Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Irish Fantasy Draft: Rounds 13-16

Most of the glamour names are off the board at this point in the draft, which means extensive knowledge of the last twenty years really starts to come into play. The picks are coming so fast that we'll throw up four rounds this time.

13.01 (UHND) - Oliver Gibson, NT

"There was a time when a former USA Today defensive player of the year had to wait his turn at Notre Dame because there were talented players ahead of him. This was the case with Gibson who had to sit behind Bryant Young before stepping into a starting role in 1994. Gibson will be the anchor of the 3-4 defense my team will run." - Frank

13.02 (Domer Law) - John Sullivan, C

13.03 (Her Loyal Sons) - Kinnon Tatum, OLB

"Some of us are now old enough to remember his great play at LB for ND more than his stint on Charlie Weis' coaching staff. Gulp." - domer_mq

13.04 (WeNeverGraduate) - Lake Dawson, WR

"I can't let him fall any farther. Dawson was the number one receiver in back-to-back seasons, an explosive threat that had great hands and could stretch the field. Pairing him with Floyd gives me a tandem that's a force to be reckoned with on the outside. Load up against the run, I dare you..." - Mattare

13.05 (Subway Domer) - Paul Grasmanis, DT

"Big. Strong. Defensive tackle. PLUG HIM IN!!!!!!!" - Subway Domer

13.06 (Irish Illustrated) - Andre Jones, DE

"I need a speed rusher to complete my defensive line, so I’m going with Jones coming off the edge. If I’m shifting to a 3-4 look he could turn into an outside linebacker too. There might be better individual defensive ends, but the tandem of Jones and Abiamiri is one that should get the collective job done." - Pete

14.01 (Irish Illustrated) - Derek Brown, TE

"I’m picking a NFL first rounder in the 14th round of this fantasy draft. A 6-foot-7, 245-pound stud, who I’m actually going to throw the ball to. Talk about a value pick to mix with my top-flight receiving corps. I can’t believe this guy is still on the board this late in the game." - Pete

14.02 (Subway Domer) - Kapron Lewis-Moore, DE

"On a 4 man front, KLM pairs up well with Irons." - Subway Domer

14.03 (WeNeverGraduate) - Irv Smith, TE

"If I'm going to be jamming the ball down the opposition's throat I need a nasty blocking tight end to line up alongside Aaron Taylor to help pave the way. Irv Smith was a first rounder who is not just a bulldozer in the run game, but a guy who can also provide a threat down the seam that's borderline impossible for defensive backs to bring down. Just ask the secondary of Indiana (see below)..." - Mattare

14.04 (Her Loyal Sons) - Lyndsay Knapp, OT

"I almost missed him, b/c I was assuming he was already taken. I've now checked the spreadsheet 3 times to make sure he really wasn't. Lindsay was a College & Pro Football Newsweekly All-American in 1992 and went on to play a few years of pro ball." - domer_mq

14.05 (Domer Law) - Sam Young, OT

14.06 (UHND) - Bobbie Howard, ILB

"My defense needs an inside linebacker and Bobbie Howard, a captain of the '98 Irish, is one of my favorite players from the last 20 years. He was a tad undersized but he always played big especially when he picked off Herb Tyler and raced 89 yards for a touchdown in the '98 LSU game. Oh, and he had 16 tackles in the game." - Frank

15.01 (UHND) - Mike Doughty, OT

I waited a little while to pick an offensive tackle, but I could do worse than selecting a 4 year starter at tackle for the Irish. Doughty started from '94-97 at right tackle for the Irish and will play next to Mike Gandy on the right side of the offensive line.

15.02 (Domer Law) - Melvin Dansby, DE

15.03 (Her Loyal Sons) - David Bruton, FS

"I have fond memories of watching Bruton play in 2007 - the worst season ever. One play, in particular, sticks out, when ND played MSU in South Bend, and the MSU QB threw up an arching bomb to the boundary, and Bruton was about 30 yards from the intended receiver. From the stands, you saw the ball at the top of the arch, saw where the receiver was, saw Bruton, and before the ball even began its decent, you knew Bruton was going to pick it off. And you were right. It was the sort of pick ND hadn't made in half a decade. Bruton, despite the oft-displayed incompetence of the 07 squad, was living proof that ND still attracted world-caliber athletic talent. You just had to know what you were looking at." - domer_mq

15.04 (WeNeverGraduate) - Brian Hamilton, DE

"I've surveyed the landscape of the remaining defensive lineman and decided that I just can't afford to wait any longer to fill the final spot on my defensive line. Adding big Brian Hamilton to the mix means that I have 3/4 of the 1993 squad's line along with Renaldo Wynn. Two words: Rock Solid." - Mattare

15.05 (Subway Domer) - Arnaz Battle, WR

15.06 (Irish Illustrated) - Rod Smith, S

"That’s a wrap on my starting secondary with a stud starter at cornerback or safety who was good enough to be a second round pack in the ’92 draft. And he backed up Stan Smagala before that. I like what I’ve got at the back end with Tom Carter, Glenn Earle, Brock Williams and Smith. Four big-time athletes." - Pete

16.01 (Irish Illustrated) - Tony Brooks, RB

"I’m late to grab a running back, but I’m happy with the other Brooks brother (thanks, I’ll be here all week), who’s a dynamic, powerful rusher. I hear he’s got a really talented son coming up through the football ranks too. Obviously, that kid is a lock for Notre Dame. Wait, what’s that?" - Pete

16.02 (Subway Domer) - Carlyle Holiday, WR

"Yes, my starting 2 WR's are former QB's that made the switch. Both Battle and Holiday have more NFL playing time than quite a few of the other picks at WR in this draft. The Floyd-god doesn't count." - Subway Domer

16.03 (WeNeverGraduate) - Deke Cooper, FS

"I've pondered taking him the last three rounds and luckily he's still around. Cooper came to campus as a wideout, but when coaches found out he was capable of nearly decapitating ball carriers they shifted him to safety where he flourished. The reality is that Deke was capable of lowering the boom like few other Domers over the past two decades. Of course all Irish fans remember him leveling Mike Cloud at the goal line on fourth down to beat BC, but some may forget Cooper was an incredibly fierce hitter that made receivers think twice about stretching out for that ball over the middle." - Mattare

16.04 (Her Loyal Sons) - Lance Legree, DT

"Criminally under appreciated at ND." - domer_mq

16.05 (Domer Law) - Anthony Fasano, TE

16.06 (UHND) - David Givens, WR

"I will gladly take Givens as my #2 wide receiver. Givens was horribly underused by Bob Davie and company during his Notre Dame career and his NFL success, before knee injuries derailed his career, are a testament to that. Givens is a great complement to Rocket Ismail." - Frank

- - - - - - - - - -

I decided it was time to show a little love to the aerial attack in rounds 13 and 14. First I found Michael Floyd a partner in crime with the clutch and explosive Lake Dawson. He was a three year starter from '91-'93 and the favorite target of both Rick Mirer and Kevin McDougal. His reliable hands and ability to stretch the field deep provide a nice complement to big #3 on the opposite side.

Now I know the pool of talent at tight end is actually really deep, but I thought it was worth using a pick at this point to ensure I got one that was both an effective receiver and a bruising run blocker. Irv Smith was both in spades. Upon completion of his career at ND he was a first rounder in the NFL Draft and left behind this phenomenal clip that served as warning to any defensive back who was thinking they could tackle him by himself (or even with just one other person).

Beast mode.

Of course I couldn't go three offensive picks in a row so I shifted back to defense for the next two rounds. The talent pool at defensive end is just about empty at this point so I feel fortunate Brian Hamilton fell into my lap this late.

Hamilton was a team captain and multi-year starter who played inside and outside on the defensive front. Picking him means I have three of the four starters from the 1993 squad, which I couldn't draw up much better.

I sweated out the next couple picks because I had this terrible feeling Pete was going to poach the guy I'd been torn on taking with each of my last four selections: Deke Cooper. He's a big safety (6'2", 220lbs) with great range and a penchant for bone-rattling hits. Opponents' receivers will grow a whole lot of alligator arms knowing that Deke is prowling over the middle.

And if it ever comes down to a goal line situation, we all know he can lower the boom in a tight area...

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