NFL Mock Draft
1. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford. There are a lot of questions about how he will transition to the NFL and his shoulder, but Bradford will likely be the Rams pick. He wouldn’t be my pick, but I understand the need for the Rams to get a ‘face of the franchise’.
2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh. The Lions should probably go with the top OT on their board (Russell Okung), but I don’t know if they will pass up the best player in this draft.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy. The Bucs have a lot of options, but they need help up front on defense and McCoy is the disruptive force that fits that bill.
4. Washington Redskins: Russell Okung. Reports out of DC indicate that the Skins are only interested in Bradford for the QB of the future in the early first round. While a trade back may still be possible, taking the top OT would fill a big need.
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Bryan Bulaga. Its hard to get a feel of how the OT’s are ranked, but I think Bulaga is the 2nd best LT in the draft. Chiefs need to move Branden Albert inside where he is a better fit and grab the top OT on their board.
6. Seattle Seahawks: Eric Berry. With the addition of Whitehurst QB is a little less of a need, allowing the Seahawks to pass on Claussen. They will still be able to at an LT with their 14th pick, allowing them to take the best player available here in Berry.
7. Cleveland Browns: Joe Haden. Browns are a big wild card, they somewhat filled the need of QB and OT likely addressing those positions in the later rounds. While they could grab Haden here, CB is one of the deepest positions in this draft. I could see them trying to trade up to grab Suh, McCoy, or Berry, and if they can’t, I believe they will try to trade back to acquire more picks. If they stay where they are Haden and DE/OLB Jason Pierre-Paul offer the best value.
8. Oakland Raiders: Bruce Campbell. The Raiders need an OT and Campbell is the best physical specimen there is. While he’s a raw player and probably shouldn’t be drafted for another 10-15 picks, he fits the Raiders draft philosophy perfectly.
9. Buffalo Bills: Jimmy Claussen. The Bills need to address the O-line as well, and Trent Williams is a legitimate option, but I don’t know if they can pass up a quarterback here. I like Claussen and think if he’s brought along slowly (ex. Phillip Rivers) he could develop into a very good quarterback.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Morgan. The Jags luck out somewhat that Morgan falls to them. He’s a pure 4-3 end, taking him squarely off a number of team’s boards. In reality he is a top talent and will be a major boost to the Jags anemic pass rush.
11. Denver Broncos: Rolando McClain. Most people will be clamoring for Dez Bryant here, but I’m not sold on him as a top 1 or 2 receiver in this league, and especially not in year 1. McClain can be an immediate starter at ILB for the Broncos a become a tackling machine.
12. Miami Dolphins: Dan Williams. Another spot where Bryant will get a look, but I think Parcells is too smart to take a questionable receiver with this pick. Dan Williams gives Miami their anchor in the middle of their 3-4 defense, and will go a long way to allowing their top free agent signing, Karlos Dansby to make plays.
13. San Francisco 49ers: Trent Williams. The 49ers have a big need at tackle and Williams can step in on the right side from day 1. Since the 49ers are set on the left side they might not want to grab a tackle this early, but getting a bookend like Williams will help their offense tremendously.
14. Seattle Seahawks: Anthony Davis. I think the Seahawks were hoping T. Williams fell to them, but they will take the next best tackle in Davis. Anthony Davis hasn’t had a good offseason, but he is still a very good tackle prospect. Anywhere from 15-20 would be good value for him so, grabbing him at 14 isn’t really a reach.
15. New York Giants: Jason Pierre-Paul. The Giants need to improve on defense and get good value here with Pierre-Paul. He’s an excellent pass rusher who is coming off a breakout season. He is an extremely raw prospect but with unlimited potential. If he reaches it he is an All-pro, if not he could be a major bust. He makes sense for New York, because their depth along the defensive line will allow them to use him solely as a pass rusher early on, and ease him into being an every down end.
16. Tennessee Titans: Everson Griffin. The Titans need help along their defensive front, and that need got greater with the loss of free agent Kyle Vanden Bosch. Griffin has had an impressive off season and is moving himself up draft boards. I’d expect him to get a long look in Tennessee.
17. San Francisco 49ers: Kyle Wilson. The 49ers could go a number of directions here with their 2nd pick, but Wilson would be a great addition to their secondary. I think he is a very underrated corner back and may end up being just as good as Joe Haden.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Iupati. With the signing of Ryan Clark and the top two corners off the board, I think the Steelers look to get back to smash mouth football with this pick. Iupati is an absolute beast in the interior, and while some believe he could move out to tackle, the Steelers should just leave him where he’s at and get ready to send him to the Pro Bowl.
19. Atlanta Falcons: Brandon Graham. Atlanta needs to keep improving their defense, and while they took the first steps last season they aren’t done yet. Graham should give a nice boost to their pash rush and hopefully help give the Falcons a playoff caliber defense.
20. Houston Texans: Ryan Mathews. Now I know everyone believes that C.J. Spiller should be the top back off the board, but he is far too similar to Steve Slaton. Mathews is the perfect compliment and probably the most complete back in this class. While the need at corner back is there, the Texans should be able to find a good one in round 2.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Jermaine Gresham. I would give Spiller consideration here as he’s a great compliment to Benson and will make the Bengals more explosive, but I give Gresham the edge. Spiller is a want for the Bengals, where as Gresham is a need. Cincinnati has a big hole at tight end, and Gresham would give Palmer a great underneath option as Ochocinco and Antonio Bryant stretch the field.
22. New England Patriots: Dez Bryant. I think the Patriots would have taken Gresham if he was available, but will instead opt for another pass catcher. Spiller could be another option here, but New England could be concerned with Welker’s injury and Moss’s potential contract status. New England also seems to be more focused on building their offensive weapons, which will likely push down defensive needs or addressing the O-line.
23. Green Bay Packers: Charles Brown. The Packers need to address their offensive line, and Brown is the best tackle still available. This might be a slight reach for him, but the Packers starting tackles are old with bad injury histories. Last year without a good back-up plan Aaron Rodgers almost got killed, and it cost the Packers dearly in the playoffs.
24. Philadelphia Eagles: Devin McCourty. The Eagles need to address their depth at cornerback, and both of their starters are getting up there in age. While the Eagles have some other needs I think they will opt at adding another top line corner to try to slow down Eli Manning and Tony Romo.
25. Baltimore Ravens: Earl Thomas. While the Ravens want to add a tight end they will probably wait till the 2nd round to address that need. Thomas would give Ed Reed a fantastic safety duo. And with all the talk of Reed possibly retiring in the near future, would ensure that Baltimore’s secondary still has an elite presence at safety.
26. Arizona Cardinals: Rodger Saffold. I see a serious run on offensive tackles in this draft and with the Cardinals filling their needs on the defensive side of the ball in free agency they will be able to turn their attention to the offensive line. Saffold is a bit of a reach here but Arizona needs to address their line, especially with their questions at quarterback.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Taylor Mays. Cowboys likely wanted to add an Offensive tackle, but everyone is off the board at this point. They could go with a defensive lineman, but I see them liking Mays’ athleticism and hitting ability. Roy Williams struggled because he wasn’t fast enough but that isn’t a problem with Mays. He does need to learn coverages better and take better angles, but he could develop into an elite safety.
28. San Diego Chargers: C.J. Spiller. I know Spiller is probably too similar to Sproles for most people to consider him here, but Sproles is almost definitely gone after this season. Spiller can still be that home run hitter in the backfield, as well as helping in the return game.
29. New York Jets: Demaryius Thomas. I think Thomas will end up being the best receiver in this class. He is still raw as a route runner, but should develop quickly. He has excellent upside for the Jets here and given their depth won’t need to be relied upon from week 1.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Maurkice Pouncey. The Vikings offensive line crumbled last season and has already seen their top back up leave in free agency. If they want to get Adrian Peterson going again, and convince Brett Favre to come back addressing this need is key. Pouncey can play any of the interior positions, where the Vikings were the weakest.
31. Indianapolis Colts: Carlos Dunlap. Dunlap has had some off the field and work ethic issues, but he represents tremendous talent for this spot. The Colts pass rush and defense in general was tied solely to Dwight Freeney last season. While Freeney can still bring the heat, the Colts need to give him some help. Dunlap has the physical tools to develop into a premier talent. Hopefully being on a team with guys like Manning and Freeney will allow him to unlock his potential.
32. New Orleans Saints: Jared Odrick. The Saints could go for a number of positions here, but Odrick does everything along the trenches and would be a good fit for New Orleans. Their defensive line depth was pretty weak last season and it showed down the stretch. Upgrading that area will likely be the Saints top focus.