For this mock draft, I decided to apply a little heuristic strategy of mine that I readily utilize in fantasy football drafts. As you may have deduced from the title that would be to choose the more "talented" player when you are unsure of whom to pick. Accordingly, I will be omitting the first round from this mock draft because in all likelihood, anyone we take with our first pick will likely be a difference maker. Now as you will notice that I have already talked extensively about a few of the players on this list, and for some, it seems to the consensus among members of BGN that these are players that we should definitely draft (i.e. I don't think anyone disagrees with drafting Brandon Williams (NT) and Cooper Taylor (SS)). There are others that I have also seen talked about on here, and yet still some in which you might not have even heard of. I am formatting this as a mock draft because I want to emphasize what I consider to be reasonable draft positions of these players.
2. Brandon Williams (DT)- A BGN consensus draft pick, whom you all should know by now, Brandon Williams is currently the guy I would take with 35th pick in the draft. Although he is only regarded as the 8th ranked DT prospect, (and I know that NT's tend to stay on the board a bit longer than most defensive linemen) I highly doubt he we available when we pick in the 3rd round. I believe he is a must have player given his athleticism, consistent motor, and ENDURANCE, and hence worthy of the 35th overall pick.
3. Terron Armstead (OT)- ******Just edited******** Unofficial 40 at combine 4.65!!!!!!!!! I was greatly impressed with Terron Armstead's week at the senior bowl. Although he is a small school LT, he showed me that he can still come up and DOMINATE the big boys. He and Menelik Watson (a guy projected to go a little higher) are in competition to be the most athletic O-lineman in the draft. Beside the tape, I want you all to think for minute about our most successful current O-linemen. First take Jason Peters. Most of you remember him coming into the NFL as a TE. However, most of you might not know that at 6'5" 320 lbs he had a 33.5" vertical and ran a 4.9 40 yd dash. Now consider Jason Kelce. He had a 30.5" vertical and ran a 4.8 40 yd dash. For O-lineman, the 40 (mostly 10 yd split) and vertical are good indicators of lower body strength and explosiveness. It's not always the case that the most athletic O-lineman are the best, but if a more athletic one and a less athletic one are similar on tape, I will more definitely draft the former. Now a little more about him: Armstead is currently listed at having run 4.8 in the 40, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him pull off a 4.7, at 306 lbs mind you. He is the 10th OT prospect, and luckily for us, that means theres a good chance he could fall to the 67th pick (however, this is one of those cases in which I wouldn't bet on it).
4. Tyrann Mathieu (CB/FS/KR/fucking beast at everything)- I've watched a lot of football, and I don't think I've ever seen a player, given his athletic limitations, as good at the game as the honey badger. The new theme (given by our new coaches) for the Eagles seems to versatility. There are none more versatile than Mathieu. He can contribute at a variety of positions on offense, defense, and special teams. Mostly, I don't think I need to talk about him very much because everyone knows who he is, but if you are doubting this, youtube him. I know he's small, he has off-field issues, etc. But here's the thing. Size is a myth. We see this time and time again. Height is not the end all be all, it is simply an added bonus. All NFL coaches seem to agree on this, and it's time fans start realizing it as well. And for the "off-field issues", If the only problem a guy has--who basically didn't have a mother and whose father was in and out of prison (and eventually incarcerated for murder)--is a soft-drug addiction, then I say he's doing pretty fucking good. And yes, he is worth at least an early 4th round pick. I would not be surprised to see someone take a chance on him in even the second or third round. He is the second must have player on this list.
5. David Bass (DE)- 39.5 sacks and 56 tackles for loss in his career at Missouri Western State. How this guy is the 17th ranked DE prospect is completely beyond me. He played extremely well against high level competition at the Shrine game and Senior Bowl. Although he projects as a DE, he played mostly OLB in college and I've heard he is great in coverage (SAM anyone?). And for some specs: 6'4" 263, and 4.6 in the 40. Projected to go in the 5th or 6th round, I think he would be a steal early in the 5th. Again, unlike most people, I wouldn't be shocked if he is one of the top ten DE's taken in the draft.
6. Shamarko Thomas (SS)- A guy whose only real criticism is less than ideal size (which if you read my thing about Tyrann Mathieu, then you know what I think about this), in 2012 Thomas led Syracuse in tackles, interceptions, and forced fumbles. 88, 3, and 2 respectively. He is another versatile player who has seen time at both safety and linebacker. Thomas is listed at 5'9" 217 lbs, yet manages to run the 40 in 4.26 (Leon Sandcastle anyone?). And if you watch him on tape, you'll see that this speed entirely translates to the football field. He shows great instincts, and doesn't make a whole lot of mistakes. Hopefully he continues to fly under the radar (projected to go in the 6th or 7th round), and we can snag this guy with our late 6th round pick. He might be one of those guys we should trade up a few spots for.
7. Cooper Taylor (FS/SS)- If you've been on here for a while, then you've definitely seen his name come up once or twice. I like to think that I introduced him to you all with my first post:
Regardless, we all know him now, and we all think the eagles should draft him. I really think he might just hang around till the 7th round because the only film on him is the from the Shrine game. Additionally, he was denied an invite to the combine, and we all know his history of Wolff-Parkinson-White isn't going to help him either. Regardless, I have faith that he will be a reliable starter in the NFL. He's giant, fast, a great tackler, great in coverage, etc. You all know, I don't need to go over it again.
7. Denard Robinson (QB/WR/RB/KR/nobody knows but I'm sure Chip Kelly can make great use of him)- Coming off his whole nerve injury in his hand, Robinson has seen his draft stock plummet. He's adjusting very well to his "new" positions at WR and KR, yet no one can doubt his athleticism. Kid is gamer. I've heard some mention that he might fit well in the TAZR position, that was invented by Chip Kelly for Oregon. Regardless, he is another extremely versatile, extremely athletic football player, and with the potential upside he brings, I don't think anyone will argue against taking him with our last pick in the draft.