Sportsthink doesn’t do mock drafts. Not because I hate them, as some critics are wont to say these days. It just requires psychic powers beyond the means of a simple sports blogger. My NCAA tournament bracket was bad. Predicting how 32 NFL teams will react in such a dynamic environment can’t turn out much better.
It’s always fun to stoke our anticipation for the draft by matching players to teams, though. And certain players would make particularly great additions to certain squads. Here’s three players whose fit with a prospective team should ignite a lot of excitement with fans:
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to the New York Jets — Christmas comes in May if Rex Ryan gets his hands on Clinton-Dix. Ryan loves innovating to bring pressure, shifting from his base front to as many as seven DBs with regularity. How about a little Cover Zero to really dial up the pressure? The Alabama free safety might be the best defensive back in man coverage in this draft, giving Rex Ryan yet another way to surprise offensive coordinators.
Mike Evans to the Minnesota Vikings — Norv Turner filled up the Chargers’ receiver corps with basketball players moonlighting as football players. Watching Phillip Rivers fake a handoff to Ladainian Tomlinson and hit Malcolm Floyd on a deep in or Vincent Jackson on a deep post was a beautiful thing to watch. Almost all of the pieces are in place in Minnesota: an outside receiver with top-end speed, a multi-dimensional tight end, and the best running back in the NFL. How about adding a massive, athletic wideout with good hands to the mix?
Darqueze Dennard to the Tampa Bay Bucaneers — If an NFL coach could dream up the perfect Cover 2 corner, Dennard might come close. He shines when the play is in front of him, diagnosing run/pass and blanketing short passes outside the hashes. He’s also great in run support. Lovie Smith’s defense will tap into these strengths, and but won’t ask Dennard to play much press man, where he struggles to flip his hips.