Josh Norris

Mock Drafts

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Midseason Mock Draft

Thursday, November 01, 2012

17. Philadelphia Eagles - 3-4 (.596 SOS) -- CB Xavier Rhodes (Junior), FSU
Rhodes has difficulties tackling on the edge, but his scheme versatility to jam at the line of scrimmage or sit back in off coverage lets me overlook that flaw. Nnamdi Asomugha has apparently lost the ability to flip his hips and run with receivers downfield, so Rhodes’ speed will be a nice upgrade in that area.

18. Seattle Seahawks - 4-4 (.492 SOS) -- OT Jake Matthews (Junior), Texas A&M
If he lands with the right team, I could definitely see Matthews protecting the left side of an offensive line. However, the Seahawks biggest need on the front five is at right tackle. Along with suspect play, Breno Giacomini has far too many lapses after the whistle to trot him out in the starting lineup every week.

19. Arizona Cardinals - 4-4 (.541 SOS) -- OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
With the way their offensive line is playing, it does not matter if the Cardinals had Kurt Warner in the pocket, because he wouldn't have time to throw the ball. Insert Fisher, a prospect many of you may not know but offers the skills to be a starter on the left side. The Chippewa handled the Michigan State defensive line while the rest of the group allowed pressure after pressure. His evaluation will only improve in postseason work.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers - 4-3 (.423 SOS) -- DE Alex Okafor, Texas
This is another tough call, and the selection of Okafor could go two ways. On one hand, he could possibly be the heir apparent to Brett Keisel, who had a very strong season last year but how long will it last? (I have been informed that it isn't the Steelers' style to greatly add to their defensive players' frames) This is a move for the future, as Okafor offers excellent strength to push the pocket with arms extended or hold his ground with a strong anchor versus the run. If that is not possible, I could still see Okafor taking James Harrison's spot down the road as a rush linebacker on the edge. The latter is more likely.

21. Indianapolis Colts - 4-3 (.463 SOS) -- NT Jesse Williams, Alabama
The Colts new 3-4 scheme has lit a fire under Jerry Hughes, but they still lack a true nose tackle. Williams has moved to the nose this season with very positive results. The Colts drafted Josh Chapman to play that spot last April, and I considered him the best run defending interior lineman in the country. Williams and Chapman have obviously played together, but the former plays in a wider area, not a two yard range like Chapman. As we have seen in the past, Williams isn’t locked into the nose tackle spot, either.

22. Miami Dolphins - 4-3 (.472 SOS) -- WR Keenan Allen (Junior), Cal
There has been plenty of talk that Dwayne Bowe may sign with the Dolphins this offseason, but nothing is a sure thing. Allen could be that top option for Ryan Tannehill due to his explosiveness in and out of breaks and size to win at the catch point.

23. Denver Broncos - 4-3 (.600 SOS) -- LB Alec Ogletree (Junior), Georgia
The Broncos have a handful of solid pieces on the defensive side of the ball, but they are lacking at the inside linebacker position, a spot John Fox has filled with a top talent at each of his destinations. Ogletree offers great length and mobility in coverage, similar to Steelers starter Lawrence Timmons.

24. Minnesota Vikings - 5-3 (.450 SOS) -- DT Sheldon Richardson (rJunior), Missouri
This is another tough selection, but the Vikings have yet to find a consistent force next to Kevin Williams this season. Richardson has backed up his off-field comments all season, consistently disrupting the backfield with quick footwork or powerful momentum. In fact, I could see Richardson being a riser throughout the process, similar to Fletcher Cox last season.

25. New England Patriots - 5-3 (.475 SOS) -- DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State
I don’t think the Patriots need help offensively, and with Chandler Jones playing well some will question another pass rushing projection. In recent weeks, Alfonzo Dennard has shown enough to be considered a reliable starter, and the same can't be said for Jermaine Cunningham. Rob Ninkovich has done some nice things as well, but Werner offers a nice upgrade at the left defensive end spot.

26. Green Bay Packers - 5-3 (.542 SOS) -- RB Giovani Bernard (rSoph), UNC
This would be a great spot for a team with a need at quarterback to trade back into the first-round and get their guy. Outside of some poor play from rookie Jerel Worthy defensively, I don't see a real need, and the Packers aren't going to make a change there after just one season. Bernard is this year’s top option at running back, if he declares. I absolutely love his choppy footwork to make tacklers miss and third down ability.

27. Baltimore Ravens - 5-2 (.451 SOS) -- LB Arthur Brown, Kansas State
This is more of a need based selection, but Brown offers a physical nature with excellent closing speed that I don’t think the Ravens currently have at the position. Depending on how he measures, Brown may only be considered a WLB in a four man front, which would take him out of this slot, but just on his play alone Brown deserves consideration in the top 50 selections.

28. New York Giants - 6-2 (.407 SOS) -- DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
Another pass rusher? Yes, and this one could end up having a similar career path to JPP. Ansah is new to football but has been nearly dominant in his first year as a starter. Ansah’s closing burst and obvious absorption of technical coaching makes his future bright. Osi is on a one year contract while Justin Tuck’s play has been less than inspiring this year, so the Giants must invest in the position to keep it a strength.

29. San Francisco 49ers - 6-2 (.532 SOS) -- CB Dee Milliner (Junior), Alabama
This is another potential trade destination. I would have suggested an offensive lineman, but Alex Boone has been a revelation at right guard. Milliner offers physical play that the 49ers defense is known for, and although the unit appears to have young depth at the position (Brown, Culliver, Cox), Milliner would be a nice addition. It is tough to guess what the 49ers need, so the decision could come down to which future contract the team may be looking to part ways with.

30. Chicago Bears - 6-1 (.392 SOS) -- S Eric Reid (junior), LSU
Reid offers outstanding athletic talent, but has had a rocky season from a consistency perspective. Still, he has the skills to be an excellent option in the first-round, especially with a nice end to his junior season.

31. Houston Texans - 6-1 (.481 SOS) -- G Jonathan Cooper, UNC
Cooper is excellent on the move, either pulling or slanting across a defensive lineman’s face. His agile frame in pass protection is also coveted, however, he tends to get beaten most often when faced up with a defender one on one due to a lack of aggressiveness.

32. Atlanta Falcons - 7-0 (.360 SOS) -- TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
With Tony Gonzalez at the end of his career, the Falcons will be without an adequate option at the position soon. Enter Eifert, who has improved his run blocking but makes a living off of high pointing targets and out jumping defensive backs. The Falcons could take a step back if an entire facet of their offense is not replaced, and Eifert would still offer an option at the tight end position moving forward.


Why no Matt Barkley or Tyler Wilson?


Here's the issue, despite the cap-friendly contracts that are now assigned to rookies, I am not sure QB needy teams are in a position to draft them here. Possible suitors like Buffalo, Oakland, Arizona (just to name a few) are in a position right now that they can select a better player, regardless of position, and possibly trade back into the first-round for a signal caller of choice. Obviously mocking trades is pointless at this time, but later in the process this will be added. I may be alone, but I do not see the same quarterback talent at the top this season compared to last April. But, if a team has "their guy," expect a selection regardless of who is remaining on the board or a possible deal to get them back into the first-round.

Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .
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