on to the latest mock!
1) Kansas City Chiefs (2-12): Geno
Smith, QB, West Virginia
For a little while, I considered not mocking a quarterback to the Chiefs at #1.
Then they played the Raiders and couldn’t move the ball against one of the
worst defenses in the NFL. Change needs to come to KC’s offense, and if they
like Geno Smith, I think they’ll pull the trigger on him with the top pick.
2) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12): Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia
The Jaguars could easily trade down
and wait for a quarterback. Chad Henne played well for a few weeks, but has
regressed after replacing Blaine Gabbert. Still, I think Jones is too valuable
to pass up. He gives Jacksonville another piece on a defense that the front
office has put a priority on improving (see the acquisitions of Jason Babin and
Paul Posluszny as examples).
3) Oakland Raiders (4-10): Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
The Raiders could also plug their defensive line with Star Lotulelei, but
defensive line is loaded in this year’s draft class and they can address that
need later. Instead, they use the #3 pick on the safest prospect around.
Rolando McClain wants out, and Oakland desperately needs young leadership on
defense, which is exactly what Te’o provides.
4) Philadelphia Eagles (4-10): Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Philadelphia let Michael Vick get
massacred behind the line, and without reinforcements, the same thing will
happen to Nick Foles. You need to protect quarterbacks, and here, the Eagles
are in position to take the best offensive lineman in the draft. This seems to
be one of the more agreed-upon picks in the mock draft universe, so there’s no
reason to change it at this point.
5) Detroit Lions (4-10): DeMarcus
Milliner, CB, Alabama
player available is Star Lotulelei, but the Lions certainly aren’t lacking at
defensive tackle. If they want to improve their front seven, they could reach
for Barkevious Mingo or Damontre Moore, but Milliner isn’t a reach and improves
a below-average secondary. He should be able to step in and contribute right
San Diego Chargers (5-9): Matt Barkley, QB, USC
It’s apparent that San Diego will
likely clean house at the end of the year. The new head coach and GM will both
likely want a high-profile replacement for Philip Rivers, who was once a very
good quarterback but who’s turned into a turnover machine this year. This may
be a bit of a reach for Barkley, but he’s a local product who could provide a
jolt of excitement to a team that desperately needs one. If he impresses at the
Combine, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Chargers pull the trigger.
7) Buffalo Bills (5-9): Barkevious
Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
as I may be to mock Star Lotulelei to Buffalo, the Bills invested a ton of
money in Mario and Kyle Williams. Talent-wise, Mingo could be a reach at #7,
but he gives the Bills a talented, versatile edge rusher who can play the run
well. Given how disappointing Buffalo’s run defense has been (it’s currently 30th
in the NFL), this pick makes sense.
8) Cleveland Browns (5-9): Star
Lotulelei, DT, Utah
This is a
huge break for the Browns, who could use an upgrade at defensive tackle and get
one with one of the best players in the draft. I could also see Cleveland
taking Damontre Moore, but Ahtyba Rubin has regressed after an 82-tackle season
a year ago and Lotulelei is just way too talented to pass up at #8.
9) Carolina Panthers (5-9): Johnathan
Hankins, DT, Ohio State
gets the draft’s first gut-punch, as they could REALLY use Star Lotulelei and
may very well trade up to get him. However, Hankins is also a very good
prospect. He enjoyed a great junior year at Ohio State, and he’s one of the
best players available at this point in the draft.
10) Tennessee Titans (5-9): Damontre
Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
run defense is near the bottom of the NFL at 25th overall, and they
can address that in a big way here. Moore could have gone several spots before
this to either Buffalo or Cleveland, but in this scenario, he heads to
Tennessee, where he can fill plenty of holes on a defense in desperate need of
11) Arizona Cardinals (5-9): Landry
Jones, QB, Oklahoma
Fitzgerald is wasting one of his prime seasons thanks to three quarterbacks
that can’t get him the ball. It’s no secret that I’m high on Landry Jones. If
he had entered the draft last year, he’d have likely been a first-round pick.
Instead, he continued one of the more underrated quarterback careers in the
country and may have made himself a considerable amount of money. I think he’ll
turn heads at the Combine, and he’s certainly an upgrade here.
12) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8):
Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Tampa Bay traded Aqib Talib, and their cornerback situation wasn’t rosy to
begin with. With Ronde Barber likely retiring, they need to restock the
defensive backfield. Rhodes is the second-best defensive back in the draft, and
he’d be a welcome addition to Greg Schiano’s squad.
Miami Dolphins (6-8): Taylor Lewan, OT,
pains me to mock Lewan this high. While he’s a very good offensive lineman,
this draft doesn’t have many of those as compared to previous years, so he’ll
go earlier than he should. Miami may need an offensive lineman, as Jake Long
may not return following a season-ending injury. If Long does not return and
Lewan is available, it’s a decent fit.
14) New York Jets (6-8): Mike
Glennon, QB, N.C. State
situation is nothing short of an absolute trainwreck. Mark Sanchez has been
benched, Tim Tebow won’t get a chance to play, and Greg McElroy likely won’t
turn into the next version of Joe Namath despite sharing an alma mater with the
Jets legend. I wouldn’t be at all shocked if they traded up for a quarterback,
and I pretty much need to mock them one in this spot, even if it's a colossal reach.
15) New Orleans Saints (6-8): Bjoern
Werner, DE/OLB, Florida State
Orleans has some gaping holes on their defense. A defensive tackle would be
ideal, but Sheldon Richardson may be a slight reach at this point. Werner,
though, provides versatility and value at this point in the first round. He
does need to get a little bigger, but he’s anchored FSU’s defense and should be
a very solid pro.
16) St. Louis Rams (6-7-1): Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
see St. Louis trading draft picks with one of the 5-9 teams, as there’s a drop
from Taylor Lewan to the rest of the offensive linemen in this draft. I can’t
predict that here, even though it makes sense, so I’ll mock Fisher here. He
played at a smaller school, but has a chance to move way up the board with a good
showing at the Combine.
17) Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7):
Barrett Jones, OT/OG, Alabama
year, it seems like Pittsburgh needs help on the offensive line. They drafted
David DeCastro a year ago, but Jones is a versatile guy who can play four
different positions up front. With their offensive line seemingly a patchwork
unit every year, that kind of depth would be invaluable.
Dallas Cowboys (8-6): Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
Dallas could use some reinforcements
on the defensive line. They could take a tackle and move Jay Ratliff outside,
but in this scenario, Montgomery is one of the best players available and fits
Dallas’s defensive schemes.
19) Chicago Bears (8-6): Alec
Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
Urlacher is one of the best to ever play his position, but he’s getting older
and is a free agent at the end of the year. With his health now in question, it
wouldn’t be shocking to see the Bears take Ogletree, the consensus #2 inside linebacker
behind Manti Te’o, if he’s still on the board.
New York Giants (8-6): Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
The Giants love drafting defensive
players who can get into the backfield, and that’s exactly what makes Jordan so
effective. He’s a tweener, but the Giants have had success with players like
him, and he presents a very good value at #20.
21) Cincinnati Bengals (8-6): Alex
Okafor, DE/OLB, Texas
isn’t quite the “wreak havoc” player Jordan is, but he’s a safe, experienced,
and versatile player. The Bengals could use a presence like him to take some
pressure off of highly-regarded defensive tackle Geno Atkins.
St. Louis Rams (6-7-1, from Washington (8-6)): Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Two offensive linemen? Well, first
of all, there’s a very real chance St. Louis trades one of these picks to move
up. Secondly, it’s not like the line couldn’t use a makeover. Sam Bradford
could use time to throw, and Steven Jackson isn’t getting any younger. Warmack
makes sense here from a value standpoint as well, and in this scenario, he and
Eric Fisher instantly provide fresh life in the trenches.
Minnesota Vikings (8-6): Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Minnesota is dead-last in the NFL in
passing yardage. Part of that has to do with having arguably the best running
back in the league, but Christian Ponder doesn’t have much to work with outside
of Percy Harvin. That changes with this pick, as Hunter quickly adds a quality
24) Indianapolis Colts (9-5):
Johnathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia
You can run on the Colts, whose front seven ranks 23rd in the NFL.
Their defensive tackle situation isn’t promising, and while the defense as a
whole has overachieved this year, they need reinforcements, which Jenkins helps
25) Baltimore Ravens (9-5): C.J.
Mosley, ILB, Alabama
probably want Ogletree, but he’s not available in this mock. Still, if they’re
searching for a replacement for the injured Ray Lewis, Mosley could be it. He’s
a talented player who has helped lead one of the best defenses in college
26) Seattle Seahawks (9-5): Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Sheldon Richardson’s been rising on
a lot of teams’ boards. His stock is at an all-time high after a big senior
season, and he provides quality defense against the run. That’s been the one
issue with the Seahawks this year, so this is a nice fit.
27) Green Bay Packers (10-4): Kenny
Vaccaro, S, Texas
Green Bay needs help in defending the pass, especially with Charles Woodson
getting older. Vaccaro’s stock has gone up after a 100-tackle senior season,
and he’s gotten better in playing against the pass as well. He’s not a
supremely-gifted athlete, but he’s a smart player who’d fit in on a smart,
28) New England Patriots (10-4): Terrance
Williams, WR, Baylor
Wes Welker is in a contract year, Brandon Lloyd has only recently heated up, and
an over-the-hill Deion Branch is playing a ton of snaps. This could be a real
need position for the Patriots this coming offseason, and Williams is the best
wideout available at this point. I could also see the Pats taking a defensive
lineman, but that position is very deep.
29) San Francisco 49ers (10-3-1): Eric
Reid, S, LSU
into the year as a first-round prospect. He has plenty of experience on a
high-quality defense, and he fills a need since Donte Whitner hasn’t been as
solid as the rest of the Niner defense.
30) Denver Broncos (11-3): Giovani Bernard, HB, North Carolina
Willis McGahee just suffered a bad MCL injury, and Ronnie Hillman, while
explosive, may not be an every-down back. Bernard is a big-play threat every
time he touches the football. He averaged 214 all-purpose yards per game, good
for third nationally, and he’s probably the best
back in the draft class. Despite the improved play of Knowshon Moreno, we don't know if he can maintain that yet.
31) Atlanta Falcons (12-2): Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Atlanta’s coming off a huge win
over the Giants, but in previous weeks, their front seven hadn’t been
impressive. Ansah is a high-upside player with a knack for getting into the
backfield. The Falcons have had problems at defensive end, and this takes a
step towards addressing them.
32) Houston Texans (12-2): Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
Short has a rare blend of size and athleticism. Unlike some defensive tackles,
he can get to the quarterback pretty well, and that’s an asset from the nose
tackle scheme the Texans run.