(1. 20) Zach Brown OLB UNC -
The 1st edition of the 2012 MtD Live Draft has come and gone. I'd like to thank everyone who participated in the War Rooms. There was a good amount of dialogue, be it positive or negative. 600+ comments in two different threads! It's definitely a feature I might consider bringing back for future MtD Live Drafts. I was the commissioner for Round 1 as SHAS had to be elsewhere. A shoutout to seton hall and steelers for running the draft and all the other GMs who participated. Another shout out to jlomas, who was my assistant GM via email. A special thank you to Jimmy for putting up with me during this effort. Anyways, enough of me blathering on, picks and analysis after the jump! JUMP!
Analysis - I chose Brown because he was BPA of a moderate need at the OLB position. He's a freak athlete at 6'1 235 that runs a 4.4-4.5 40. Brown also has the natural instincts of a LB and the skill set to be a star in the NFL. He had a productive Senior Bowl experience, showing the world why he deserves the billing of top 4-3 LB in the country. The 20th pick was also in discussion to be traded knowing that the top pass rushers would be gone. A quick note on everyone who was set on Barron, I looked at him very closely but decided his injury history was too much to ignore along with other needs as well. Once you get past the fact that he isn't Mark Barron (much to the chagrin of MCM), he's a solid player. Besides imagine a LB corps of Ayers-McCarthy-Brown, that would be beast.
(2. 52) Kelechi Osemele OG/OT Iowa State -
Analysis - This was a need pick and worked out well for my goal of waiting out the Guard class as it was pretty deep. Osemele is a versatile lineman, having played LT and Guard during his career. He has long arms, quick feet and is good athlete for his size (6'3 330+). He's an equal blocker in terms of run block and pass block.
(3. 84) Leonard Johnson CB Iowa State -
Analysis - Another need pick here considering the potential of losing Finnegan to free agency and a 3rd CB behind Verner and McCourty. Johnson has the size and speed necessary to be a starter one day. He really showed well during Senior Bowl week, which moved his stock up to at least 2nd round status. We may have gotten a steal here. The fact that his teammate Osemele was taken by me earlier had no bearing.
(4. 116) Jake Bequette DE/OLB Arkansas -
Analysis - After much cajoling and varying degrees of consternation from the War Room participants, I decided to draft a DE. Bequette was BPA DE at the time we picked. He's another guy who had a good showing at the Senior Bowl. showing teams he could play OLB in a 3-4 scheme that Jerry Gray would like to mix in on occasion. He has the typical size that Gray wants to see in his DEs too.
(6.171) Darron Thomas QB Oregon -
Analysis - We traded down from our 5th round pick (148) to 171 and 204 as there were no worthy prospects of the 5th round caliber left. I chose Darron Thomas as a 3rd string project QB that will eventually become Locker's backup. DT has the ideal skill set to run the offense I envision as a mobile QB with a strong arm once he is ready and available should the unthinkable happen and Locker miss some time. The transition to DT should be a lot easier should it happen since we don't have to blow up a mobile QB system to fit a pocket passer.
(6. 180) Trenton Robinson FS Michigan State -
Analysis - A mix of BPA and need pick for this one. Robinson is a quality Safety that somehow slipped through the cracks to #180 when he was given a 3-4 round grade on some websites. Another possible steal for us here. Despite the many opinions of dissent, I had an idea that the other GMs would neglect the S position and knew that Robinson would fall to us in the 6th. I leave you a tweet from Wes Bunting himself about him: #MichiganState FS Trenton Robinson displays quick, balanced feet, can close w/o much wasted motion, tighter to turn and run #seniorbowl
(7. 204) Grant Garner C Oklahoma State -
Analysis - The center that led Oklahoma State's explosive offense to new heights. Garner is a good run blocker but an even better pass blocker, protecting Brandon Weeden. He could be another late round gem that Coach Munchak and Matthews can mold into an effective starter some day.
(7. 212) Lavasier Tuinei WR Oregon -
Analysis - A big bodied WR (6'5 210) that was productive for an explosive Oregon offense despite being a predominantly run first spread team and showed out during the 2012 Rose Bowl. He's a physical WR who isn't afraid to punish defenders after the catch and in the run block game. LT has pretty good speed for a guy his size (4.5-4.6) and provides a nice big target anywhere for Locker/Hass. Another benefit is that he's familiar with our 6th round pick, Darron Thomas. His father Van, played DE for the Chargers so the NFL bloodline is there. LT will develop into a quality starter beside Kenny Britt.
In closing, I planned out every pick that I made during the draft with various sources, including MCM ahead of time. So in essence, I knew that spurning Barron would cause a lot of negative reaction here but stuck to my plan. The War Room was an exercise to get the community involved as a whole and that proved wildly successful. It also provided me another chance to fine tune my plan by opening it up to others to provide valuable input. Although some of the MCM community won't like my draft because of 1 pick, I implore you to look at the draft as whole. I feel that my draft was a solid one that filled needs and wants. Other GMs have commended this class as solid group. It doesn't mean my draft plan wasn't better or worse than anyone else just because it was different.Learn to relax folks, it's only the 1st live draft, there will be 1 or 2 more.