We're back for pick No. 3 of the 2013 Niners Nation NFL Mock Draft. Our man Roy_from_Israel is pulling double duty, handling the Raiders first round pick and the Seahawks second round pick. Talk about good luck in getting two of the 49ers main rivals. Thanks to Roy for sucking it up and handling those teams.
Explanation: Well that was some curveball with the first two picks. If I'm Reggie Mckenzie and I'm taking a look at my roster I see nothing but holes, especially on defense, where any player who was kind of decent or better was let go in FA (Huff, Bryant, Wheeler, Seymour), so without the possibility to trade out of this pick and get multiple ones, which player do I pick?
Well, who do I consider? QB is out of the question because this is not a good year for them and the only one who's debateable was just picked. So I can address LT with both Joeckel and Fisher available or I can address the defensive line with both Dion Jordan and Sharrif Floyd available. All of them are very good players that are worthy of the third overall pick. So how do I decide? I'll try to find out who will make my team significantly better.
First of all, Let's take a look at the OL. While no name will jump out to you, this line was pretty good at protecting the passer with only 27 sacks allowed last year. Running was a different story but you can also contribute that to McFadden missing 11 games (as usual). So picking Joeckel or Fisher will indeed make it a better unit but this is not the weakest link on the team right now.
Now' I'm taking a look at the defensive line and, well ... I don't see any defensive line. So, this is by far the weakest link of the team; Anyone inserted here will make a significant improvement to this unit. So why Jordan over Floyd? the answer has two parts: history and pass rush. Let's start with history, looking back about 10 years in the draft, for every JJ Watt, B.J Raji, Haloti Nagta or Vince Wilfork (who were all picked outside of the top 10) you have names like Glenn Dorsey, Sedrick Ellis, Amobi Okoye, Justin Harrell, Tyson Alualu, Marcel Dareus and so on. Even Ndamukong Suh who was considered as a can't miss DT and he is a very good DT in my opinion is not an impact player. So the chance is high to get just an OK player with the third pick. Getting OK players with a high pick (and Jamarcus Russell) is just what got the Raiders here over and over again. One can argue that you can have a DE bust in here as well, which is true, but then comes my second argument which is the more critical one.
The main reason I took Jordan over Floyd is pass rush. This is a passing league today more than ever, and now with the read option your DE's have to be as athletic as they come and Jordan is freakishly athletic. He sure can rush the passer, he can drop into coverage from the DE position and he could be the game changer that Von Miller and Aldon Smith were to the Broncos and us. Just two years ago Denver had the same dilemma between Von Miller and Marcel Dareus. They went with Miller and left Buffalo with Dareus and we all know what happened next. If Jordan becomes a 10+ sacks/year pass rusher, Oakland's defense gets to another level and that's what I'm looking for as a GM. So without further delay...
Trevor Woods: I am not going to try to steal Roy's thunder, I like the pick and his explanation was a great one. I do not think Floyd will be the dud that he mentioned, but he strikes a good point of why they should go outside pass rush over defensive line. Jordan can cover and I believe he can become a heck of a pass rusher in the NFL. He is 6'6" and 248 lbs, and can run a 4.54 forty. Jordan already is a decent coverage linebacker, and with his size/speed combination, he can cover tight ends. The Raiders have many holes and this would fill one of the many. Good pick Roy.
Nick Chiamardas: I really like Dion Jordan. He might be the best pass rushing OLB available and offers tremendous upside. The biggest question here is if the Raiders will finally commit to a switch from the 4-3 base defense to a 3-4. If they do, Jordan is a great fit. If not, I would have preferred Floyd here. Of course, passing on Joeckel is tough to do as well. Even though Roy_from_Israel indicated that the OL wasn't terrible, a franchise LT can be hard to find.