Here's a clue. Nolan Nawrocki is a complete hack. If you didn't know that by now, shame on you. Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post, on the other hand, is a credible scout and evaluator first, pageviews and traffic driver second.
That could be why you may not have heard of him, while other cliche-spewers have over 50,000 followers on Twitter writing for massively huge sites but pose little to no real insight.
While Gabriel hasn't done a mock draft, if you're interested in a writer who gives a fair and unique assessment of a player without the slanted hype that comes with writers with little experience, he's a great read.
So is Josh Norris, a Rotoworld writer who spends a large amount of his time with draft-related information. Norris is a great mix of credible, entertaining and realistic - and I'm no longer sure which of these traits is the most important.
For all the mock drafts written indicating trades are involved (as if it's a selling point to read the column, not based in reality in the least), Norris is one of the few, if not the only, who points out how many first round picks were traded in the last two years - 14 in 2012 and seven in 2013. That's a huge amount, and it's also random.
Norris's most recent mock deals with trades, but he tempers expectations immediately. Combine that discretion with an outstanding overall body of work, Norris's stuff should be seen as legit and fair commentary.
Please note, I do not claim to be an expert on every team’s schemes and needs, but I do ask questions. As I say every year, if the draft was predictable we would not tune into the event. You should be surprised by some of these selections. The point is to work through scenarios and present options, not accuracy.
That's how someone (myself and other BTSC writers included) who does not have access to full film or does not speak with teams on a regular basis should approach their draft writing. Sadly, it falls far short of that, especially with the major web sites and publications. There's nothing wrong with venturing an educated guess, but ripping into the alleged character concerns of a player without any basis for doing so is a violation of ethics and a mark of low character on behalf of the writer.
Getting off the soapbox...Norris does a great job of presenting information first, generating opinion second.
He's sending Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosely to the Steelers at No. 15.
The Steelers should be locked in on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive back can be upgraded, but I think adding Mosley next to Lawrence Timmons would allow Troy Polamalu to play in the deeper portions of the field and keep everything in front. Mosley has always had the range and awareness in coverage, but he attacks blockers better than given credit for. The Sean Lee comparisons are real.
The question is only whether Mosley falls to 15. San Francisco LB Patrick Willis fell to 15 and he was a better athlete coming out of college than Mosley is. Having that dependable and outstanding middle-inside linebacker is an underrated component of a great defense, and one teams don't necessarily want to invest in, until they need it.
Mosley could end up simply being the best player available for the Steelers. Then again, he may not even be there. He's definitely a guy to watch on draft day.
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- Mock Draft: Steelers select Clinton-Dix at 15
- Mock Draft: Steelers select playmaking CB Gilbert
- Playing Draft Chief of the Ravens