Thread: Kirwan mock 4.0
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:11 PM   #1
tony hipchest
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Default Kirwan mock 4.0

ORLANDO, Fla. -- There's nothing like talking with a few coaches and personnel people at the NFL Annual Meeting to help you get a better feel for the draft.

Sunday night, before I finished this mock draft, I got to speak with more than a dozen of the key people running their team's draft. Those decision-makers aren't going to tell me (nor would I ask) who they are taking in April, even if they knew for sure at this point. But they will talk about how much they like or dislike certain players.

A typical response when I ask about a certain player would be, "We don't even have a first-round grade on the guy," or "You missed on a few guys we really like." Hear that comment from three or four different people and it is grounds for an adjustment in the mock draft.

Plenty has changed in one week. We saw a general manager with two first-round picks (San Francisco's Scot McCloughan) leave his job last week. A couple of influential pro days occurred. Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes certainly didn't help himself with his 5.05 40-yard dash time at the Gators' pro day. Free-agent signings and trades slowed down a bit this past week but Philadelphia's acquisition of DE Darryl Tapp and the loss of Tapp in Seattle had to affect the next mock draft. The Charlie Whitehurst trade shed some more light on what Seattle's first-round intentions are with its two picks. Joey Porter getting paid in Arizona could mean the Cardinals are headed in a different direction at the bottom of the first round.

Most of the volatility in this draft rehearsal took place with the defensive linemen, excluding top picks Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy.

Two players -- Nate Allen and Charles Brown -- dropped out of the first round. They are replaced by two players who had been in earlier versions, Anthony Davis and Devon McCourty. As for each team's selections, keep in mind one or two decisions that change in the top 10 picks can have a big ripple effect all the way through the round. Seventeen players are in different spots this week. That may sound like a lot, but until we get closer to April 22, it is a reality.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers
Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
The Steelers have other needs, but they need a corner now. They lost Bryant McFadden last year in free agency and their other corners are either old or inconsistent. The Ravens and the Bengals are both bolstering their receivers, meaning the Steelers need to improve at corner. (Previous pick: Wilson)
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Taylor Mays, S, USC
The Bengals may have Earl Thomas and Carlos Dunlap on the board to choose from, and some would say Mays should be lower in the draft. The truth is the Bengals will get better on defense at this spot no matter what they do. Mays will impress the coaches with his knowledge of the game, and his dedication is unquestioned. (Previous pick: Jason Pierre-Paul)
27. Dallas Cowboys
Earl Thomas, DB, Texas
This is a big slide for Thomas, whom I had going at No. 10 to Jacksonville last week. He may go higher than this spot, but if he's here, he solves a problem in the Dallas secondary. Thomas is a fine player (but not without his critics here at the owners meetings). (Previous pick: Nate Allen)
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