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Examiner
  • Shawn Garrison: EJC fills NFL needs

  • Nothing has spawned more faux expertise than the NFL Draft.

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  • Nothing has spawned more faux expertise than the NFL Draft.
    Right now, you can log onto ESPN.com and find a mock draft for all seven rounds, because that’s not overdoing at all. If that’s not your thing, flip on the TV and listen to “analysts” like Todd McShay break down meaningless Wonderlic scores and 40-yard dash times.
    Fact is, this is all mostly a giant guessing game. So sticking with that theme of fake expertise, here is my First Annual Eastern Jackson County NFL Mock Draft. These are my top-15 projections for tonight’s draft if teams could only take high school seniors from EJC.
    (Full disclosure: I’m shamelessly stealing this idea from Matt Schoch of the Springfield News-Leader, who ripped it off from Paul Costanzo of the Times Herald in Port Huron, Mich. Poaching is a time-honored tradition amongst journalists.)
    1. Chiefs: John Keltner, OL, Blue Springs. Much like the actual draft, the EJC Draft is loaded with offensive-line talent. Keltner, a Buck Buchanan finalist, is the cream of the crop and a franchise player.
    2. Jaguars: Wylson Lamb, QB, Blue Springs. Jacksonville decides it’s time to pull the plug on former Mizzou star Blaine Gabbert and elects to build around Lamb, who tossed for nearly 2,000 yards while leading the Wildcats to a state title.
    3. Raiders: Steven McBee, QB, Fort Osage. The Raiders need help across the board and choose to place an emphasis on drafting proven winners. Some imaginary scouts wonder if McBee’s unorthodox throwing motion will be effective at the pro level, but no one can deny his intangibles.
    4. Eagles: Mamu Tauiautusa, LB, Fort Osage. Many pundits expect first-year coach Chip Kelly to go with Blue Springs offensive lineman Tyler Thompson as he tries to implement his spread offense, but instead he tries to beef up the Eagles’ pass rush by taking The Examiner’s Defensive Player of the Year.
    5. Lions: Tyler “Tank” Thompson, OL, Blue Springs. Detroit is tickled Thompson fell this far and GM Martin Mayhew rushes to the podium to snatch the guy who helped the Cats rush for nearly 4,000 yards in 2012.
    6. Browns: Joseph Tuimaseve, DB, Fort Osage. The Browns are in desperate need of a playmaker in the secondary and Tuimaseve, who helped the Indians post a program-best seven shutouts last season, fits the bill.
    7. Cardinals: Alex McClain, OL, Blue Springs South. Arizona’s offense is a mess and McClain – a stalwart for the Jaguars the last couple seasons, including the 2011 state championship run – should be a force on the Cardinals' front five for years to come.
    8. Bills: Branden Winters, WR, Fort Osage. The Bills tried to move up to take a quarterback, but a last-minute deal with Jacksonville falls through. Instead, they try to bolster their other skill positions by pairing one of EJC’s top pass catchers with 1,000-yard receiver Steve Johnson.
    Page 2 of 2 - 9. Jets: Denzel Strong, RB, Van Horn. The consensus among EJC draftologists is that the Jets will draft a cornerback after trading Darrelle Revis. But they choose to focus on improving the league’s 30th-ranked offense by taking Strong, an under-the-radar workhorse who could be the steal of the draft.
    10. Titans: Jason Young, DL, Blue Springs. Tennessee needs loads of defensive help after surrendering nearly 30 points per game last season. Young, who tallied 24.5 tackles for loss last season, should make an instant impact.
    11. Chargers: Josh Gilliland, OL, William Chrisman. The run on offensive linemen continues. Gilliland didn’t play in a lot of prime-time games for the Bears, but his game tape shows he’s capable of going toe to toe with the league’s best pass rushers.
    12. Miami: D’Vante Mosby, TE, Fort Osage. Assuming the Dolphins are able to acquire Branden Albert from the Chiefs, they’ll fill a big void on the offensive line. Taking the 6-foot-5 Mosby will add another needed threat to a passing attack that averaged less than 200 yards per game last year.
    13. Jets (from Buccaneers): Donte Watkins, DB, Blue Springs. With their second pick the Jets snare Revis’ replacement. New York’s scouts are divided on whether Watkins or high school teammate DaShaughn Terry projects as a better pro and they go with Watkins on a coin flip.
    14. Panthers: Scott Agee, K/P, Truman. EJC Draft experts are stunned when Carolina becomes just the fourth team in NFL history to take a kicker in the first round. Mel Kiper faints on air when the pick is announced, but Agee gives the Panthers a clear edge on special teams.
    15. Saints: Rasheed Hobbs, LB, Blue Springs. The all-state linebacker is the best player available and will fit perfectly into defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s scheme.
    Follow him on Twitter: @GarrisonEJC
     
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