Mel Kiper has released an updated version of his 2013 NFL Mock Draft, and three Bulldogs make it into his first round selections. And, while I hold about as much stock in Mel Kiper’s opinion as I do in Manti Te’o’s ability to distinguish reality from fiction, I do feel confident that the Georgia Bulldogs will see at least three defensive players taken in the first round—perhaps even four (I’ll explain later).
Basically, Kiper likes Jarvis Jones at No. 5 (to Detroit), Alec Ogletree at No. 13 (to Tampa Bay), and John Jenkins at No. 25 (to the Seahawks).
I disagree with all of his selections and I’ll explain why.
First, let’s look at the Jones selection; the Detroit Lions, in case you were wondering, do not run a 3-4 (the system Jones was born to play in), but Kiper seems to feel that won’t matter in Jones’ case due to his overall skill set and tremendous work ethic. And while, I won’t disagree with Kiper’s assessment of Jones as a player, I do feel he’s better suited to play in a 3-4 than a 4-3.
That said, if the Philadelphia Eagles do make the switch to a 3-4—which is a possibility—they would be the better fit for Jones. If they pass, then either the New York Jets could trade up from No. 9 and grab him or the Arizona Cardinals should snap him up at No. 7; both the Jets and Cardinals need a 3-4 outside linebacker.
As for Alec Ogletree, I like him at No. 8 (the Buffalo Bills), not No. 13, where Kiper currently has Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o slotted.
Unlike Jarvis Jones, who has thrived and seems tailor made for the 3-4 outside, Ogletree has value anywhere on the football field because of his sideline-to-sideline playing capability; he’s going to be an absolute beast wherever he goes, no matter what system he plays in, and if he doesn’t screw up (you can bet people will look closely at that whole four-game suspension for substance abuse matter) between now and draft day, he could sneak into the Top 10 easily.
In fact, I am calling it now, keep an eye on him in Indianapolis (NFL Combine) next month. If he performs well there, he won’t be on the board for very long.
John Jenkins at No. 25 seems reasonable, but the Cowboys currently hold the No. 18 selection and, honestly, they need a player like on their defense; something worth considering here will be Grantham’s former connection to the Cowboys organization; if nothing else, they are familiar with his work as a former defensive assistant; one phone call would grant them all the evaluation information they need on Jenkins and then some and that certainly wouldn’t hurt.
Now, back to that potential fourth first-rounder I mentioned at the outset.
The Bengals hold selection No. 21, and they need safeties.So, if either Bacarri Rambo or Shawn Williams have above-average showings at the Combine, I think either one is capable of moving up into the bottom-half of that first-round. It’s a big reach, I know, but I truly believe that given the safety talent entering the draft this year, they have as good a chance as any of making a strong argument for going much earlier than currently projected.