If you see a Mock claiming Andrew Luck is going to be anything other than the first overall pick, kindly slap that person upside the head. Luck's not can't miss, but he's still the best quarterback by a country mile. Even if the Colts retain Peyton Manning, they're picking Andrew Luck. Count on it.
2.) TRADE: The Washington Redskins select Robert Griffin, III, quarterback, Baylor (Redskins trade the 6th pick to the Rams, in addition to a second and fourth round pick in 2012 and a 1st and third round pick in 2013). (NO CHANGE)
Even with a spectacular combine showing, I believe the Redskins will not allow Robert Griffin III to slip out of their grasp. The Redskins need a face of the franchise and a quarterback they can start to build around. He's not perfect, he won't turn around a franchise overnight, but he's an investment towards the future.
3.) TRADE: The Jacksonville Jaguars select Justin Blackmon, wide receiver, Oklahoma State (Jaguars trade the 7th overall pick to the Vikings, in addition to their second and third round pick in 2012 to the Vikings) (Original pick; Vikings select Matt Kalil)
Though this may seem shocking at first, it's not too crazy; the Vikings have reportedly been itching to get out of the third overall pick and add picks to continue to get bette rin other places. The Jaguars hired an offensive minded head coach to help develop Blaine Gabbert. Well, in order to assist in that, the Jaguars need a wide receiver than can make plays for his quarterback, and that's Justin Blackmon.
Now, does Blackmon deserve to be the third overall pick? Probably not; he's nowhere near the elite talent that A.J Green and Julio Jones are. But the Jags desperately need some playmakers on their offense, and with the Vikings open for business, they jump over Cleveland to snatch up a very good and potentially productive player.
4.) TRADE: The Minnesota Vikings select Matt Kalil, offensive tackle, USC (Vikings trade the 67th overall pick and their 5th round pick to the Cleveland Browns) (Original Pick; Browns select Trent Richardson)
With Blackmon off the board and with a pretty phenomenal pair of corners in the secondary in Joe Haden and Sheldon Brown, the Browns trade their pick, and the Vikings trade back up in order to snag Matt Kalil. (Could be a three way trade). Christian Ponder has the skill set to be a solid quarterback, but health has always been a concern for him. The Vikings need to try their best to keep him upright and healthy, and replacing Charlie Johnson with the phenomenal Matt Kalil would automatically upgrade that offensive line.
I'll admit; it was kind of nuts of me to have Claiborne fall in the draft as far as he did. Claibourne is the cleanest prospect in the draft, and with the uncertain futures of both Aqib Talib and Ronde Barber, the Bucs need to ensure that their secondary doesn't take a big hit. Claiborne is the best play available, and the Bucs would be nuts to not pick him up.
6.) Via the Redskins, the St. Louis Rams select Riley Reiff, offensive tackle, Iowa (Original Pick; Jonathan Martin)
Just as important for the Rams as adding playmakers for Sam Bradford is getting better on the offensive line. The Rams had the worst offensive line in football, and couldn't keep Bradford upright and healthy. This team is only going as far as Bradford is taking it, and while adding a playmaker at the wide receiver position is important, keeping the franchise quarterback healthy also has to be a priority. Jeff Fisher built some incredible offensive lines in Tennessee, and he'll start to build another one by drafting Reiff and sliding Roger Saffold to the right.
7.) TRADE: The New York Jets select Trent Richardson, running back, Alabama (Jets trade their second and fourth round pick to the Browns)(Original Pick; Jaguars select Alshon Jeffery)
A lot of trades in the first ten picks, but the rookie salary cap helps negate some of the risk, and the Browns trade quality for volume as the Jets come up to grab Trent Richardson.
Because let's face it; the Jets didn't hire Tony Sparano as their offensive coordinator because they wanted to throw the football more. Shonn Greene has been too inconsistent as the teams lead back, and the Jets are going to want in every down back to put the brunt of the offensive on. The Jets will get back to basics of being "ground and pound and easy completions" by drafting the drafts best back in Richardson, who has the power and the durability to handle the amount of carries he'll be sure to get.
8.) The Miami Dolphins select Melvin Ingram, defensive end/outside linebacker, South Carolina (Original Pick; Traded Pick to Bears, who drafted Michael Floyd)
It's unclear at this point what kind of defense that the Dolphins will run, so let's go with someone who is "scheme diverse"; Melvin Ingram has shown the athletic ability to play outside linebacker in the 3-4, or be a 4-3 defensive end. Either way, the Dolphins need someone opposite Cameron Wake to create a pass rusher and pressure, and Ingram has been impressive all get out at the Combine, was impressive at the Senior Bowl and has impressed at the Combine, which raises he stock over some of the other d-lineman in the class.
9.) The Carolina Panthers select Devon Still, defensive tackle, Penn State (NO CHANGE)
The Panthers still need run D, and while he's not much of a pass rusher, Still can stuff the run. Therefore, still no change as to where the big d-lineman from Happy Valley goes.
10.) The Buffalo Bills select Courtney Upshaw, defensive end/outside linebacker, Alabama (NO CHANGE)
Meanwhile, the Bills still need a pass rush to get after Tom Brady and the other quarterbacks in the division. Upshaw is the best offensive linebacker available, the Bills take him, period.
11.) TRADE: The Chicago Bears select Michael Floyd, wide receiver, Notre Dame (Bears trade their 1st and second round picks in 2012 to the Kansas City Chiefs) (Original Pick; Chiefs select Whitney Mercilus)
The Chiefs get an extra pick to help them continue to build, and the Bears jump up to pick up Michael Floyd. The Bears still need help along the o-line, so this is a risky pick, but the Bears [i]have[/i] to get a playmaking wide receiver for Jay Cutler. Michael Floyd is a talented prospect with big play ability; he has some nagging character issues, but hopefully a lockerroom like the Bears with players like Julius Peppers, Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs will help keep him on the straight and narrow.
12.) The Seattle Seahawks select Quinton Coples, defensive end, North Carolina (NO CHANGE)
Another pass rusher comes off the boards. The Seahawks have a solid defense but need to add a little more pass rush. Coples has been compared to Julius Peppers, and though he may never reach those lofty heights, he is a solid player who can be a disruptive force in the NFC West.
13.) The Arizona Cardinals select Jonathan Martin, offensive tackle, Stanford (Original Pick; Riley Reiff)
The only thing that changed is the name of the player. The Cardinals will have to keep Kevin Kolb or John Skelton (or even Peyton Manning, maybe) healthy and upright, and Martin's the best offensive tackle on the board.
14.) The Dallas Cowboys select Dre Kirkpatrick, cornerback, Alabama (NO CHANGE)
Does the Cowboys secondary still have Michael Jenkins and Terrence Newmann in it? Yep. Does that mean they still need a corner? Yep. Kirkpatrick's the best corner on the board.
15.) The Philadelphia Eagles select Luke Kueley, inside linebacker, Boston College (NO CHANGE)
Likewise, if the Eagles ever want their Wide 9, Tampa 2 style defense to work, they're going to need to get a linebacker. Kueley's is the best linebacker available and seems like a perfect fit in Philly.
16.) Via the Jets, The Cleveland Browns select Kendall Wright, wide receiver, Baylor (Original Pick; Jets select Lamar Miller)
After trading down, the Browns pick up a playmaker for whoever happens to be quarterback of the Browns. Offensively, the Browns need a ton of help; going with the best available player offensively, they get a man in Wright who, like division rivals Mike Wallace and Torrey Smith, can take the top off the defense and make big plays. The Browns will focus heavily on offense to make sure they can help McCoy, Flynn, or whoever happens to be playing quarterback.
17.) Via the Raiders, the Cincinatti Bengals select David Wilson, running back, Virginia Tech (NO CHANGE)
Cedric Benson is still looking like he's unlikely to return to the Bengals. The Bengals want to keep up the running game, so they pick the second best back in the draft, David Wilson, to keep their running game on track.
18.) The San Diego Chargers select Mike Adams, offensive tackle, Ohio State (Original Pick; David DeCastro, Stanford)
Philip Rivers really struggled for much of the 2012 season, in no small part due to his offensive line being in shambles. Marcus McNeil hasn't been as effective as he once was, so the Chargers may start thinking about replacing him. While Mike Adams isn't quite ready to play left tackle yet (he only had 19 reps of 250 pounds at the Combine and needs to get much stronger), he can slide in at right tackle and, when the timeis right, can slide over to the left to keep Rivers up right and deadly effective as he is.
19.) The Kansas City Chiefs select Dontari Poe, nose tackle, Memphis (Original Pick; Via trade, the Dolphins select Ryan Tannehill)
The Chiefs bought in former Ravens nose tackle Kelly Gregg last season, but Gregg is getting up there in age, and Poe just exploded out of the combine, running a sub 4.5 40-yard dash, despite weighing 348 pounds. Poe was productive as all get out at Memphis without a whole lot of talent around him, and would be a force stuffing the run and collapsing the pocket for the Chiefs.
20.) The Tennessee Titans select Whitney Mercilus, defensive end, Illinois (Original Pick; Nick Perry)
The Titans have to get their pass rush game up. Whitney Mercillus and Nick Perry are almost even in terms of who's the better defensive end, but Whitney is rated higher on most boards, which is why he goes here.
21.) The Cincinatti Bengals select Cordy Glenn, offensive tackle/guard, Georgia
The Bengals continue to beef up their run game by taking Cordy Glenn. Though the Bengals far exceeded all expectations this past season, they still need a little help on the offensive line. Glenn has the ability to be a beast, and is as athletic as any offensive lineman in the draft, if not more so. Glenn could thrive, even against the tough defenses of the Steelers and Baltimore.
22.) The Cleveland Browns select Dwayne Allen, tight end, Clemson (Original Pick: Kendall Wright)
It may be a little early to take a tight end, but with Alex Smith an impending free agent and with no running backs worth taking, the Browns continue their offensive focus and take Dwayne Allen. Allen is the most complete tight end and a week class for tight ends overall; he's a physical blocker who can also make plays in the passing game as well. Another weapon for whoever happens to be throwing the ball in Cleveland next season.
23.) The Detroit Lions select Dont'a Hightower, inside linebacker, Alabama (Original Pick: Vontaze Burfict)
With Vontaze's draft stock plummeting, the Lions snatch up the best available player in Hightower. They need help at linebacker, and Hightower will be highly productive. With a linebacker like Hightower behind their stacked defensive line, the Lions could wreck havoc on every team in the NFL for a long, long time.
24.) The Pittsburgh Steelers select David DeCastro, guard, Stanford (Original Pick: Cordy Glenn)
The Steelers want to get back to being physical and running the ball in addition to their explosive passing game. DeCastro is the best offensive lineman available. DeCastro is probably the best guard in terms of pulling and running power, and if the Steelers can get their running back situations squared away, he'd become another key component on a perrenial playoff team.
25.) The Denver Broncos select Michael Brockers, defensive tackle, LSU (Original Pick: Brandon Thompson)
Brockers has been slowly climbing up draft boards since the season ended, and the Broncos will want to go with the best defensive tackle available to continue to play their brand of football. Brockers can be a disruptive force in both the run and the passing game, and will help to clear the way for Von Miller to cause even more damage on football teams.
26.) The Houston Texans select Jerel Worthy, defensive tackle, Michigan State (Original Pick: Mohammed Sauu)
The Texans are a hard nut to crack. While they do need a wide receiver opposite Andre Johnson, the Texans have long followed the rule of BPA, and Worthy is the best defensive lineman available. The Texans need an upgrade at nose tackle, and while Worthy might appear to be a better defensive tackle in a 4-3, Wade Phillips worked wonders with Jay Ratliff in Dallas and could help Jerel Worthy make the transition.
27.) Via the Saints, the New England Patriots select Andre Branch, defensive end, Clemson (Original Pick; Melvin Ingram)
Part of the problem with New England's habit of trading down in the first round to gain value and picks in the later rounds is that it allows the top tier talent to pass them down. Not this time; the Patriots actually make a pick here to help them along their defensive front. It remains to see whether or not Andre Carter will return, and even if they do, the Patriots have no pass rush to speak of and it keeps getting the back end of their defense exposed. The Pats take Branch off a impressive Combine performance to finally start applying some pressure, so it doesn't always fall on Tom Brady to score 35+ points a game to win it.
28.) The Green Bay Packers select Fletcher Cox, defensive tackle/end, Mississippi State (Original Pick; Dont'a Hightower)
The Packers really miss the presence of Cullen Jenkins creating a pass rush in the middle of their defense, and Clay Mathews was largely neutralized because of it; teams double Matthews and, with no pressure up front, were allowed to take a weakened secondary to task. The Packers need to find more pieces along their front seven, but with no dominant outside linebackers at this point, the Packers take the best defensive tackle, Fletcher Cox, off the board. Fletcher had showed the ability to create pressure and gift after the quarterback, and the added presence of someone on the d-line besides Matthews creating pressure will help the Packers defense get that much better.
29.) The Baltimore Ravens select Reuben Randle, wide receiver, LSU (Original Pick; Mike Adams)
The Ravens need a game changer at wide receiver. While Torrey Smith provides some downfield speed, the Ravens should continue building the offense around Joe Flacco, and with Lee Evans being largely useless, adding Randle to the downfield presense of Smith and the over the middle toughness and YAC of Anquan Bolden would finally give the Ravens the one thing they've lack for so long; legitimate offense. Randle might not be the big down field guy, but he's a tall receiver with good hands that can run solid routes, while providing a solid red zone target for the soon-to-be-well-paid Flacco.
30.) The San Fransisco 49ers select Stephen Hill, wide receiver, Georgia Tech (Original Pick; Bucs moved up into first round to draft Alfonzo Dennard)
It might be a shocking pick, but Stephen Hill absolutely exploded at the Combine. He only had 28 catches in Georgia Tech's option offense, but he caught nearly everything thrown at him at the Combine (including a crazy good catch on a deep pass), posted a 4.36 40-yard dash, and is a big bodied, explosive receiver. He's raw in terms of his route running (naturally), but he's a beast of a run blocker and has big play ability written all over him. Like Georgia Tech DeMaryius Thomas and Calvin Johnson before him, with some polishing, Hill has the potential to be a deadly receiver in the NFL.
31.) The New England Patriots select Zac Brown, inside linebacker, North Carolina
The Patriots again hold their ground, holding on their draft pick to draft Zac Brown. Gary Guyton isn't expected to be back and isn't a full time player to begin with. Brown is the best linebacker on the board, and putting him next to Takeo Spikes would do nothing but help the Patriots defense return to it's previous form. As in a form that wouldn't let Rex Grossman put up insane yardage against it.
32.) The New York Giants select Zerbie Sanders, offensive tackle, Florida State
With the last pick of the first round, the Giants fortify their offensive line. They look like they'll be losing Kareem McKenzie in free agency, and though they could probably use a left tackle, Sanders is more suited to playing on the right. BPA at the position they neeed.
BONUS: Second Round Mock
1.) Colts: Peter Conz, center, Wisconsin
2.) Rams: Janoris Jenkins, cornerback, North Alabama
3.) Vikings: Marvin McNutt, wide receiver, Iowa
4.) Browns: Doug Martin, running back, Boise State
5.) Bucs: Mohamed Sanu, wide receiver, Rutgets
6.) Browns: Keith Zeitler, guard, Wisconsin
7.) Rams: Colby Fleener, tight end, Stanford
8.) Panthers: Alfonzo Dennard, cornerback, Illinois
9.) TRADE: Seattle trades 4th round pick to Bills. Seattle selects Ryan Tannehill, quarterback, Texas A&M
10.) Dolphins: Nick Foles, quarterback, Arizona
11.) Via Seattle, Bills: Derek Wolfe, defensive end, Cincinatti
12.) Chiefs: Vinny Curry, outside linebacker, Marshall
13.) Cowboys: Mark Barron, strong safety, Alabama
14.) Eagles: Brandon Thompson, defensive tackle, Clemson
15.) Browns: Mitchell Scwartz, offensive tackle, Cal
16.) Via Oakland, Patriots: Chase Minnifield, cornervack, Virginia
17.) Chargers: Orson Charles, tight end, Georgia
18.) Via Bears, Chiefs: Dwight Jones, wide receiver, North Carolina
19.) Via Arizona, Eagles: Desmond Trufant, cornerback, Washington
20.) Titans: Brian Quick, wide receiver, Appalacian State
21.) Bengals: Jayron Hostley, cornerback, Virginia
22.) Lions: Kelechi Osmele, offensive tackle/guard, Iowa State
23.) Falcons: Kendall Reyes, defensive end, Connecticut
24.) Steelers: Alameda Ta'amu, nose tackle, Washington
25.) Broncos: Lamar Miller, running back, Miami
26.) Texans: Tommy Streeter, wide receiver, Miami
27.) Saints: Shea McClellin, defensive end, Boise State
28.) Patriots: Alshon Jeffery, wide receiver, South Carolina
29.) Ravens: Josh Chapman, nose tackle, Alabama
30.) 49ers: T.Y Hilton, wide receiver, FIU
31.) Patriots: Ben Jones, center, Georgia
32.) Giants: Michael Brewster, center, Ohio State
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