It is time for another mock draft. With compensatory picks known, we now can run a full draft simulation. Using FanSpeak's On the Clock Premium, I ran a seven-round simulation. I used CBS Sports' big board and was very pleased with the draft overall. Here are the results.
Round 1: trade back
When the 24th pick came up, I didn't love any of the players available and the player I liked was a bit down the line on the big board, so I traded with the Patriots, moving back to the 32nd pick and landing an extra third rounder, also the 32nd pick in the round.
Round 1, pick 32: DE Preston Smith
As you can see who was available, I still could have gotten Melvin Gordon. I chose Smith because of how he fits with the Cardinals in terms of size, athleticism and character. I also believed I could get a running back later. Kevin Johnson was also a possibility, but I also believed I could get a long, fast CB later.
Round 2, pick 23: CB Jalen Collins
Here is who was available.
Jay Ajayi was so tempting. But in the SB Nation mock draft, I considered Jalen Collins as my pick in the first round. To land him now is fantastic. he is long, fast and comes from LSU. He was a captain and he has a super high ceiling.
Round 3, pick 22: RB David Johnson
He was at the top of the list of available players. Bruce Arians wants a big running back who is also fast. Johnson is both.
Round 3, pick 32: WR Phillip Dorsett
Dorsett is a guy Seth Cox spoke of on our recent draft podcast. He has top end speed, he is a smaller player and he is a very good route runner. I also considered Marcus Hardison.
Round 4, pick 24: OT Rob Havenstein
I would have liked some more defensive players available. Here I decided to look at the offensive line. Some people like B.J. Finney, but see him like Lyle Sendlein. However, with three guys already on the roster who can play center, I decided to go with a guy who could replace Bobby Massie. Havenstein is a mauler and is big. He also can play guard. I really thought hard about Cedric Ogbuehi, but his ACL injury turned me away.
Round 5, pick 23: CB Justin Cox
We now start running into names I am not as familiar with and also guys who will not likely be an impact except on special teams. However, even with the addition of Jalen Collins, Cox was too athletic to ignore. At 6-1, he has length and with a 4.36 40-yard dash, he has top end speed. Arians wants long, fast corners. I see a guy who can be perhaps like Justin Bethel, especially since Bethel will be a free agent after 2015. I also almost went with speedy Bryan Hager.
Round 6, pick 22: TE Nick Boyle
He has the size, athleticism and intangibles to be a prototypical tight end and is a solid blocker. He was a team captain. Even though it isn't a big need, he was a better fit than other guys.
Spaight's size wasn't right. Hackett didn't seem quite right either, so I went with a guy who could be a solid, reliable player at the tight end position. Think Jim Dray, only bigger and more athletic, but the same sort of skill set.
Round 7, pick 24: WR Mario Alford
He is fast! He could be the impact guy in the return game. He is little, though. But Arians likes little, fast guys, so why not at the end of the draft?
Round 7, pick 39: LB Junior Sylvestre
Listed at OLB, he has the build of an ILB in the Cardinals defense. He is 6-0, 233 pounds, lifted 225 pounds 26 times and has a 4.53 40 time. That is the sort of player you take a flyer on, as he will be able to at least play on special teams and add speed to the field.
I didn't really get to address the ILB position, but the players available when I picked didn't really lend it self to a pick. I also had wanted to perhaps land a nose tackle, but that didn't work either. I land a big back, a pass rusher, two long and fast corners, two speedy receivers, a tackle/guard, a tight end and a linebacker. I never even considered a quarterback.
What do you think of this mock draft?