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DRAFTWATCH 2012 (and an announcement)

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DRAFTWATCH 2012 (and an announcement)

We're closing in on the final sprint to the 2012 NFL Draft and nothing is really any clearer than it was back in February.

OK, a few things are clear. Luck/Griffin will go 1/2. Beyond that, you assume USC OT Matt Kalil will go third but they are a definite candidate for a trade. Even if they take Kalil, Cleveland is a big question mark.

Do they grab an elite running back like Trent Richardson? Take the top cornerback, Morris Claiborne? Go rogue and reach for Ryan Tannehill?

After three it becomes a huge free-for-all. Which is fun and will keep us talking all April.

Speaking of talking, I have a new gig I'll be starting Monday morning. Those of you who follow me on the Twitters know this already but on Monday I will be taking over as Lead Writer for the NFC North at Bleacher Report. I'm excited to be writing full time and covering the Black and Blue Division this coming season.

What does this mean for CHTV you ask? Well, lots and nothing. I'll still be doing NFL content here all year long and Draft stuff as well every off-season.

So that quo stays status.

However, working full time writing will mean I can get more NFL content out to you every week. It also means I can get more Draft Spotlight videos out to you as well.

I love the Spotlights but working a day job AND writing at night leaves little time to edit. That's why the RG3 profile is pushed back a week (see how I snuck that in there?). I have the rough cut done but to do the job right takes time.

Now that I will be home, I can slot X amount of my work day to cut film and do photoshop work and basically get the videos done. I'm actually hoping to squeeze in a few extra videos as well.

I'm very excited to be making this move and get reacquainted with the rest of the North.

I will of course always have a soft spot for you Cheeseheads. It's been a great experience so far and only just beginning.


Last week I joined National Football Post writer Wes Bunting for a discussion of how Free Agency is affecting the Draft.

This week Wes has a great group of guys on to discuss quarterbacks NOT named Luck or Griffin.

The group consists of fellow Footballguy and newly minted Football Outsider Matt Waldman, Josh Norris from Rotoworld and small school specialist Josh Buchanan from

I can't think of a better group to break down the other quarterback tiers.


Speaking of things that are awesome—Matt Waldman's Rookie Scouting Portfolio drops on Sunday (April 1st) and I cannot stress enough how worth a purchase this is.

Matt focuses on offensive players in such detail it's staggering. I know Matt well and his analysis is fantastic. Plus, Matt is a big fan of transparency. You will know not just what he thinks but very clearly, why.

Next to the CHTV Draft Guide, I can recommend no better purchase for your Draft prep.

Plus he's donating a portion of the proceeds to Darkness to Light, a charity organization fighting child sexual abuse.

So buy it already!


Part of my new gig next week is going to be breaking down the Packers picks for all seven rounds (Monday) and setting a Big Board for them as well (Tuesday). This might be my final full NFL mock for a while, maybe this season.


So let's commiserate with a look at this most recent mock, while a source of anger to the commenters on B/R, did not garner me the best comment of the week that what I wrote was 'an atrocity' and I should 'be put in front of a firing squad'. That happened on my top 10o NFL players article.


Anyway, for Green Bay I changed things up and went with Dont'a Hightower. While I like the ILB group the Packers have, I think Hightower could be a special player. Not only can he generate pressure from inside, but he can also come in from the edge as well.

The Packers could go a lot of different ways here. Strong Safety Mark Barron is a very real possibility as well and I went back and forth between he and Hightower. In the end, the ability to bring pressure and the fact that Barron may miss most of Training Camp pushed me towards Hightower.

Either way, the Packers will get a tremendous player.

Other notable things on the mock includes the Dolphins taking Ryan Tannehill, which a bunch of Miami fans HATED. They all say it's overdrafting.

Well, duh. It is. Would i do it? No, but then again I wouldn't have flown out to interview one coach when I had another under contract, missed on a slam-dunk Peyton Manning signing or been more concerned with splash than building a team.

I try to tell folks that using absolutes in the Draft is flat out stupid but that never seems to take as people cannot separate what they think SHOULD happen vs what COULD happen.

Anyway, Tannehill is a guy who is a second round prospect in my mind, maybe late first. Someone will jump up and get him after a great Pro Day.

I like him. I think with patience he becomes a very good quarterback.

He'd probably have a better shot of reaching his potential on another franchise though. One whose owner has shown long term thought over short term flash.

I had Cleveland pass on Trent Richardson, opting to grab Morris Claiborne. That's a move Cleveland fans love as it turns out. In my opinion there is plenty of quality later in the first and into the second where Cleveland can grab a running back or wide receiver.

Claiborne is a tremendous addition to this defense. Can I see them grabbing Richardson? Of course—he's an elite talent.

However, with the degradation of the value of the running back position overall, even elite talents can fall. Running backs are just not as vital today as they were even five years ago.

Meanwhile, stopping the pass is a huge focus (as Packer fans well know) and Claiborne will help you do that.

Even in a division which purports to run the ball a lot, the Ravens, Steelers and Bengals throw a ton. Claiborne just makes more sense.

Justin Blackmon seems locked into the Rams and I like it less and less every day. Not that he isn't incredibly talented—just that I am no longer convinced he's so much better than Kendall Wright, Michael Floyd and the receivers behind them.

Is it a bad pick? I don't think so. And waiting for their next pick isn't going to give them a better receiver.

It just doesn't feel......right.

Most ironic comment for a pick? The Lions fan who gave crap for picking a defensive back instead of an offensive lineman. This is the first year in I don't know how long that I didn't call for oline help for Detroit in the first round.

Something that every Lions fan killed me for every time I did it.

So that's it this week. There may be extra Draftwatch content next week, so keep an eye out.

As we part today, I leave you with yet another hilarious Browns video.


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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (7) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Congrats on the new gig Andrew!


andrewgarda's picture

Thanks man. Looking forward to it.

MarkinMadison's picture

Hightower is an interesting pick to me at no. 28. He was clearly a leader on defense in college, and could lay the wood. But when I read here that he also had proven edge rushing ability and at least some coverage ability it changed my view of him from a guy the Packers would not consider to a guy that might make a lot of sense. If you can try to convert a 4-3 college DE to a 3-4 OLB, why not a college ILB? And at 265 he would bring a completely different dimension than CM3. The only thing that gives me pause is the descriptions of him as being athletically limited. As we all know sometimes guys who dominate in collge just flat out disappoint as pros due to atheletic limitations - ala AJ Hawk. But at no. 28 you are going to get a guy with some flaws, and I like this guys chances to make an impact more than I like some other options at that spot, like McClellin. But if the Packers would solely view him as an ILB, then I think that they should look elsewhere in the first round.

andrewgarda's picture

Good stuff man, thanks for the comment. GB is in a good spot - lots of potential ways to go.

Sootofan97's picture

I asked that before.. Why can't a 4-3 ILB to outside 3-4?? Or converting a QB to WR?

Ct Sharpe Cheddar's picture

You can get tickets for the draft at

PackersRS's picture

Love the Hightower pick. If he's there I don't see how the Packers cannot pick him, or move down.

Don't like the Poe pick, I think his value is combine-influenced and not actual, kinda like Bruce Campbell. Don't understand the Coples pick for the Chargers, he's too heavy to play OLB and too light for 3-4 DE. I see why he could fall, his 3-cone time is just atrocious. We're talking about .37 slower than Suh, and just .33 faster than Raji.

I don't think Worthy is going in the first round to be quite frank. I also don't see how the Steelers can pass on Hightower, but all the others, including the Steelers' one, make absolute sense.

Well, I also can't see how Tannenhil is a 1st round pick to be honest. I mean, he's a good QB for the mobility he has, but as a pure QB, outside of his pocket presence, and it's not pocket presence as much as it is ability to shake off receivers, he's very average. Average blitz and defense recognition (he was actually sacked after spotting a declared slot blitz), very average accuracy, and average arm strenght. And I don't see anybody else saying otherwise, but they somehow convince themselves that because of his athleticism his "averageness" is compensated, and that most of his problems will better with more experience, being he was a WR till 2 or 3 years ago. I don't think they will, but we'll see.

That being said, it's the Dolphins, regardless if Philbin is the HC or not.

And congrats on your new gig, gonna try to check it out often. Gotta give it to Bleach Reporter, at least they're bringing quality writers, even if the comment section is littered with 12 year olds.

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