With the Senior Bowl this week and everyone in the draft already declared, it is time for another mock draft. The top five seems pretty predictable at this point in the journey to the draft, but the rest is anyone’s guess. Our latest mock draft adds the second round for a little bit more draft goodness. Enjoy.
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
We all know this is the pick, unless Andrew Luck tragically gets injured at the combine or off-the-field (even then I think they would take him). While Luck is the clear number one, the mystery behind this pick is what happens to Peyton Manning. He has 50/50 chance sticking around in my opinion.
2. St. Louis Rams: Matt Kalil, OT, USC
Jason Smith has been a complete bust coming out of Baylor. With that said, Kalil is probably the best offensive line prospect since Jake Long, so he would most likely make up for Smith’s lack of production. A lot of draftniks see this spot as the ultimate trade partner for the team trying to draft RG3 and I agree. The Browns are the most likely candidate as they have to first round picks (most importantly one in the top five) that will allow the Rams to get one of the two players they need (Blackmon, Kalil) at a discount and have plenty of picks or at least important ones to help get their team afloat with Jeff Fisher.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Justin Blackmon, WR, Okla. St.
Much like last year’s draft, it is hard not to get supreme talent in the top five. Justin Blackmon could be the answer to a lot of the questions in Minnesota. Christian Ponder struggled down the stretch with Adrian Peterson out as his only weapon was Percy Harvin. Blackmon brings a deep threat and a redzone option to the Vikings that they haven’t had since Randy Moss (yes, that’s me calling out Sidney Rice).
4. Cleveland Browns: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Again, I see this being a trade but if St. Louis doesn’t want to trade this will be the pick for sure. Colt McCoy has had his moments but it is time to bring in a guy who you think can carry a franchise. GM Tom Heckert comes from the Eagles organization and what better way to jumpstart this franchise than a faster, more accurate Donovan McNabb.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trent Richardson, HB, Alabama
Trent Richardson is an interesting prospect as he is a top player overall but need for running back is very slim, especially in the first round. If he isn’t taken by the Bucs, he’ll likely be on the board till the Bengals pick in the last teens. Luckily for him, LaGarrett Blount had a horrible sophomore year and proved he needs a partner in the backfield to carry the load. Richardson is dynamic running between the tackles and has the speed to make guys miss. Whoever inherits the coaching reigns (they luckily avoided the worst hire ever in Chip Kelly) will need a guy to take pressure off of Josh Freeman.
6. Washington Redskins: Devon Still, DE/DT, Penn St.
With the Skins missing out on Blackmon, Griffin and Luck, they decide to make a change and not significantly reach on a player. Washington struggled with their front all season and Adam Carriker has really worked out the way they hoped. Still is a monster of a man who doesn’t have an enormous ceiling but is less likely to be a bust than other options (Ryan Tannenhill). They are the other likely team to trade with the Rams at the two spot, but if they don’t get there, look for them to trade back.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
Despite his disappearance in the National Championship game, Morris Claiborne is the best cornerback prospect in the draft. Rashean Mathis is getting up there in age and Derek Cox is just another guy. Claiborne can bring stability and youth to the secondary who has already established their safety unit. A pass rusher or wide receiver would be ideal here but with a lack of value, the Jags take care of their third need.
8. Miami Dolphins: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
Joe Philibin and Jeff Ireland are likely to go after a free agent to solve their quarterback problems, so Riley Reiff can protect that veteran. Reiff is a big guy with solid athleticism. With Vernon Carey moving to the inside last season, the Fins lack a bookend to Jake Long.
9. Carolina Panthers: Quinton Coples, DE/DT, UNC
Quinton Coples is kind of a tweener but that could be a big sell for Carolina. Both Ron Rivera and Sean McDermott coached under the late Jim Johnson, who used his defensive ends as defensive tackles on third downs to get extra pressure. Coples can get to the QB and with Johnson’s style of pass rush, he could do some damage with Charles Johnson. Coples is local so no doubt he’ll draw local interest to the stadium and has most likely been on the Panther’s radar for some time.
10. Buffalo Bills: Courtney Upshaw, OLB/DE, Alabama
If the Bills want to stay in a 3-4, they have to be able to get pressure from their linebackers. The Shawn Merriman Project failed. Enter Courtney Upshaw, who put on a show during the National Championship this year. Upshaw is athletic and strike fear in opposing QBs. He has a shot of being the Aldon Smith of the 2012 season.
11. Kansas City Chiefs: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
Much like in St. Louis, the other Missouri team has had a problem keeping their QB safe. Martin is a good player who thrived with a smart quarterback (Luck) and playing next to a tremendous talent at guard (David DeCastro). Martin is the best value for a team with tremendous talent coming off of a bunch of key injuries. A lot of analyst think that the Chiefs could go for Richardson if he drops here, but I think they ride the Jamaal Charles bandwagon a bit longer.
12. Seattle Seahawks: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
The Seahawks have two choices here: reach for Ryan Tannenhill of Texas A&M or draft a pass rusher. Perry is likely the best option on the board for the rush. He was recruited by Pete Carroll so they have a connection there as well. Chris Cleamons has been an absolute monster since he came to town, time to give him a friend who can go QB hunting with him.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
The Cardinals have a ton of needs but a problem that is greatly overlooked is the number two receiver. Since Anquan Boldin was traded, Larry Fitzgerald has been triple covered (yet he still plays lights out). Early Doucet and Andre Roberts are good role players but Fitz needs a guy that can take some of the heat off of him. Floyd is big and sometimes reminds me of Fitz. He stayed in college after flirting with the draft last season, but I think it was the right choice.
14. Dallas Cowboys: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
The Cowboys secondary is awful and Janoris Jenkins has all the talent in the world with the off-the-field problems to match. Jerry Jones likes athletic, cartoon characters at his playmaking positions so Jenkins will fit right in. Michael Jenkins has regressed tremendously since his rookie year and Terrence Newman’s age is really starting to show. With a division that has Jeremy Maclin, Desean Jackson (likely), Victor Cruz, and Hakeem Nicks, Jenkins will be a welcomed asset.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College
Eagles fans have been pining for a linebacker who can tackle since 2007, they get their man here in Kuechly. A lot has been said about Andy Reid not drafting linebackers early, but after watching the Giants go to the Superbowl and seeing Spags go to the Saints, he has to do something drastic (at least for him). Kuechly is the nation’s leading tackler and will be surely welcomed by Philly fans.
16. New York Jets: Melvin Ingram, OLB, South Carolina
The Jets have really lacked a pass rush lately (outside of surprising redemption story, Aaron Maybin). If Rex Ryan wants to continually talk about the postseason in the preseason, he better have a guy that can take down opposing QBs. Ingram has played well this season and plays the rough and tough style that Ryan covets. Ingram would likely take the place of the aging Calvin Pace.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (via OAK): Lamar Miller, HB, Miami
It seems that every time Cedric Benson wants to leave the Bengals, they pull him back in (with a one year deal). The third time will be the last as Benson doesn’t fit the youth movement in Cincy. Lamar Miller is the second best option at running back and follows a great line of Miami runners.
18. San Diego Chargers: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
The Chargers lost their heart and speed when Darren Sproles left town, so they make up for it with Alshon Jeffery. The pass catcher from South Carolina is known for his breakaway speed and ability to stretch the field. The Chargers need to find a way to replace the likely leaving Vincent Jackson and also find a way to frighten opposing defenses.
19. Chicago Bears: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
The Bears have a great pass rush, the problem is the inside of their line. Brockers is big and mean and can make Brian Urlacher’s job much easier. I would not be surprised to see a wide receiver taken here.
20. Tennessee Titans: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
Chris Johnson struggled a bit this season. With a new pass blocker in toe with DeCastro, Johnson will have a lot more room to run. Mike Munchak is a Hall of Fame offensive lineman, so that area of the offense should be paramount to him.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Mark Barron, S, Alabama
The Bengals have had an inconsistent secondary this year due to injuries. Chris Crocker got absolutely blown away in the playoffs by the Texans. Mark Barron is the best safety available and comes from a winning program.
22. Cleveland Browns (via ATL): Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
The best way for RG3 to adjust to the pros is by pairing him with his number one option in college, Kendall Wright. The Browns have lacked a number one receiver for years and Wright can fill that void. He is also a terrific return man.
23. Detroit Lions: Alfonso Dennard, CB, Nebraska
The biggest weakness for the Lions is their secondary. Alfonso Dennard poses rare size at the position and plays the tough against larger wide receivers. Unless they trade for or sign a veteran with significant starting experience, they will go corner in the first round.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Stephen Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
The Steelers showed their age against the Broncos in the playoffs. Ike Taylor is likely still the starter but they need to start planning for the future with A.J. Green and Torrey Smith in the division. Stephen Gilmore is fast and can make plays for this aging defense.
25. Denver Broncos: Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama
Starting linebacker, Joe Mays, is a free agent this season and the Broncos could look to upgrade the position. Dont’a Hightower shined in the National Championship game but some scouts question his ability to be a three-down guy. Either way, Hightower would be an upgrade over the smaller Mays.
26. Houston Texans: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
With Chris Myers likely headed out the door for a much bigger contract, the Texans can’t afford to lose their hold of the division. Konz is easily the best center in the draft and his Wisconsin background is a big selling point for any team (Wisconsin generally produces productive offensive lineman).
27. New England (via NO): Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
The AFC Champs could use a bit more in the QB pressure game. Poe can start at nose tackle right away and with two picks in the first round, the AFC winners get a bit of luxury at pick 27.
28. Green Bay Packers: Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia
The Packers offensive line continues to be inconsistent. The running game has continued to fall off with Mike McCarthy rarely running the ball. While Aaron Rodgers is an elite QB, the Packers need to find a bit more balance in their attack. Cordy Glenn is a monster who can eat up space and lead the way for James Sparks and Ryan Grant.
29. Baltimore Ravens: Andre Branch, DE, Clemson
A field goal kick away from overtime and a possible Superbowl, the Ravens are still close to their main goal. With Hightower and Kuechly off the board, the replacement for Ray Lewis will have to wait. Andre Branch will be a huge upgrade at the 5-techinque where he can stop the run and get a burst on interior lineman.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan St.
Justin Smith is clearly an elite player, but Jerel Worthy can take some of the blockers away from Smith. Worthy has a big body that can eliminate offensive lineman. Wide Receiver could be a possibility here as well.
31. New York Giants: Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
The NFC champs have a lot of good going into their offense but they could definitely upgrade at tight end. Dwayne Allen is a big step up from Travis Beckum and Chase Ballard and would provide another great option for Eli Manning.
32. New England Patriots: Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
The Patriots continue to upgrade with Mohamed Sanu who can take the place of the aging Deion Branch and provide a spark on the outside for Tom Brady. The tight ends get all the attention these days, but Sanu can have defensive coordinator looking at him in the gameplan.
33. St. Louis Rams: Fletcher Cox, DT, Miss. St.
Fred Robbins is a nice player but Cox would be a huge upgrade.
34.Indianapolis Colts: Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska
Ernie Sims should not be a starter in this league anymore and the Colts seemed to miss Clint Sessions this season.
35. Minnesota Vikings: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio St.
Adams is a possible first round pick but if he falls, he will go no further than here.
36. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia
Much like Adams, Minnifield could be a first rounder as well, so value is high here and the Bucs need a replacement for Ronde Barber.
37. Cleveland Browns: Zebrie Sanders, OT, FSU
Tony Pashos has been a good transitional guy, time to bring in a young stub.
38. Jacksonville Jaguars: Rueben Randle, WR, LSU
The Jaguars have been searching for a standout wide receiver and Randle can help out in the vertical attack.
39. Washington Redskins: Ryan Tannenhill, QB, Texas A&M
Shanahan gets his man and by being patient too. Chances are that he could be the Andy Dalton of this draft.
40. Carolina Panthers: Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech
Losing Richard Marshall last year made it really tough on the rest of the Carolina secondary.
41. Buffalo Bills: Nick Foles, QB, Arizona
Ryan Fitzpatrick really digressed after getting his contract, they need a developmental guy if the problems continue.
42. Miami Dolphins: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
Joe Phillbin relies heavily on tight ends and Fleener is a quality guy in the second round.
43. Seattle Seahawks: Ryan Lindley, QB, San Diego St.
The Seahawks also need a developmental QB as well and Lindley’s West Coast ties link him to Pete Carroll.
44. Kansas City Chiefs: Jared Crick, DE, Nebraska
There is a good chance Tyson Jackson has one more shot in KC, so why not have a backup plan.
45. Dallas Cowboys: Kelechi Osemele, OG, Iowa St.
The Dallas offensive line needs help still, especially if they want to run the ball.
46. Philadelphia Eagles: Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
The Eagles normally take smaller defensive ends but Jones rush in all different directions with Juqua Parker and Daryl Tapp possibly on the way out.
47. New York Jets: David Wilson, HB, Virginia Tech
LT is likely on the way out of New York, Wilson can fill his shoes.
48. New England (via OAK): Antonio Allen, SS, South Carolina
The AFC champs are still awful in the secondary despite picks being dedicated to the DBs.
49. San Diego Chargers: LaMichael James, HB, Oregon
If the Chargers are looking for Darren Sproles, here is Sproles-lite.
50. Chicago Bears: Chris Polk, HB, Washington
Matt Forte looks like a contract fight waiting to happen, so adding a running pup to the mix will help soften the blows of a holdout.
51. Philadelphia (via ARI): Bobby Wagner, OLB, Utah St.
Andy Reid loves his Mormons and the Philly linebacker group needs a lot of high-quality retooling.
52. Tennessee Titans: Ben Jones, C, Georgia
As noted before, CJ2K was paid a ton of money, so open up lanes for the guy.
53. Cincinnati Bengals: Nate Potter, OT, Boise St.
The Bengals are going to need to protect their new franchise guy for the next 10 years, so when Andrew Whitworth retires, Potter can take over.
54. Detroit Lions: Bobby Massie, OT, Mississippi
The Lions have refused to get an upgrade at tackle for years, here is their chance to help Stafford out.
55. Atlanta Falcons: Orson Charles, TE, Georgia
Tony Gonzales isn’t going to play forever and Charles is a local guy for the Falcons.
56. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin
The Steelers offensive line continues to improve and Zeitler could help a team with few holes.
57. Denver Broncos: Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona St.
I am not convinced that John Elway is convinced that Tebow is the answer.
58. Houston Texans: Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State
The Texans need to add youth on at wide receiver after Andre Johnson has dealt with the injury bug lately.
59. New Orleans Saints: Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson
Shaun Rodgers didn’t work out this season, Thompson can take his place.
60. Green Bay Packers: Martin Markelle, S, Oklahoma St.
Nick Collins isn’t guaranteed to play next season, so Markelle can compete to replace him.
61. Baltimore Ravens: Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin
Lee Evans is likely one and done in Baltimore, so Toon is a guy they can pair with Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith next season.
62. San Francisco 49ers: Dwight Jones, WR, UNC
Braylon Edwards didn’t last the season and Kyle Williams doesn’t have it so bright these days. Jones can lineup across from Michael Crabtree.
63. New York Giants: Bernard Pierce, HB, Temple
Brandon Jacobs is likely to leave in free agency, so Ahmad Bradshaw needs a running mate.
64. New England Patriots: Marcus Forston, DL, Miami
The Patriots need to continue to get in the face of opposing QBs and stop the run, so Forston can handle that business.
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