By ANDREW CHAMPAGNE
With that, on to the latest mock!
1) Kansas City Chiefs (2-14): Luke
Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Geno Smith played well at the
Combine, but with news that the Chiefs have pretty much finalized a deal for
Alex Smith, Geno is out of the question. However, word is that Brandon Albert
is asking for a ton of money this offseason. If he leaves, that creates a void
up front, one that could easily be filled by the top offensive line prospect in
2) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
Jarvis Jones here, then replaced him with Damontre Moore. Jones’s medical
condition raises a red flag, and Moore bombed at the Combine with a 4.9 40
time. Meanwhile, Jordan is a physical freak who can rush the passer or cover
slot receivers. He may need to get a little thicker and more physical, but
there’s no doubt he has the ability to wreak havoc coming off the edge.
3) Oakland Raiders (4-12): Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Lotulelei’s heart condition couldn’t have popped up at a worse time. He was a
consensus top-five pick, and his stock is falling. Floyd, meanwhile, has been
flying up draft boards. Mike Mayock compared some aspects of his play to Warren
Sapp, which is certainly a nice standard.
4) Philadelphia Eagles (4-12): DeMarcus Milliner, CB, Alabama
desperately want to improve their offensive line, but Joeckel is off the board
and both Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson are slight reaches. 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.
5) Detroit Lions (4-12): Eric
Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
This is a
wild-card pick. I could see the Lions addressing their edge rusher situation,
which looks bleak with Kyle Vanden Bosch gone and Cliff Avril possibly leaving
as well. However, right tackle Gosder Cherilus is a free agent, and it’s not
like he was anything special anyway. Fisher’s stock is up after a great
Combine, and he makes sense in the top five.
6) Cleveland Browns (5-11): Ezekiel
Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU
expected Ansah to turn heads at the Combine, but they may not have anticipated
the full-on exorcisms induced by his numbers. Ansah is raw, but is an absolute
freak in terms of athleticism who can bolster an ailing front seven if his technical
skillset catches up to his physical one.
7) Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Geno
Smith, QB, West Virginia
Smith looked very good at the
Combine. He ran a good 40, and his throws were indicative of a good quarterback
prospect. Arizona needs help under center in the worst way possible, and if
Smith is still available at #7, new head coach Bruce Arians will be very happy.
If not, I could easily see the Cardinals taking an offensive tackle, but in
this mock, they get a possible franchise quarterback in the making.
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): Bjoern
Werner, DE/OLB, Florida State
are in a rough spot. They could very well trade down for help at wide receiver,
a position that’s deep in late-first or early-second round talent but lacking a
standout player. They could also trade up for DeMarcus Milliner if Darrelle
Revis gets moved (or trade down for Johnthan Banks or Xavier Rhodes). For now,
though, I’ll give them Werner. He’s a safe pick who addresses a position of
10) Tennessee Titans (6-10): Star
Lotulelei, DT, Utah
don’t know just how severe Lotulelei’s heart problem is. For now, I’ll slot him
here, simply because the Titans desperately need an impact player in the middle
of their defensive line. There’s no denying Lotulelei has a ton of talent. He’s
also generally thought to be a high-character guy, so if the heart condition
turns out to be fairly minor, this could be a steal.
11) San Diego Chargers (7-9): Lane
Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Lane Johnson wowed scouts at the
Combine with his athleticism. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s going to
be a fantastic player (remember scouts fawning over Robert Gallery’s 40 time?),
but there’s no doubt that he’s climbing up draft boards and that San Diego has
needs on their offensive line.
12) Miami Dolphins (7-9): Cordarrelle
Patterson, WR, Tennessee
may be a reach, but he’ll go before he should because of how athletic he is. He’s
widely acknowledged to be the most physically-gifted receiver in the draft
despite a lack of experience, and Miami doesn’t have that kind of wideout on
their roster. It’s a risky pick, but the logic is at least plausible.
13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Desmond
Trufant, CB, Washington
stock is at an all-time high after big performances at the Senior Bowl and the
Combine. He’s performed well enough to emerge as the #2 cornerback option in
the draft class, and there’s no doubt the Bucs need help in the defensive
backfield. The Aqib Talib trade created a huge hole, and Ronde Barber has to
retire at some point, right?
14) Carolina Panthers (7-9): Sheldon
Richardson, DT, Missouri
There are people saying Richardson
could go even earlier than this. He certainly has the athletic ability to, and
this is probably as low as he’ll go. Carolina’s defensive line is porous, and
the Panthers gave up several big games to opposing running backs in the 2012-13
15) New Orleans Saints (7-9): Damontre
Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
Manti Te’o going here in my last mock, but not only did he have a subpar
Combine, the Saints apparently want to keep Jonathan Vilma in their new 3-4
defense. They do, however, have definite holes on the edges, and that’s where
Moore comes in. A consensus top five pick before a lackluster Combine, I think
Moore’s game tape outweighs his Combine showing.
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 has definitely improved in the past few months. He turned heads in the
Alamo Bowl, and his Senior Bowl performance was one of the best of any
defensive player that attended. He’s a low-risk player that doesn’t take plays
off, and his versatility should only help him come April.
18) Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Barkevious
Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
edge-rushers have seen their stocks fall as of late. Mingo was once a top-10
pick, but now it looks like he’ll go in the middle of the first round. The
Cowboys have a ton of holes on defense, and could certainly use someone to draw
attention away from DeMarcus Ware. Mingo could easily be that kind of
19) New York Giants (9-7): Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
may be searching for a defensive end, and could have jumped on Okafor or Mingo
if they were available. In this mock, though, they’ll zero in on Ogletree,
probably the top inside linebacker prospect in the draft. There are some
character issues here, most notably his pre-Combine arrest, but the Giants
released Michael Boley and have depth issues at that position.
20) Chicago Bears (10-6): Tavon
Austin, WR, West Virginia
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. Austin had a great Combine that featured a
scorching 40 time. He gives Cutler another downfield weapon, and with him, the
passing game becomes very formidable.
21) Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): Kenny
Vaccaro, S, Texas
has question marks at safety, and Vaccaro is a safe pick who makes sense at
this point in the draft. With last year’s first-rounder, Dre Kirkpatrick, also
in the mix, this gives Cincinnati a young nucleus in the defensive backfield,
and with the NFL being so pass-heavy, you can never have too many quality
22) St. Louis Rams (7-8-1, from
Washington (10-6)): Xavier Rhodes, CB/S, Florida State
shined at the Combine and cemented himself as a first-round prospect. He’s a
solid, physical defensive back who can spend time at both corner and safety,
and his athleticism showed with an excellent 40.5-inch vertical jump. St. Louis’s
pass defense isn’t bad, but it’s also not great, and as I said when mocking
Vaccaro to the Bengals, you can never have too many defensive backs.
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
Hankins, DT, Ohio State
fell with a horrid performance at the Combine. He looked heavy, and he ran like
someone who was out of shape. However, Indianapolis has a big need in the
middle of their defensive line, and if Hankins gets back in shape and plays
like he did this past season at Ohio State, he’s a steal at #24 overall.
25) Seattle Seahawks (11-5): Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
Austin is available, I don’t see him lasting past this pick, as Pete Carroll is
huge on pure speed and Austin is lightning-fast. However, Allen isn’t a bad
consolation prize. He skipped the Combine, but will work out at Cal’s pro day
and should sneak into the first round.
26) Green Bay Packers (11-5): Johnthan
Banks, CB, Mississippi State
do himself any favors at the Combine, but his game tape is solid and there’s no
doubt Green Bay has voids to fill in the secondary. Charles Woodson is moving
on, and the unit wasn’t anything special this past year anyway.
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): Jonathan
Cooper, OG/C, North Carolina
also see the Broncos taking a running back like Eddie Lacy or Giovani Bernard,
but Knowshon Moreno’s finished the year well and probably deserves a shot at
the starting spot next year. Cooper was strong at the Combine. He showed very
strong agility for a man his size, and his versatility means he can play all
three interior line positions.
29) New England Patriots (12-4): Johnathan
Jenkins, DT, Georgia
Wilfork isn’t getting younger, and the Patriots have holes to fill on the
inside of their defensive line. Jenkins cut some weight for the Combine in
going from 370 pounds to just under 350, but he still takes up a ton of space
while possessing surprising athletic ability.
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): Justin
Hunter, WR, Tennessee
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. Hunter’s stock fell
a bit with news of injuries and speed concerns, but he put some of the negative
news to bed with a 4.41 40 at the Combine.
32) Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Kevin
Minter, LB, LSU
an old-school, run-stopping inside linebacker that may have trouble fitting
into some new-age defensive schemes. However, an old-school, run-stopping
inside linebacker just retired from Baltimore’s Super Bowl-winning team, so Minter
would be a pretty nice fit for the Ravens.
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: Sam
Montgomery, DE, LSU
you just heard was Montgomery’s draft stock, which plummeted this past weekend.
Once a first-round lock, Montgomery admitted he took plays off at LSU against
lesser opponents, and word’s since come out that his coaches have bashed him
privately. Still, the Chiefs have needs at defensive end that they should
probably use this pick to address.
35) Philadelphia Eagles: Barrett
Jones, OG/C/OT, Alabama
arguing Philadelphia’s offensive line needs improvement. Jones isn’t a tried
and true tackle, which is what the Eagles probably need, but he can play
anywhere he’s asked and is a proven leader.
36) Detroit Lions: Margus Hunt, DE,
very raw, but has a ton of speed and could develop into a solid pass-rusher off
the edge at the NFL level. The Lions have a big need there, as mentioned in the
first round, and Hunt provides both insurance and a high upside.
37) Cincinnati Bengals: Eddie Lacy,
like Giovani Bernard a lot, but Lacy has become the consensus top back in the
draft. He’s a powerful runner that could compete for time immediately in
Cincinnati. BenJarvus Green-Ellis isn’t anything special, and if Cincy’s line
continues to be one of the top run-blocking units, Lacy has a chance to be an
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: Matt Elam, S,
needs help all over the defense, and I think they’ll take advantage of a deep
defensive draft with their first couple of picks. Elam is a physical player who
has openly said he wants to be the next Ed Reid, and while his ceiling may not
be THAT high, he can certainly step right in and contribute in Tennessee.
41) Buffalo Bills: DeAndre Hopkins,
could desperately use a second option in the passing game opposite Stevie
Johnson. Hopkins had a solid Combine and is a steal at #41, as some feel he’s
possibly a first-round talent (I considered him at #31 to the 49ers).
42) Miami Dolphins: Tank Carradine,
DE, Florida State
could use an edge rusher opposite sack machine Cameron Wake. Carradine has some
injury questions after his senior season at FSU, but some at the Combine
thought he was a first-round talent. I don’t know about THAT, but he’s a very
good value at #42 if he’s healthy.
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. Plus, this isn’t as much of
a reach as it was before the Combine, where the Boise State product clocked in
at 4.37 in the 40.
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: Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee
New coaches sometimes mean new
quarterbacks, and Philip Rivers was a turnover machine at times in 2012-13.
Bray had a very strong Combine where he showed off an excellent arm. I could
also see the Chargers grabbing a wide receiver if Danario Alexander doesn’t
re-sign with the team, but Bray would be a good insurance policy for new coach Mike
St. Louis Rams: Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina
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 Bernard is a
playmaker who can also impact a game as a kick and punt returner.
Dallas Cowboys: Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
What a fall from grace for Manti Te’o.
At one point, I had him as the #3 pick. Now, he’s in the middle of the second
round after two months he probably wishes he’d never gone through. Still, he’s
a good fit for Monte Kiffin’s defense. Te’o may not be the biggest or fastest
player, but he’s very good in coverage for a linebacker.
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: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
The Giants will likely have a need
at defensive end since Osi Umenyiora is a free agent. Jones had a great Combine
and is the kind of player the Giants love drafting.
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: Jon Cyprien, S, Florida International
Washington’s secondary could use an
upgrade. While there aren’t any cornerback prospects that make sense, Cyprien
is probably one of the best players left on the board. He’s been flying up
draft boards as of late and could go much earlier than this.
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 very few
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: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
As many as four Bengal linebackers
could be on their way out of town during free agency. If that’s the case, Cincy
should use this pick to help fill that void. Brown doesn’t have great size, but
he’s a versatile player who defends both the run and the pass very well.
Miami Dolphins: Robert Alford, CB, Southeastern Louisiana
Alford comes from a small school,
but he hinted at big talent during the Combine, where he posted a sub-4.4 40
time. The Dolphins are in need of help in their back seven, and they’ll likely
use an early pick to address that need.
Green Bay Packers: Kyle Long, OG/OT, Oregon
Green Bay’s offensive line is aging,
and they need to protect Aaron Rodgers. Like many other top offensive line
prospects, Long can play a number of different positions up front, and it doesn’t
hurt that he’s got fantastic NFL genes.
Seattle Seahawks: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
Williams isn’t considered an elite
prospect, but Seattle has a need in the middle of their defensive line. Some
consider Williams a fringe first-round prospect, so this is an excellent value
Pete Carroll shouldn’t pass up.
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 opportunities at both
the Senior Bowl and the Combine.
Denver Broncos: Eric Reid, S, LSU
Reid slipped in this mock through no
fault of his own, and he may be a welcome addition in Denver. Their secondary was
awful against Joe Flacco, and 37-year-old Champ Bailey may finally be showing
New England Patriots: Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M
Swope came out of nowhere at the
Combine, and the Patriots may have a huge need at wide receiver. Wes Welker may
not return, and Deion Branch is over the hill.
Atlanta Falcons: Corey Lemonier, DE/OLB, Auburn
Defensive end is a big problem for
the Falcons, and it was an issue even during a stellar season. Lemonier had an
impressive showing at the Combine with a 4.6 40, and he’s bulked up a little as
well. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him go in the second round.
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: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
Bryant McKinnie’s comeback is a
great story, but he’ll turn 34 in September and may be running out of quality
years. Watson is raw, but is a former Division I basketball player with a ton