NFL Mocks Interviews With the First Pick

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Fansided has two draft sites that provide drat analysis year round this one ( and our sister site We’ve decided to have weekly chats across the siteshiglighting some of the happenings going on in the N.F.L. and College Football.

This is Ty Macdonell’s first response to my questions.

1). I’ll throw this one back to you. Who are some of the off the radar players you’re interested in following this college football season?
Great question to start things off! I think there are two positions that have the potential of being really special in the 2012 draft and those are at quarterback and wide receiver.  So I will definitely be studying both of those thoroughly this year.  But to be honest none of those players are really off the radar at the moment.
So to better answer your question, I really like George Bryan, the tight end at North Carolina State.  Bryan is a huge man at 6’6” and 270 pounds, but he is athletic enough to run the forty in under 4.80.  The past two seasons he has caught over seventy passes for the Wolfpack and I would expect he will take on a bigger role in their offense this season.  He has the size to block at the professional level and enough athletic ability to contribute in the passing game, so he will definitely be on the radar of a lot of NFL teams in 2012.
Robert Lester, the free safety at Alabama, is a player a lot of people have a second or third round grade on at the moment.  I love Lester and I view him as a legit first round prospect if he declares for 2012.  Last year he had eight picks and he has the athletic ability and range that you look for in a free safety prospect.  I would say his game is very similar to Earl Thomas’ from the Seahawks.  He is the “center field” safety that so many teams covet in today’s pass happy NFL.

2). Which Rookie in the N.F.L. will make the biggest impact this year?
There is two obvious choices for me and they are both at skill positions. I think Mark Ingram and Julio Jones are in situations that will really allow them to succeed right away.  Jones especially intrigues me as a receiver opposite Roddy White.  He will face a lot of single coverage and being able to play in a dome at home will allow him to demonstrate his speed consistently throughout the year.  There are a few offensive linemen, such as Mike Pouncey in Miami, whose teams are depending on them to contribute immediately.  I think with the lack of a full offseason program these players could struggle at the start of the year but could prove to be solid starters come December.

3). Who are your preseason top five College Football teams and a quick note about why.
My top team for the upcoming season is definitely Alabama.  Their secondary is as good as any that I can remember in college football in quite some time, they are extremely well coached, and they have numerous offensive weapons including Heisman hopeful, running back Trent Richardson.  The only thing that I could see derail a championship run from the Tide is the lack of experience of quarterback AJ McCarron.  That being said there are still some teams that won’t make it easy for Alabama.
I really like Oregon to continue to challenge for the title this year.  I think they still have a lot of great weapons on both sides of the ball and the experience they gained from last year s run could help put them over the top.  Oklahoma and LSU are two teams that a lot of people are very high on.  Oklahoma should have a very potent offense lead by quarterback Landry Jones and wide receiver Ryan Broyles.  I am not as high on LSU as most but we will find out if they are for real in a couple weeks when they kick off the season against Oregon.  That should be a really great game.  And of course last but not least, everyone’s favorite underdog, and a team who should continue to challenge this year, Boise State.  They lost some weapons from last year, but with quarterback Kellen Moore still leading the charge they will still win a lot of football games.  One sleeper who I think could really surprise is Florida State.  They are very solid on both sides of the ball.

4). Heading into this College Football season who are some of the players who are getting too much love for you? (Ie who is overrated).
The player who I think is currently receiving too much hype is actually a player who I really enjoyed watching play last season and that’s Michigan’s quarterback Denard Robinson.  Obviously Robinson was one of the more exciting players in college football last year, but I think with new head coach Brady Hoke taking over the Wolverines offense could see a slight transformation.  Former Wolverines coach Rich Rodriguez is a master at building his offense’s around skilled quarterbacks with speed.  He did it successfully at West Virginia and he brought that same mind set to Michigan when he coached the Wolverines for the past few years. I think Rodriguez’s offense is a major reason why Robinson was so successful last year.
I know that a lot of people were prematurely comparing Robinson’s skill set to that of Mike Vick but for me I see him as more of a Pat White, who is another Rodriguez pupil.  So as much as I love Robinson’s skill set it really worries me that he might not be provided with the same opportunity to flourish as he would have been with Rodriguez.

5). You’ve taken over  recently tell our readers what they can expect to see from your site moving forward.
Well first of all I consider myself lucky because the former editor and staff did an excellent job of laying the ground work for the site.  But with that said I am still putting my own spin on it.  We currently have a staff of fifteen writers providing excellent daily content on the NFL, NCAA, fantasy football, and draft coverage. We also provide some really great weekly features including our Tuesday Top Ten List, Heisman Watch, Weekly Rankings, Thursday Three and Scouts Eye.  Scouts Eye is a feature that I will begin doing next week and is one that should be a lot of fun for both the staff and our readers.  It will include weekly breakdowns of prospects with video and analysis.  I won’t give too much away but you will definitely have to check it out throughout the year.  There is a lot of great stuff happening at With the First Pick and we are all really looking forward to an amazing year of football.