The Official Rating Czar Mock Draft – Version 1.0
The Official Rating Czar Mock Draft – Version 1.0
We are only a few days away from free agency so what better time to give you guys the first Rating Czar Mock Draft of 2012! This includes the blockbuster Redskins/Rams trade for the number 2 overall pick. I will update the mock draft as the offseason continues. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@Donny_Moore - https://twitter.com/#!/Donny_Moore) for all Madden NFL 13 updates.
1) Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
I already have my Luck #12 jersey on backorder from www.nflshop.com(sorry Quan Cosby, Mr. Luck wants your number). Luck looking like the highest rated rookie to enter Madden since Reggie Bush in Madden NFL 07 (87 OVR); very few if any weaknesses to Luck’s Madden game.
2) Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
RG3 might one-up Andrew Luck in at least one sense this year: He will make the Washington Redskins the most popular team to play with in Madden 13. With 90+ Speed, 90+ Throw Power, and solid accuracies across the board (especially Deep Accuracy) Griffin III will be one of the most anticipated rookies to enter the league since Michael Vick. Big question left for me is how high does RG3 go in terms of SPD and THP: Can he eclipse Mike Vick’s 94 SPD and 97 THP? Stay tuned…
3) Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil, OT, USC
Kalil is the best offensive line prospect to come along since Jake Long went number 1 overall in the 2008 NFL Draft to the Miami Dolphins. He would get #1 overall consideration in any other year – but not with QB’s of the Future 1A (Luck) and 1B (Griffin) the top prizes this year. Special Madden NFL 13 Note: Former NFL Offensive Tackle and current Madden Designer Clint Oldenburg is on the Rating Czar’s team this year leading the charge with Offensive Linemen ratings. He is knee deep in film and scouting reports as we speak, drop him a line on Twitter @ClintOldenburg https://twitter.com/#!/clintoldenburg
4) Cleveland Browns - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
The Browns need a WR #1 badly – Mohamed Massaquoi and Greg Little are not good candidates. Blackmon is the clear number one receiver in this class. His 4.46 at the Oklahoma State Pro Day erased all concerns that remained about his speed. He is a WR in the mold of a Terrell Owens or Brandon Marshall. Look for Blackmon to be one of the top rated WR 2012 draft prospects in terms of Route Running, Catching, Release, Stiff Arm, and Strength.
5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
The Buccaneers have huge question marks with Ronde Barber considering retirement and Aqib Talib dealing with off the field issues that have the potential to keep him out of the lineup in 2012. Morris Claiborne is a better CB prospect than last year’s #5 overall pick from LSU, Patrick Peterson. He will have better Man Coverage and Awareness ratings than Peterson did in Madden 12; however he is not in the quite range of Peterson’s speed and athleticism.
6) St. Louis Rams - Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
The NFL Combine superstar will be the first defensive linemen off the board in large part due to his freakish athletic abilities. He’s 6’4, 346 lbs and able to run a sub 5.0 forty (4.86 unofficial) as well as 44 bench press reps. The big knock on Poe is his hot and cold motor. If I know one thing about NFL coaches, they will not let a suspect motor (lack of motivation) detract them from drafting a once-every-5-years type of DT prospect in the mold of a Albert Haynesworth. Poe is the prototype DT that fits one of the Rams biggest needs on the defensive front.
7) Jacksonville Jaguars - Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
The Jaguars have had one of the worst pass rushes in the NFL ranking 25th, 30th, and 32nd over the past 3 seasons. Their top pass rusher from 2011 (Jeremy Mincey) is very likely to leave via free agency this off-season. Time to make the conventional pick for once in Jacksonville. Coples is in the mold of prototype DE Julius Peppers (also a former Tar Heel) at 6’5, 280 lbs and a threat vs. the run and pass.
8) Carolina Panthers - Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
The Panthers need help on the defensive line and Fletcher Cox is a great fit in Carolina with his 4.79 speed and skills against the run. Cox had a great combine which solidified his value in the early half of the first round. He can also fit in as a 5 technique in a 3-4 defensive scheme.
9) Miami Dolphins - Riley Reiff, T, Iowa
I have the Dolphins addressing their need at quarterback in free agency with Matt Flynn. The connection with new Head Coach Joe Philbin (former Green Bay coordinator) just makes too much football sense. The Dolphins have LT locked down for the next half decade in Jake Long. RT is a big hole however, with Marc Colombo on his way out of town. Reiff steps in on Day 1 of camp and wins the RT starting job. With Long and Reiff at tackle and Mike Pouncey inside, the Dolphins O-Line all of the sudden becomes one of the team’s biggest strengths.
10) Buffalo Bills - Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
With the switch to a primary 4-3 defensive scheme, the Bills must start finding some players who can rush the passer (Shawne Merriman is done and Chris Kelsay has very little left in the tank). The Bills are set inside with Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams at DT. Ingram was a pass rush terror at South Carolina in 2011 with 10 sacks and 15 tackles for loss. In Madden 13, expect Ingram to have both the Bull Rush and Swim Move traits, as well as 85+ Power Move rating.
11) Kansas City Chiefs - Luke Kuechly, MLB, Boston College
I have seen lots of mocks with Trent Richardson pegged in here at 11 to Kansas City. I don’t see the value in taking a RB this high and I think GM Scott Pioli will see it the same way. I also think you will see the Chiefs as big players in the BenJarvus Green-Ellis sweepstakes when free agency opens up. Instead, look for KC to scoop up the best MLB prospect to come along since Brian Urlacher. Kuechly is the best tackling prospect I have seen in my 10+ years of NFL Draft scouting. Expect 95+ for his Madden 13 Tackle rating as well as 4.50 Speed and an outstanding Play Recognition rating.
12) Seattle Seahawks - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
For a minute there, it looked like Pete Carroll would make a big splash in free agency with Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn. Then it looked like they would make a play for the #2 overall pick to grab RG3. Instead here, I have the Seahawks standing pat at #12 overall and drafting their QB of the Future in Ryan Tannehill. What Tannehill lacks in experience, he has in spades in terms of athleticism and upside. The other part of this is that Seattle does not need Tannehill to start from Day 1 – therefore giving him time to grow into his role. I can’t wait to see what Tannehill runs at his Pro Day in late March (speculation says low 4.5). Special Madden NFL 13 note:To underscore Tannehill’s athleticism, look for him to have some pretty high WR ratings – he was a WR for his first two seasons at Texas A&M.
13) Arizona Cardinals - David DeCastro, G, Stanford
The Cardinals will make one of the safest picks in the 2012 NFL Draft with David DeCastro. Coach Russ Grimm gets his lineman to mold the entire Cardinals O-Line around. DeCastro will grade out even better than Mike Iupati did last year in Madden NFL 11 (84 OVR).
14) Dallas Cowboys - Mark Barron, S, Alabama
The Safety position is actually becoming quite the coveted position with the rise of Tight Ends over the last few seasons. The incoming 2012 Safety Class is one of the weakest positions in the draft. Add those two thoughts up, as well as Safety being a big need in Dallas and I think you have the answer here in Dallas for the #14 overall pick. Barron is a hard hitting DB (expect 90+ Hit Power in Madden 13) who excels vs. the run. However, it is ball hawking zone-coverage abilities which warrant his selection this high. Janoris Jenkins will also be considered at this spot.
15) Philadelphia Eagles - Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska
The Eagles biggest weakness on the team is at linebacker and drafting Lavonte David here makes them rock solid at WLB for the next 5+ years. David is a bit of a strong safety playing outside linebacker, but that is part of what makes his game such an interesting fit in Philly. He recorded over 280+ tackles the last two years at Nebraska, showing his A+ run stopping abilities. He is also a terrific defender in zone coverage and could cover most RB’s out of the backfield.
16) New York Jets - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
LaDainian Tomlinson’s career in NYC looks like it has come to an end and Shonn Greene has proved over the last 3 seasons that he brings no special qualities to the table as the team’s lead back. Enter Trent Richardson, the slam dunk best RB in this 2012 Draft Class. Richardson has the speed (low 4.4’s), the experience, good workload in college (remember, he split carries with Mark Ingram for early part of career at Alabama, so not a ton of miles on his tires), and he is ready to do it on an every down basis. Special Madden 13 note: Calling this right now, T-Rich will be highest rated rookie in M13 by a longshot. He will more than likely be the only 80+ rookie RB in the game.
17) Cincinnati Bengals - Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
With Leon Hall returning from a torn Achilles injury, the Bengals are in desperate need of a CB with one of their two first round draft picks. Jenkins is a better fit as a man corner with great cover skills in the Bengals man-heavy defensive scheme. They have traditionally looked past the off-the-field incidents which sometimes decrease a player’s stock come time for draft day. At 5’9, Jenkins does not have ideal size for CB…but his 90+ Man Coverage rating in Madden 13 will more than make up for it.
18) San Diego Chargers - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
This is one of those picks you do in a mock draft that make absolutely too much sense NOT to make. San Diego, please make this pick – it is the best pick for Michael Floyd and Philip Rivers 2012 fantasy numbers. Floyd fits the perfect big WR mold in San Diego – and he also has sub 4.45 speed to boot. Special Madden NFL 13 note: Floyd has been listed as tall as 6’5 in Notre Dame media guides and various scouting reports. At the combine, he officially was measured at 6’3 so that is what he will be rated when M13 is released.
19) Chicago Bears - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
The Bears are losing some depth at CB due to free agency, so what better way to fill a big need with a perfect fit for the Bears Cover 2 scheme in 6’3 zone-corner Dre Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick played against top shelf SEC competition for the National Champions so expect him to pick up the NFL game right away. Special Madden 13 Note: Look for Kirkpatrick to have the highest Zone Coverage rating amongst all rookie CB’s in M13.
20) Tennessee Titans - Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
The Titans help improve their pass rush by adding the top ranked pass rusher from the 2011 college football season. Mercilus led the nation in sacks with 16 but the worry is that he was a bit of a one year wonder. His 4.63 forty at the combine eliminated all doubts about his top of the line athleticism. I think Mercilus will lead the Titans in sacks in 2012. DE Nick Perry from USC will also be considered here.
21) Cincinnati Bengals - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
This is a bit of a luxury pick for the Bengals, as they already have one of the top young DT tandems in the NFL with Geno Atkins and Domata Peko. Adding Brockers (Redshirt Sophomore) gives the Bengals a player with a very high ceiling and at the same time, he won’t be needed to contribute immediately to warrant the high draft selection and can learn from the veterans for a year or two. Of all the first round draft picks this year in my mock, I consider Brockers to have the highest bust potential due to the fact that he only has 2 years of college experience and the fact that he tested a lot slower/less explosive than anticipated.
22) Cleveland Browns - Nick Perry. DE, USC
The Browns struck gold last year in Round 2 with LE Jabaal Sheard (who led the Browns in sacks in 2011 with 8.5) and they will look to compliment him with their 2nd first round pick of the 2012 NFL Draft in Nick Perry. Perry showed off some his immense talents at the NFL Combine – as evidenced by his unofficial 4.50 forty, 38.5 vertical jump, and 35 bench press reps. Perry is pretty much the polar opposite of Jabaal Sheard as a pass rusher (Sheard more of a power, Perry a speed rusher). Browns D-Line will now be a big time strength with Sheard and Perry, lining next to last year’s first round pick, DT Phil Taylor.
23) Detroit Lions - Jonathan Martin, T, Stanford
Detroit will be in “Grab Best Offensive Lineman Available Mode” when it comes time for the 23rd pick and Stanford’s Jon Martin is the best choice at this spot. He a great run blocker today and looks to be well on his way to being a good pass blocker with some NFL coaching. Martin will be able to be plugged right in at starting RT on Day 1 of mini-camp...and starting LT by 2013.
24) Pittsburgh Steelers - Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
I don’t think the Steelers will pass the chance up to find their next great pass rusher. Upshaw can fit in at OLB and MLB in the Steelers system. He is a better fit outside as a pure power rusher but that won’t force the Steelers into overdrafting fellow Crimson Tide linebacker Donta’ Hightower (a true MLB). Drafting Upshaw and allowing him to learn from some of the best in the NFL (James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley) will have him on the fast track for Pro Bowl selections in the near future.
25) Denver Broncos - Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
The Broncos have big needs at Defensive Tackle and this Jerel Worthy pick gives them someone who has top 10 talent at #25 overall price. DT is a position in the 2012 draft that is very deep. Look for some talented DT’s to slip towards the end of Round 1 and into Round 2. Devon Still from Penn State is also a possibility here. And if the Broncos sign Peyton Manning in free agency, all bets are off. They might be in offensive linemen stock piling mode at that point, we’ll have to wait and see what John Elway and the Broncos do here.
26) Houston Texans - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Wright’s 4.61 forty time at the combine spooked some teams, but not Houston. The slow forty time is being attributed to a slow start with his hand triggering the stop watches early…most scouts have Wright in the mid to low 4.4 range. The Texans and Andre Johnson are long overdue for a legit #2 threat at wideout (Kevin Walter is not someone who scares NFL defenses). Wright will step in Day 1 in the slot and work his way over to the X-WR position outside. Andre Johnson’s fantasy value has never been so happy for the season to start.
27) New England Patriots - Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
It is time for Tom Brady to get a new Randy Moss to play with. Combine star Stephen Hill just might be the man he is looking for. After blazing to a 4.30 (unofficial) combine time, 39.5 vertical, and 11’1 broad jump, it’s safe to say Mr. Hill is one of, if not THE most explosive receiver in this year’s WR class. I think Belichick and the Patriots front office know that the 49ers are in the market for a WR with the #30 overall pick, so they beat them to the punch here at number 27.
28) Green Bay Packers - Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
By the looks of it, current Packer Center Scott Wells is going to receive a nice free agency pay day in a few days. So that will leave a massive hole at center that Green Bay will be quick to fill. Peter Konz is the runaway favorite to be the first center off the board in 2012 and a big reason why is his ability to run block. At 6’3, 315lbs Konz is a big specimen for the Center position. That size along with his run block skills will make him an instant starter in Green Bay. Green Bay might also look at CB with this pick (Soucth Carolina’s Stephon Gilmore or UCF speed burner Josh Robinson).
29) Baltimore Ravens - Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia
Ben Grubbs might be leaving via free agency (although team just offered him an extension) and Matt Birk might retire, so the Ravens have some holes to fill along the offensive line. Glenn is a monster at 6’5, 345 and runs a very respectable 5.15 forty. He has great versatility because he can fit nicely at either Guard or Tackle. Bryant McKinnie is getting old and might be replaced this offseason, so look for Glenn to be plugged right in at RT if McKinnie leaves.
30) San Francisco 49ers - Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
The 49ers made a great move last year acquiring Carlos Rogers. He played so well in 2011, that he is more than likely earned himself a new free agent contract that the Niners aren’t willing to match. That means that the Niners defense is looking for a new starting CB. Gilmore has had an All-SEC type season this year and backed his draft stock up with a scorching 4.40 forty at the combine. 49ers run a zone heavy defensive scheme, so Gilmore is not the perfect fit exactly. But his value will be too good to pass up, especially since in this mock, WR Stephen Hill was snaked by the Patriots 3 picks earlier. Look for the Niners to look at WR in Round 2. Plus, I think 49ers will sign Randy Moss in free agency, so WR won’t be quite as big of a need (but still a need).
31) New England Patriots - Devon Still, DT, Penn State
After going offense with the first 1st round pick, they will beef up their defensive front with their second pick (assuming the Pats don’t trade out of the first round, which is probably about 87.5% likely, if you follow their recent draft history). Still can line up at DT and at DE in a 3-4 defensive scheme. Wilfork is getting up there in age so this pick makes sensethat helps New England get younger. OLB pass rush is also a distinct possibility here.
32) New York Giants - Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
Jake Ballard was just re-signed to a 1-year deal, but that will not factor in whatsoever with this Fleener pick at #32 overall. Fleener was Andrew Luck’s favorite redzone target at Stanford with 17 touchdowns over the last 2 seasons and he just might be Eli’s favorite new target before too long. The scouts think of Aaron Hernandez when they look at the Coby Fleener game film, and that is a good thing for Fleener. I know Manning would love this pick and it makes the Giants offense that much tougher to stop in the redzone.