 ypa

3650 passing yards

25 td's

15 int's

in addition...

1 sb appearance

4 playoff appearances

41-24 record

2 pro-bowls

...and he's done this with only 2 wr's achieveing 100 yard seasons (although bobby engran is on pace for one in 2007).

what you're limited purview fails to see is this about hasslebeck. who drafted him? that would be mike holmgran. who traded for him to be his starter in seattle. that would be mike holmgren. there are similarities between how brohm would come in under petrino based on his knowledge and execution of his system in another locale. but at the end of the day, hasselbeck has been an extremely effective and central piece to the seahawks success.

o-line wasn't addressed via a selection in round 2 & 3?

obviously opinions vary on this guy. but i maintain that he's gone from overhyped to over criticized. he'll not only make a solid pro, but be a guy the team can rally behind.

hasselbeck is an average/above average qb. the numbers you've posted look nice and neat, but they add up to a career passer rating of 85. granted we would've been estatic if vick's passing was that efficient, but for a guy that doesn't give you much on the ground and turns the ball over as much as hasselbeck does, 85 isn't good enough. not for a top 5 pick. this year, 85 is good enough for 19th in terms of passer rating. hasselbeck's ranking so far in 2007 is 15th. he is what he is. certainly better than what we have, as i'm not here to belittle hasselbeck, but no way, shape or form worth a top 5 pick.

you don't spend a top 5 pick on average. now, if hasselbeck is still what you see in brohm, then how can brohm be a top 5 pick?

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hasselbeck is an average/above average qb. the numbers you've posted look nice and neat, but they add up to a career passer rating of 85. granted we would've been estatic if vick's passing was that efficient, but for a guy that doesn't give you much on the ground and turns the ball over as much as hasselbeck does, 85 isn't good enough. not for a top 5 pick. this year, 85 is good enough for 19th in terms of passer rating. hasselbeck's ranking so far in 2007 is 15th. he is what he is. certainly better than what we have, as i'm not here to belittle hasselbeck, but no way, shape or form worth a top 5 pick.

you don't spend a top 5 pick on average. now, if hasselbeck is still what you see in brohm, then how can brohm be a top 5 pick?

hmmm...passer rating. i guess that makes david garrard the 2nd best qb in the nfl this year. kurt warner the 8th...

i'd rather have them over carson palmer (11th). <sarcasm off>

fact of the matter is that for the past 5 season, hasselbeck has been consistent and dependable. spectacular no, but most definitely very good - better than above average.

i'll ask you this, name me 10 qb's playing better than hasselbeck? i say that hasselbeck is in the top 25% of starters in the nfl when you look at his aggregate performance in addition to how he's performing today.

if brohm turns out to be that...absolutely i'm thinking that's a great pick.

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seriously, matt hasselbeck is not a top 5 pick....

if you were doing a draft of all the players, or just all the qb's in the draft, hasselbeck is not in the top 5, maybe not the top 10.

manning, brady, mcnabb, palmer, rothlesberger, bulger, romo, maybe farve, brees, eli manning? vince young?

i can't fathom having "matt hasselbeck" as the qb that rebuilds this team. the falcons are essentially rebuilding and matt hasselbeck in his prime isn't worth a top 5 pick.

if your project brohm to being matt hasselbeck, that's a heckuva way to waste a pick.

additionally, why waste 2 fourth rounders when you haven't addressed the depth issues across the defensive and offensive lines.

zbikowski is sorry as well....he hasn't made a play in 2 years! lol

agree with the hasslebeck assesment 100%. the top 5 picks are reserved for the mannings, palmers, mcnabbs & vicks of the world. end of discussion.

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it's the classic 1st round pick dilemma...

brohm is the safer pick with less upside. woodson is probably the guy with the highest ceiling, but he's not as safe (for petrino).

manning was the safer pick with little upside as well. meanwhile ryan leaf had a huge ceiling and many said he should have been the #1 pick.

i am a fan of experience and consistancy at qb. not that woodson hasnt had that, but i think brohms biggest issue is he has become a stale comodity in the ncaa. just like brady quinn last season. i am still willing to bet alot that quinn is a much better pro than russell when it is said and done.

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agree with the hasslebeck assesment 100%. the top 5 picks are reserved for the mannings, palmers, mcnabbs & vicks of the world. end of discussion.

those are 3 #1 picks, 1 #2 pick...i think hasselbeck gets dinged because he was a low round pick. even brady put up with the stigma of being a low round pick even after he won multiple super bowls.

if you were to tell me that with my top 5 pick that i would get a qb who would consistently put up:

3600-3700 yards

60% completion rate

25 td's

..make the pro bowl half the time while consistently leading my team to the playoffs...i am all over that.

palmer is great, but he's got cj and tj.

manning (peyton) is otherworldly

vick rolleyes.gif "million dollar arm, five cent head" - crash davis

mcnabb when he is healthy, also great

at the end of the day, you want a guy who is going to help you win football games and be a good/great team. i don't care if he re-writes record books.

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it's the classic 1st round pick dilemma...

brohm is the safer pick with less upside. woodson is probably the guy with the highest ceiling, but he's not as safe (for petrino). that's why a lot of us like dixon. he's got a huge upside, and sure, he's risky, but a 2nd round pick is a lot less to gamble than a top-5 pick.

so very true. i take the chance on dixon without #2 2nd round pick before i drop a top 5 pick on any of these other qb's.

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hmmm...passer rating. i guess that makes david garrard the 2nd best qb in the nfl this year. kurt warner the 8th...

i'd rather have them over carson palmer (11th). <sarcasm off>

fact of the matter is that for the past 5 season, hasselbeck has been consistent and dependable. spectacular no, but most definitely very good - better than above average.

i'll ask you this, name me 10 qb's playing better than hasselbeck? i say that hasselbeck is in the top 25% of starters in the nfl when you look at his aggregate performance in addition to how he's performing today.

if brohm turns out to be that...absolutely i'm thinking that's a great pick.

10 qbs playing better than hasselbeck:

brady

manning

anderson

garrard (pre-injury)

romo

roethlisberger

favre

kitna

palmer

garcia/mcnabb

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those are 3 #1 picks, 1 #2 pick...i think hasselbeck gets dinged because he was a low round pick. even brady put up with the stigma of being a low round pick even after he won multiple super bowls.

if you were to tell me that with my top 5 pick that i would get a qb who would consistently put up:

3600-3700 yards

60% completion rate

25 td's

..make the pro bowl half the time while consistently leading my team to the playoffs...i am all over that.

palmer is great, but he's got cj and tj.

manning (peyton) is otherworldly

vick rolleyes.gif "million dollar arm, five cent head" - crash davis

mcnabb when he is healthy, also great

at the end of the day, you want a guy who is going to help you win football games and be a good/great team. i don't care if he re-writes record books.

yeah that's cute and everything buddy, but there's one problem. we do not have shaun alexander, walter jones, etc. to make this guy such the great player you think hasslebeck is. vick did more with mothing around him than anyone in the league could have. hate all you want, but our 1-6 record is proof enough that vick carried this sorry franchise on his back for years offensively.

enough with the vick reality though. you want a great player with your top 5 pick, not a game manager who benefits from one of the best offensive minds and lines in football...not to mention a top flight rb.

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alright! this is the best mock scenario ive encountered besides my own. the 4th-last picks i'm not so sure of but everything else was on point even the drayton florence pick-up. i wonder could he translate into the franchise's #1 corner? or would if be a competition between him and houston? loved the matt hasselbeck reference! he's definitely the most overlooked and underappreciated qb in the league and if brohm can bring that kind of accuracy and consistency i'm all for it...oh and what about alan faneca?

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it's the classic 1st round pick dilemma...

brohm is the safer pick with less upside. woodson is probably the guy with the highest ceiling, but he's not as safe (for petrino). that's why a lot of us like dixon. he's got a huge upside, and sure, he's risky, but a 2nd round pick is a lot less to gamble than a top-5 pick.

people love dixon now, but he had a 12:14 td-int ratio just last year...in the pac-10!!!!

he's certainly emerged this year, but even coming into this year, it was thought he had to win the starting qb gig. and you're advocating using a 2nd rounder on the guy?

i want stability at the qb position. i don't want risk. while you can't eliminate the latter, you can minimize it. drafting dixon (even in round 2) is extremely risky because imo the 2nd round is as important if not more important than round 1. it gets you close to round 1 talent at bargain prices.

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people love dixon now, but he had a 12:14 td-int ratio just last year...in the pac-10!!!!

he's certainly emerged this year, but even coming into this year, it was thought he had to win the starting qb gig. and you're advocating using a 2nd rounder on the guy?

i want stability at the qb position. i don't want risk. while you can't eliminate the latter, you can minimize it. drafting dixon (even in round 2) is extremely risky because imo the 2nd round is as important if not more important than round 1. it gets you close to round 1 talent at bargain prices.

very true, dixon was horrible at times before this year, and he would be a big risk in the first two rounds, where someone will likely take a risk on him.

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the thing is we arent drafting matt hasselbeck. he simply used him as reference to who he thought his style of play compared to. i have seen him compared to mannings style as well before, that doesnt mean i think we are getting peyton manning if we draft him.

give the guy a break. he put more into this early mock than most do. and i dont recall him being the type to just throw a new mock out every other day to try to please the masses.

as for dixon, the guy screams travaris jackson to me. i really dont know what dixon brings that is different than dj. a little more touch maybe, and a few inches of height.

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10 qbs playing better than hasselbeck:

brady

manning

anderson

garrard (pre-injury)

romo

roethlisberger

favre

kitna

palmer

garcia/mcnabb

on the strength of less than half a season, you are putting guys like garrard and anderson above hasslebeck? c'mon...i said aggregate. lots of qb's can put together impressive 7 game stretches.

people were looking to lynch big ben after his 2006...kitna!!!??? are you kidding?

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on the strength of less than half a season, you are putting guys like garrard and anderson above hasslebeck? c'mon...i said aggregate. lots of qb's can put together impressive 7 game stretches.

people were looking to lynch big ben after his 2006...kitna!!!??? are you kidding?

yes, i am. hasselbeck is the beneficiary of having good players around him (great o-line, and good rb).

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yes, i am. hasselbeck is the beneficiary of having good players around him (great o-line, and good rb).

hmmm...hasselbeck replaced kitna in seattle because kitna was not deemed good enough by mike holmgren. but kitna did have walter jones protecting the ol' blind side and ricky watters totin' the rock. but we'll rely on your evaluation instead of holmgren's.

as for garrard and anderson...? i don't know how to debate with someone who'll stand behind a 7 game stretch as enough evidence of being a better qb over someone with a sb appearance, 2 pro-bowls and the aggregate statistical performance listed above.

even garcia...the hawks have more points/game, passing ypg and an equally good record. you say the bucs don't have a running game? tampa runs for 14 more ypg and has a wr like joey galloway for garcia to throw to.

not that i came in here looking to stump for matt hasselbeck, but i can't believe he's regarded as lightly as he is if these are the types of retorts on the matter.

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