1. Indianapolis – Andrew Luck, QB Stanford
I’ve actually started to wonder if Jim Irsay needs some Depakote or should simply be required to take a breathalyzer before making public comments while following his handling of the Peyton Manning situation, but I digress.
Unless something insane happens in Indianapolis – which I’m not ruling out of course – Andrew Luck is the pick. Did I mention Irsay would really worry me if I were a Colts fan?
2. Cleveland (f/STL) – Robert Griffin III, QB Baylor
I understand that Washington needs a face to their franchise and speculation “puts them in front”, but the Browns have two 1st Round picks to trade this year and ultimately; Mike Ditka isn’t running either franchise. Some of this talk of four 1st Round picks is getting ridiculous. I think the Browns give up the two this year and some extra goodies.
3. Minnesota – Matt Kalil, OT Southern Cal
Protecting a franchise quarterback and moving the pile for Adrian Peterson has to be the first priority for the Vikings. It’s just that simple in my mind. I’m sure Minnesota will look at all of their options, but Kalil makes too much sense.
4. St. Louis (f/Cle) – Justin Blackmon, WR Oklahoma State
The Rams need to bring in offensive weapons and Blackmon went out with a bum hamstring this week and looked excellent. They can use their later 1st Rounder to address other areas of need and still come away with an elite prospect.
5. Tampa Bay – Morris Claiborne, CB LSU
Not only do the Buccaneers need a cornerback, they can pick up one of the best that has come out in quite a long time in Claiborne. Greg Schiano added LSU coach Ron Cooper to the staff recently to coach defensive backs as well, so it seems like it could be a logical fit.
The one player that’s hard to pass on is Trent Richardson knowing Schiano for so long. I really feel that he’ll covet an outstanding tailback, but that’s something he may address later.
6. Cincinnati (f/Wash) – Trent Richardson, RB Alabama
I typically stay away from multiple trades in a mock draft and I spent the weekend hearing that running backs don’t go in the Top 10 anymore (the numbers do show it), but I feel if the board breaks this way the Skins could trade down and still address areas of need to help them.
Meanwhile, the Bengals give up a 2nd rounder and perhaps another pick and get Trent Richardson who is the most talented back I’ve seen since Adrian Peterson. Their front office hasn’t even talked to Cedric Benson who is a free agent and it’s pretty clear he will be out of town. Richardson is that much better than Lamar Miller or David Wilson and it gives them a great young trio on offense of Dalton, Green and Richardson.
7. Jacksonville – Melvin Ingram, DE South Carolina
The Jaguars need to get a healthy pass rush going and when I look at Quentin Coples and Melvin Ingram, I see Gene Smith going for the more consistent player. We’ve seen the Jags ignore conventional wisdom and go after very active, high motor guys before and that just sticks more with the former Gamecock in my opinion.
8. Miami – Riley Reiff, OT Iowa
After a disappointing Combine performance I think Reiff is a dominant right tackle and that’s what the Dolphins need, especially if they approach Peyton Manning in the offseason. He could start from day one and paired with Jake Long could form a formidable duo.
9. Carolina – Michael Brockers, DT LSU
This has been a pretty consistent pick for me and while I’m sure many will ask why I didn’t put Dontari Poe here. Let’s get that answer out of the way now.
Poe was amazing with what he did in Indy, which is certain. The problem is that his game tape doesn’t quite match that performance. Brockers was dominant against SEC competition at times as a sophomore. Poe was rarely the principal against Conference USA opponents. You’ll see Poe, just not in the Top 10 for now.
10. Buffalo – Quinton Coples, DE North Carolina
Moving to the 4-3 means that Buffalo needs to get a hands down pass rusher on the left side and that is Coples. He brings a big frame which Dave Wannstedt likes to have and is from the Southeastern part of the country which Chan Gailey seems to target.
11. Kansas City – Dontari Poe, NT Memphis
I don’t particularly think Poe is a nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme, but Romeo Crennel has to be salivating over a 6-foot-4, 346-pounder that can move like him between Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey. If you can teach Poe to be a grinder and play like he looks, they could have one of the best fronts in the NFL.
12. Seattle – Luke Kuechly, MLB Boston College
David Hawthorne is a free agent and word out of Seattle is that they’re not going to bend over to re-sign him. Kuechly was an outstanding player for the Eagles and followed it up with a brilliant Combine.
13. Arizona – Jonathan Martin, OT Stanford
Arizona could certainly use help at right or left tackle depending on what they want to do with Levi Brown in the future. Martin played on the left side at Stanford, but they also use tackles in the swing in the running game, so he’s an outstanding run blocker that could play either side. That flexibility makes him a nice fit for the Cardinals.
14. Dallas – David DeCastro, OG Stanford
The Cowboys really need help in the secondary, but David DeCastro looked so phenomenal at the Combine that I just don’t think they could pass on him here with the trouble they have at the point of attack. He simply looks like the type of guard that only comes out once every five years or so.
15. Philadelphia – Fletcher Cox, DT Mississippi State
Frankly, based on film and what we saw at the Combine, I think Cox is the best defensive tackle in the draft RIGHT NOW. The upside of Brockers and Poe may or may not push them above him, but if he is to fall to the Eagles here I believe they’d pounce.
Cox is a 6-foot-4, 298-pounder who could start in a rotation from day one with Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson for the Birds and eventually take over for Patterson. He’s athletic enough to line up at LDE in the Wide 9 and just overpower people as well, just like Albert Haynesworth used to do for Jim Washburn in Tennessee.
16. N.Y. Jets – Michael Floyd, WR Notre Dame
That old chestnut again. Yes, I’m staying with the same pick here and it’s just because it feels so good. Michael Floyd is just such an excellent prospect for the Jets to get in the middle of the 1st for Mark Sanchez.
17. Washington (f/Cin) – Ryan Tannehill, QB Texas A&M
I had the Skins trading down because frankly, Tannehill is not worth the 6th overall pick right now. He may get picked that high, but Washington could end up with quite a few players here that they’d love. In this case, they do score a future face of the franchise in Tannehill.
18. San Diego – Cordy Glenn, T/G Georgia
Brutally difficult pick as San Diego needs to look at guard; tackle and a pass rusher here and there are plenty of good options on the board. Glenn is a player they could play at either offensive line position. I simply think protecting Phillip Rivers is a bit more of a priority than a pass rusher which they can get in later rounds.
19. Chicago – Mike Adams, OT Ohio State
The Bears are just in desperate need of offensive line help and while cornerback and Kendall Wright may be attractive, they need to fill that hole with Adams.
20. Tennessee – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB Alabama
It sounds like Cortland Finnegan is as good as gone in free agency and while the Titans have needs on the interior line, that can be addressed outside of this round. Janoris Jenkins is a great talent, however after Pac Man Jones I wonder if they’d want to worry about the off-field shenanigans again.
21. Cincinnati – Janoris Jenkins, CB North Alabama
Now, the Bengals will take some chances on a player and Jenkins has elite skills. They also need someone who can come in and contribute immediately which Jenkins looks like he’d be able to do.
22. St. Louis (f/Cle) – Kelechi Osemele, T/G Iowa State
First of all, it was really tempting to give the Rams Kendall Wright here to pair with Blackmon. It just would have been overkill.
The offensive line in St. Louis is brutally confusing. Jason Smith has not played well on the right side. Rodger Saffold gets mixed reviews on the left side. Jason Brown and Jason Smith may be cut this season. They need help in a major way at guard and right tackle. Osemele was brought to the Combine as a tackle. At worst, he gives them a huge guard prospect to develop and Fisher isn’t afraid of smaller school guys.
23. Detroit – Zach Brown, OLB UNC
Stephen Tulloch will most likely skip town and the Lions may move restricted free agent DeAndre Levy into the middle. Either way, Brown is an ultra-athletic player at WILL that would be great for the Lions defense in the Wide 9.
24. Pittsburgh – Courtney Upshaw, LB Alabama
Upshaw is a prospect who has no real position when I watch him. Is he a 3-4 ILB or a 3-4 OLB? In Pittsburgh, he’s have the chance to fit in a few different positions as Dick Lebeau uses his weapons creatively and has some aging linebackers.
25. Denver – Dont’a Hightower, ILB Alabama
Joe Mays was your starting middle linebacker. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Mays and his work ethic in Philadelphia – but we’re not talking about a starting caliber player in the NFL.
26. Houston – Kendall Wright, WR Baylor
After a very disappointing Combine, Wright is going to slide in the draft. I’m not sure he’ll make it this far and hopefully he’ll improve his 40-yard dash at his Pro Day. That said, if he makes it to Houston they need to get the card to the table fast. Having him on the other side of Andre Johnson would really open that offense up.
27. New England (f/NO) – Stephen Hill, WR Georgia Tech
I do wonder if the Patriots would like to develop a big guy like Hill in their own system. He has a clean slate so to speak and could bring a lot of the same things to the field that Randy Moss did for Tom Brady. After his strong Combine, I do not think Hill makes it out of the 1st Round.
28. Green Bay – Whitney Mercilus, OLB Illinois
The Packers get another active pass rusher to take the focus off of Clay Matthews.
29. Baltimore – Peter Konz, C Wisconsin
I’m pretty sure I’ve been here with this pick before and explained it, but if you take a look at their depth chart you can figure it out.
30. San Francisco – Kevin Zeitler, OG Wisconsin
Ahmad Brooks was just re-signed to a deal, so the need for a pass rusher is out the door. The Niners could use some help on the inside in the running game however, so Zeitler would help them.
31. New England – Andre Branch, OLB Clemson
After getting an offensive weapon, the Patriots need to look to getting an outside pass rusher. Both Nick Perry and Branch are on the board, but Andre just looks like the type of player that Belichick would be more interested in.
32. N.Y. Giants – David Wilson, RB Virginia Tech
Wilson just had an excellent Combine and frankly, Ahmad Bradshaw hasn’t shown he can stay healthy. Also, Brandon Jacobs simply isn’t worth the money that the Giants are paying him. I could certainly see the Giants going with the best player available with this pick.