Hey guys! It’s 3 days til draft day and I know I’m not the only one that’s excited. Over the course of the last couple months there have been millions of mock drafts by experts, members of SB Nation, and just football fanatics everywhere on the internet. Everywhere I look there’s a new one being conceived and posted for us fans to look at and comment over. I for one have done three of these since the offseason started and this will be my last, and I know you guys are getting annoyed of reading them; however I always try to make mine different from the last to keep things fresh and to strike debates. Anyways, here we go!
Round 1: Jarvis Jones – OLB/UGA
I think Jones will be the dark horse for the #7 pick. With Mingo looked at as having the most upside, Jones had far more production in the same SEC conference, albeit at an OLB position in a 34 instead of a DE in a 43 like Mingo. With Arian’s and Keim stating that the first two picks have to come in and immediately impact the Cards organization, they can’t afford to miss and with the top 3 tackles likely off the board by the 7th pick, the cards elect to draft someone, who has been medically cleared by many doctors to play football, to help get pressure on the QB and ignite an already stellar defense.
Alternates: Chance Warmack – G, Barkevious Mingo – OLB
Round 2: Eric Reid – S/LSU
I had an internal struggle whether to draft a safety here, Reid, a guard like Long, or an inside linebacker next to D-Wash in Kevin Minter. I chose to go with Reid due to the fact that he could come in and start immediately for the Cards at safety next to Rashad Johnson. With Rhodes being gone and Bell and numerous other fillers have been added none of them match the skill set of Reid. He’s a big, athletic safety who needs some seasoning and could add some weight but with Lott that could easily be achieved. He is sometimes out of position but I think he’s great value in the second.
Alternates: Kyle Long – G, Terron Armstead – OT
Round 3: Johnathan Franklin – OB/UCLA
With running backs being valued less and less in a pass happy NFL, the Cards get a top two RB talent in the third round. Eddie Lacy will be picked in the mid second round by either Packers or the Bengals, or some wild card team that needs a running game almost as bad as the Cards. Franklin is a jack of all trades back who can run effectively through the tackles as well as outside. He is also a solid receiving threat from out of the backfield as is possibly the best pass blocking RB in the draft.
Alternates: Jordan Reed – TE, Bacarri Rambo, S/UGA
Round 4: Barrett Jones – C/OG/Bama
Due to Jones’ injury he falls to the fourth round. The reason he falls here is because of his versatility and teams can’t decide whether to play him at center or a guard, both positions in which have better prospects ahead of Jones. Jones was the staple that held the Alabama line together with help of Fluker and Warmack. He has played all across the interior line most recently playing center in 2012. He was responsible for line calls and is very athletic and understands the game very well. He also has a fire in which you like to see lineman play with. (for reference see his altercation with QB AJ McCarron due to him changing the protection calls)
Alternates: Dallas Thomas – OT/G
Round 5: Nick Kasa – TE/Colorado
Kasa is a potential diamond in the rough. He has great height (6’6’’) and is very fluid in his pass catching abilities and is also a very good, physical run blocker and can seal the edge next to the tackles. With Kasa next to Housler, both very, very good TE prospects, the Cards could be set on offense for a very, very long time.
On a side note, I almost mocked Tavarres King (WR/UGA) here due to the fact that BA wants a very fast, straight line receiver. He is compared to Emmanuel Sanders of the Steelers who plays pretty much the same role in Haley’s offense. Could be a pretty good value pick for the Cards as well.
Alternates: Tarvarres King – WR
Round 6: Conner Vernon – WR/Duke
This is a luxury pick, as most picks are in the later rounds, but the Cards shore up the worst part of the team last year with this pick. The receivers were never the problem last year outside of a couple of cases of the “dropsies.” Vernon is not going to beat you deep, and he’s not going to create offensive mismatches. At 6’ even and 196 lbs. Vernon is a Danny Amendola/Wes Welker type of receiver. He’s sneaky quick, runs solid, fluid routes and catches the ball extremely well over the middle. Running a four-wide set of Fitz, Floyd, Roberts, and Vernon with Kasa/Housler as the TE would be a nightmare for opposing defenses.
Round 7: John Lotuleilei – OLB/UNLV
Quite possibly related to Star Lotuleilei, who could possibly be a top 5 pick, adds to the linebacking corps of the Cards; Lotuleilei led his UNLV team with 120 tackles and ranked 39th in the nation with 9.2 tackles per game.
Keelan Johnson – SS/ASU
Ray Ray Armstrong – SS/Miami
Luke Marquardt – OT/Azusa Pacific
Brad Wing – P/LSU
Philip Lutzenkirchen – TE/Auburn
D.J. Harper – RB/Boise State