Now that the Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine is over, I decided to get a mock draft together. You can also check out DC Pro Sports Report Mock Draft Database, NFL Mocks, and With The First Pick to get all the mock drafts you can handle.
1. Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford – I don’t think I need much explanation for this pick. The Colts will select Luck first overall. It’s a done deal.
2. St. Louis Rams-Robert Griffen III, QB, Baylor - I hate to mock trades. That said, this isn’t a situation where I’m guessing a trade will happen, I’m just guessing who will be making the trade. The Browns give up their 2 first round draft picks, in addition to 2 third round picks (2012, 2013) in exchange for their future franchise QB. Welcome to the AFC North RGIII.
3. Minnesota Vikings- Matt Kalil, OT, USC – Another pick, another surprise, right? OK, maybe not so much. Sometimes a player, a pick and a team just all line up perfectly. Kalil is a franchise LT so it is an easy choice to snag him here.
4. Cleveland Browns - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St. – If Matt Kalil is available, the Rams should absolutely take him. They have an iffy LT situation and Kalil would fix that for the next 10+ years. Blackmon is a nice consolation prize though and finally gives Bradford a WR to rely on.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU – The Bucs have a sketchy situation at CB right now. Aquib Talib is one violation away from a year long suspension. Rhonde Barber is already playing on borrowed time because of his age. Trent Richardson makes sense here, but (**SPOILER ALERT**) I have a serious problem with drafting a running back in the top 10 in the modern NFL.
6. Washington Redskins - Ryan Tannehille, QB, Texas A&M- I have Tannehille as my No. 20 overall prospect right now but QBs are criminally overdrafted every year. The Redskins lose out on the RGIII sweepstakes and settle for Tannehille instead. I could also see them going after a T like Riley Reiff and targeting Brock Osweiler or Brandon Weeden in the second round.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Quenton Coples, DE, North Carolina- The Jags have been trying, unsuccessfully, to develop a fierce front four for years. Coples is a solid pick and gives the Jaguars defense another quality player. Morris Claiborne is probably the guy they would most like to have if possible.
8. Miami Dolphins - Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa- Reiff is a natural RT and would give the Dolphins arguably the best bookend tackles in the league when paired with former top pick Jake Long. The Dolphins will likely be bringing in a new QB (probably either Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn) and they need to protect him.
9. Carolina Panther- Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis - The Panthers have a desperate need for DTs (I could imagine them going after Poe in round 1 and another DT in round 2). Poe was an absolute stud at the combine and has a massive amount of potential. Poe wont last more than 12 picks.
10. Buffalo Bills-Courtney Upshaw, OLB/DE, Alabama – The Bills front 7 is close to being really really good. 2nd overall pick Marcell Dareus was quietly very good as a rookie and has serious potential moving forward. The missing piece in the group is a serious pass rusher. Shawn Merriman was supposed to fill that role but his first season as a Bill could be described as a mild disaster. Upshaw is one of my favorite players in the draft and he finds a nice home in Buffalo.
11. Kansas City Chiefs- Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford – The Cheifs bad season may end up being a blessing in disguise in the long run much like Baltimores 2007 season (The Ravens ended up getting Flacco and Rice in the following draft). Most years Martin would be a top ten pick but he slides a bit because of the glut of skill players who are top 10 worthy. This pick is a mild steal.
12. Seattle Seahawks- Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina – Ingram was considered a late first rounder before the combine. Now he is up to a mid first rounder. I like Ingram’s potential and the Seahawks seem to have a tendency to fall in love with players and subsequently overdraft them. Will the guy they fall in love with be Ingram?
13. Arizona Cardinal – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama – Many people have Richardson going in the top 10 picks. I don’t buy that idea at all. Richardson is a top 10 caliber player, but I can’t sign off on drafting a RB in the top 10 because even the best RB in the world cant win you a championship anymore. The Cardinals end up the beneficiary though and get a steal and finally find a top flight RB.
14. Dallas Cowboys- Michael Brockers, DT, LSU – Jay Ratliff is still playing at a Pro Bowl level, but he isn’t getting any younger and will be 31 when the season starts. Brockers can start at DE right away and then become Ratliffs replacement when the time comes.
15. Philadelphia Eagles- Devon Still, DT, Penn St. – I still don’t believe that the Eagles will draft a ILB in the first round. I think if they draft a LB at all it will be OLB Zach Brown. That said, I think Still is a logical choice here. He is a potential top 10 pick and a bit of a steal here. He will help their run defense a great deal.
16. New York Jets- Luke Keuchly, ILB, Boston College – LK was a stud at the combine and came in quite a bit bigger than he played at BC. The Jets ILB situation was a mess last year, in large part because Bart Scott’s play has steadily declined over the past few years and his time with the team is likely short.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland) – Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama – Jenkins is probably the best CB in the draft but his off field issue will scare most teams away. The Bengals have a long history of drafting risky players and Jenkins is easily the most talented player available.
18. San Diego Chargers- David DeCastro, OG, Stanford – The Chargers lost Kris Deilman to retirement and word on the street is that they will let Chris Hardwick leave via Free agency. That means that they need interior OL help fast. DeCastro is my favorite player in the draft and in my mind is an Elite talent. I believe that DeCastro will be a perennial Pro Bowler for the next decade.
19. Chicago Bears- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame – No team in the NFL is more desperate for WR help than the Chicago Bears. Johnny Knox, their best WR, may never play football again. Devin Hester has never been much of a WR, and no other player on their team is even serviceable at the position. Floyd has major potential but some off-field baggage has him falling this far.
20. Tennessee Titans- Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin- Konz has some injury troubles but shouldn’t fall much further than this. the Titans OL is a mess and a big part of the decline of CJ2K. Konz is a massive upgrade and can play both Guard and Center.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Atlanta Through Cleveland)- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama- Anybody that watched the Rams play last year knows that their secondary was a complete disaster. Kirkpatrick is a really nice player to add to a secondary and is an immediate upgrade and a good value.
23. Detroit Lions- Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina- Zach Brown is another of my favorite players in the Draft. He is one of the most freakish athletes you will ever see and has great potential both as a pass rusher and in coverage.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers- Fletcher Cox, DT/DE, Mississippi St.- The Steelers have quite a few needs on defense. they need a safety, a corner, some ILBs, and some D-lineman. I like Fletcher Cox quite a bit and I think he will be a pretty good nose tackle down the line and would complete the overhaul the Steelers have quietly been giving to their DL.
25. Denver Broncos-
26. Houston Texans- Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor- The Texans WR group was really exposed this season when Andre Johnson was hurt. he missed several games but even when he was on the field it was easily apparent that he wasn’t himself. The Texans need some insurance in case Andre doesn’t get his speed and quickness back and at worst Wright is a good complimentary piece. this is a pretty easy selection.
27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans)- Whitney Mercilus, OLB/DE, Syracuse- The Patriots pass rush didn’t show up until the playoffs, and even then it wasn’t consistent. they need a player under 30 who can get to the QB. Mercilus reminds me a bit of Adalius Thomas from back in his Ravens days. he will be an interesting addition to their defense.
28. Green Bay Packers- Mark Barron, SS, Alabama- Nick Collins is a top 5 safety in the league. but they don’t really have anything next to him. Charles Woodley rotates back quite a bit to help and plays a hybrid safety position, but the addition of a true SS could really push their D from worst in the league to being one of the better defenses out there.
29. Baltimore Ravens- Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina- A lot of Ravens fans aren’t going to love this pick, but hear me out. I honestly believe that Jeffery might end up being the best WR in this years draft. he has great size and plays quite a bit faster than people give him credit for. He wins every Jump ball fight that he has ever been in and would be a fantastic Redzone target. I also strongly believe that WR is a more pressing issue than LB and OL. It is starting to look like the Ravens might retain Ben Grubbs and I know there will be several OG prospects with solid value in the second round, I am not huge on Dont’a Hightower for the Ravens because I don’t think he is a great fit. that leaves WR as the next position I am looking at for a value pick and theres Jeffery. Coming into the year he was considered a top 10 player and battling Blackmon to be the top WR, but questions about his speed and weight have driven his stock down. but let me ask you two questions. 1. Have you ever seen Jeffery run and think to yourself that he was to slow? I haven’t. and 2. When was the last time that you heard of a Ravens being overweight? I’ll give you a hint, Brian Billick was the Ravens HC. Harbs manages his players remarkably well and the Ravens players have a way of keeping each other on track. I hink Jeffery would be a great player for this team and make the Ravens offense a top 7 unit. my final argument is this, think back on any game in the last 2 years where Boldin was winning all the jump balls battles that Flacco threw him. How many points did the Ravens score in those games? Now imagine if they had a player who could make that catch every time. Alshon is that player.
30. San Francisco 49ers- Mohommed Sanu, WR, Rutgers- The 49ers were a WR away from the SuperBowl last season. if they had had any player aside from Vernon Davis that could get open, they would have easily won the NFC championship game and probably the SuperBowl too. Sanu has some injury history but he has no. 1 WR potential.
31. New England Patriots- Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech- Hill is a player who made a name for himself at the combine. he went from being a late second/third rounder to being a fringe 1st rounder. the patriots need a big bodied WR and a speed WR. Hill is both and could turn out to be a steal in the long run but is extremely raw right now.
32. New York Giants- Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama- Hightower is a steal here and a major improvement for the Giants.
I’ll spare you the details but here are my picks for the Ravens in rounds 2-5.
Round 2: Phillip Blake/Ben Jones, C, Baylor/Georgia – Both players should be available so it is just down to how committed the Ravens coaching staff is to the zone blocking scheme. if they want to keep it as a major piece of the offense, the more athletic Blake is a better fit. If they want to return to more of a man blocking scheme, Jones is the guy. Both are solid value. I also really like Bruce Irvin but I don’t think he will be around for round 3.
Round 3: Jared Crick, DE/DT, Nebraska – Crick is a steal at this point assuming he can get healthy. If he were healthy he would be a first round pick but he is a solid gamble on day 2. Jonathan Massaquoi is a guy I am really high on too if he is available.
Round 4***:Nigel Bradham, ILB, Florida St. – Bradham is best known for knocking out Tommy Streeter in an extremely violent(and controversial) hit. but he has great instincts and speed and could be a pretty good player. he isn’t the blockbuster ILB many Ravens fans are hoping for but he is a good player. Burfict will be an option here but I’m not sure the Ravens haven’t taken him off their draft board. Andrew Datko is also a possibility and I think he will be available.
Round 5: Cliff Harris, CB, Oregon: Harris has good potential as a corner but he real value is as a return man. The Ravens have been searching for a top shelf returner for years and Harris might be the next attempt to try and find one. Dont’a Paige Moss is a guy to keep an eye on if he is around. He is a world class knucklehead but he is extremely talented and in a couple years could be an Elite OLB.
***The Ravens don’t currently have a fourth round pick but most experts are projecting the Ravens receive a fourth round compensatory pick.