By ANDREW CHAMPAGNE
With that, on to the latest mock!
1) Kansas City Chiefs (2-14): Luke
Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
I actually got some complaints for
putting Joeckel at #1. First of all, we monitor comments on this blog, so if
you’re ripping something and name-calling with the nametag ‘anonymous,’ chances
are it won’t make the final cut.
Anyway, Geno Smith hasn’t done
enough to be in play here yet. If he has a great Combine, maybe I’ll
reconsider, but the offensive line is a question mark. Brandon Albert may not
be back, as he’s repeatedly said he has no desire to play guard. Joeckel would
step right in and give whatever QB the Chiefs go with time to process the play.
2) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
dropping Jarvis Jones down, but his spinal condition, while not an issue during
a stellar 2012 season, may be a red flag this high up in the draft. Jones may
be a stud in the making, but Moore is also a ferocious pass rusher that the
Jaguars desperately need, so he’s far from a bad pick.
3) Oakland Raiders (4-12): Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
times have changed. Manti Te’o was here for a while, but his off-the-field
troubles cost him a decent amount of money. Meanwhile, Lotulelei may have
turned down an invite to the Senior Bowl, but he’s by far the best defensive
tackle prospect in the draft and he fills a massive need for the Raiders in the
middle of a porous defensive line.
4) Philadelphia Eagles (4-12): DeMarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama
desperately want to improve their offensive line, but Joeckel is off the board
and no other lineman is of any value here unless you’re REALLY high on Eric
Fisher (he’s a good prospect, but not #4-overall good). However, the defensive
backfield could also use an upgrade, and the Eagles can address that need with
the top defensive back prospect in the draft. If the Eagles really want Fisher,
they can trade down to grab him later in the top 10 picks.
5) Detroit Lions (4-12): Bjoern
Werner, DE/OLB, Florida State
continues his slide. The last time around, I had him going here, but the
consensus being formed is that Werner is the safer pick. While the logic behind
that is debatable (with the new rookie contract caps, there’s MUCH less risk
with players like Jones who may not have the longest careers), Werner is a very
good prospect with room to improve off his stellar form at Florida State.
6) Cleveland Browns (5-11): Barkevious
Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
here is either Mingo, Jones, Ezekiel Ansah, or Dion Jordan. Personally, I like
Mingo best, although it’s a total judgment call at a position absolutely loaded
with talent in this year’s draft. At any rate, the Browns need an edge rusher,
and they can certainly address it here.
7) Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Geno
Smith, QB, West Virginia
Larry Fitzgerald wasted one of his
prime seasons thanks to three quarterbacks that couldn’t get him the ball, and
Ken Whisenhunt is gone. Matt Barkley could also play his way into this
discussion with a strong showing at the Combine, but for now, Smith is the top
quarterback available in a weak draft class.
8) Buffalo Bills (6-10): Jarvis
Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia
shouldn’t make it past #8 if Arizona goes in another direction, but in this
mock, he’s gone. Personally, though, I feel like the Bills are getting a steal here.
Jones is a premier talent who may be falling due to something that isn’t even
an issue. There’s no denying he can wreak havoc in the backfield, and this
should give the Bills another playmaker in the front seven.
9) New York Jets (6-10): Dion Jordan,
Buffalo, New York needs an edge rusher. Jordan is an athletic freak who knows
how to wreak havoc in the backfield. The lone hesitation with him is a torn
labrum, one he’ll reportedly have surgery on before the draft, but he’s a very good
fit for the Jets in this spot, and it shouldn’t affect him when preparations
for the 2013 NFL season begin. If Darrelle Revis gets dealt, I could also see
them drafting Johnthan Banks or Xavier Rhodes, or even moving up for DeMarcus
Milliner, but for now, Jordan’s the pick.
10) Tennessee Titans (6-10): Johnathan
Hankins, DT, Ohio State
had some pieces on defense, but nobody fearsome up the middle. That changes
with this pick, as Tennessee grabs the top defensive tackle left on the board.
Hankins, who’s coming off a very strong junior year at OSU, replaces
Sen’Derrick Marks and has the potential to be a game-changer.
11) San Diego Chargers (7-9): Eric
Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
As much as I'd really like to mock Matt
Barkley or Landry Jones to San Diego, I can't do it. Philip Rivers somehow
threw for over 3,600 yards this year, and despite being a turnover machine for
much of the year, I don't think they replace him. Instead, I'll give them Fisher,
who became the #2 tackle prospect in the draft once Taylor Lewan unexpectedly
decided to return for his senior season at Michigan.
12) Miami Dolphins (7-9): Justin
Hunter, WR, Tennessee
gut-punch of the mock goes to the Dolphins, as they needed a high-quality
tackle prospect in the worst way and won’t get one after Lewan took his name
out of the prospect pool. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the Dolphins
trade this pick for a move in either direction, but for now, I’ll give them
Hunter. He’s undoubtedly a reach, but Miami needs playmakers in the passing
game. Brian Hartline and Davone Bess are fine complementary players, but
neither is a #1 receiver, and Hunter has the potential to be that kind of
13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Johnthan
Banks, CB, Mississippi State
the Bucs are extremely high on Banks, and there’s reason for that. He had an
injury late in the season, but if he’s shown to have overcome it, he’s the
second-best corner in the draft behind DeMarcus Milliner. That’s a welcome
addition for Tampa Bay, whose secondary desperately needs playmakers.
14) Carolina Panthers (7-9): Sheldon
Richardson, DT, Missouri
Carolina did its best to save Ron
Rivera’s job, and he’ll return to the Panthers next year. However, their 4-0
surge to end the year cost them a shot at a high-impact defensive tackle, which
they sorely need. Richardson, though, has been flying up draft boards. He was
all over the field this year for the Tigers, and can rush the passer from the
tackle spot, a rare quality that could push him into the top half of the first
15) New Orleans Saints (7-9): Manti
Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame
stopping Te’o’s free-fall here, and here’s why. Sean Payton said he wants to
shift New Orleans to a 3-4 defensive scheme in the wake of firing his defensive
coordinator. The Saints already have one very good inside linebacker in Curtis
Lofton, and here, they solidify the middle of their new defense with a guy who
has the best on-field skillset of any player left in the draft.
16) St. Louis Rams (7-8-1): Chance
Warmack, OG, Alabama
St. Louis needs some help on the
offensive line. Warmack isn't just the best guard available, he's probably the
best offensive lineman left, period. He's assumed a leadership role with the
Crimson Tide, and should be a very good pro.
17) Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): Alex
Okafor, DE/OLB, Texas
stock is soaring. He shined in the Alamo Bowl and has been tearing it up at the
Senior Bowl, and as such he’s gone from a fringe first-rounder to the #17 pick.
Pittsburgh needs new blood in their front seven, and Okafor’s versatility is a
18) Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Sam
Montgomery, DE, LSU
Dallas could use some reinforcements
on the defensive line, especially in the wake of Jay Ratliff stupidly getting
arrested for a DWI months after a teammate driving under the influence killed
another Dallas player. Montgomery is one of the best players available and fits
Dallas’s defensive schemes. I’ve had this pick set in stone for a while, and it
makes a ton of sense.
19) New York Giants (9-7): Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
become a cliché pick because people see a ton of Jason Pierre-Paul in Ansah. I
don’t know if the BYU product has THAT much potential, and I’m not as high on
him as a lot of other mock drafts are (several have him going sixth overall
despite how raw he is), but he’s a fantastic athlete with a ton of room to
grow. Plus, Osi Umenyiora is approaching free agency and may not be back with
the Giants next year.
20) Chicago Bears (10-6): Keenan
Allen, WR, Cal
Trestman got the Bears job. This means a quarterback guru will be calling the
shots in the Windy City, and as such, Jay Cutler may get another young target
to take some attention off of Brandon Marshall. Alshon Jeffery had his moments,
but was hurt for part of the season. Allen makes sense value-wise, and gives a
talented offense another weapon.
21) Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): Alec
Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
should not drop further than this, and if he’s not available (as is the case in
this mock), Ogletree also presents a very good value. The only problem with
Ogletree are some questions about his character, but the Bengals have shown
that they don’t mind those issues as much as other teams.
22) St. Louis Rams (7-8-1, from
Washington (10-6)): Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Vaccaro a lot, and his stock has been rising because NFL GM’s like him, too. He
may not be an athletic freak, but he’s a smart player with great instincts who
can play against both the run and the pass. St. Louis has an OK pass defense,
but it’s not great (15th in the NFL), and Vaccaro is one of the best
players on the board.
23) Minnesota Vikings (10-6): Terrance
Williams, WR, Baylor
thought Terrance Williams would have a down year without RG3 under center at
Baylor. All Williams did was catch 97 passes for 1,832 yards and 12 touchdowns.
He has a ton of tools to like, and here, he gives a Vikings offense that
desperately needs a playmaker opposite Percy Harvin a guy who can score any
time he touches the football.
24) Indianapolis Colts (11-5): Johnathan
Jenkins, DT, Georgia
have a ton of holes they need to fill in the middle of their defensive line.
Jenkins is probably the best defensive lineman left in the draft at this point.
He’s a huge presence at 6’4” and nearly 360 pounds, and he also has shocking
agility for a man his size.
25) Seattle Seahawks (11-5): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
thing missing from Seattle’s resurgence has been a top-tier receiving threat
for Russell Wilson. Patterson is raw from a technical standpoint, but he’s got
a ton of physical gifts you look for in a wide receiver. At #25, with some
outlets now projecting him as a top-15 pick, this is a value Pete Carroll and
company can’t pass up.
26) Green Bay Packers (11-5): Xavier
Rhodes, CB, Florida State
slipping this far is shocking. I personally think he might be the second-best
cornerback prospect in the draft. He has good size and speed, and can also be
very physical in coverage. Green Bay’s secondary isn’t getting any younger, but
here, they may be able to fill that need with a tremendous value.
27) Houston Texans (12-4): Kawann
Short, DT, Purdue
need to fill their need at defensive tackle with this pick. J.J. Watt is a
beast, and Antonio Smith also had eight sacks, but they’ve got nothing up the middle.
Short changes that, and also brings a unique ability to rush the passer from
the nose tackle spot.
28) Denver Broncos (13-3): Barrett
Jones, C/OG/OT, Alabama
also see the Broncos taking a running back like Giovani Bernard, but Knowshon
Moreno’s finished the year well and probably deserves a shot at the starting
spot next year. Besides, Jones, the most versatile lineman in the draft, is a
great value at the back end of the first round who can play every position on
29) New England Patriots (12-4): Tavon
Austin, WR, West Virginia
England has a big need at receiver, especially if Wes Welker does not come
back. Fortunately, wide receiver is a deep position in this year’s draft, and
with this pick, they get a playmaker who put up some big numbers in the WVU Air
Raid offense this past season.
30) Atlanta Falcons (13-3): Tyler
Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Gonzalez appears to be hanging it up following Atlanta’s loss in the NFC title
game. Regardless of whether he does or not, Eifert is easily the top tight end
in this year’s draft class. If Gonzalez retires, Eifert can start right away,
and if he doesn’t, the Notre Dame product can learn from one of the best to
ever play the position.
31) San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1): DeAndre
Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Crabtree quietly put together a very solid year, but no other wide receiver had
more than 449 receiving yards. Randy Moss may retire, and Mario Manningham is
coming off a knee injury, meaning that finding a high-quality wide receiver
should be at the top of San Francisco’s off-season to-do list.
32) Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Desmond
Trufant, CB, Washington
newly-crowned champions still have a need at corner. The team had trouble
defending the pass at times this year with a depleted secondary, and if
Lardarius Webb isn’t 100% after a season-ending injury, Trufant makes a lot of
sense at the back end of the first round.
33) Jacksonville Jaguars: Matt
Barkley, QB, USC
still thinks Blaine Gabbert can be an effective starting quarterback needs to
have their head examined. The Jags need to address that position in the draft,
and if Matt Barkley is still on the board in the second round, this is a
34) Kansas City Chiefs: Tyler
Wilson, QB, Arkansas
made himself a lot of money despite missing the entire season. Unless you want
to talk yourself into Mike Glennon (and I don’t) or aren’t scared about Landry
Jones’s horrible Senior Bowl (and I am), no other QB makes sense at this point,
and there’s no arguing that the Chiefs need one given their horrid passing game
35) Philadelphia Eagles: Jonathan
Cooper, OG/C, North Carolina
arguing Philadelphia’s offensive line needs improvement. Cooper isn’t a tackle,
but he can play all three interior positions and provide an upgrade somewhere
as Chip Kelly looks to give his quarterback time to make plays.
36) Detroit Lions: Robert Woods, WR,
released Titus Young, and even before that, they could have used a reliable
receiver to take attention away from Calvin Johnson. Woods formed an explosive
combination at USC with Marquis Lee, and could easily be part of another one in
37) Cincinnati Bengals: Giovani
Bernard, RB, North Carolina
Bernard, and I wish I could have mocked him in the first round, because I think
he’s got the potential to be a big-time playmaker. This is a solid landing spot
for him, though. BenJarvus Green-Ellis isn’t anything special, so he should
battle for playing time right away.
38) Arizona Cardinals: D.J. Fluker,
offensive line was probably the worst in the NFL last year, so the Cardinals
should certainly use a high pick to improve it. Fluker is a decent value here,
and was part of a fantastic line at Alabama that spurred the Tide to a national
39) New York Jets: Bennie Logan, DT,
were horrid against the run last season because they didn’t have much talent in
the middle of their defense. Some mocks have Logan sneaking into the first
round, so this is a very good pick from both a value and need perspectives.
40) Tennessee Titans: Margus Hunt,
I had the
Titans take a defensive lineman in the first round, but their line was abysmal
at times during the 2012 season. They could use a ton of new blood, and Hunt’s
ceiling is sky-high. He’s an athletic freak with versatility who may wind up
being a steal if he goes this late in April.
41) Buffalo Bills: Mike Glennon, QB,
I’m not a
Glennon fan. He didn’t impress me in a loss to Vanderbilt in the team’s bowl
game, and he was one of many QB’s who put forth dreadful performances in the
Senior Bowl. However, Buddy Nix may be on the hot seat. As such, he may use
this pick on a guy he sees as a potential starting quarterback.
42) Miami Dolphins: Lane Johnson,
may not return to Miami, and if that happens, they’ll be in need of a new
tackle. Johnson was a reach at #11, but had a great Senior Bowl and is a steal
in the middle of the second round.
43) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jamar
Taylor, CB, Boise State
I have the
Bucs doubling up on corners because their secondary is very, VERY thin. Taylor
may be a slight reach, but assuming Tampa Bay doesn’t make a splash in free
agency, they need new blood in their pass defense.
44) Carolina Panthers: Larry
Warford, OG, Kentucky
While some of Carolina’s non-Cam
Newton rushing woes were injury-related, it’s also true that the team’s
offensive line has struggled at times. Warford is the best lineman available,
especially after a very solid performance at the Senior Bowl.
San Diego Chargers: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
San Diego has a very experienced
group of linebackers, but their line is just so-so, especially at defensive
tackle. Floyd has been soaring up draft boards as of late, and may very well
wind up in the first round.
St. Louis Rams: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
Daryl Richardson was very good in
spell duty as a rookie, and if Steven Jackson doesn’t return, he could see a
much bigger role. However, Isaiah Pead is an unknown quantity, and Lacy
provides a power runner that the Rams wouldn’t have in this scenario.
Dallas Cowboys: Eric Reid, S, LSU
Reid, at one point, was a
first-round prospect. Given that the Cowboys have needs at safety, this is an
excellent fit. Reid could come in and compete for playing time immediately
while also reuniting with former LSU teammate Morris Claiborne.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
Pittsburgh will likely use this
draft to fill a ton of needs in the front seven. Plenty of their core players
are getting up there in age, including Brett Keisel, who turns 35 this year.
Williams could have gone much earlier and has good potential.
New York Giants: Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
Michael Boley was released to open
up some cap room, and as such, the Giants now have a hole at linebacker. Minter
has some issues in pass coverage, but is exceptional against the run and could
be an asset in the right system.
Chicago Bears: Dallas Thomas, OT/OG, Tennessee
It sounds like a broken record at
this point since we say it every year, but Chicago needs to improve its pass
protection. Offensive linemen have gone like crazy in this mock, but Thomas is
a good value pick here that fills a need.
Washington Redskins: Matt Elam, S, Florida
Washington’s secondary could use an
upgrade. While there aren’t any cornerback prospects that make sense, Elam is
probably one of the best players left on the board.
Minnesota Vikings: E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State
In all honesty, I could see the
Vikings trading down. They have a need in their back seven, but no adequate
corners are left to fill it. Instead, though, I’ll give them Manuel. If
Terrance Williams doesn’t help and Ponder is still a mediocre QB with Percy
Harvin and Kyle Rudolph around him, maybe it’s time to groom a replacement.
Cincinnati Bengals: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Jones had a great Senior Bowl, and
he fills a role in Cincinnati. Geno Atkins is a stud at defensive tackle, and the
more talented players the Bengals can put around him, the more room he should
have to operate.
Miami Dolphins: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
Another guy who had a great Senior
Bowl, Williams could take up space in the middle of the defensive line and open
up space for Cameron Wake. Maybe he doesn’t fit Miami’s scheme to the best
degree, but he’s probably the most talented defensive player available.
Green Bay Packers: Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State
The Packers get a steal, as Randle,
at one time, was the top-rated running back on many boards. Green Bay doesn’t
have a playmaker in the ground game. Maybe that’s not a huge need with Aaron
Rodgers calling the shots, but Randle is a hard runner who can also block and
catch passes out of the backfield.
Seattle Seahawks: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
There aren’t many questions about
Brown’s talent, but his size (6’1”, 228 pounds) may cause him to drop on draft
day. The Seahawks aren’t shy about going against the grain with their draft
picks, though, and as such, this pick makes a ton of sense.
Houston Texans: Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech
Houston has long been searching for
a #2 receiver behind Andre Johnson. Patton didn’t play against great
competition at Louisiana Tech, but made the most of his opportunity at the
Senior Bowl with a solid performance.
Denver Broncos: Robert Alford, CB, Southeastern Louisiana
Another small-school player, Alford
may be a bit of a reach, but he fills a huge need for the Broncos. Their
secondary was awful against Joe Flacco, and 37-year-old Champ Bailey may
finally be showing his age.
New England Patriots: Jon Cyprien, S, Florida International
29th against the pass in
2012-13, it’s clear the secondary needs to be upgraded. Cyprien is a versatile
player who shined at the Senior Bowl. He’s a hard hitter who can also assist in
Atlanta Falcons: Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State
There’s no denying Carradine has
talent, and there’s also no doubt this is a need position for the Falcons. The
question mark here is an ACL injury Carradine suffered during the 2012 season.
If he’s healthy, though, he could be a huge steal.
San Francisco 49ers: D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina
San Francisco’s front seven is fantastic,
but their group of safeties is just so-so. Swearinger, a captain for the
Gamecocks and a physical presence, hits hard and covers well, so he should be
an instant upgrade.
Baltimore Ravens: Kyle Long, OG/OT, Oregon
Bryant McKinnie’s comeback is a
great story, but he’ll turn 34 in September and may be running out of quality
years. Long is versatile, and adds depth all over the offensive line.