1. Indianapolis Colts – Stanford Quarterback Andrew Luck
-This pick has been a no-brainer for a while. Andrew Luck is an incredible Quarterback prospect and is head and shoulders above everybody else in this draft class. It could rough early, like it was with Peyton Manning, but Luck is the ideal piece to build around for the years upcoming.
2. Washington Redskins – Baylor Quarterback Robert Griffin III
-The Redskins traded a boatload, or maybe more appropriately, a yacht-load for the man better known simply as RG3. The Redskins are hoping Griffin, the well-spoken, supremely athletic, strong armed kid out of Baylor, is as good as advertised.
The Miami Dolphins trade the 8th overall pick and a 2013 1st Rounder to the Minnesota Vikings for the 3rd overall pick.
3. Miami Dolphins – Texas A&M Quarterback Ryan Tannehill
-I’m becoming more and more worried things won’t play out at the third pick like I’ve expected (Minnesota trading down), but we will find out soon enough.
I’ve been hearing for quite some time that the Dolphins are in love with Ryan Tannehill. The wide receiver turned quarterback isn’t your typical top ten quarterback prospect, but Tannehill does possess some great raw tools. The Dolphins are desperate for a quarterback and even have plenty of people in house (Mike Sherman) who support the kid.
From what I’ve heard, the Dolphins were in love with Tannehill before Sherman was even on board. Despite recent reports, I still strongly believe the Dolphins are eyeing Tannehill.
4. Cleveland Browns – Alabama Running Back Trent Richardson
-If the Browns stay put and Trent Richardson falls to them, it’s a no-brainer. The Browns brass loves Richardson and would love to add a player of his caliber. The Buccaneers and Rams would be very disappointed by this turn of events. The Browns need to add a reliable player to the backfield. Richardson is the answer to that as he is a complete running back who reminds me of Ray Rice.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – LSU Cornerback Morris Claiborne
-The Bucs miss out on their top prize that is Trent Richardson, but I’m sure they wouldn’t mind picking up such a talented cornerback like Morris Claiborne. This is more than likely Ronde’ Barber’s last year, and Aqib Talib isn’t reliable due to off the field issues, while Eric Wright isn’t reliable on the field. Mo Claiborne could be a huge addition to the secondary. Claiborne’s size, athletic ability, and ballhawking skills remind me of Asante Samuel. Mo has serious talent and could become one of the best in the league.
6. St. Louis Rams – USC Offensive Tackle Matt Kalil
- After luring in a plethora of picks from the Redskins, the Rams are sitting pretty as it seems more than likely that a player that they like falls to them. The Rams short list seems to consist of Trent Richardson, Justin Blackmon, Michael Brockers, and Matt Kalil. While I haven’t found anything that connects the Rams and Kalil, it’s a huge need for the Rams. Kalil is a very good offensive tackle prospect and while not elite like Jake Long or Joe Thomas, he is a much better option than anybody on the current St. Louis roster.
Many have begun to add Fletcher Cox to the speculation here, and that wouldn’t surprise me either. If Kalil finds a way to slip down the board though, it’s hard to believe they wouldn’t try to help Sam Bradford out.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – South Carolina Cornerback Stephon Gilmore
-Right after I released this mock last week, many more reports started coming out on Stephon Gilmore going in the top ten. For anybody doubting this is going to happen, remember that Gilmore has great natural talent. He is also an all-around player and is rarely caught out of position. The Jaguars value character and great athletes, and Gilmore fits both. Now reports are coming out that the Jaguars specifically love Gilmore.
In the end, I told you so!
8. Minnesota Vikings – Oklahoma State Wide Receiver Justin Blackmon
-The Vikings seem to have their eyes set on Morris Claiborne and Justin Blackmon, and are in a prime position to move down with all the interest in Ryan Tannehill. Blackmon is a very good wide receiver prospect and while not elite, he would fit in as an ideal complement to Percy Harvin. Christian Ponder needs help on offense, and expect them to target it heavily in the Draft.
With the likes of either Jonathan Martin and/or Mike Adams likely to slip to the beginning of the 2nd Round, it would be ideal for the Vikings to move down, take a skill position player, and pick-up great value in the 2nd with an offensive tackle.
9. Carolina Panthers – LSU Defensive Tackle Michael Brockers
-The Panthers desperately need to add somebody to the interior of their defensive line. Michael Brockers has a ton of ability and is just scratching the surface of his potential. Brockers has the talent to be a three-down lineman in the NFL, which would be ideal for the Panthers. I wouldn’t be shocked if they addressed the wide receiver position either, but defensive tackle is clearly the biggest hole on this roster.
10. Buffalo Bills – Alabama Cornerback Dre’ Kirkpatrick
-Dre’ Kirkpatrick has seemed to of emerged as the top man in Buffalo. With their switch to a 4-3 defense, they would like to add a cornerback with the physicality and potential shutdown ability of Kirkpatrick. Remember, Bills defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt coached Darrelle Revis, and it’s likely either Kirkpatrick or Gilmore will be here at ten. The Bills have some solid corners, but nobody that really stands out. Kirkpatrick’s game reminds me a lot of Charles Woodson and I believe he warrants this selection.
11. Kansas City Chiefs – Mississippi State Defensive Tackle Fletcher Cox
-If the Kansas City Chiefs are unable to land Ryan Tannehill, which would require a slight fall from the A&M quarterback that I don’t foresee, the Chiefs will likely go defensive line. They’ve been linked to some other positions as well, but defensive line is a position the Chiefs haven’t been afraid to target high, yet haven’t seen it turn into much on the field.
This year could be different in terms of the result that is produced. With them likely to have one of the three available between Michael Brockers, Fletcher Cox, and Dontari Poe, they will have a chance to bring in a top tier defensive lineman. They have showed a ton of interest in Cox, who would be ideal in a 4-3 in my opinion, but could fit in nicely as a 3-4 defensive end too. Cox was highly underrated until the Combine, when his great athletic ability was really on display.
The Chiefs have a lot of options, but defensive line is still a big need for this team and they are likely to address it early.
12. Seattle Seahawks – Baylor Wide Receiver Kendall Wright
-The Seahawks under John Schneider and Pete Carroll have done a great job of pre-draft secrecy in their tenure thus far. For projecting mock drafts, it makes the Seahawks a bit of a mystery team where you have to look at who they haven’t met with as opposed to who they have.
That is what brings me to Kendall Wright. Wright is a dynamic receiver who reminds me a lot of Steve Smith (exact same vertical jump, broad jump, and within a hundredth of a second in forty time is ridiculously similar). The Seahawks have a need at wide receiver where they either have underperformers (Golden Tate), overachievers (Doug Baldwin), or constantly hurt (Sidney Rice). If Rice can stay healthy, Wright could be the ideal complement.
With Matt Flynn coming in, they need to continue to add weapons so that Flynn can find success.
13. Arizona Cardinals – Stanford Offensive Guard David DeCastro
-If the Cardinals want to give Kevin Kolb a chance to succeed, they need to surround him with better talent, specifically along the offensive line. David DeCastro is receiving some of the highest grades for a guard that anybody has for a long time. The guy is the complete package that displays nimble feet, agility, and a nasty mean streak. I can only imagine how excited Kolb would be to work with such a talented offensive lineman.
14. Dallas Cowboys – Alabama Strong Safety Mark Barron
-I’ve tried to justify other picks for the Cowboys and while I could see a few other options happening, the plain and simple fact is the Cowboys have been eyeing Mark Barron for a while. From what I’ve heard, they’ve been on him since November. Jason Garrett was also at the Alabama Pro Day and got to see Mark Barron up close. I’m not a huge fan of Barron, but he is a solid, all-around safety who comes from one of the best secondary coaches in the business in Nick Saban. Barron is a safe option who may never be great, but certainly capable, specifically on a team trying to make a Super Bowl run.
15. Philadelphia Eagles – Memphis Defensive Tackle Dontari Poe
-I don’t think Dontari Poe is an ideal fit for Jim Washburn’s wide nine scheme, but Poe is a phenomenal athlete. I really don’t even see him falling this far but if the Panthers wind up being the only team in the top ten to select a defensive tackle, it could mean Brockers or Poe falling, though I’ve constantly heard both are top ten locks.
The Eagles have shown a lot of interest in Poe. They sent defensive coaches to his Pro Day and brought him in for a visit as well. There seems to be genuine interest here and Andy Reid does love athletic defensive tackles. Though not an ideal fit, I’m sure the Eagles could find a way to utilize Poe’s immense talent.
16. New York Jets – South Carolina Outside Linebacker Melvin Ingram
-The Jets haven’t hid their interest in Melvin Ingram whatsoever. When you add-on the fact that the Jets have specifically stated that they want to get leaner and faster, Ingram makes even more sense. Ingram is a dynamic athlete who would fit the bill for what the Jets are looking for in a pass rusher. This pick makes too much sense not to happen, if Ingram is there at 16.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (from the Oakland Raiders) – Notre Dame Wide Receiver Michael Floyd
-Let’s not underrate how important Jerome Simpson was to the Bengals success last season. He lived up to the boatload of potential he has always had, and made a great tandem with A.J. Green. Now that Simpson is gone, they need a replacement. Bringing in a guy like Michael Floyd would allow this Bengals offense to continue moving in the direction they are going. Floyd is a big, strong wide receiver who reminds me a lot of Brandon Marshall. Andy Dalton I still only see as an average NFL starter, but with Green and Floyd as his wide receivers, he could look pretty good.
18. San Diego Chargers – Illinois Outside Linebacker Whitney Mercilus
-The Chargers are sitting a solid spot at 18 because they are a more talented team than their record last year suggests and can get a quality player at 18. They desperately need to upgrade their pass rush, which just hasn’t been the same since the decline and eventual release of Shawne Merriman. Mercilus exploded as a junior, but still seems to go a bit underrated. I don’t see a special athlete with great quickness, but he actually reminds me a lot of Shaun Phillips. Mercilus is solid against the run, disengages well, and is well-versed on inside moves and less afraid to use them than most other pass rushing prospects in this class.
Overall, I expect the Chargers to go defense with this pick. If Mercilus isn’t the pick, I would keep an eye on Washington nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu and Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry.
19. Chicago Bears – North Carolina Defensive End Quinton Coples
-The Bears seem pretty locked in and acquiring a bookend to Julius Peppers and have set their sights on Whitney Mercilus and Quinton Coples. If Coples, a Peppers clone in terms of talent, were to fall all the way to 19, it would be an ideal situation for the Bears. Coples is big, long, and has great athletic ability. Coples has had questions about his motor, but I really believe all the poking into his character as a college player is going to lit a fire under him as a professional.
20. Tennessee Titans – Boston College Linebacker Luke Kuechly
-Luke Kuechly is an ideal weakside linebacker at the NFL level, and Will Witherspoon is likely in his last year as a Titan. The Titans already have an impressive young linebacker group starting with Akeem Ayers and Colin McCarthy. Kuechly could be the final piece for a great trio for years to come.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Midwestern State Offensive Guard Amini Silatolu
-This is going to shock a lot of people, but I’ve been hearing for a while that Silatolu will find a way to sneak into the 1st Round. The Bengals have emerged as the most likely for that to happen. They have shown a great amount of interest in him, even sending their offensive line coach to Midwestern State’s pro day. Silatolu is a big, mean man with excellent athletic ability for his size. He might even be able to play right tackle at the next level, but the Bengals could really use a guard, specifically one of Silatolu’s talent.
22. Cleveland Browns (from the Atlanta Falcons) – Syracuse Defensive End Chandler Jones
-The Browns are still in the process of making the move back to a 4-3, and it’s difficult to believe they think Frostee Rucker is an answer at defensive end. Jabaal Sheard is young and could be a solid end, but adding a guy like Chandler Jones would be nice for this team. Jones has shot up draft boards and rightfully so for the most part. Jones is a great athlete who can with speed or power. They’ve also shown interest in Nick Perry and some offensive tackles, but Chandler Jones seems like the most logical fit at 22, if they take Trent Richardson. They could go Doug Martin here if they take somebody else at four.
23. Detroit Lions – Marshall Defensive End Vinny Curry
-The Lions are struggling mightily to sign Cliff Avril to a long-term contract and outside of Avril, Kyle Vanden Bosch is getting up in age and the other three defensive ends on the roster belong on the bench. The Lions sent their defensive line coach, Kris Kocurek, to the Marshall Pro Day and also had Curry in for a visit. Curry could at least be a very nice situational pass rusher for the Lions, and as the Giants have shown, you can never have too many pass rushers.
The Lions also seem very interested in Mike Adams from Ohio State. They had him in for a visit and had offensive line coach George Yarno and Vice President of Pro Personal Sheldon White to the Ohio State Pro Day. Maybe more will come out in the coming week, but I’m fairly convinced the Lions will be deciding between Vinny Curry and Mike Adams at 23.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Mississippi Offensive Tackle Bobby Massie
25. Denver Broncos – Oklahoma State Quarterback Brandon Weeden
26. Houston Texans – Stanford Tight End Coby Fleener
27. New England Patriots (from the New Orleans Saints) – Alabama Linebacker Courtney Upshaw
28. Green Bay Packers – Wisconsin Center Peter Konz
29. Baltimore Ravens – Georgia Offensive Guard Cordy Glenn
30. San Francisco 49ers – Georgia Tech Wide Receiver Stephen Hill
31. New England Patriots – Iowa Offensive Guard Riley Reiff
32. New York Giants – Wisconsin Offensive Guard Kevin Zeitler