Nov 12, 2011; Stanford CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal guard David DeCastro (52) blocks Oregon Ducks defensive end Terrell Turner (45) during the fourth quarter at Stanford Stadium. Oregon defeated Stanford 53-30. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

NFL Mocks Conversation With Mocking the Draft

One of my favorite draftwebsite (other than this one of course) is run by the terrific Dan Kadar. I reached out to Dan to see if he would be interested in a weekly Q an A and he happily obliged. For this week’s topics we chatted about the value of interior guard David DeCastro, the Senior Bowl, and who to expect a breakout season from in 2012.

David DeCastro is pretty high up on a lot of big boards, number four on National Football Post’s Wes Bunting’s big board for instance. How high can you justify a guard prospect being drafted…and what are some teams you think DeCastro might be a good fit for in the first round?
With a player like DeCastro it’s easier to justify because he’s that good. He’s the Andrew Luck of guard prospects. The Saints’ offensive line is a good example of how important good guard play can be. Their tackles are decent, but their best players on offense after Drew Brees are guards Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans. Although they were later-round picks, the value of good guard play shouldn’t be as understated as it is. In my most recent mock, I had the Chiefs taking him at pick 11. The Cowboys at 14 and the Bengals at 17 could also be landing spots. It’s hard to see DeCastro last beyond Cincinnati’s second first-round pick at No. 22.

2). I know you love Michael Brockers, where do you think when all is said and done his draft range should be?
I like Brockers a good deal, but I’m not quite as high on him as some others. His upside is as good or better than any player in this year’s draft. But there are still areas of his game where he needs work. His draft range probably starts with Seattle at 12 and stops at No. 27 with the Patriots (if they keep the pick).


3). Let’s talk offensive linemen, how do you think this class compares to the recent years and outside of Kalil which potential first rounders do you feel confident can be good N.F.L. Left Tackles?

League-wide so many teams need offensive tackle talent so it will inflate the value of a few players. Tweeners like Kelechi Osemele and Cordy Glenn will get looks as left tackles when they’re probably better suited inside. A lot of people don’t like him as much, but I’m still a Jonathan Martin fan. It’s hard to find many serious flaws in his game. He’s a left tackle to me. More so than Riley Reiff.


4). Who are some players who improved their stock during the Senior Bowl week?
It’s hard to say since I wasn’t there in person. But reading some people whose judgment I trust, Courtney Upshaw certainly helped himself showing he can consistently play with his hand down. Quinton Coples probably not only saved his stock, but maybe elevated back into the top 10.


5) Who are some players who might have a tough time cracking the first round after Senor Bowl week
It sounds like Washington running back Chris Polk had a tough week and probably won’t go in the first round. But I’m of the belief that game film should always trump a week of practices with unknown teammates.


6). Now that the season is over, who is one player in this 2011 Draft class who is poised for a breakout year in 2012?

Prince Amukamara of the Giants will get a lot of chances to break out since New York will probably need some help in the secondary after this offseason. If he’s healthy, he should effortlessly move into a starting role for the Giants. Mark Ingram for the Saints should be more opportunities next season, so he could break out. Don’t forget, almost everyone was favorably comparing him to Emmitt Smith. They actually had averaged the same yards per carry (3.9) in their rookie seasons. While I don’t expect Ingram to run for 1,500 yards in his second season like Smith, he should do much better than the 472 he had this year.

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Tags: David DeCastro New York Giants NFL Draft Prince Amukamara Senior Bowl

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