OK so we don’t have a 1st round pick this year. Or a 2nd round pick. Or a 3rd or 4th. No 7th either? WTF? So what? Lots of great players come out of the 5th, and 6th rounds. In all seriousness, we will probably be getting 3 compensatory picks, with one of those falling in the 3rd or 4th round. These prospects I’ve put together don’t really take that pick into account as it’s pure speculation at this point. I’m basing this off of a 5th round start.
With the 145th pick in the 2012 draft, the Oakland Raiders take DT Josh Chapman.
Chapman is the only true Nose Tackle that will still be on the board at this point and it would make sense for us to grab him. He’s just had surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). According to The Sports Exchange and found at cbssports.com:
“Chapman sustained his injury in a game against Florida on Oct. 1. A few days later, an MRI revealed he had torn the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his left knee. “Dr. (Lyle) Cain said he’s never seen a guy that can have a torn ACL and still stay that stable,” Chapman told the Birmingham News. Chapman decided to delay surgery and finish out the season. He missed one game, but played in the eight others that followed the injury. Chapman played a total of 12 games this past season, sitting out Alabama’s 45-21 win over Georgia Southern on Nov. 19. Georgia Southern rolled up 302 rushing yards against the Crimson Tide. Chapman finished the season with 23 tackles, one sack and two pass breakups.”
It’s a bit of a gamble with a torn ACL like that, but our backs are to the wall right now. Plus, he played almost the entire season through the pain of a torn ACL. That’s pure grit. It’s worth a shot. He’s a powerful, pure nose tackle and a vicious run stuffer. Exactly what we need if we’re gonna even think about a 3-4. The other possible scenario here is to wait and hopefully due to the injury no one else will want to touch him. This way we have a shot at nabbing him as an undrafted FA. In which case I would say we take OLB Kyle Wilbur. Wilbur started out as a DE and made a switch to OLB when Wake Forest switched to a 3-4 scheme. He’s a strong side back and good at stopping the run as well. Unfortunately the Browns seem to be courting him right now. Could take Wimbley’s place should we cut/trade him to make room in the budget. Come to think of it…. Wimbley may have decent trade value in him.
Yet another possibility, as it seems several teams are eyeballing this kid even with the injury, is we use our compensatory pick in the 3rd or 4th round (whichever we end up with) to secure him early. This will have to be an impulse decision based on the climate surrounding him on draft day.
Stay tuned for my Round 6 prediction.