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Kayoh's first mock draft of 2016. Not final by any means, but I've been wanting to get one of these out there.


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First 16 players off the board: Tunsil, Wentz, Ramsey, Bosa, Jack, Stanley, Goff, Elliott, VH3, Treadwell, Lawson, Robinson, Alexander, Buckner, Lynch and Conklin.

17th overall, Atlanta selects Darron Lee, Will LB, Ohio State.
Explanation: I know a lot of you guys would be angry if this happened, but hear me out. Darron Lee is a special athlete. No, he's not exceptional against the run, and yes, he still has some work to do in pass coverage. Here's my thing. If you watch Darron Lee play, there are two things that he's really, really good at. First is sniffing out and breaking up screens. If Paul Worrilow was capable of this, we probably would've gone 9-7, possibly even 10-6 last year. Worrilow is one of the worst screen defenders I've ever seen, whether it's getting blocked out of the play, whiffing on tackles, or just plain not knowing that a screen is about to happen, he's garbage. Lee solves that. The second thing Darron Lee does exceptionally well RIGHT NOW, that he can contribute in 2016 to the team as a rookie, is pass rushing. He's so good at knifing through blockers and his speed is a major asset as a pass rusher. Even if he isn't necessarily coming off the edge, he's just too quick for offensive linemen to block, and his speed translates to power in a way that makes it incredibly difficult for backs to block him as well. If we play him at Will he'll be very well protected by our scheme, as the Will LB doesn't have a gap responsibility and can play more of a freelance style, a lot like our SS. What's also great is that he's such a phenomenal pass rusher, we could probably line him up on the line of scrimmage, way out wide, like a wide 9 technique, something like that, and just have him rush the passer in obvious passing situations. 3rd and 8+, this is a guy I want attacking the QB from his blind side. Imagine this guy on one side, Beasley on the other, and then Derrick Shelby and Grady Jarrett lined up at either 3 tech spot, pushing the pocket? That idea excites me. So basically, Darron Lee's job on our defense will be sniffing out screens, covering an underneath zone, occasionally blitzing, and rushing from a wide edge position in obvious passing situations. His biggest negative is that he misses too many tackles, and the great thing there is that our coaching staff will teach him a more consistent style of tackling: rugby style. This staff came from Seattle where rugby style tackling is taught from day one. Maybe the reason guys like Worrilow, Durant, Moore, etc, still couldn't tackle despite being coached by this new staff, is because old habits are hard to break. Darron Lee will be getting coached to tackle rugby style from day one. I think it's a great pick, and as much as I love Leonard Floyd, I love the speed and instincts Darron Lee provides as an off-ball linebacker just as much. Floyd would be a bigger contributor from day one, but I think Lee has the upside to be the better player from a career standpoint, and that's what we want.

This is what 4.4 speed looks like, unblocked:



50th overall, Atlanta selects Jeremy Cash, SS, Duke
Explanation: This is a really strange situation where Cash has some obvious flaws, but the flaws in question are basically negligible if he plays in a scheme like ours. He's a SS who spent almost all of his college career playing either in the box, as a linebacker, or just outside the box, as a slot CB. Cash in our scheme would be pure box safety, which is really where his bread is buttered. Cash's biggest weakness is man coverage, and he wouldn't really have to worry about that in our zone-heavy scheme. Plus, the biggest reason I'm pulling the trigger on Cash in the 2nd despite the fact that prior to this week I saw him as more of a 3rd round prospect, is his pass rushing ability. If you don't want to trust Cash in coverage, you can blitz him, and he'll disrupt. He's an excellent blitzer, easily the best blitzing safety in this class. So now we've added an effective blitzer at Will LB, and an effective blitzer at SS - it's always helpful when you can get pass rush productivity from positions past just the front four on the defensive line. Oh, and Cash is the best run defending safety in this draft as well. That helps quite a bit. He's an absolute missile out there.

81st overall, Atlanta selects Bronson Kaufusi, DE, BYU
Explanation:
 I think Kaufusi is incredibly underrated by draft media in general. He's what you'd get if Shawn Oakman was just a tiny bit smaller, but knew how to use his athleticism to the best of his ability, and was significantly bendier than he is now. Kaufusi at 6'6 and a half and 280+ pounds looks like a pure edge rusher out there. He's an excellent interior rusher, yeah, but what makes him special is when he gets on the edge, he actually looks like he belongs. His movement skills remind me a lot of Robert Quinn, RDE for the Rams. Kaufusi can play DE in our scheme, or if we want we can use him on the inside. Either way, he's got the technique, leverage, and knowledge of every position along the DL to play it effectively. Not to mention he's got the athletic ability and physical traits to play anywhere along the DL. This guy is potentially a direct upgrade to our pass rush.

111th overall, Atlanta selects Nick Vigil, Mike LB, Utah State
Explanation: Vigil is a guy I see as this year's Mike Hull. He's got everything you look for in an ideal Mike in the NFL except for elite straight line speed, but he makes up for that with his instincts. Vigil reads and diagnoses plays very quickly, and his change of direction ability is legitimately ELITE, which allows him to react to what he's diagnosing extremely quickly. When Dan Quinn talks about speed being not just pure foot speed, but playing speed, Vigil is a guy that fits that description perfectly. I was a huge fan of Mike Hull last year and even though I do think Hull was a better overall prospect last year than Vigil is this year, I was drafting Hull in 3rd rounds of mock drafts last year so I feel better about taking Vigil in the 4th in this mock. Vigil is a guy that could potentially start at Mike from day one, he's just that type of player. You could plug him in as the starting MLB on day one and it'd be an instant improvement over Worrilow, no doubt in my mind.

238th overall, Atlanta selects Alex McCalister, LEO, Florida
Explanation: Ever since @A-TowN.- posted his DE combine scores, the more I watch all the edge rushers in this class, the more I begin to realize just how freaking good McCalister is. The last time I've seen a guy that could bend like McCalister can bend, it was a 6'3" Von Miller, and McCalister is 6'6. He's insane. The dude is literally Gumby. I can't even describe it with my words, so I'll just leave you guys with a gfy to seal the deal once I finish with my explanation here. McCalister is too lean to be an every down player right now, but what he can do is come in for obvious passing situations - you know, the 3rd and 8+ situations I was talking about earlier with Darron Lee - and rush the passer. He might only play 200 snaps a season, but in those 200 snaps he's the type of player that'll put up 8+ sacks a season just rushing in obvious situations. Worst case scenario, he turns out to be a head case and big deal, we wasted a 7th round pick. McCalister's current projection, everywhere I look, is undrafted. I don't think it's worth passing him up. There was a similar scenario a couple years ago with Aaron Lynch and he's turned out to be an excellent player for San Francisco. McCalister is worth taking a shot on.

And with that, here's a 6'6 DE bending like Von Miller.

 

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I think it's worth noting that every single one of these players would contribute to our pass rush. Lee can cover and blitz, Cash can blitz, Kaufusi is a great pass rusher, Vigil is more coverage based but had a 3 sack game in 2015, and Alex McCalister is literally only good for pass rushing.

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I understand what you're saying but I just can't get on board with the Lee pick. You yourself admit that he's not great against the pass or the run - having to learn on the job in the NFL is a dangerous game. Maybe as a project third rounder (I know he would never make it to even our second pick) but I would be pretty unhappy if we took him at 17. 

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I recently posted a mock with Alex Mcallister in the 4th.  

His SPARQ numbers have generated a lot of attention and I am certain that GM's have taken note.  His background will be investigated and I believe that most teams will take a shot at him between the 3rd and 4th rounds.  

AMc is beginning to look like the dark horse of this draft.  I would take him in the 4th and develop him into the next Jason Taylor.  

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1 hour ago, AndySG said:

I understand what you're saying but I just can't get on board with the Lee pick. You yourself admit that he's not great against the pass or the run - having to learn on the job in the NFL is a dangerous game. Maybe as a project third rounder (I know he would never make it to even our second pick) but I would be pretty unhappy if we took him at 17. 

Right.... # 1 pick needs to be more NFL ready and besides I would like to see a DT within the first 3 rounds.

Edited by caver50
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This is great in that it addresses the most pressing needs

But I'm still concerned about DT  ie getting a good push up the middle.

Hageman Jarrett  Mbu are going to have to step up big time if there is no help brought in at DT  ----- Babs is Babs  (i've been a big fan for years but--)

 

Guinn said something about moving Shelby inside on obvious passing downs  --don't know how that will pan out

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I am on board with Darron Lee pick if Shaq Lawson is off the board.  I like Kayoh's approach in describing what these players can do or what they do well and then how Quinn would feature this player in his scheme.  We all expect our first rounder to be perfect but none of those prospects are that.  Billings has not shown pass rush ability, Ranking is undersized and has been compared to Grady Jarret.  Leonardo Floyd is very stringy and thin and will have a difficult time at POA - this is all about fit into Seattle style defense and Quinnipiac exploiting the talent said player possesses.

I am not as big a fan of the rest of Kayoh's draft but kudos to him for explaining without resorting to regression analysis and pie charts.

Re: Jerry Cash, why him over Keanu Neal, Sua (gone?), etc?  I understand what you say he does well but 60% of NFL plays are pass plays - if your strong safety  is poor in coverage that is gonna be a problem.  Also, one of your main tenets is "he's a good blitzer" - so my question to you there is "Where in Falcon's scheme last year or Seattle's defense the last five years has it been shown that the strong safety blitzes a fair among of the time?"  I thought one of the principles of the Seattle style defense was getting pressure with four pass rushers and playing solid coverage.  Are you substituting your defensive desires over the Falcon's system?  I see Keanu Neal or Sua Cravens as a better fit as both can play in the box and coverage.

Also, I see you totally ignored the offensive side of the ball.  I don't believe this is wise.  Offensive guard is a screaming need and our starters now are Levitre, who could be cut next year as he seems to be a stop-gap this year and is dramatically  overpaid. Person? We already know he cannot play center and he was never a starter at guard either.  The back-ups on depth chart are scary.  I see drafting a guard to develop to serve likely as principal backup in 2016 with an eye on 2017 to hopefully become a starter.  Of course this becomes a boring pick when you say "non-starter" but most offensive linemen serve an apprenticeship before starting.  Also, Falcon's have been horrendous in the past at finding offensive linemen but hopefully with our 5 GMs on staff, at least 1-2 of them are proficient in picking O-Line.

Tight End? Right now we have Tamme and little else.  Tamme had a good year but he has been injury prone over career and he is on last year of his deal.  In Tyler Higbee, Nick Vannett and Jerrell Adams, there are some nice developmental Tight Ends that could be weapons - starter quality that could be contributors their rook year.

Good job though Kayoh - good read.

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1 hour ago, g-dawg said:

I am on board with Darron Lee pick if Shaq Lawson is off the board.  I like Kayoh's approach in describing what these players can do or what they do well and then how Quinn would feature this player in his scheme.  We all expect our first rounder to be perfect but none of those prospects are that.  Billings has not shown pass rush ability, Ranking is undersized and has been compared to Grady Jarret.  Leonardo Floyd is very stringy and thin and will have a difficult time at POA - this is all about fit into Seattle style defense and Quinnipiac exploiting the talent said player possesses.

I am not as big a fan of the rest of Kayoh's draft but kudos to him for explaining without resorting to regression analysis and pie charts.

Re: Jerry Cash, why him over Keanu Neal, Sua (gone?), etc?  I understand what you say he does well but 60% of NFL plays are pass plays - if your strong safety  is poor in coverage that is gonna be a problem.  Also, one of your main tenets is "he's a good blitzer" - so my question to you there is "Where in Falcon's scheme last year or Seattle's defense the last five years has it been shown that the strong safety blitzes a fair among of the time?"  I thought one of the principles of the Seattle style defense was getting pressure with four pass rushers and playing solid coverage.  Are you substituting your defensive desires over the Falcon's system?  I see Keanu Neal or Sua Cravens as a better fit as both can play in the box and coverage.

Also, I see you totally ignored the offensive side of the ball.  I don't believe this is wise.  Offensive guard is a screaming need and our starters now are Levitre, who could be cut next year as he seems to be a stop-gap this year and is dramatically  overpaid. Person? We already know he cannot play center and he was never a starter at guard either.  The back-ups on depth chart are scary.  I see drafting a guard to develop to serve likely as principal backup in 2016 with an eye on 2017 to hopefully become a starter.  Of course this becomes a boring pick when you say "non-starter" but most offensive linemen serve an apprenticeship before starting.  Also, Falcon's have been horrendous in the past at finding offensive linemen but hopefully with our 5 GMs on staff, at least 1-2 of them are proficient in picking O-Line.

Tight End? Right now we have Tamme and little else.  Tamme had a good year but he has been injury prone over career and he is on last year of his deal.  In Tyler Higbee, Nick Vannett and Jerrell Adams, there are some nice developmental Tight Ends that could be weapons - starter quality that could be contributors their rook year.

Good job though Kayoh - good read.

Man I just don't see us taking a DE. Would I live another young students DE? Sure, but honestly we don't need one. We have to many other needs. Shelby looks to be our LE of the future on 1st and 2nd downs then moves inside on 3rd downs. Then we have Clay and Victoria to play DE with Grady, Hag, Babs, Mbu, and Goodman to play DT.

I think we need a LB or 2 the most and one that can blitz. After that I agree we need a Google somewhere in the first 4 rounds. SS, TE are other needs.

Thing is we will add some more FAs afer the draft to round up the roster. 

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I like it a lot. I think Lawson is going to be long gone when we pick at #17 and Darron Lee will give us something we desperately need ~ somebody to diagnose and stop the screen pass defense fiasco we have with Worrilow. That he also might develop into a really dangerous pass rusher is just icing on the cake.

And speaking of pass rush, I like the way you've kept our miserable pass rush situation in mind with every pick of your mock. I think this would be a helluva draft for us. Good job, sir.

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1 hour ago, g-dawg said:

I am on board with Darron Lee pick if Shaq Lawson is off the board.  I like Kayoh's approach in describing what these players can do or what they do well and then how Quinn would feature this player in his scheme.  We all expect our first rounder to be perfect but none of those prospects are that.  Billings has not shown pass rush ability, Ranking is undersized and has been compared to Grady Jarret.  Leonardo Floyd is very stringy and thin and will have a difficult time at POA - this is all about fit into Seattle style defense and Quinnipiac exploiting the talent said player possesses.

I am not as big a fan of the rest of Kayoh's draft but kudos to him for explaining without resorting to regression analysis and pie charts.

Re: Jerry Cash, why him over Keanu Neal, Sua (gone?), etc?  I understand what you say he does well but 60% of NFL plays are pass plays - if your strong safety  is poor in coverage that is gonna be a problem.  Also, one of your main tenets is "he's a good blitzer" - so my question to you there is "Where in Falcon's scheme last year or Seattle's defense the last five years has it been shown that the strong safety blitzes a fair among of the time?"  I thought one of the principles of the Seattle style defense was getting pressure with four pass rushers and playing solid coverage.  Are you substituting your defensive desires over the Falcon's system?  I see Keanu Neal or Sua Cravens as a better fit as both can play in the box and coverage.

Also, I see you totally ignored the offensive side of the ball.  I don't believe this is wise.  Offensive guard is a screaming need and our starters now are Levitre, who could be cut next year as he seems to be a stop-gap this year and is dramatically  overpaid. Person? We already know he cannot play center and he was never a starter at guard either.  The back-ups on depth chart are scary.  I see drafting a guard to develop to serve likely as principal backup in 2016 with an eye on 2017 to hopefully become a starter.  Of course this becomes a boring pick when you say "non-starter" but most offensive linemen serve an apprenticeship before starting.  Also, Falcon's have been horrendous in the past at finding offensive linemen but hopefully with our 5 GMs on staff, at least 1-2 of them are proficient in picking O-Line.

Tight End? Right now we have Tamme and little else.  Tamme had a good year but he has been injury prone over career and he is on last year of his deal.  In Tyler Higbee, Nick Vannett and Jerrell Adams, there are some nice developmental Tight Ends that could be weapons - starter quality that could be contributors their rook year.

Good job though Kayoh - good read.

You have made a lot very good points...

1. I get the Lee pick. In this hypothetical situation, I think it would be the best case scenario...I keep thinking this though: we now have Spoon, Worrilow, Reed, and Upshaw that could be starters along the LB corps...I'm not saying in anyway that means it is a "good" LB corps, but I do think it means the Falcons are not "pressed" into having to select a LB in the 1st round. I also think that teh addition of Shelby and bringing back Clayborn are good indicators that the Falcons WONT take a DE in the first round...I think with the players along the DL and at LB, I could easily see the Falcons moving back even just a little to acquire maybe only an extra 3rd or 4th rounder....let's be honest, the talent at 17 is not that much different than the talent at 25...

2. I like Cash a lot, but I do tend to agree that the "Chancellor" role has very minimal blitzing and Quinn didnt show much of that last year. I'm more of a Killebrew fan because I think he has more potential than any of the others. Cravens not working out and having "below average" athletic skills gives me the "heegebegees"....I know he is all over the place on tape making plays, etc...but that is in the college game. There is something to be said about competing and athleticism when you get to the "Big Boy" stage. I would prefer Killebrew or Neal (3rd round).

3. I would do my best to add more depth at DT in the 2nd round...this is a deep class. A guy like Kenny Clark could easily fall to 50...if that happened, I'm taking him over a SS prospect or a LB prospect.

4. I don't think we double dip at "OLB" type of players, but I could see us getting a WLB and a MLB. I don't see us going with another SLB type of player since we now have Upshaw and Reed.

5. I think the 4th round is where we address either OG or TE for a backup, groom for the future starting role...

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I'm taking cred for calling McCalister a violent version of gumby first :D

 

Besides that i like the Mock. I don't love Lee, but I wouldn't complain if we drafted him because I think Quinn could coach him up and we need some athleticism at LB. 

I'd be down with Cash although i'd prefer Cravens if he is there. I actually would be ok with like 10 of the SS in this class honestly. I really like the SS's this year. 

And i like McCalister a lot obviously. 

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