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Building The Defense Mock Draft


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For this mock I am assuming that both Vic Beasley and Dante Fowler have already been selected. Outside of these two, there really isn't anyone that I rate highly or deem worthy of selecting at 8. The rest of the pass rushers in my eyes are interchangeable and can be had later in the draft. Let's not fool ourselves, we have more holes than just a pass rusher and by trading down, we can fill more of those holes with quality players.

*** TRADE: #8 overall to Cleveland for #19 and #43 ***

Cleveland does this as they need some serious help at WR and could potentially select Kevin White or Amari Cooper here. Obviously if Beasley is at our pick at 8, then I am picking him.

Now onto the mock draft.

  • Round 1 (via Cleveland) - Eli Harold DE

Harold is still a very young player and has shown some flashes in ability to become one of the league's better pass rushers in the future. Quite frankly, I do not like Shane Ray at all or Bud Dupree and hope that we stay away from both of them. I would be fine with Randy Gregory in a trade down scenario, but he likely will not fall to this pick (19th). Harold is extremely athletic and shows a good burst off the snap. Has the knack that all great pass rushers have of being able to time the snap and having the speed to beat a tackle before they can set up. Also, the dip he has when rushing is impressive and is one of the best in the draft. He has a lot of drive to get better and that is evident on his film by not giving up on plays and playing to the whistle. Not by any means a run stuffer, but he can set the edge and will chase down running backs from behind.

  • Round 2 - Shaq Thompson OLB/S

Thompson is without a doubt one of my favorite players in the draft. I am a big advocate of drafting playmakers, and this guy is a playmaker. His athletic ability is off the charts as he can play multiple positions and even on both sides of the ball. He has the speed and aggressiveness that Quinn wants in a defender. Has good instincts and speed to meet the ball carrier in a hurry. Also, he is good in coverage, something we have been missing in LBs for a while now. The athletic tools are there for him to succeed, its all about learning the game more and developing the tools he has.

  • Round 2 (via Cleveland) - Stephone Anthony ILB

Anthony is another LB that fits the mold that Quinn wants in that he is able to play fast and physical. He has the ideal size and speed to fit the defensive scheme. Anthony is an aggressive LB that will meet the ball carrier in the backfield and that stems from his superb instincts and athletic ability. He plays the run very well, which will be a welcomed sign with the lack of success we have had in defending the run the past couple of seasons. He can hold his own in pass coverage and can make plays on the ball. Pairing him with Thompson at LB would be an ideal scenario in my mind and would give us a lot more speed and attitude on defense.

  • Round 3 - Josh Shaw CB/FS

Josh Shaw is another one of my favorite prospects in this draft and in my opinion he has 1st round talent and ability and would be an absolute steal this late in the draft. Another guy that fits the Quinn mold. Shaw has the ability to play either CB or FS on the next level. He closes on the ball quickly and is a good hitter that won't miss many tackles. He rarely gets beat in coverage and has a high football IQ. No doubt in my min he would bolster our secondary and offer a consistent player that will be able to make big plays for us.

  • Round 4 - Josue Matias OG

I know what you are saying, took long enough for me to select an offensive player. Matias fits the ZBS very well as he has the footwork and ability to properly move in the scheme. Good athletic ability and reaction as well as flexibility make him an ideal pick for us. Also, has good size to handle bigger defenders. He was never hurt in college which is a big plus with the recent injuries we have had on the O-Line.

  • Round 5 - Ty Montgomery WR

Montgomery has shown in the past that he has the ability to be a quality WR. He had a rough season last year. Has a high football IQ. He has a lot of athletic ability to create separation and snag balls when contested. He needs to work on his route running though and being with our team, I think we can get him to improve that aspect of his game and become a solid option for our offense.

  • Round 6 - Wes Saxton TE

Extremely raw TE, but has good athletic ability and tools that gives him tons of potential. He could potentially offer us the seam stretcher we have been missing at the TE position. Good speed and should be able to offer us more than what we have currently on the roster in the future and long term.

  • Round 7 - Antwan Goodley WR

I really like this guy and think he could be a highly productive player for us if we draft him here. He has the speed to create separation down field and is an absolute nightmare for defenders to catch and tackle in the open field. He would finally give us another player that has the ability to take it the distance any time he touches it besides Julio at WR (hard to count Hester in this category).

  • Round 7 - Justin Coleman CB

We need some competition at the nickel CB and Coleman will give us that. He has fluid hips and is a solid tackler who will deliver some big hits on WRs. He closes quickly and balls and is aggressive in doing so. He does have sort of a Trufant disease in that his hands are not that great.

Thanks for reading and post what you think about my draft!

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Exactly what I was thinking.

This draft would give a huge wave of young defensive talent but we need a RB somewhere in there.

Does anyone know much about Justin Coleman?

Brandon boykinish without the "athletic" versatility.

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I would not be happy with this draft.

Nobody is sure what position Thompson will be able to play in NFL. If it's LB, he will have to put on alot of weight, which always raises concern on how the player adapts to that and if they lose quickness.Reminds me of Taylor Mays.

Harold has some of same issues as to needing to put on muscle as he got pushed around by OL in college.

Both players look like projects, I think (hope) Quinn wants some guys who can make more of an immediate impact. .

Edited by Vandy
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Thanks for all the feedback. I remember telling myself to get a RB in the 7th round and I just forgot too lol.

Really think that this is a realistic mock. The only pick that I could see not happening potentially is the Shaq Thompson pick. If he wasn't there, could pick an O Linemen, WR, TE, or RB (most likely RB or WR).

Regarding Justin Coleman, he has good instincts and awareness and good football IQ to succeed in coverage. He does a nice job breaking on balls and is a really sound tackler. Where he can struggle a bit is defending the quicker WRs. All in all though, I think he would be a good addition and could start as the nickel CB and at the very least he will be a good special teams player.

Good to finally hear some others that like Josh Shaw. I see a lot of people mocking us to pick Eskridge and Byron Jones, who are in my opinion not as good as Shaw. He will most likely be there in the 3rd as he has some character concerns since he lied about his injuries while at USC. Seems to be ready to play football again though and it shouldn't be a big deal.

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I would not be happy with this draft.

Nobody is sure what position Thompson will be able to play in NFL. If it's LB, he will have to put on alot of weight, which always raises concern on how the player adapts to that and if they lose quickness.Reminds me of Taylor Mays.

Harold has some of same issues as to needing to put on muscle as he got pushed around by OL in college.

Both players look like projects, I think (hope) Quinn wants some guys who can make more of an immediate impact. .

Harold weighs 247lbs and is only 20 years old. He will be okay at that size playing the LEO position.

He also has the frame to put on more weight, he will naturally get a little bit bigger.

As for Thompson, he is not the only draft prospect to ever come into the NFL with questions on what position he would play. He is currently 228lbs, he will not have to gain that much more weight to play WLB in a 4-3 defense. He can easily play around 230-235lbs in the NFL under Quinn. As a possible safety, he would be a big one.

Thompson is also only 20 years old.

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Harold weighs 247lbs and is only 20 years old. He will be okay at that size playing the LEO position.

He also has the frame to put on more weight, he will naturally get a little bit bigger.

As for Thompson, he is not the only draft prospect to ever come into the NFL with questions on what position he would play. He is currently 228lbs, he will not have to gain that much more weight to play WLB in a 4-3 defense. He can easily play around 230-235lbs in the NFL under Quinn. As a possible safety, he would be a big one.

Thompson is also only 20 years old.

Harold is 6'3, so there's not that much room on his frame, and I don't believe he played a 4-3 OLB role in college (I could be wrong, I'm too lazy today to look it up)

Thompson weighed 219 last season as a Safety.

I hear you on both guys and you make some valid points, I would be fine grabbing one, but not both, and I'm obviously not a fan of trading down, although it is one of the more interesting trading down scenarios I've seen.

Edited by Vandy
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Harold is 6'3, so there's not that much room on his frame, and I don't believe he played a 4-3 OLB role in college (I could be wrong, I'm too lazy today to look it up)

Thompson weighed 219 last season as a Safety.

I hear you on both guys and you make some valid points, I would be fine grabbing one, but not both, and I'm obviously not a fan of trading down, although it is one of the more interesting trading down scenarios I've seen.

The LEO position is not a 4-3 OLB position.

Harold will be playing a position that will mix in qualities of both a 4-3 DE and 3-4 OLB. He does not have to be traditional 4-3 DE size to play in Quinn's scheme, that is only when it comes to the LE position. Harold was used as a DE/OLB at Virginia, he is a hybrid player and would be a good fit as a LEO.

At 6'3, Harold will more than likely end up around in the mid 250's soon after going through an offseason of NFL strength and conditioning.

As for Thompson, he was a LB last season who also took snaps at RB, not a safety. He weighed 228 at the combine.

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The LEO position is not a 4-3 OLB position.

Harold will be playing a position that will mix in qualities of both a 4-3 DE and 3-4 OLB. He does not have to be traditional 4-3 DE size to play in Quinn's scheme, that is only when it comes to the LE position. Harold was used as a DE/OLB at Virginia, he is a hybrid player and would be a good fit as a LEO.

At 6'3, Harold will more than likely end up around in the mid 250's soon after going through an offseason of NFL strength an conditioning.

As for Thompson, he was a LB last season who also took snaps at RB, not a safety. He weighed 228 at the combine.

I agree Harold will be used as a hybrid player in NFL. He was a DE in college.

Thompson played just safety early in his career ,and played safety and LB, and yes, even some RB last year.

Both players are talented, but are also tweeners. Like I said, I would be okay with one, but not both.,

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I agree Harold will be used as a hybrid player in NFL. He was a DE in college.

Thompson played just safety early in his career ,and played safety and LB, and yes, even some RB last year.

Both players are talented, but are also tweeners. Like I said, I would be okay with one, but not both.,

Virginia's defense isn't a traditional 4-3. It is only a 4-3 in basic packages and on paper.

It is more of a multiple defense that also used Harold in roles similar to a 3-4 OLB at times despite being listed as a 4-3 DE.

Just like Quinn's defense is listed as just a 4-3, but it really isn't once you look at it's principles.

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I like Thompson, but signing him in the 2nd to sit behind Durant wouldn't give us the immediate help at other positions of need.

I don't know, Durant gets injured often and will be 30 at the begining of the season. He also only has 3mil guaranteed on his new contract.

Thompson could be the future at WLB sooner rather than later.

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