1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck – Stanford QB – A lot will change between now and the draft, but this pick won’t.
2. Cleveland Browns- Robert Griffin III – Baylor QB - RG3 won’t be a Ram, but I believe he will be picked here by someone trading up. A trade with the Browns makes sense because of all the picks Cleveland has, and by going down to 4, the Rams can still get one of the elite guys they were targeting here.
3. Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil – Southern California OT - I still think the Vikings should be looking WR here, but it’s clear they’re going to take Kalil. Not that Kalil isn’t one of the top 3-5 prospects in the draft; I just prefer to build my offense around a dominant WR threat if the opportunity is there. Has having 2 of the top left tackles in the NFL helped the Browns and Dolphins become top offensive units?
4. St. Louis Rams – Michael Floyd – Notre Dame WR – At this point, Floyd and Blackmon are neck and neck. Both will be outstanding #1 WRs in the NFL, and I see Floyd’s size and speed winning out here in the St. Louis draft room. There is no wrong answer between the two.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Morris Claiborne – Louisiana State CB - This is pretty convenient for the Bucs. At a position of need, they get maybe the best defensive player in this draft.
6. Washington Redskins – Trent Richardson – Alabama RB - The Redskins draft plan here should be to take the best offensive skill player on the board. Their skill positions need upgrading more than maybe any team in the league. Why reach on Tannehill here when you can add a player who could instantly be one of the top RBs in the NFL? If they can find their QB elsewhere and dip into the deep WR free agent market, all the sudden the Redskins could have the makings of a great offense.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Justin Blackmon – Oklahoma State WR - The Jaguars’ offseason plan will be full-blown Operation Save Blaine Gabbert. I doubt any veteran free agent receiver of any worth would want to come catch passes in this offense, so they’ll have to find their #1 receiver through the draft.
8. Miami Dolphins – Melvin Ingram – South Carolina DE – He’s a versatile rusher, he killed double teams in college, he tossed around the Georgia offensive line – there’s a lot to like about Ingram. I think he’s the safest DL prospect in the draft. The Dolphins can begin to build their 4-3 around Ingram.
9. Carolina Panthers – Dontari Poe – Memphis NT – Poe is the most physically gifted player in this draft. The way he moves at his size combined with his strength is really, really special. This isn’t a reach; he’s one of the 10 best players in this draft.
10. Buffalo Bills – Kendall Wright – Baylor WR – The Bills could be losing Stevie Johnson via free agency, and even if they don’t this is an excellent pick. Wright is a special vertical threat and will be able to get behind NFL secondaries right away.
11. Kansas City Chiefs – David DeCastro – Stanford C – You’ve heard this before I’m sure, but DeCastro is the cleanest offensive prospect in this draft. A technician at such a young age is super rare, which is why drafting an interior OL isn’t a reach here.
12. Seattle Seahawks – Ryan Tannehill – Texas A&M QB – Tannehill has been a trendy QB amongst scouts because of his natural “tools.” I’ve seen plenty of Tannehill going back to last year, and I don’t believe he’s worthy of a pick this high. Tannehill doesn’t throw receivers open, he’s inconsistent and turns the ball over too much. I’d like to see a QB dominate the college level more before investing a top 15 pick in him. Nonetheless, I’ve heard too many top 10-15 pick rumors for him to leave him out.
13. Arizona Cardinals – Courtney Upshaw – Alabama OLB – Much is made of the Cardinals needing to fix their offense, but if they don’t continue to upgrade that defense they’re going to continue to be an average team in a bad division. They need more pass rush to go with the finesse WILL rusher Sam Acho, and a strong bull-rusher like Upshaw would be the perfect compliment at SAM linebacker.
14. Dallas Cowboys – Fletcher Cox – Mississippi State DE/DT – Cox’s buzz is out of control. He’s drawing comparisons to Gerald McCoy. He’s scheme-versatile, as he played all over the place at Mississippi State. He has really good hands, sheds well and plays fast. He can be an every down player right away.
15. Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Kuechly – Boston College MLB - If the Eagles are lucky enough to have an opportunity to get Kuechly like this, they’ll be elated. Their linebackers lack discipline; they read plays poorly and get washed by lineman way too easily. They lack a real intelligent leader on their defense and Kuechly would be just that.
16. New York Jets – Quinton Coples – North Carolina DE – The Jets can afford to take a risk on Coples. He’s the best talent available here. The Jets need more athleticism on the edge of their front 7. Coples is a tall lean athlete with some ability to turn the edge. I think he’s in serious need of NFL coaching, and could be sculpted into a pretty good NFL pass rusher. He reminds me of the Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson.
17. Cincinnati Bengals – Janoris Jenkins – North Alabama CB – Jenkins was on his way to being a top 10-15 pick last year before choosing to stay in school. By everything I’ve seen, the Bengals are really looking hard at the CBs in this draft. It would make sense, as they have yet to find a legitimate replacement for Jonathan Joseph.
18. San Diego Chargers – Michael Brockers – Louisiana State DT – Last year’s 1st round pick Corey Liuget was underwhelming, a trend amongst recent Chargers 1st round picks. They aren’t stout on their defensive line, and their front 7 in general lacks talent. Brockers has been called the best run stuffing interior DL in the draft, and he has the tools to become a better pass rusher.
19. Chicago Bears – Dre Kirkpatrick – Alabama CB – The Bears love big zone corners and they need to infuse some young talent into their secondary. Lovie Smith coaches DBs better than anyone in the league, and I see Kirkpatrick moving into an impact role down the line on the edge for the Bears.
20. Tennessee Titans – Nick Perry – Southern California DE – He’s dominated some high talent in Stanford’s Jonathan Martin. He has a quick twitch and plays with really good leverage. He looks like another USC stud. The Titans need edge rush and this is a rusher who fits their DE mold.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Riley Reif – Iowa OT – There’s a lot of mixed opinions on Reif. I think he’s at worst an above average starting right tackle in the NFL. I don’t see the Bengals paying Andre Smith, which would leave a big hole at right tackle for the Bengals.
22. Cleveland Browns – Rueben Randle – Louisiana State WR – It’s no secret. The Browns need receivers desperately. Randle was underutilized like most offensive skill position talent at LSU. The Browns will be looking to upgrade their skill positions with this pick and their next few picks in this draft. They must infuse talent on the edges of this offense.
23. Detroit Lions – Jonathan Martin – Stanford OT – Like Reif, Martin is a pretty polarizing player. Some people have him top 10; most have him between there and the 20s. With all the talent in this 1st round, I can see him falling here. He’s got the NFL build and athleticism to start for years, but some question his physicality and how great he can really be.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Cordy Glenn – Georgia OT – The Steelers offensive line is going to be overhauled this offseason. It already started with the release of Kemoeatu and moving Marcus Gilbert to left tackle. Glenn is a massive power OL like the Steelers prefer. He could be plugged in at guard or right tackle on this line and solves a lot of the Steelers problems.
25. Denver Broncos – Devon Still – Penn State DT - I’m not a fan of Still’s. He has a poor motor and doesn’t make enough plays. He also has a very scary medical history. I’m not even convinced a team should spend a 1st round pick on such a high-risk player. I’ve heard way too much buzz about him to leave him off this mock though. He might even go higher than this, but personally I am not a fan. He would fit what the Broncos do, however, and could find success in John Fox’s 4-3.
26. Houston Texans – Stephen Hill – Georgia Tech WR – Hill is very easy to sleep on. He’s probably the last WR left on the board with #1 WR potential. He blew up the combine with his 4.3 speed, but that was expected. He has great body control for 6’4 and doesn’t have the bad hands you might expect from a height/weight/speed guy. The downside is he rarely played against press coverage in college, and a lot of his catches are wide-open deep balls. However, it’s hard to discredit a guy for doing what his college scheme asked him to do. This is a guy whose stock will only go up from here, and very well could be higher than this come draft day.
27. New England Patriots – Peter Konz – Wisconsin C – The Patriots are always one of the more difficult teams to predict. They’ve had success drafting offensive lineman before in the mid to late part of the 1st round, and Konz is worthy of this selection. He’s a typical Wisconsin lineman – good technician, plus blocker in the run game and very mature. He’s a safe plug and play pick.
28. Green Bay Packers – Jerel Worthy – Michigan State DT - I like Worthy more than most. He has special athleticism and mobility for his position. He’s a pretty decent point of attack DT and has adequate strength. His motor isn’t great, but in the NFL he won’t be asked to play as many snaps as he did at Michigan State. I see him playing that Cullen Jenkins-type role in this defense.
29. Baltimore Ravens – Dont’a Hightower – Alabama MLB - The Ravens usually don’t reach and they won’t with this pick either. Hightower could play either of the Ravens ILB positions. He could redshirt for a year under Ray Lewis and eventually take over the middle of this Ravens defense.
30.San Francisco 49ers – Stephon Gilmore – South Carolina CB – The Niners will look really hard at WR. Dwight Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and Alshon Jeffery will all be looked at here, but in the end there are too many questions about that bunch and far fewer about Gilmore. He has the potential to be a really good starting CB. He ran a lot better than I expected at the Combine too, which will only help him.
31. New England Patriots – Joe Adams – Arkansas WR – Even if the Patriots bring back Welker, they have a serious need at WR. I can see Adams coming in right away and being a catch machine for Brady. I don’t think he’s just a slot WR either, he can get open out on the edge. He may not necessarily be that “1st round talent,” but he can instantly produce in this Patriots offense. Like with the Niners, Jones/Sanu/Jeffery will be talked about a lot here, but I don’t see them as better fits than Adams.
32. New York Giants – Mike Adams – Ohio State OT – Quietly, the Giants offensive line was kind of a mess last year. They haven’t been able to figure out tackle for a few years now. Mike Adams can come in and play right tackle right away, and when the Giants inevitably play musical chairs and switch guys around on the line, Adams could eventually settle in at left tackle.
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