Virtually Perfect Skins Mock

I can't stay away from the Fanspeak draft simulator either.

This mock uses the new Ourlands big board. Ourland has been around for a long time and is a very credible draft analyst. Despite a lot of agreement about a lot of players across the various big boards, there are some notable differences. Ourlands has a run on quality OTs very early - get one by the end of Round 3 or forget it - and same with most of the CBs who can start. Here's who I got, mostly throught aggressive trade downs and one trade up. I didn't write down the trades but will try to reconstruct.

Round - Overall Pick - Position - Player:

2 49 FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

3 72 OT Ja'Wuan James

4 102 DT Ra'Shede Hageman

4 109 DE DeMarcus Lawrence

4 111 C Travis Swanson

5 142 SS Ahmad Dixon

5 148 CB Ross Cockrell

5 154 DE Brent Urban

6 180 TE Jake Murphy

7 217 G Anthony Steen

The key to this draft is multiple trade downs to get extra picks in the critical 4th and 5th rounds, where there is tremendous value in this draft. I'd love to have had more picks earlier, but that is very difficult to do. I picked up an extra 7th and 6th rounder in my trade downs, whcih I used to trade up from the 5th to for an extra 4th.

The other key is luck - it always take some to have a draft like this.

As I have said in other posts, the critical positions for the Skins in this draft are safety (they need 2 in case Thomas cannot play with the LisFranc and Rambo doesn't develop); DL (they are old and had a pathetic number of sacks from the incumbents; Hatcher will help but he is old too); and OL (could use help at C, RG, RT). I wanted one each of a S, DL, and OL by the end of round 4. Next priorities were an edge rusher (possible Orakpo replacement if he leaves) and CB (mostly, a potential reserve who can be a replacement for Hall eventually). TE would be nice; I am not convinced that our starter, who I like a lot, can overcome his concussion history. ILB, RB, WR,,QB, and FB are not priorities for me in this draft if I am the GM.

Despite trading down four times in Round 2, Clinton-Dix was still there. That was a no brainer. By the way, you may say no way that guys is there at pick 49. Problem is, you could say that about more than 50 people, and some of them will still be there.

I traded down in the 3rd to get an extra 5th, but only 6 spots. There was one quality tackle left, and I jumped on him there (James).

As the draft played out, I waited for Rd 4 for a DL (and this just was a matter of how things broke). Someone I would take in Round 2 was staring me in the face at the top of round 4 (Hageman), and I was not about to trade down. He is the only guy I picked who could be considered somewhat boom or bust, but he is a tremendous value at this point. Huge DTs who can rush the passer and play nose if needed don't grow on trees. In fact, he could be an awesome 5 technique DE in a 3-4 defense. This would be a perfect guy for Hatcher to take under his wing.

A top edge rusher was there for my second 4th rounder (Lawrence). He could be a 4-3 LDE or (probably better) an Orakpo replacement at OLB in a 3-4: he has the speed and athletic ability to get a lot of sacks if he is used well in the rotation. I think he woudl be about as good a potential replacement for Rak as the Skins can afford to draft this year.

Another extra 4th goes to C (Swanson). Swanson is one of 3 top Cs in the draft; any of the three could start within a year, and it would be a stretch to see that from the others. I personally prefer the other two, but they were gone.

Round 5 is all defense. Dixon is an underrated S; Cockrell is that future replacement for Hall; Urban is a versatile DL who can play anywhere on the line, and has as a very high ceiling. And Urban can rush the passer as well as play the run. All three were taken fairly high in the 5th.

I really like Jake Murphy at TE in the 6th. He's the son of Dale Murphy, the former ATL Brave. Solid as a receiver and a blocker - he's going this early only because he came out a year too early. We only need a reserve, so no problem bringing him along; they can trust him if they need to.

Last, I addressed G (Steen) in the 7th. Steen is projected as a 4th or 5th rounder on most big boards, and I see him as a steal at this point.

Overall, this is a group of talented but high character, hard-working, team first guys who would shore up the biggest holes on the roster for the skins and be good in the locker room. (Hageman is the only possible exception, but I personally don't seem him as a hard case at all.)

This is all a mock, not a prediction, but man o man, what a difference a draft like this would make to the roster.

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