Once the Super Bowl ends, it's only a matter of time (days, minutes, seconds) before the first mock drafts start populating the internet. Well, actually the first ones show up right after the regular season ends, but I digress...
I find it interesting to see that like a school of fish, the various mocks out there always tend to follow each other, but also change between the end of the season thru the draft.
So with the real thing just 2 weeks away, how have the mocks changed from January to now?
E Lacy / M Ball
These were the most prominent names for the Bengals. They had yet to re-sign Rey, Lawson or Howard. They needed a LB. Georgia's Ogletree, looked to be a popular pick for them, as he was a freak on the field with great size & speed. Teo, fresh off his pretend girlfriend fiasco, looked to be dropping from a top-5 pick to the bottom of round 1, where a team like Cincy would grab him.
Running back was also a popular choice, but in a year with no clear-cut great RB's, there was (and still is) debate regarding who that top RB would be.
Post-Senior Bowl Mocks:
Cyprien began to get some attention for his physical play. As the weeks continued, Lacy began to emerge as the likely top RB in the draft, even though he wasn't a senior-bowl participant.
Teo's slow 40 time and Ogletree's off-field problems dropped them from round 1 consideration. Lacy remained a popular choice, despite not doing anything at the combine. Vaccaro was a round 1 prospect whose slow speed made him more of a possibility at #21 than in the first half of the draft.
The Cyprien buzz has slowly died down to where he's considered more of a high 2 than a low 1. With a glut of decent RB options (Gio, Franklin, Ellington, etc...), burning a high pick on Lacy has seemed a bit of a stretch. And Andre Smith's indignation at Cincy's offer (even though it's his only offer), has elevated Fluker into round 1 consideration, if Cincy elects to grab a RT.
There have been other mocks offering such names as Datone Jones, Trufant, Rhodes, Hopkins, Allen, etc... but these have been the minority. I'm basically looking at the mainstream of mock drafts and how they have changed over the last few months.