1. Indianapolis – Andrew Luck, QB Stanford
Despite the reports of Robert Griffin III having an outstanding Pro Day, the Colts have already made this decision. I think people need to be careful of getting too overzealous when they gauge picks this high over Pro Day results.
2. Washington (f/STL) – Robert Griffin III, QB Baylor
Mike Shanahan gets the franchise quarterback that he has been searching for in Washington and this time, it better work. The Skins paid a handsome fee for Griffin and they’ll need him to make an immediate impact in the competitive NFC East.
3. Minnesota – Matt Kalil, OT USC
Nothing has changed with my mindset on this pick. The two most valuable commodities on the team are Adrian Peterson and second-year quarterback Christian Ponder. You must protect them with a franchise left tackle. Having a shut down corner in Morris Claiborne is very attractive, but you can fill that later.
4. Cleveland – Trent Richardson, RB Alabama
The Browns allowed Peyton Hillis to walk and he signed for a maximum of $3 million dollars for 2012 with the Chiefs. They have absolutely nothing to brag about in their backfield and need offense and I’m not sure Justin Blackmon is what they’re looking for. I believe Richardson is in rare company as a tailback. We’ll see if Mike Holmgren agrees.
5. Tampa Bay – Morris Claiborne, CB LSU
Tampa went out and got Eric Wright in free agency and re-signed Ronde Barber, but as much as I love the cooler of the twins – to say he’s long in the tooth is an understatement. Bringing in Claiborne could give them a very nice set of defensive backs for the future and allow them to part with Aqib Talib who has been constant trouble.
6. St. Louis (f/Wash) – Justin Blackmon, WR Oklahoma State
The Rams have absolutely nothing at wide receiver that represents a first down or a big play, so Justin Blackmon would immediately be Sam Bradford’s best friend. It’s alright to have worker bees like Danny Amendola working those quick routes, but you need a playmaker.
7. Jacksonville – Melvin Ingram, DE South Carolina
The Jags did sign Jeremy Mincey and have handled a lot of needs in free agency so far. Still, they need production from the defensive end position and Aaron Kampman does not give them that. Ingram is not only the top defensive end on the board, but he is also a very hard worker with a high motor which Gene Smith covets.
8. Miami – Ryan Tannehill, QB Texas A&M
The Dolphins were in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes and were then linked to many quarterbacks including nearly signing Alex Smith. They settled on David Garrard, but he is 34 years old and clearly not the future for the Dolphins. If they want a young, franchise signal caller to make their own, they’ll have to take Tannehill here.
9. Carolina – Quentin Coples, DE UNC
People who frequent our site know I’m not huge on Coples given his inconsistencies, but his upside is outstanding. Greg Hardy is more suited for a rotational role at LDE and when you have to play Drew Brees and Matt Ryan four games out of the year, you need to get to the quarterback. Coples also played a lot of DT in college, so he can kick inside for passing situations and play three-technique in place of Terrell McClain or Sione Fua.
10. Buffalo – Jonathan Martin, OT Stanford
The last time we mocked the first round, we had the Bills chasing defensive ends. They did one heck of a job addressing that area in free agency. Right now they do have an open spot at LT as they have yet to re-sign Demetrius Bell and even if they bring him back, you also have a bit of a journeyman in Erik Pears at RT. Martin is a good pick up for the future of your franchise.
11. Kansas City – Dontari Poe, NT Memphis
While I don’t see Poe as a 3-4 nose tackle yet, the Chiefs could easily fall in love with his size and want to coach him into the core of their defense. He’ll need to learn to be a grinder and not a pass rusher – as he tried to do at Memphis – but after the Combine his stock has shot up.
12. Seattle – David DeCastro, OG Stanford
It might seem high for an offensive guard and well – it is high for an offensive guard – but DeCastro was a monster on the field showing Top 15 potential and then killed the Combine. If you want Steve Hutchinson, you have to pay for him in the draft. The Seahawks signed Frank Omiyale and run a zone-blocking scheme, but neither would affect this pick.
13. Arizona – Mike Adams, OT Ohio State
The Cardinals did let Levi Brown go and then re-signed him, but it was to get rid of his obnoxious cap figure and get him cheaper. He’s not being paid left tackle money because he doesn’t deserve it. Adams is a player they can ease in on the right side and then slide him over to the left eventually with Brown moving over.
14. Dallas – Michael Brockers, DT/DE LSU
Since re-signing with the Cowboys in 2010, Marcus Spears has landed on IR and last year saw the bench for most of the season. His cap number continues to climb and with the penalties they face from the NFL, there is no reason to keep him on the roster behind Kenyon Coleman.
15. Philadelphia – Fletcher Cox, DT Mississippi State
At this pick I’d expect the Eagles to look at Cox and Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly as a possible SAM LB, however I expect them to sign another linebacker by the draft. Hopefully they get someone like Jo-Lonn Dunbar. Cox is in our opinion the best DT in the draft and would be an outstanding fit in Jim Washburn’s defensive scheme – or anyone else’s for that matter.
16. N.Y. Jets – Kendall Wright, WR Baylor
New York did get the big-bodied Chaz Schilens in free agency, but how long will Santonio Holmes be welcome in the Big Apple? Wright made up for a bad Combine with a blistering 40 at his Pro Day and could work the slot and eventually take over on the outside for the Jets.
17. Cincinnati (f/Oak) – Cordy Glenn, OG Georgia
The Bengals signed Travelle Wharton, but you’re putting the Titanic back together with masking tape. Glenn is a powerful guard and furthermore, fits exactly what they typically like at the position.
18. San Diego – Whitney Mercilus, OLB Illinois
Yes, the Chargers signed Jarret Johnson at OLB and he’s a very underrated player, but he’s a run stuffer and was known for being good in coverage for the Ravens for such a big guy. Larry English has been a complete bust and this franchise needs someone who can get to the quarterback right now.
19. Chicago – Luke Kuechly, LB Boston College
To write this would get me killed in Chicago, but luckily I’m safe at home in Philadelphia. Urlacher isn’t going to live forever and Lovie knows it. In the mean time, Kuechly is outstanding value and could learn from one of the best while play SAM in place of the revolving door they’ve had there since Hunter Hillenmeyer left. The Bears put a very high value on linebackers.
20. Tennessee – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB Alabama
Finnegan is out the door and while there is some young talent in Tennessee, none are as good as Kirkpatrick can be. I expect them to address CB through trade or very early in the draft.
21. Cincinnati – Lamar Miller, RB Miami
I don’t believe the Bengals signed BenJarvus Green-Ellis to be the featured back, and I don’t believe you believe they believe they did either. Hopefully you followed that.
22. Cleveland (f/Atl) – Michael Floyd, WR Notre Dame
Floyd is really a much more talented version of Greg Little who almost played with Michael at Notre Dame, but he does one thing that Greg doesn’t – stretch the field. The Browns need that in their offense and Colt McCoy could use a go-to receiver that adjusts to the ball well and makes his life easier. Pair him with Trent Richardson and the Browns step out of the first round with an awesome bounty.
23. Detroit – Stephon Gilmore, CB South Carolina
The Lions need to upgrade their secondary so they can stop getting in shootouts. Sure, it’s not just one position, but in their case it doesn’t help that they don’t have much talent at corner either.
24. Pittsburgh – Courtney Upshaw, LB Alabama
Well, I’ve been talking a bit about it and it’s happening. The Steelers released James Farrior and you always have to be cautious of injuries and have great depth with your outside pass rushers in a 3-4. I hate to keep doing it, but it’s a great fit if Upshaw is here.
25. Denver – Jerel Worthy, DT Michigan State
The departure of Brodrick Bunkley does leave a need at defensive tackle and Worthy is good value here for the Broncos. I also wonder if they’d take a look at Riley Reiff to develop for the future and kick Orlando Franklin inside to guard because of value, but I’m not familiar enough with the situation.
26. Houston – Riley Reiff, OT Iowa
If you’re surprised by the drop, don’t be. Reiff looks like a right tackle only and even if you’re a really good one, falling in the draft will happen. If we simply look back to what happened with Bryan Bulaga a few years ago he went from a consensus Top 5 pick to a late rounder grabbed up by the Packers. Having just cut Eric Winston to save cap room, the Texans would be ecstatic.
27. New England (f/NO) – Stephen Hill, WR Georgia Tech
The Patriots just went out and signed three wide receivers in the offseason, but if you take a look closer there isn’t much commitment there. Anthony Gonzalez and Donte Stallworth got one-year deals and even Brandon Lloyd only got a 3-year/$12 mill deal. Hill coupled with Welker for the future could be a great combo and the GT product does need a year to learn the ropes coming from a simple offense.
28. Green Bay – Nick Perry, OLB USC
Clay Matthews needs some help on the other side of him as a pass rusher and while I don’t value Perry’s ability to play the run as much as others, he does get to the quarterback quite well.
29. Baltimore – Kevin Zeitler, OG Wisconsin
Ben Grubbs went buh-bye in free agency and unless the Ravens plan on kicking Jah Reid inside from tackle Zeitler or Kelechi Osemele would be good options here.
30. San Francisco – Kelechi Osemele, OL Iowa State
Adam Snyder left in free agency and Anthony Davis has been up and down at RT for the Niners. Osemele could play either RG or RT for San Francisco and also gives them the size and power up front that John Harbaugh likes.
31. New England – Janoris Jenkins, CB North Alabama
The Patriots are an extremely hard team to read and their secondary is a mess right now. Devin McCourty was moved to safety in the playoffs last year and there is a chance the move could be permanent. They want Ras-I Dowling back to play over Kyle Arrington who had 7 interceptions last year; supposedly. Jenkins is great value here and allows them to move McCourty if they want, strengthening two positions. There are pass rushers in later rounds.
32. N.Y. Giants – Mark Barron, SS Alabama
Antrel Rolle didn’t play so well last year for the Giants and I doubt he’s around when his contract is up. Barron did play strong safety for the Crimson Tide, however he does show the coverage ability to play either free or strong in the NFL and could be a nice upgrade alongside Kenny Phillips for the Giants.
* 2nd ROUND *
33. St. Louis – Amini Silatolu, OG Midwestern State
If you haven’t heard of Amini, you haven’t been reading Tommy on Scout’s Notebook. I’ve been lucky enough to get some information on where Silatolu could go on draft day and some teams think of him as a 1st Round talent. The Rams have to protect Sam Bradford and left guard is a weakness.
34. Indianapolis – Dont’a Hightower, ILB Alabama
With all of the needs the Colts have this may seem like an unnecessary pick, however Hightower is good value and they are moving to a 3-4 under Chuck Pagano. After heading the Ravens defense he knows the value of a good ‘backer and Hightower is a violent downhill player who could play both inside and outside.
35. Minnesota – Devon Still, DT Penn State
While the Vikings could use a WR and a CB, Fred Evans is projected to start for them at nose tackle and his contract is up at the end of 2013. They are very thin at the position to begin with and Still would bring the size the Vikes typically like to the position.
36. Tampa Bay – David Wilson, RB Virginia Tech
I believe Greg Schiano would love to get his hands on Trent Richardson in the first round, but being able to get Morris Claiborne and then pick up David Wilson in the 2nd would be a great consolation prize. Wilson needs to fix the fumbling issues, but he’s a very good compliment to LaGarrette Blount.
37. Cleveland – Josh Robinson, CB UCF
After getting Trent Richardson and Michael Floyd in the first round, Cleveland can turn their heads to defense a bit here. I love Sheldon Brown, but he’s 33 and Dimitri Patterson is a solid third cornerback. I’d love to address some OL here, but they’d be reaches.
38. Jacksonville – Mohamed Sanu, WR Rutgers
At the expense of hurting Laurent Robinson’s feelings, he is not the answer to all of the Jaguars’ woes at the receiver position. Mike Thomas hasn’t been and Brian Robiskie won’t be either. One thing I do think Sanu will be is a very tough, very productive number two for years to come however. I can’t say that for anyone currently on their roster.
39. St. Louis (f/Wash) – Zach Brown, OLB UNC
If the season started today, St. Louis would start Justin Cole and Josh Hull at SAM and WILL linebacker who have amassed a total of five tackles combined in the NFL. To say that’s not confidence inspiring is a bit of an understatement.
40. Carolina – Jamell Fleming, CB Oklahoma
Vincent Jackson, Marques Colston, Roddy White and Julio Jones are some big receivers to deal with. The Panthers are going to have to get someone on the other side of Chris Gamble to help him out. Fleming is a big, strong corner.
41. Buffalo – Andre Branch, DE Clemson
The Bills signed Mario Williams to play the left side, but Mark Anderson is a player that has had two stellar seasons surrounded by mediocrity. Branch is an extremely fast edge rusher to plug in on the right side and develop into their starting RDE.
42. Miami – Reuben Randle, WR LSU
After trading Brandon Marshall the Dolphins really could use some young talent, so a player like Randle would be welcome, especially with a newcomer at quarterback that he could grow with.
43. Seattle – Vinny Curry, DE Marshall
Having Curry fall this far was tough for me to have happen, but it did. Seattle could really use some help in creating a pass rush when it is someone other than Chris Clemons and he’s also getting up there. Curry would be an excellent snag here.
44. Kansas City – Coby Fleener, TE Stanford
Kansas City signed Kevin Boss in the offseason because Tony Moeaki couldn’t stay healthy last season, but Fleener’s upside is much higher than both together. The Chiefs could use another weapon on offense and Fleener is the best TE in the draft.
45. Dallas – Jayron Hosley, CB Virginia Tech
Tough decision between two corners here in Hosley and Boykin, however I went bigger and more adept to playing outside with Hosley given we don’t know what the Cowboys will do with Mike Jenkins after his contract is up. Jaylon can play the slot until then and is a nice player for Dallas.
46. Philadelphia (f/Ariz) – Lavonte David, OLB Nebraska
David is a player that I could see defensive coordinator Juan Castillo really liking at SAM in the Eagles system. He’s an outstanding tackler, but also is very good in coverage and that sounds like the combination Philly is looking for rather than their old style of big line crashers.
47. N.Y. Jets – Shea McClellin, OLB Boise State
I still see McClellin going higher than this come draft day, but we’ll see what happens. The Jets land themselves a very disruptive pass rusher that they desperately need, even after bringing back Bryan Thomas.
48. New England (f/Oak) – Chandler Jones, DE Syracuse
McClellin is a guy I think the Patriots would target, but he comes off the board. Jones is a guy that I believe has tremendous upside despite his lack of sack numbers with the Orange and maybe Belichick could see the same thing as he has visited the Patriots. This is a five-tech pick.
49. San Diego – Bobby Massie, OT Mississippi
Kris Dielman retired and well, Jeromey Clary isn’t a great right tackle. Bobby Massie is a player the Chargers can bring in and develop to play wherever they want – tackle or guard.
50. Chicago – Peter Konz, C Wisconsin
The Bears need all the help they can get on the offensive line with the exception of Gabe Carimi. Konz is an outstanding center prospect who may slide a bit because of red flags from injuries, but is still great value.
51. Philadelphia – Brandon Boykin, CB Georgia
Boykin has played outside, but played exclusively in the slot for the Bulldogs this past season because he was so productive there, especially as a tackler and blitzer. He could be a nice upgrade over Joselio Hanson, is a great return man for the Eagles and a future developmental player when Nnamdi Asomugha’s time comes.
52. Tennessee – Brandon Brooks, OG Miami(OH)
The Titans signed Steve Hutchinson, but he’s old and frankly, Leroy Harris is terrible on the other side. Guard is going to need to be addressed early and while Brooks may be a bit of a Pro Day wonder from a smaller school, that has worked out well for them in the past with players like Michael Roos.
53. Cincinnati – Joe Adams, WR/RS Arkansas
Cincinnati brought Brandon Tate in to add to their receiving crew and give them a spark in the return game. He has been a very solid return man so far, but he hasn’t given them the RAC specialist they wanted and 2012 is his last season under contract. Adams could give them an underneath target and an excellent return man for 2013.
54. Detroit – Harrison Smith, SS Notre Dame
Smith isn’t a player I have valued this high, but it’s a weak safety class and he was great at the Combine. Teams are talking about him. The Lions have to really work their secondary through the draft after doing nothing in free agency and Amari Spievey is not the answer.
55. Atlanta – Ladarius Green, TE Louisiana-Lafayette
Tony Gonzalez is 36 years old and while he’s still doing his thing on the field, the Falcons are really looking hard at tight ends. They’ve really been taking a look at athletic players and I think Webb is going to go higher than people think.
56. Pittsburgh – Alameda Ta’amu, NT Washington
Casey Hampton has been such an outstanding player, but like much of the Steelers defense, he’s old and breaking down. Ta’amu is excellent value here and would be a great fit at nose tackle for them.
57. Denver – Brandon Thompson, DT Clemson
I realize that I already went with Jerel Worthy at defensive tackle in the first round for the Broncos, but if the board fell like this I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go after Thompson as well. He could play the nose with Worthy at three-technique. The DT situation in Denver is absolutely dire.
58. Houston – Chris Givens, WR Wake Forest
The Texans could definitely use another tall receiver that can stretch the field and Givens is both.
59. New Orleans – FORFEITED
60. Green Bay – Kendall Reyes, DT/DE Connecticut
Reyes would fit in really well as a five-tech for the Packers and it’s another part of their defense which definitely needs upgraded in the draft. He’s a tough, strong player that could come off the edge and also give them a little bit of a rush.
61. Baltimore – Mychal Kendricks, ILB Cal
Ray Lewis has been talking about retirement for quite a while and while Kendricks may not be the 260-pound monster that Lewis is, not many are. The Ravens would be drafting a very fast inside linebacker with good instincts that is a solid tackler.
62. San Francisco – Doug Martin, RB Boise State
Frank Gore has had problems staying healthy for too long and Kendall Hunter isn’t going to be his replacement. Anthony Dixon has been a big disappointment in short yardage and saw a reduced workload under Harbaugh last season and at such value, Martin would be hard to pass up. (Ed. Note — pick done prior to addition of Brandon Jacobs)
63. New England – Cam Johnson, OLB Virginia
With Chandler Jones, I’m projecting him as a five-technique. Cam Johnson would be coming in to play outside linebacker and help them get back to running the 3-4 we know Belichick wants to be in.
64. N.Y. Giants – Bobby Wagner, LB Utah State
The Giants could do a number of things at the linebacker position in the future in terms of moving players around and while I see Wagner being more of a natural outside linebacker, he could play MIKE as well. Solid value pick for the Giants.