I received many e-mails and tweets about my 2013 NFL Mock Draft and the upcoming NFL Draft in general. To share the answers to the questions publicly, I decided to start up a mailbag column. Pass along your NFL draft questions and comments. I'll put together a mailbag periodically that answers questions/comments sent via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @draftcampbell.
From Adam Blacharski, Long Island, New York
"Hi I'm a huge Miami Dolphins fan and I was wondering what will happen this offseason because they have the possibility of losing Jake Long, who looks like he's going to be gone. Also they may lose some of their defensive players like Randy Starks or Shaun Smith. Now they need a WR desperately, do you think Greg Jennings would be worth signing?"
I think the Dolphins are poised for a good offseason if they use their resources well. Having five picks in the first three rounds of the draft should help the team to address its needs. If Miami lets Jake Long go, the front office could draft a right tackle and move Jonathan Martin to the blind side. If the Dolphins don't feel that Martin is capable of left tackle, then they should target Taylor Lewan or Eric Fisher in the first round. That being said, I think Martin should remain on the right side.
Obviously, Miami has to get Ryan Tannehill some talented wide receivers. I think the team should sign Greg Jennings or Mike Wallace. Along with a veteran, I think the Dolphins should draft a receiver with one of their first three draft picks. The team should bring in at least two if not three wide outs this offseason.
Miami should also get Tannehill a receiving tight end. Zach Ertz, Jordan Reed or Joseph Fauria would all be good options for the Dolphins to target on the second day. Defensively, I think they should retain their starters if possible and add another cornerback.
From Mark Kern, Manhattan, Kansas
"My name is Mark Kern and I am the sports editor for the Kansas State Collegian. I was looking at your mock draft. It looks pretty good, but as a Chiefs fan, I do not know if I want to take a quarterback at number one.
Do you think there is a possibility they go O-line and bring in an experienced quarterback, or trade down for two first-rounders, potentially to the Rams, and get a QB there? Also, what is Dwayne Bowe's value as it sounds like his days are numbered in a Chiefs jersey, any chance they can get a high pick for him as well?"
Mark, I can understand feeling hesitant toward the Chiefs taking a quarterback at the top of the 2013 NFL Draft. This quarterback class is underwhelming, but Kansas City has to find a franchise signal-caller. For a long time now, the Chiefs have gone with veteran retreads, which hasn't worked out. The team needs to grab a young difference-maker.
I don't think the Rams would trade both of their first-rounders to move up. From speaking with sources, I believe St. Louis wants to use all of its picks from Washington to upgrade the talent throughout its starting lineup.
Lastly, I don't think anybody will give a high pick for Dwayne Bowe. He has a bad reputation around the league. If the Chiefs tag and trade Bowe, I think they could get a mid-rounder for him.
From Ian Kately, Freehold, New Jersey
"First off, I would like to say that I am a huge fan of the website, Walter, and yourself. I check the site on a daily basis. While I do not always agree with you guys, you always have a logic and facts to back your opinions up.
Anyway to my question. As a Jet fan, a lot of mock drafts are giving the Jets a pass rusher in the first round. I agree that they need someone who can get to the QB without blitzing. But most of the drafts have Barkevious Mingo going to the Jets. I really do not see all the hype behind Mingo. Yes he is really fast, but I see Mingo as another Aaron Maybin. Please show me I am wrong because I could see the Jets picking him."
Thanks for being a loyal reader of WalterFootball.com. We really appreciate it!
Unfortunately, I can't convince you otherwise. I think your analysis of Mingo being another Aaron Maybin is very sound. Mingo is weak against the run and SEC teams had a lot of success running straight at him. Mingo, like Maybin, is a pure speed-rusher coming off the edge. Mingo needs to add more weight for the NFL to hold up on blocks, and he definitely is a work in progress. As you can tell from my consistently mocking him to New York, I could see the Jets taking Mingo.
If you're looking at other OLBs who could be more well-rounded, Georgia's Jarvis Jones, Texas A&M's Damontre Moore, Florida State's Bjoern Werner, Oregon's Dion Jordan and Texas' Alex Okafor would be good options for New York to improve its pass rush. The Jets would probably have to trade up to land Jones, Moore or Werner.
From Andrew, Sacramento, California
"I'm a long time follower of WalterFootball.com and I love your stuff. I was wondering with the Raiders not having a second-round pick this year what do you think of them trying to trade down to like mid 1st round and pick up as many extra picks as possible and still going with a stud defensive tackle like Big Hank (OSU Jonathan Hankins). Normally it's almost impossible to trade out of the top three but with the new Rookie cap it's made it easier for teams to do so. I wish they do because the Raiders need as much young talent as they can get right now. How do you feel their chances are of doing so?"
Thanks Andrew. I appreciate the kind words. I think Oakland will have a shot to move down, but it would help if there were some hot quarterback prospects. You're right that the new rookie cap helps the Raiders, and I agree with you that they should look to trade down. I think Oakland, Cleveland and Carolina will be the teams that want to move down the most.
If Reggie McKenzie is willing to take less than the trade chart advises, that would help Oakland's ability to get lower. I personally think the trade chart is outdated, and I know general managers who say if they like the deal, they couldn't care less if the trade chart says they aren't getting the right value in return.
It would make sense for the Raiders to move down as they still could land a good defensive end or tackle in this draft class. Missouri's Sheldon Richardson, Purdue's Kawann Short, Florida's Shariff Floyd and North Carolina's Sylvester Williams are also potential targets if Oakland moves lower and misses out on Hankins.
From Ethan M., Sandy Springs, Georgia
"How do you think De'Anthony Thomas would fit in an NFL offense if he would at all? Would he have a Darren Sproles like role? What round consideration could he earn in 2014 or 2015? Could he end up as one of the best all purpose players of all time?"
Thomas would have to be a change of pace back and, basically, a third-down back. I think he could have a role similar to Sproles. Thomas will have to operate out of passing sets to spread out the defense and give him space.
I currently see him as a second-day prospect for 2014 or 2015. I think Thomas could be a quality contributor, but right now, I don't think he'll be as good as Sproles. Also, I wouldn't predict Thomas to be one of the best all-purpose players of all time. That's tough to expect out of any player.
From Chris, Mequon, Wisconsin
"Maybe you should investigate another job opportunity."
Chris highlights that I projected Russell Wilson going in the 4-6 round range and I wrote that because of Wilson's height it is tough to project him as a starting quarterback in the NFL.
Lol, me and 31 NFL general managers including Seahawks GM John Schneider for passing on Wilson twice (Oakland didn't have a pick to pass on Wilson). Also, you can include all 32 directors of college scouting, directors of player personnel and the area scouts for Wisconsin and North Carolina.
The reason Wilson fell to the third round was because of his height. He is the only sub six-foot quarterback who is having success in the NFL. There is a reason for that, and while Wilson is defying the odds, short quarterbacks have a hard time being successful in the NFL. That's why every team in the league passed on him multiple times. As Scott Pioli said when he was with the Patriots' brain trust, if they were so smart they wouldn't have passed on Tom Brady five times.
Wilson still has more to prove in the years to come. Plenty of players start their careers well as rookies and struggle afterward. Seahawks fans know that from Rick Mirrer. I don't think Wilson will be like Mirrer, but teams will adjust to him in the years to come.
From Nate Peplinski, Amherst, Wisconsin
"Howdy, Charlie! Great work. I really respect how you balance your own scouting with being a reporter of sorts. That must be so difficult. I hope others recognize this also, and that you continue your successes.
On a different note, do you really think it's possible for Chase Thomas and Margus Hunt to last so long? Thomas reminds me so much of Shea McClellin in that he is very athletic and has that knack for creating impact plays. Hunt, obviously, is something of a physical freak and would make for a very sexy, albeit raw, first-round pick."
Thanks Nate! I really appreciate the kind words.
I agree with you on Thomas and Hunt. I'll move up Hunt up, but I first want to see how he does against the better competition at the Senior Bowl. I wonder if he'll get exposed. SMU played a pretty weak schedule, so I'd like to see if he can consistently win against a higher caliber of tackle. I think you put it well that he could be a sexy pick in the first round. We'll see how he does in a few weeks.
I think you're spot on about Chase Thomas and I've written that McClellin comparison before. I definitely think he could rise into the top 45 or so. The reason I have him lower is because the consensus opinion about him seems to be in that third-round range right now. McClellin is significantly bigger than Thomas, but Thomas is a just a good football player. I'm not confident he will standout at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Hunt and Thomas are both good players and I definitely could see them rising.
From Les Forbach, Summerville, South Carolina
"I agree the Chiefs need a QB, but I disagree on this pick. I dont see any quarterbacks in this draft that are #1 overall picks. Hate to say it but I'd rather see them trade down and stock pile some picks and pick up a top line offensive lineman that will help protect whoever we get, possibly picking up a 2nd tier quarterback in the second round and perhaps trading or signing a veteran quarterback that he can learn under for a couple years. I just dont see spending #1 dollars on a QB that's maybe top 15 in the draft."
The Chiefs have gone that route in past drafts and it hasn't worked out well. It will be interesting to see if there is a market for the first pick. Teams have wanted to trade down in the recent past and haven't been able to. With the new rookie wage scale however, the money for the first-overall pick is not a huge investment and won't drive the decision. A first-round quarterback is a huge bargain as a starter compared to the average starting salary for a quarterback in the NFL.