Why Have A NFL Mock Draft? To Kill Time Until The Real Draft

With the NFL Draft starting on Thursday in Chicago, you’ll see many NFL mock drafts pop up in the interim.

ESPN took a novel approach to the whole NFL mock draft idea, having each NFL team’s staff blog writers and assigned them the task of picking the player for their respective teams. The only rule; no trades of any kind. Certainly, there will be some trades in Thursday’s real draft, so we indulge the fancy of those who cover the teams.

In this NFL mock draft, called the NFL Nation mock draft, the first pick should follow what all other NFL mock drafts are showing; the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with the first overall selection, will take former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. Tampa Bay, in desperate need of an offensive infusion, are expected to look past Winston’s past indiscretions (unpaid crab legs, yelling profanities from a tabletop, etc.) to get that ignition.

What is surprising many people is that most draft pundits are selecting Marcus Mariota, former Oregon quarterback, for the number two spot, going to the Tennessee Titans. The Titans, however, have Zach Mettenberg in place for quarterback, and new head coach Ken Whisenhunt, considered an offensive genius, ready to coach the young Mettenberg.

Again, this is an NFL mock draft.

Sports Illustrated, among other sources, is reporting that the second pick is most likely to be traded. There have been numerous ideas pitched, but one that is gaining momentum in many NFL mock drafts is for the San Diego Chargers to put together a package including draft picks, and starting quarterback Philip Rivers, to Tennessee in exchange for the second pick in the draft, where the Chargers will take Mariota. The Chargers held a private workout session with Mariota a few weeks ago in Oregon and all reports indicate that they liked what they saw. Now, whether they will pull the trigger or not is still being speculated.

Again, this is an NFL mock draft.

Most draft pundits, regardless of trade, feel that the first two picks will be Winston and Mariota. After that, though, most teams will choose between a need they have against drafting the best available player. The deciding factor will be the value of the pick, essentially meaning, can a team wait until later rounds in the draft to fill a need, or is there a player available that is just too good to pass up?

The last indicator for a potential draft pick is character. Winston’s antics are well-known, but Tampa Bay feels confident that those things are past him. Now, you have both Nebraska’s Randy Gregory and Missouri’s Shane Ray, both considered upper-first round material, being charged with possession of marijuana. Not a harsh crime, to be sure, but many NFL teams are trying to avoid that kind of negative press. Situations such as this will certainly affect their draft stock. To what degree will be seen on Thursday, when the NFL draft begins.

[Image courtesy of Canal Street Chronicles]

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