Our resident staff Mock Draft writer has come up with his first mock of the year. With just over a month until the draft starts on April 25th and the initial waves of free agency are over, mock drafts will begin to creep up all over the web.
While it’s not uncommon to involve possible trades, this mock has looked at what a draft would look like with trades involved in the first round. Enjoy!
1. Philadelphia – Geno Smith | QB | West Virginia
The Eagles sent EVERYONE including the owner to Smith’s Proday and a private workout. Reid still has ties with Philly and I think the Chiefs and Eagles work out a swap. Kelly needs a QB to run his offense and while Smith is more of a passer than runner he can make the quick reads and get the ball out of his hand. I don’t normally put trades in mocks but I feel strong that either Philly or Jax will trade with KC.
2. Jacksonville – Matt Barkley | QB | USC
Jacksonville has new management and coaches that don’t seem to be fans of Gabbert and Henne is not the answer. Barkley’s stock will rise again and will be a perfect fit for the team when they move to LA…LOL
3. Oakland – Sharrif Floyd | DT | Florida
Many feel Floyd is the most talented player in this draft and Oakland needs to be able to get pressure on the QB from the middle and help shore up the defensive line.
4. Kansas City – Luke Joeckel | OT | Texas A&M
The Chiefs trade back and still get the player they would have drafted at #1. They traded for Alex Smith, franchised Albert but released Winston. Joeckel can start out on the right side and move to the left if KC and Albert can’t work out a long-term deal.
5. Detroit – Eric Fisher | OT | Central Michigan
They have to find a way to protect Stafford. Bakus has been one foot out the door for a few years and the loss Cherilus makes this a need with one of the top players in the draft on the board.
6. Cleveland – Dee Milliner | CB | Alabama
Cleveland will be playing a mix of 3-4 and 4-3 and Jordan has freakish abilities. His shoulder issue could scare some teams off but if he checks out by team doctors he could be very much compared to Aldon Smith.
7. Arizona – EJ Manuel | QB | Florida State
Bruce Arians likes big armed QB’s that can move. Manuel fits that build. He is climbing up boards and while there has been some question about his accuracy his ability has never been questioned.
8. Buffalo – Ryan Nassib | QB | Syracuse
Seems like a natural fit right? I mean Doug Marrone (Nassib’s college coach for three years) is the new coach for the Bills and they just released their starting QB? Many think Buffalo would like Smith, but would be happy with Nassib and would try to trade back to get him but I am not sure he would slide past the Jets.
9. NY Jets – Jarvis Jones | DE/OLB | Georgia
I think the Jets would have liked to get a QB and I think Nassib would have been the pick, but they can still get someone in round two. In my opinion Jones is the best player in this draft and the Jets need a pass rush for this defense to work. Jones has lead the SEC in sacks each of the last two years.
10. Tennessee – Chance Warmack | OG | Alabama
Tennessee must improve the interior line play and Warmack is the top player on the on many boards. The Titans would love for him to be there when they pick.
11. San Diego – Lane Johnson | OT | Oklahoma
The Chargers have several needs but they must improve the offensive line. Many think Johnson will end up being the best tackle in this draft and the Chargers will start rebuilding the line around him.
12. Miami – Cornellius (Tank) Carradine | DE | Florida State
Many will see this as a reach, but the closer we get to the draft the more Carradine’s name is coming up. People are putting the tape on to view Werner, Manuel and Rhodes but Carradine is jumping off the film. Werner may be a better rounded player, but Carradine has more athleticism and more upside. I have been talking him up all year as I thought he was better than Werner and many are starting to think he could be the best pass rusher in this class. This will all depend on how his workout is on April 20 as he tore his ACL late in the season. If he looks good then you will start seeing his name in many mocks, but let it be known I was the first…LOL I think Miami will do everything they can to trade out of this spot as they can get similar value all the way down to around #25. However don’t look for Carradine to make it past #19 and the Giants, rumor is they like him a lot ( I could also see NO taking him at #15), and he reminds me of Jason Tuck.
13. Tampa Bay – Dion Jordan | DE/OLB | Oregon
I think eventually Tampa trades for Revis, so they would need to look to rebuild the D line. Dion Jordan is pure speed and would be a great fit to help pressure the QB.
14. Carolina – Star Lotulelei | DT | UT
The Panthers must address the run defense and assuming Lotulelei checks out medically he would be a great anchor for the middle of the defensive line in Carolina.
15. New Orleans – Barkevious Mingo | DE/OLB | LSU
The Saints will be switching to a 3-4 scheme next year so getting that OLB is the key spot to the switch. They would love to see Jones or Jordan there, but missing out on both they take Mingo who should fit well.
16. Saint Louis – Cordarrelle Patterson | WR | Tennessee
The Rams could go a few different ways but with Patterson still being on the board I think they give Bradford another big weapon. I also think Vaccaro and Eifert could be in play with this pick as well.
17. Pittsburgh – Xavier Rhodes | CB | Florida State
The Steelers look to be losing Lewis and Rhodes could step in and start day one. There are other options here as well but getting younger on the defensive must take the first priority and Rhodes physical style of play fits the Steelers well.
18. Dallas – Sheldon Richardson | DT | Missouri
With the Cowboys moving to a 4-3 they will need a DT that fits that scheme. Richardson drew a lot of attention at the combine and many felt he would be a top 15 pick. Dallas will grab him at 18 although they could also look at DJ Fluker to help improve the offensive line.
19. NY Giants – Bjoern Werner | DE/OLB | Florida State
The Giants will need to replenish the defensive line and while many have Werner as a top ten talent the Giants seem to make a living of watching good players drop and take them.
20. Chicago – Tavon Austin | WR | West Virginia
The Bears are looking to become more explosive and they have addressed the line in free agency. Austin will open things up for the Bears offense as he has the ability to take the top off coverage.
21. Cincinnati – Ezekiel Ansah | DE | BYU
Even with Bengals resigning Johnson and Gathers, Ansah is extremely raw but he has freakish ability. He would have time to learn behind two experienced veterans and make an impact.
22. Saint Louis (from Washington) – Tyler Eifert | TE | Notre Dame
The Rams must give Bradford playmakers. They take Patterson earlier and Eifert is still there for them with the 22nd pick.
23. Minnesota – Kennan Allen | WR | Cal
The Vikings have to give Ponder some weapons to throw to that will actually help Peterson be more effective (WOW… did I really just say that?). Allen had a sown year in 2012 but his production in 2012 was very high. He will help instantly and has the size to go inside and battle for the ball when it’s in the air.
24. Indianapolis – Johnathan Hankins | DT | Ohio State
The Colts need help on the defensive line and Hankins and at 320 lbs Hankins will give them an anchor inside to shore up the run defense.
25. Minnesota (from Seattle) – Desmond Trufant | CB | Washington
After letting Winfield go they need to fill his shoes. Trufant might not be as physical as Winfield, but he does excel in coverage and should be able to step in right away.
26. Green Bay – Johnathan Cooper | OG | North Carolina
The Packers line needs improvement and Cooper is too good of a talent to pass up on at this point in the draft.
27. Texas – DeAndre Hopkins | WR | Clemson
The Texans need a receiver opposite of Johnson. Hopkins was big last year at Clemson and should be solid as a #2 next to Johnson.
28. Denver – Kawann Short | DT | Purdue
The Broncos had a solid defense but need help in the middle of the line. Short is stout against the run and draws double teams which will free up possible double teams on Miller and Dummerville (assuming they can keep him).
29. New England – Johnathan Banks | CB | Mississippi State
Talib was only signed to a one year contract and it seems like every year the Pats draft a CB high hoping to solve their problems. Banks is the highest rated CB left on the board, so seems like a fit.
30. Atlanta – Damontre Moore | DE | Texas A&M
They must replace the only really pass rush threat they had in John Abraham. Moore didn’t perform well at the combine but if you look at his body of work he makes play and provides a strong pass rush.
31. San Francisco – Kenny Vaccaro | S | TX
They lost Godson and while the Niners may be the most talented roster in the NFL the weak spot is the secondary. Vaccaro is a steal for them here and can step in right away and contribute to this top rated defense.
32. Baltimore – Manti Te’o | ILB | Notre Dame
Take all the catfished away and Te’o is still a top notch football player that makes plays. The Ravens weren’t counting on losing Ellerbee and now must fill that spot. Te’o will step in and fill it with no issues.