Thursday, 18 April 2013

DC Writers Mock Draft: Picks 11-15

Click here for Picks 1-5

Click here for Picks 6-10

11th - San Diego Chargers - Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Pick by John Winter

The San Diego Chargers would happily snap up Lane Johnson if he was still on the board at no. 11 having slipped past the likes of the offensive tackle needy Arizona Cardinals at 7 as well as the number of other teams wanting to trade up for one of the top 3 tackles.

Johnson would fill a major need for the Chargers, with 'Big Lazy' Jared Gaither gone the team doesn't really have a bona fide left tackle on the roster at the moment. The team desperately needs to upgrade a woeful pass protection to help QB Phillip Rivers who was last season sacked 38 times and was constantly under pressure from opposing defences, no doubt contributed to his 15 interceptions and 13 fumbles. This pick would be a no brainer.

In reality the Chargers would still be happy if in any way they could upgrade their offensive line or get help for Rivers. But if they want to get Lane Johnson or any other of the top 3 offensive tackles they will most likely have to trade up.

12th - Miami Dolphins  - Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State.
Pick by Ross Watson

Desperate to snag a tackle, the Dolphins should have made a trade up to get Johnson at least and with Warmack and Cooper off the board too they may be kicking themselves for not making a move. D.J Fluker is just a little bit of a reach here but as it is Rhodes has the talent and Miami have the need to warrant this pick. His instincts and recognition are not at the elite level and must be worked on, but his height/weight/ speed combination and great press technique makes him a plug and play prospect with room to be a top corner in the next couple of years.

13th - Tampa Bay - Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU
Pick by Tom Snee

The destination of this pick is still up in the air at the time of writing, with a reasonable chance that it could be packaged off to New York in the much-discussed trade for Darrelle Revis. *If* it stays in Florida (I think it will), the Bucs have to go for the best defensive player available, and that man is Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah.

This raw, rough diamond kind of player is what the middle of the first round is all about in my opinion, and this kid could be absolute box office within a season. Tampa do need an upgrade in their secondary, but with Rhodes and Milliner off the board and Revis likely on his way to the Sunshine State, Bucs GM Mark Dominik would be foolish to pass up on a top-end pass rusher.

The defensive end position is arguably the fastest evolving in the NFL at the minute, and Ansah is part of that movement. An athletic freak with impressive versatility, the only downside with this pick is his lack of experience. However, in the short time he's played, Ansah has proven to be extremely coachable. Combine that with his physical gifts, and you've got a winner.

14th - Carolina Panthers - Star Lotuleli, NT, Utah.
Pick by Richard Penwright

They was much debate whether the Panthers would take Lotuleli or Sheldon Richardson from Missouri. In the end, I think they take the Star from Utah.

A top 10 player, there has been debate as to whether Star was fit enough to play in the pros after a heart scare, but a good bill of health from the doctors means Lotuleli will be a star (pun intended) on the Panthers DLine.

With their starting Defensive Tackles's generating a whole 1.0 sack, there's a huge hole on the Panthers Defensive Line, and this may be the pick to help the Panthers get pressure on the opposing QB.

15th - New Orleans Saints - Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
Pick by Jon Goddard

The Saints instantly upgraded their offence with Sean Peyton returning, but have an urgent need to improve a defence that seriously struggled last season. With the move to a 3-4 they are in big time need for some play makers in this front.

I was hoping Star Lotuleli would drop one more pick for me to get a player that would cement their new look defensive line for years to come, but alas no. Instead the Saints will stay in state and pick up LSU play maker Barkevious Mingo, who would project as an Outside Linebacker.

He has the raw speed and athleticism (4.58 forty yard dash at 6ft4 241lbs) to get after the Quarterback and could put some serious muscle onto his long frame. As per usual with my picks, there is a huge upside to this guy, despite the knocks against him.

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