This will be our first of what I think will be several Mock drafts during this off-season. As the senior bowl and the combines come and go we will have a better picture of who goes where, and who I pick now does not necessarily reflect who would be a good pick in April.Note
: For the purpose of this Mock it is assumed that we make no trades
. But recent history shows that this may not be the case, If Ruskell
likes a player enough.
First Round: Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
I originally chose Micheal Crabtree
here because I thought
Sanchez would go back to USC
. When He declared I decided to change the pick, not because I don't like Crabtree
, but because I think Sanchez is special and the type of player we need for the future. I personally think Sanchez is the best QB in the draft, even better than Stafford. I would be thrilled to get him.
He would be perfect for our situation: A strong armed. athletic, and smart quarterback who would improve greatly with a year or two on the sidelines, which is exactly what we would give him, with Hasselbeck
still running the show. Sanchez may not go quite this high, or he could go higher, depending on the combine. For right now I feel comfortable with him at #4.Second Round: Max Unger, C, OregonUnger
is exactly what we need: a talented pass blocker who can play anywhere on the line and who has pro bowl potential. Unger
is only down here because he didn't play Left Tackle and because of size concerns. However, he may go much higher than this, and it is unlikely we get him for this reason. Still, I see us getting an O-Lineman here.Third Round: Derek Pegues, FS, Mississppi State
I originally chose Emmanuel Cook of South Carolina here because I thought it would be more likely to get him, but I changed my mind after seeing his gun charges. Tim Ruskell
doesn't go after players with criminal records.Pegues
is better anyway. He was second team all SEC as a free safety and showed great ball skills, picking seven passes in his last two seasons. He has fantastic tools as well, running a true 4.4 40 time and returning kicks for Mississippi State. He could help take a load off Josh Wilson there while taking over SS full time.Fourth Round: Keenan Lewis, CB, Oregon State
With the likely shift to a Tampa 2 defense, Kelly Jennings would be a disaster. That said, I see the Hawks taking a corner here. For all the people worried about the lack of size in the secondary, Lewis is the tallest corner in the draft at 6 foot 1.
He played well at Oregon State and got seven picks over the last two years for the second best defense in the Pac
-10. He does lack top end speed, which matters a lot less in a Tampa 2. I see some reports having him being taken earlier than this so he's definitely a name to watch in the Senior Bowl.Fifth Round: Nobody
We gave that pick away for Keary Colbert. Since I did tons of research
for this before being reminded of this, I will just say that I think the Hawks would have drafted Jonathan Casillas
, Wisconsin. Interesting player, but so much for that I guess.Sixth Round: Myron Pryor, DT, Kentucky
Myron Pryor was a big prospect coming out of high school, but injuries have kept him from fulfilling his potential at Kentucky. This year however, he has been spectacular, getting second team all SEC honors to go along with 4.5 sacks. Pryor's a load at 310 and would help stabilize the defensive tackle rotation. The only big issue is his injury history, which has caused big problems for him before.Seventh Round: PJ Hill, RB, Wisconsin
Gregg Knapp loves his running backs, and PJ
Hill is the best available. Sort of like TJ Duckett
without the crazy combine times, PJ
Hill had an amazing year last year for the Badgers, but was less of a focal point in his offense this year, due to injuries. He isn't at all a burner, but his good production at a major school should warrant him a look. If nothing else he's special teams material.