In case you haven't heard I spent a good chunk of today playing GM and wheeling and dealing my way around the NFL Draft. Thanks to the National Football Post they held their 2012 Twitter Mock Draft and I was responsible for GM'ing the Carolina Panthers.
Last night I had a trade offer on the table, but I suspended talks pending how the first 8 picks went (I was selecting 9th). I decided not to commit early in the process in case a player I desperately wanted fell to #9. Then I saw all the players I was hoping to slide get taken.
1) Indianapolis (2-14) - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
2) St. Louis (2-14) - Matt Kalil, OT, USC
3) Seattle from Minnesota (3-13) - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
4) Cleveland (4-12) - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
5) Jacksonville from Tampa Bay (4-12) - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
6) Washington (5-11) - Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
7) Tampa Bay from Jacksonville (5-11) - David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
8) Miami (6-10) - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Kalil didn't fall, Blackmon didn't fall, Claiborne didn't fall and David DeCastro was already taken. I was sitting at #9 deciding about whether to roll the dice on Michael Brockers or Devon Still, or take the decidedly less exciting but need filling Jonathan Martin. In the end, I pulled the trigger on my trade:
PANTHERS trade 9th, 105th, and FS Jordan Pugh
JETS trade 2013 1st, 2012 47th, 78th picks and CB Kyle Wilson
Why did I make this trade, and what did I do from there? More after the jump
I had a decision to make at #9, and there were only three players I felt who could potentially live up to the slot: Brockers, Kirkpatrick and Coples. I personally think both Devon Still and Jonathan Martin are about as good as they're going to get, and while they will probably be serviceable NFL starters I wanted impact from this spot.
The problem is that impact comes with a price, and that cost would have been rolling the dice on one of three 'maybes'. All three require a leap of faith, and may not be able to help the team immediately. It was vital that the Panthers made the right decision in the 2011 draft with the #1 overall, and they did; now it was vital that I maximized the pick to ensure we didn't whiff on improving the team.
I made a calculated move that allowed me to get an immediate upgrade at CB with Kyle Wilson. Looking at him against the picks I didn't feel he was as talented as Kirkpatrick or Janoris Jenkins, but I had him rated as at least as talented as Denard and Minnifield. Getting him in this deal opened up the 2nd rounder for a different position, got me another 2nd to play with, added a 3rd rounder and got me a future 1st. Parting with Pugh was no loss, and with the 4th rounder I wasn't really stressed about missing out on another practice squad player.
I'll be honest: I had a dream scenario lining up at #21 though with the Bengals. I had a tentative deal in place that would have sent the Jets' 2013 1st, as well as the Jets' 2012 2nd to Cincy and I would have taken Michael Brockers. I was prepared to take him at #9 if needed, so I felt like Wilson was a throw in for free, however I wasn't willing to offer up the 3rd rounder I gained too... so I let the Bears make the move.
Then I saw something happening in the late 20's I felt like everyone was missing, presumably scared off by spurious reports of ballooning weight and Mike Mayock chiding him for 'lack of separation'. Finally with the 1st pick of the 2nd round I sprung another deal and was very pleased with myself.
Rams trade #33
Panthers trade previously acquired NY Jets 2013 1st rd pick
1(33) - Carolina from St. Louis (2-14) - Alshon Jeffrey, WR, South Carolina
I feel like the other GMs really missed the boat here. The Jags took Blackmon at #5, the Vikings took Floyd at #12, the Browns took Kendall Wright at #22, and the 49ers took Mohamad Sanu at #30. I think everyone got spooked and ran away from Jeffrey. Ultimately I feel like I got the 2nd best WR in the draft and all I did was lose a pick I traded for earlier in the day.
So, where do we stand?
Today I added to the Panthers:
CB Kyle Wilson
WR Alshon Jeffrey
Today I removed from the Panthers:
FS Jordan Pugh
I'm currently on the clock scheduled to resume again at 8AM tomorrow. Here are the picks I have left:
#40 (2nd round)
#47 (2nd round)
#78 (3rd round)
#136 (5th round)
#170 (6th round)
#201 (7th round)
I urge you to go take a look at the draft board and give me your opinions on who I should target tomorrow morning. I have two picks very quickly and I'm listening to some more trade offers. There are already a bunch of players I really like who are still out there, including two DTs, a CB, two OLBs and an OT who I really like who meet needs.
But for now, why not grade me on what I did today?