Our newest mock draft of the season…
1. Indianapolis Colts: Stanford QB Andrew Luck
Despite the chatter about Baylor QB Robert Griffin III, I have a hard time believing this pick can be anyone other than Luck.
2. St. Louis Rams: Southern Cal OT Matt Kalil
The Rams might be best suited to simply improve the offensive line with the top tackle available and stick at pick two. Kalil has the ability to develop into a franchise left tackle and become the blindside protector of the future.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon
QB Christian Ponder showed some flashes this year, but getting the signal caller a big time talent at receiver is a must. Blackmon isn’t an elite prospect, but should be a productive option from day one because of his ability to run after the catch.
4. Cleveland Browns: Baylor QB Robert Griffin III The Browns need to upgrade the quarterback position and RG3 has the kind of talent, confidence and overall work ethic to make good on his elite upside.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Alabama RB Trent Richardson
If you want a prospect who can take pressure off a young quarterback in the run game Richardson is your guy. He’s strong, explosive, physical, and might be the safest prospect in the draft.
6. Washington Redskins: LSU CB Morris Claiborne
Is corner the biggest need for the Redskins? No. However, Claiborne is the best prospect still on the board at any of the priority positions and you can never have too many corners.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: North Carolina DL Quinton Coples
Looking over the depth chart, the Jaguars need to find a consistent threat off the edge. Coples has the talent to be as good as he wants at the next level and gives Jacksonville the kind of talented defensive lineman they desperately need.
8. Carolina Panthers: Penn State DT Devon Still The Panthers need a big body inside who can anchor on contact, push the pocket and find the football. Still isn’t a dynamic pass rusher and there are some other linemen on the board with a little more talent. But he has the size to fend off blocks inside and in my mind is one of the safer defensive tackle prospects in this year’s draft.
9. Miami Dolphins: Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill
The Dolphins have received pretty average quarterback play over the past couple seasons and adding a talent like Tannehill who has the skill set to mature into a franchise QB could be too good to pass up at nine.
10. Buffalo Bills: LSU DT Michael Brockers
The idea of Brockers playing the five-technique with DL Marcell Dareus playing next to him inside gives the Bills one of the most talented young defensive line units in the NFL.
11. Kansas City Chiefs: Ohio State OT Mike Adams You have to think after the struggles the Chiefs had at right tackle last season, drafting a guy like Adams who has the size and athleticism to handle powerful NFL pass rushers is a must for them this offseason.
12. Seattle Seahawks: Southern Cal DE/OLB Nick Perry
Finding a guy who can create pressure off the edge opposite Chris Clemons is a must. Perry has an explosive first step, is learning to use his hands and could end up being one of the better sack artists to come out of this year’s class.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Iowa OT Riley Reiff
The Cardinals have a lack of talent up front and adding a lineman like Reiff who can play a number of spots along the offensive line and win in both the run and pass game is a solid choice at 13.
14. Dallas Cowboys: Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick
The Cowboys have to be thrilled with both Kirkpatrick and Stanford OG David DeCastro still on the board. However, I see them opting for the big corner because of the overall priority of the position.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Boston College ILB Luke Kuechly A tackling machine with good size, natural instincts and knowledge to fend off blocks and find the football. Is the kind of talent the Eagles need inside to improve their struggling linebacking corps.
16. New York Jets: Stanford OG David DeCastro
DeCastro has the ability to become one of the NFL’s best interior linemen and will instantly improve the Jets offense in both the run and pass game.
17. Cincinnati Bengals: North Alabama CB Janoris Jenkins Jenkins is a bit undersized and he does have some character concerns. However, he’s a fluid kid with a “plus” initial burst and when motivated he’s about as tough as any corner in the draft to separate from.
18. San Diego Chargers: Alabama OLB Courtney Upshaw Upshaw is a thick, powerful kid who can line up all over the Chargers 34 front and get after the passer. He’s got the power to win consistently on contact vs. both the run and pass game.
19. Chicago Bears: Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd
Floyd has the ability to run the entire route tree, create after the catch and win down the field. There are some questions about him vs. press coverage, but he’s the kind of talent the Bears need on offense.
20. Tennessee Titans: Memphis DT Dontari Poe
If there is one guy who’s going to get a ton of buzz following the NFL Combine it’s Poe. There aren’t too many guys at his size that can do what he does athletically and he’s only starting to scratch the surface of his potential.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Georgia OL Cordy Glenn
Glenn is a powerful body who can maul defenders in the run game and more than hold his own inside vs. the pass.
22. Cleveland Browns: Baylor WR Kendall Wright
Wright might be the draft’s top vertical threat and has the ability to open up a lot of options for the Browns offense down the field.
23. Detroit Lions: Stanford OT Jonathan Martin
Getting a potential franchise left tackle at 23 has to be a thrill for the Lions. Martin is an athletic pass blocker who needs to get stronger, but has the talent to hold his own in space vs. the pass game.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Wisconsin OL Peter Konz
Konz has the ability to play both center and guard at the next level and gives the Steelers a real upgrade inside.
25. Denver Broncos: Washington DT Alameda Ta’amu
Adding some beef up front to the defensive line is a major need for the Broncos. Ta’amu isn’t going to create much of a pass rush, but he has the ability to win on run downs and get the Broncos defense into obvious pass rushing situations.
26. Houston Texans: Georgia Tech WR Stephen Hill
Hill is going to need to become a more consistent route runner. However, at 6-5 he showcases some natural short-area quickness to his game and knows how to go up and get the football. Could be one of the “hot” names following the 2012 NFL Combine.
27. New England Patriots: Mississippi State DT Fletcher Cox
He’s a tall, long-armed defensive lineman with an explosive first step, can penetrate and possesses some scheme versatility. Seems like an ideal late first-round Patriots type pick.
28. Green Bay Packers: South Carolina OLB/DE Melvin Ingram Finding another pass rusher off the edge is becoming more of pressing need for the Packers and Ingram has the ability to reach the QB in a number of ways both from a two- and three-point stance.
29. Baltimore Ravens: Alabama ILB Dont’a Hightower
Hightower is a “plus” run defender who can be used as a blitzer inside or a pass rusher off the edge. His versatility on third down gives the Ravens even more options in pressure situations.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Rutgers WR Mohamed Sanu
The 49ers have a glairing need at the wide receiver position and could be looking to upgrade. Sanu is a monster with good quickness for his size and a real physical dimension to his game. He offers the ability to run after the catch and can contribute inside from day one.
31. New England Patriots: Alabama SS Mark Barron New England has had to piece together its secondary this year, but in terms of talent the Pats could certainly use an upgrade at a number of spots. Barron is a smart, instinctive safety with good ball skills, can play in the box and be effective bumping/running with tight ends underneath.
32. New York Giants: Stanford TE Coby Fleener
As if this offense needs another weapon on it. However, Fleener has the ability to be that every-down type “on the line Y” who can create down the field and at 6-6, 245 pounds has the size to mature into a very capable blocker.