It is just passed mid-season and NFL Mock drafts are starting to come out as team needs start to become obvious. The Cardinals have already shown this season what their biggest problems seem to be, as Bezekira pointed out a little while ago here. So far the biggest problem has been protecting Warner, especially off the tackles. This seems to be the biggest area of need right now. Other areas of need, not in any order, tight end, outside linebacker, inside linebacker (if Karlos Dansby is gone), and defensive tackle. Looking at some of the major sites mock drafts they throw some surprises at you.
One mock draft that I follow every year is by Scouts.com. Their first mock draft has some interesting picks but has some nice guesses that look like they could happen. So lets take a gander at this and analyze the NFC West picks.
The St. Louis Rams get the number one overall pick and no real surprise here that they go with quarterback Sam Bradford. With Mark Bulger not really playing well the past few seasons and being injury prone it makes sense that the Rams go QB here. Bradford has shown that he is a pretty accurate quarterback with a decent arm and has the mobility to move around. The problem with going with Sam Bradford is that he has been injured a lot during his junior year, two same should injuries this year. Despite his injuries Bradford still has a lot of upside here and even though I would personally go with Jake Locker here, I think he is the best QB in the draft, you cannot go wrong with pick.
Grade: B+, they get one of their many needs taken care of here.
Picking 9th overall is the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks have had tons of injury problems on their offensive line and it has shown and that is why Scouts has them taking offensive tackle Trent Williams. Williams is not an elite blocker by any means but he has the ability to become a very good blocker in this league. He gets set quickly in pass blocking and can get blocks against the quicker defensive ends. Williams is much better in run blocking with his footwork but his problem has been the angles he takes to protect. Overall, not a bad pick with the best OT off the board, Russell Okung.
Grade: A, they take care of their biggest need, replacing the aging offensive tackle Walter Jones.
Picking 10th overall is the San Francisco 49ers. With their first pick they take quarterback Jake Locker. Earlier in the year this probably would not have been a surprise with Alex Smith looking like a bust and Shaun Hill just a fill in until they could get someone in the draft. Now this is not looking like a lock as Alex Smith has come out and played pretty good for them. If they could get him some protection he could become something for them. Locker plays for not that great of a program right now in Washington. He does not really have a whole lot of talent around him but yet he has still been able to play well. He has leaded his team to wins over the ranked USC and a very good, ranked, U of A team. He has mobility to move around if he gets in trouble and has a good strong arm. His accuracy is just at 57 % but that can be attributed to not having protection and not the greatest receivers. Put him on a good team like USC and your probably talking about a number 1 overall pick. For the Niners I would have gone with offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga.
Grade: B-, they get a quarterback filled with potential but not there biggest need.
San Francisco has a 2nd 1st round pick which they acquired from Carolina for a second round pick. This pick would be 13 overall and they would use it on defensive tackle Terrance Cody. This pick fills a void on a defensive line that has played pretty well this season. He won't wow you with athleticism but he has a ton of bulk to clog up the middle so that others can get to the QB or stop the run. Like the site says this pick is a reach, I have 5 DT's listed ahead of him but he brings what you want in a tight end, take up as many blockers as you can.
Grade: B, they get a need here with Cody.
The Arizona Cardinals are picking 21st overall. Kind of a surprise here as they take tight end Jermaine Gresham. Gresham has everything the Cards want in a tight end with his speed and bulk. Over the past 2 seasons for Oklahoma he has had 103 catches going for 1468 yards (14.3 yards per catch) and 25 touchdowns. He has the ability to stretch the field and add another weapon to Warner's arsenal. The one problem that he needs to really work on is his blocking. He misses too many assignments and sometimes just seems lost when trying to block. Other than his blocking he has the potential to become one of the better tight ends in the league. Even though Whiz loves him some good tight ends, this still comes as a surprise with other pressing needs. They have bigger needs at offensive tackle and outside linebacker. Now Gresham is more talented than some of the offensive tackles still on the board but I have Sergio Kindle rated higher and he is still on the board. My feeling is that the Cards go with Kindle in this situation. Even if we do not this is not a bad pick.
Grade: B, they get a player in Jermaine Gresham that can help in making this offense a much bigger threat in the passing game.
The Seahawks get a second 1st round pick in which they acquired from Denver for a 2nd round pick in last years draft. They are picking 29th with this pick and they choose Jahvid Best. This guy is a beast of a runner and should bring some instant credibility to a bad running game. He has the athleticism to just tear up a defense and that is exactly what Seattle wants here.
Even though he gets injured during that play, that is just amazing how high he jumped there.
Grade A, they get a very talented back which they needed.
Overall, all the teams get players that seem to have loads of potential and if done right all of them should bring something to their respective teams. How do you guys grade these teams? Do you like the pick the Cards went with? Or do you believe they should have gone with someone else?