Wednesday, April 24, 2019

If MIAA Stars Entered the NFL Draft: 2019 Edition

Everett's Mike Sainristil has all the tools to be the top pick in our mock draft.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

We may have (mostly) shut down operations here at SuiteSports, but dammit, I'm not gonna end this school year without putting out our fun, but mostly pointless blog about where the best players in the MIAA would be selected, were they available in this week's NFL Draft.

If you need to get caught up, you can find our 2017 MIAA/NFL Draft here, and our 2018 edition here.

A reminder of the rules for players being taken in our MIAA/NFL Draft:

1. The player must be a senior. I know college juniors (and redshirt sophomores) can be taken in the real NFL Draft, but that's not how our draft works.

2. The player can be headed to prep school next year. Since we don't include ISL or other Prep School players in our draft, guys who are finishing up their MIAA careers and graduating from an MIAA school get the chance to be drafted.

3. We've expanded our mock draft to two rounds this year (!), and we're using the current draft order. There will be no trades simulated, though I did give that some thought.

4. We are not pretending our 2017 and 2018 MIAA/NFL Drafts actually happened. Seriously, everything would be way too complex if we did that, and it would create an MIAA/NFL cinematic universe that I don't feel like keeping track of. I'm not even ready for the new Avengers movie yet.

5. Any complaints? Yell at me on Twitter at my handle, @HerewegoJoe, and tell me why I'm the worst fictional GM ever. Heck, you can even make your own MIAA/NFL mock draft and send me a screen shot.

Anyways, without further ado, here is our 2019 MIAA/NFL Draft.

Round One

1. Arizona Cardinals: Mike Sainristil, ATH, Everett

The Cardinals flirt with the idea of drafting a QB here at No. 1, but ultimately, Sainristil is a generational play maker, and too good to pass up. Arizona would be wise to get the ball in his hands, any way they can, early in his career. If nothing else, he would certainly help the aging Larry Fitzgerald see less coverage.

2. San Francisco 49ers: Cooper DeVeau, DB, Xaverian 

The 49ers allowed the second-most passing TDs in football last year (and forced the fewest INTs), so a ball-hawking safety like DeVeau is just what the doctor ordered. Add in his abilities as a kick returner, and his skill as a cover guy near the goal line, and you have a no-brainer for San Fran.

3. New York Jets: Scott Elliott, OL, Holliston

The Jets feel like they finally have a franchise quarterback, so it would probably be a pretty good idea to protect him. Elliot has been one of the best offensive tackles in the state the past few seasons, and has the look of a sure-fire starter for Gang Green.

4. Oakland Raiders: Lucas Folan, DL, Catholic Memorial

Oakland made waves trading for Antonio Brown, but if the Raiders really want to turn things around, they'll need to step things up on the defensive side of the ball. Enter Folan, a one-man wrecking crew for CM last year, who will add instant punch to the Oakland pass rush, and help Xaverian alum Maurice Hurst shore up the run defense.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Xavier Gonsalves, DL, Mashpee

A run on play making defensive linemen continues, as Tampa Bay grabs the physical and athletic Gonsalves. Look for Gonsalves to live in opposing backfields for the Bucs, and begin a defensive rebuild that has been a long time coming.

6. New York Giants: Aidan Sullivan, QB, Scituate

The Giants finally pull the trigger and draft a successor to Eli Manning, and Sullivan has all the tools to be a star in the modern league. With a quick release, great accuracy, and athleticism to boot, New York has to feel like it's drafting another franchise QB.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jake McElroy, QB, North Andover

Speaking of franchise QBs, that's what the Jaguars should be getting in McElroy, who turned heads across the state during NA's historic state championship run. Another athletic signal caller, McElroy is also a renowned leader with a big arm.

8. Detroit Lions: Elijah Ayers, DB, Springfield Central

Detroit's pass defense actually wasn't terrible last season, but the chance to grab a versatile DB like Ayers is too good to pass up for the Lions. The long, athletic hybrid can play both as an off corner, or a free safety, and was an interception machine for SC last year, something the Lions have to be excited about.

9. Buffalo Bills: Mike Ciaffoni, OL, Lincoln-Sudbury

Another team with a young quarterback, and that means you need to keep him upright. Ciaffoni is an athletic offensive tackle who should do just that, plus he packs some punch as a run blocker as well.

10. Denver Broncos: Cal Kenney, DL, Lincoln-Sudbury

A mini-run on L-S lineman rounds out the Top-10, as Kenney's abilities as a run stuffer make him the ideal pick for a Denver defense that features elite outside rushers, but lacks bite in the middle.

11. Cincinnati Bengals: Matt Smith, TE, Needham

The Bengals have quietly put together a nice collection of skill players, and Smith could push them over the top. An athletic tight end who can stretch the field vertically, Smith might be the final piece to make the Cincinnati offense purr again.

12. Green Bay Packers: Spencer Cassell, TE, Hingham

Another team that could use a weapon at tight end, and luckily, the MIAA has another elite tight end prospect to offer. Cassell was one of the state's most complete tight ends last year, equally capable of throwing a devastating block, or catching a deep ball to ignite the Harbormen offense. If Aaron Rodgers wants to get back to the playoffs, having a weapon like Cassell sure wouldn't hurt.

13. Miami Dolphins: Nick Gordon, QB, Franklin

Can the Dolphins finally find a successor to Dan Marino's legacy? They think so with this pick, as the athletic lefty from Franklin will have fans in South Florida thinking of another great 80s/90s QB: Steve Young. Gordon's game is similar on the ground, but there's nothing dink and dunk about his game throwing the football, as the Hockomock star has no issue slinging it down the field.

14. Atlanta Falcons: Ryan Clemente, DL, North Attleboro

The Falcons couldn't do much of anything defensively last year, and they'll look for some reinforcements up front in the form of the versatile Clemente. With quick feet and devastating hands, Clemente is capable of holding up inside, and sliding out to rush the passer as a defensive end. No doubt the Dirty Birds could use his help to climb back to defensive respectability.

15. Washington Redskins: Myles Bradley, WR, Springfield Central

Washington has a bunch of "pretty good" skill players, but need a consistent play maker like Bradley. With a combination of speed, vision, toughness and hands, the Golden Eagle standout should contend for immediate playing time in DC.

16. Carolina Panthers: Lucas Ferraro, OL, Xaverian

Carolina has a dynamic backfield with QB Cam Newton and RB Christian McCaffrey, and now it's time to give those guys some more room to work. Enter Ferraro, a brutal drive blocker with a mean streak, who always finishes his blocks. A smart player and hard worker, the Xaverian star could fit in anywhere the Panthers need him along their offensive line.

17. New York Giants (from CLE): Gabe Desouza, WR, North Andover

With Odell Beckham Jr. gone to Cleveland, and a new franchise QB already selected earlier in the draft, the Giants continue their rebuild with another special offensive talent. Desouza did just about everything for the D2 champions, but it was his abilities in the open field, both as a receiver and kick returner, that will make him must see when he gets to The Meadowlands.

18. Minnesota Vikings: James Taylor, DL, St. John's Prep

It's a passing league, but it's amazing what a physical run stuffer can still do for a defense. Taylor might be the best in the state in that regard, and Minnesota's struggling defense could use him as a centerpiece of a rebuild up front.

19. Tennessee Titans: Chris Yeboah, DL, Doherty

On the flip side, you would be hard pressed to find a quicker defensive tackle than Yeboah, who racked up 15 sacks as an interior rusher, and lived in opposing backfields. With the athleticism to line up across the front, and the strength to hold up against anyone, the former Highlander star will be a welcome addition to Mike Vrabel's defense.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jack Webster, LB, King Philip

Pittsburgh still hasn't recovered from the loss of Ryan Shazier a few years back, but the Steelers luck out and find an instinctive linebacker with the kind of versatility needed to play ILB in the Burgh. A tackling machine who can cover backs and tight ends, as well as rush the passer, Webster is a steal for the Steelers at No. 20.

21. Seattle Seahawks: Khari Johnson, DB, Catholic Memorial

The Legion of Boom is long gone, so Seattle has to turn its attention to a suddenly mortal secondary. No worries though, as they find one of the most purely talented corners in the draft, and use Johnson to rebuild a championship defense around.

22. Baltimore Ravens: Mike Masse, LB, Xaverian

Like their division rivals two spots earlier, Baltimore can't believe its luck that a game-changing linebacker is still on the board. The Ravens opt for Masse, an old-school MLB who relishes contact, but can also track the ball from sideline-to-sideline. The Xaverian star's toughness should help him fit right in inside the Baltimore locker room.

23. Houston Texans: Hunter Salmon, OL, Catholic Memorial

The Texans have their franchise QB in DeShaun Watson, but after he was sacked a league-high 62 times, it's time to look for a franchise left tackle. Salmon fits the bill, and should provide an instant upgrade on the blindside, and help Houston's potent ground game keep rolling.

24. Oakland Raiders (from CHI): Devaun Ford, ATH, Mashpee

Talk about steals! If not for injury, Ford would likely have gone much higher, but the Raiders are giddy to turn the versatile running back loose in their offense, which now features Antonio Brown.

25. Philadelphia Eagles: Christos Argyropolous, RB, Stoneham

The Eagle offense is at its best when it has a physical back to hammer defenses, and that's just what Philly is getting in Argyropolous. The Stoneham product could be a fantasy sleeper as a touchdown vulture in his rookie season.

26. Indianapolis Colts: Wes Rockett, WR, St. John's Prep

The Colts played some great football down the stretch last year, but badly need another play maker at receiver to complement T.Y. Hilton and TE Eric Ebron. Rockett is that dude, with the size, speed and body control to win at the top of the route.

27. Oakland Raiders (from DAL): Tajon Vassar, ATH, Doherty

Another versatile back who can split out to catch the ball and score from anywhere on the field? Yep, the Raiders will have another, as they stockpile weapons to be used in Jon Gruden's offense. Like Ford a few picks earlier, Vassar's versatility and big-play ability make him too good to pass up, and suddenly gives Oakland three home run hitters on offense.

28. Los Angeles Chargers: Daniel May, WR, Scituate

One of the state's best route runners, and a play maker when his QB extended the play as well, May was just always making things happen. He joins an offense that already has a lot going for it, but May will add a deep threat to the Chargers that any team could use.

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Billy Silvia, RB, Braintree

The Chiefs have run the ball well with a variety of backs, but Silvia's combination of strength and breakaway speed will give KC an entirely new dimension. Imagine spreading yourself thin in an attempt to stop Patrick Mahomes and that passing game, only to have Silvia run your Nickel corner over.

30. Green Bay Packers (from NO): Liam Daly, OL, St. John's (Shrewsbury)

Green Bay would also like to protect its franchise QB, and Daly is the best interior lineman left on the board. The Packers won't have to worry about quick pressure up the middle anymore, and who knows, maybe GB will actually run the ball next year.

31. Los Angeles Rams: Darren Watson, DB, North Andover

A big hitter and play maker at corner, Watson will help the Rams get younger and more athletic in the secondary. While the Rams have plenty of star power on defense, Julian Edelman is still catching passes against them, so Watson's speed, toughness and instincts will certainly be welcomed in LA.

32. New England Patriots: Timmy Lawton, TE, Maynard

A tight end who can blow people off the ball in the run game, make big plays downfield in the passing game, and wears No. 87? Yes, the Patriots could use one of those.

A small-school stud, Lawton has all the tools to fill Gronk's massive shoes, and should feel right at home as the Patriots look to run the ball a bit more with their solid stable of backs.

Round 2

33. Arizona: Kevin Dewing, OL, St. John's Prep

The Cards add a versatile weapon in Round 1, and move to upgrade their line in Round 2 with this Prep product.

34. Indianapolis (from NYJ): Quinn Murphy, OL/DL, Duxbury

Murphy was equally stout as a blocker and a defender, and the Colts could use both. They'll figure out where to put him when he gets to Indy.

35. Oakland: Mike McCutcheon, LB, Duxbury

Another Dragon comes off the board, as the Raiders address the second level of their defense with the speedy McCutcheon after a productive first round.

36. San Francisco: Baley Collier, WR, Westfield

The Niners hand Jimmy G. Another lethal weapon in Collier, whose speed and big-play ability after the catch should complement tight end George Kittle perfectly.

37. N.Y. Giants: Keshaun Dancy, DB, Springfield Central

The Giants addressed their offense in Round One, and now move to seriously upgrade their secondary with one of the best players in Western Mass.

38. Jacksonville: Matt Doyle, OL, Braintree

The Jags snag their new franchise QB in Round One, and now they draft they guy they hope will protect him in Doyle. The physical Wamp should be ready to play from day one.

39. Tampa Bay: Mitch Beaudoin, ATH, Littleton

A bulldozer of a running back/fullback (Tampa Bay loves those), and dominant LB to boot, Beaudoin could address several needs for the Bucs in coach Bruce Arians' first season.

40. Buffalo: Mike Roche, DL, North Andover

The Bills need help everywhere, but getting a play maker up front for their defense is a top priority in Round Two for Buffalo.

41. Denver: Sam Bolinsky, QB, Nashoba

Joe Flacco is the plan for the immediate future, but John Elway can't pass on a big, athletic, strong-armed QB who wears No. 7. Bolinsky should learn for a year or two on then sideline, then usher in a new era for the Broncos.

42. Cincinnati: Lou Vigeant, LB, Marlboro

One of the more underrated backers (and RBs) in the state, Vigeant comes off the board to a team that badly needs some new blood on defense, and should benefit from his toughness.

43. Detroit: Trace Trant, LB, Tewksbury

A versatile backer who can play sideline-to-sideline, and rush the passer, Trant ticks off all the boxes for Matt Patricia and his staff.

44. Green Bay: Joe Howshan, DB, Central Catholic

The Packers find a gem in Howshan, a rangy safety who can also bring the lumber.

45. Atlanta: Justin Jameson, RB, Oakmont

The Falcons are at their best when their backfield is deep, talented, and athletic. Enter Jameson, one of the state's best kept secrets until recently.

46. Washington: James Dillon, ATH, Lincoln-Sudbury 

Washington again upgrades its skill talent, with Dillon, a hard-nosed, but also explosive back from L-S. And if they need him on defense, Dillon can slide over and play LB as well.

47. Carolina: Gilbert Kabamba, DL, Everett

A dominant defensive end for a perennial power, Kabamba's physicality and pass rush skill should help Carolina quickly upgrade its defense.

48. Miami: Niko Murray, RB, Oxford

The Dolphins have Kenyan Drake still on the roster, and other needs, but Murray is flat-out the best player left on the board. The prolific Oxford back could come in and give Miami one of the league's best 1-2 RB punches right away, which should take pressure off its, uh, questionable quarterback situation.

49. Cleveland: Mason Cadorette, DL, Dighton-Reheboth

The Browns finally get a pick, and they snag Cadorette, a D-Linemen who spent all of 2018 living in opposing backfields, while carrying his team on an improbable run to Gillette.

50. Minnesota: DJ Jelin, OL, Concord-Carlisle

The Vikings love their skill talent, and already addressed their defense, so they upgrade their offensive line with Jelin, an athletic guard whose pulling ability will make their offense more diverse.

51. Tennessee: Shea Gallo-Kolegue, WR, St. John's (Shrewsbury)

St. John's seems to churn out stud receivers on an annual basis, and Gallo-Kolegue is no exception. Look for Tennessee to utilize him in the slot to create mismatches.

52. Pittsburgh: John Roberts, QB, Duxbury

Ben Roethlisberger ain't gonna play forever, and the Steelers can't resist the chance to grab Roberts, a true dual-threat quarterback who can dissect you with his brain and arm, or simply create terror on the ground with his legs.

53. Philadelphia (from BAL): Charles Payson, LB, Doherty

Philly's biggest need is at linebacker, where they find one of the draft's most intriguing prospects in Payson. The Doherty star is all of 260+ lbs, and stuffs the run as well as you might expect, but also runs well laterally, and has great instincts against the short to intermediate passing game.

54. Houston (from SEA): John Freeman, OL, BC High

The Texans continue to build an elite and young offensive line with Freeman. Look for him to serve as a book end to former Catholic Conference rival Hunter Salmon on the other side.

55. Houston: Chase Buono, DB, Lynn Classical

Content with their offensive line, the Texans address their secondary with the Lynn Classical safety. His range and willingness to come up to defend the run should put him in line for some early playing time.

56. New England (from CHI): Will Driscoll, WR, Franklin

The Pats are always on the lookout for a big-play receiver, and that's just what they get in Driscoll. A true game changer for the Panthers, Driscoll's ability to sneak behind a defense should tie together the Patriot passing game.

57. Philadelphia: Brooks Jones, OL, Wayland

An athletic left tackle who can protect the QB (something Philly badly needs), and get to the second level in the run game, Jones is an under the radar star out of Wayland.

58. Dallas: Matt Johnson, TE, Nashoba

Look for the physical Nashoba product to push Jason Witten out of another job this season.

59. Indianapolis: Segun Okunlola, DL, Brockton

The beastly Boxer lineman may be the steal of the second round, and will give Indy an instant injection of physicality and athleticism up front.

60. L.A. Chargers: Matt Petercuskie, QB, Barnstable

A smart and athletic QB, with the accuracy to make all the throws, even on the run, Petercuskie has the tools to be Phillip Rivers' eventual successor.

61. Kansas City: Anthony Caggianelli, LB, Central Catholic

The Chiefs upgrade their defense with a speedy, play making linebacker from CC.

62. New Orleans: Jeff Ciccio, TE, Bridgewater-Raynham

A special athlete who can get open down the seam, win at the top of the corner route, and just out-jump defenders in the red zone, Ciccio is a great addition for the Saints and QB Drew Brees.

63. Kansas City (from L.A. Rams): Wilson Frederic, DL, Everett

The Chiefs again look to upgrade their defense, and grab the best player left on the board in Frederic.

64. New England: Finn Murray, QB/DB, Acton-Boxboro

Look, Tom Brady can't play forever... Can he? Well, even if he does, the versatile A-B product can help out the Patriots secondary while he waits for TB12 to maybe, someday, perhaps, hang it up.

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