FanPost

Previewing Gene's Board

So here we are with a little over 2 weeks till the draft. Everyone is doing mock drafts, but honestly they are rarely correct. Especially with GM Gene calling the picks. So I thought it would be fun to try and figure out what the top 32 on his board looked like. I pulled some scouting reports from a couple of sites to get a general idea and took Gene's philosophy into account as well as the teams needs. So here it is, my mock of Gene's board.

1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford - Easily the top player in the draft playing the most important position in the game. A "Gene guy."

2. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor - Just behind Luck in terms of QB talent but can still become a force to be reckoned with for the next 10-15 years. He's basically Tim Tebow but is faster and can actually play QB. Don't expect him to be another Jamarcus Russell. A "Gene guy."

3. Matt Kalil, OT, USC - The most polished offensive lineman in the draft. Can step in immediately at LT and be a force. A "Gene guy."

4. Morris Claiborne, CB, Alabama - Top corner in the draft with the ability to become a premier shutdown corner. Having a shutdown corner in today's NFL makes him a better value than the guy at #5. Scored a 4 on the Wonderlic (but who cares about that). A "Gene guy."

5. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama - Has the potential to become the next Adrian Peterson. However, he plays a non-premium position in today's NFL that becomes less and less relevant with every season. He still has the ability to take over a game. A "Gene guy."

6. Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State - Most likely the top defensive lineman in the draft. Has the ability to play both defensive end and tackle but his body type makes him a better fit at tackle.

7. Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina - Gets after the QB. However, nobody really knows whether he should play OLB in a 3-4 or a DE in a 4-3. Extremely athletic and could be this year's Jason Pierre-Paul.

8. Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa - The next best offensive lineman in the draft. Comes from the Iowa school of offensive line play. He has the ability to bulldoze in the run game. Still has work to do on pass protection. Led Iowa police on a foot chase before being arrested for public intoxication in 2008.

9. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State - Perhaps the top WR in the draft. Dominated in college and has a physical play style but lacks the size to propel him into elite status. Has a knack for making big plays in the big moments.

10. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M - He is a project at QB but has the potential to become a force in a few years. Has a good arm and great intangibles. Has an inconsistent release. A "Gene guy." Don't expect the Jags to draft him even if he's at the top of their board.

11. Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College - Has great instincts and tackling ability. A prototypical "Gene guy." Plays a non-premium position. Has question marks in pass coverage as well as his ability to pass rush.

12. Michael Brockers, DT, LSU - Has phenomenal size at 6'-6" and 320 lbs. Despite his height, he has shown the ability to get good leverage in the run game. Lacks pass rush skills as he only had 2 sacks last year. Has shown the ability to lay the wood on opposing ball carriers. A "Gene guy."

13. David Decastro, OG, Stanford - It's hard to rate a guard in the top 20 in any draft but this guy makes it difficult not to put him there. It's been said that he could be a better inside lineman prospect than Maurkice Pouncey. Insane run blocker with great ability to pull. Needs to work on his pass protection. A "Gene guy."

14. Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis - Has fantastic size at 6'-4" and 346 lbs. He has a good initial burst and can create a pile. Has great strength but doesn't always translate to the field due to his short arms. A "Gene guy."

15. Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama - Initially was considered a top 10 prospect however a marijuana bust caused him to start slipping down. Has great instincts and has potential to be a shutdown corner. His off field decisions (Marijuana charges dropped) seem to be his only real negative.

16. Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois - Great pass rusher but questionable in the run game. Loves contact and tackles ball carriers well. A "Gene guy."

17. Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina - His style of play lends him to fit better in a zone system. As such, probably won't become a premier shut down corner but has all the physical attributes to become one if he works on his play style. A "Gene guy."

18. Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford - Turned down the opportunity to be the first fourth generation African American scholar athlete at Harvard to go to Stanford. Good in both pass and run blocking. Needs to work on his feet and overall strength. A "Gene guy."

19. Mark Barron, SS, Alabama - Classic ball hawk. Rarely played man and has questionable hips. Not a great open field tackler but reacts to the play well. Not afraid of contact with opposing blockers.

20. Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech - A physical freak. Has a tendency to be inconsistent catching the ball, often dropping passes while wide open. Physical off the line and good blocking skills. His knock has been a lack of route running skills because he's coming out of Georgia Tech triple option attack however Demaryius Thomas burst onto the scene last year despite not having a true QB. Had a stellar combine and pro day performance to prove many of his doubters wrong and is shooting up the boards as a result.

21. Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor - If not for his size he'd be a top 15 prospect. However he is 5'-10" on his best of days and doesn't have overly impressive speed (40 yard dash in 4.49 sec.). Great hands and has a knack for getting open and making plays. His lack of size and speed along with his questionable durability are really the only reasons he's not ranked any better.

22. Cordy Glenn, OT, Georgie - Absolutely massive at 6'-6" and 345 lbs. I really don't like since he's from the cesspool of the south. But supposedly he's pretty good except for being fundamentally lazy. He also hasn't seen much time at LT which is where he is projected to play.

23. Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall - Good size and speed. He is relentless of the edge and has a knack for causing fumbles. Has good hustle and can get through multiple blockers fairly well. A "Gene guy."

24. Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame - Good size and decent speed. He's a long strider while running and it seems to be the reason his route running needs more work. More of a possession receiver. Has a tendency to drink too much and then go driving.

25. Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama - Played weakside OLB for Alabama. Good speed and for his size does well against the run. Didn't play as a typical linebacker for Bama. Usually rushing the QB and rarely playing in coverage or playing read and react to the ball carrier. Has questionable open field tackling ability.

26. Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina - Has good initial burst but there are concerns about his edge speed and flexibility making him seem like a bad fit at the right defensive end position. There are also many questions about his work ethic, coming off as selfish and immature. He was part of the NCAA investigation into UNC. Really if not for his laziness he'd be rated in the top 10.

27. Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC - A bit undersized and at times can be swallowed up by opposing blockers. However, he uses leverage well and can cause a pile. Projects best as an OLB in a 3-4 scheme. His pass coverage is questionable, often looking confused at times. Smart tackler. Needs to have better conditioning. Was shut down by Stanford's Jonathan Martin.

28. Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama - Top run stuffer and great zone pass defender. Strong tackling and blitzing ability. Does not have elite edge speed. Tore his left knee ACL in 2009. Took over team captaincy from Rolando McClain.

29. Devon Still, DT, Penn State - His left leg is worrisome, tearing both his ACL and MCL in 2008 then breaking his ankle in 2009. Has a good combination of size and speed but struggles at times against double teams. Does not have great strength, often being dominated by his man. Good tackling ability.

30. Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin - Has good size and athleticism. Better run blocker than pass blocker. He isn't very explosive. He has missed time due to injury in each of the past three seasons.

31. Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State - Has great size and is good in both pass and run blocking. Was embarrassed by Ryan Kerrigan a few years back. Has difficulty against the speedy rushers often whiffing on the block.

32. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford - Has good hands and route running. Doesn't have elite speed nor is he a great blocker. Considered the best of a bad group of tight ends.

FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors of Big Cat Country or SB Nation.

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