The NFL Draft is tonight and I wanted to do a mock draft. It’s divided into two parts: the first part will be a conservative guess of what I think the teams will do taking into consideration that I have no idea how the front offices are thinking. This will have no trades, and would basically be a sheet of what I would fill out in a “guess the pick” contest. I will keep that analysis as brief as possible. The second part will be what I would do if I were the front office of each team (notated as WWTD). That will be a little more interesting.
Here we go.
1. IND – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford.
Duh. WWTD – Andrew Luck. Duh.
2. WAS – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor.
Ditto. WWTD – RGIII. Ditto.
3. MIN – Matt Kalil, OT, USC.
I wouldn’t necessarily argue with that pick, but I think Kalil is a little overrated. WWTD – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU. Claiborne has been my favorite NFL prospect for a long time, and the Vikings would definitely need him with Calvin Johnson, Greg Jennings, and Brandon Marshall in division. Elite corners are so freaking hard to find that I don’t think I’d pass him up, especially for an average NFL starting left tackle.
4. CLE – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama.
The Browns are telegraphing this pick. WWTD – Richardson. The Browns are incredibly boring on offense, and while you might blame that on QB Colt McCoy, I think they simply need more talent on O first to see if it’s McCoy’s fault. I’d build a semblance of an O around him, and then if he still sucks, target Landry Jones or Matt Barkley next year. If I were the Browns, I would commit to getting a WR, RB, and RT with my three picks in the top 37, and Richardson is a great start. Just look at him:
5. TB – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU.
Their defense was so bad last year; they need the best defensive player in the draft. WWTD – Luke Kuechley, ILB, Boston College. In my scenario, Claiborne is already gone, so they take a tackling machine who fills a gaping hole in their line-up. I’m not even sure Tampa has a linebacker on the roster at this point.
6. STL – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State.
Every prognosticator has them going Blackmon, and with good reason: the Rams haven’t had a good receiver since Torry Holt. WWTD – Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State. I've read some rumblings that this might be the pick anyway. I would build the D line here, because I love the WRs that are going to be available at the top of the second round (Rueben Randle, Alshon Jeffery, Chris Givens) and I think the drop-off at defensive tackle is sharp.
7. JAC – Stephen Gilmore, CB, South Carolina.
All the rumors are that the Jags are going this direction if Blackmon is off the board. I think it’s a small reach, but actually prefer it to them taking Michael Floyd. They will try to trade down, but I doubt there will be anyone going this high, except maybe the Eagles for Fletcher Cox or Mark Barron. WWTD – In my scenario, they sprint up to the podium and hand in Justin Blackmon’s name.
8. MIA – Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M.
They shit the bed in the offseason and now have to take a QB or their fans will revolt. WWTD – Here is my first trade. Since I control both GMs, I decide the Eagles are nervous about losing a defensive playmaker to the Panthers or Bills and trade their first (#15) and one of their second round picks (#51) to Miami for #8 and a fifth round pick (#145). The Eagles then take badass safety Mark Barron (Alabama) to shore up a defense that gives up a ton of big plays. The Dolphins don’t have to take a QB I’m not sold on, and gain a second round pick to infuse some talent.
9. CAR – Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State.
I think Cox is a perfect fit as an interior pass rusher for the cats… WWTD – …But he’s not available in Tanner’s universe. However, Matt Kalil is, and Arizona realizes they have the shittiest O line in the league and call the Panthers looking to trade. With Cox, Barron, and Keuchley off the board, Carolina says what the hell, and sends this pick to Arizona for #13 and a third round pick (#80). Arizona selects Matt Kalil and everyone is gay (happy). He's no Joe Thomas or Jake Long, but the Cardinals are desperate.
10. BUF – Luke Keuchley, ILB, Boston College.
This would make Buffalo’s front seven pretty righteous, solving their historically bad run defense for the past five years or so. WWTD – In Tanner Land, however, the Bills are pretty screwed, because Kalil was one pick away from falling in their lap. Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame, isn’t a bad consolation prize, though, and fits in really well to that offense as a red-zone threat and third down go-to guy.
11. KC – David DeCastro, OG, Stanford.
A boring but solid Scott Piloi pick. They would have a really good o-line with the upgrade at left guard. WWTD – How bout the opposite of a boring Scott Pioli pick? Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M. He would push Matt Cassel, and is such a good athlete that with the right coaching he might be an all-pro. KC can afford to attempt to shoot the moon on this pick, being solid talent-wise with a bunch of people coming back from injury.
12. SEA – Quinton Coples, DE, UNC.
Most experts have him as the best 4-3 DE in the draft, but I don’t see it. Big bust potential. WWTD – Cincy has all those Carson Palmer picks burning a figurative hole in their pocket and another gaping figurative hole at left guard. Cincinnati sends #17, and third rounder (#83) and a fourth rounder (#116) to Seattle for this pick, and selects David DeCastro, OG, Stanford. I think #12 is a perfect trade down spot for Seattle, as there is a big drop off in talent at this point and there are a lot of low first round defensive ends. The Bengals are a couple of players away from unseating the Steelers and Ravens in the ARC North, and need to get impact starters now.
13. ARZ – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame.
Apparently they love him, and I always hate how they draft so this would make sense as a pick in a backasswards way. WWTD – In my world, the Panthers have this pick, and they take Stephon Gilmore who can step right in and shore up a pretty shitty pass D.
14. DAL – Mark Barron, SS, Alabama.
He’s been penciled in here forever but I think demand at safety in gonna push him into the top ten. WWTD – Barron goes in the top ten in my draft, so the Cowboys take solid five technique prospect Michael Brockers, DT, LSU. A solid, conservative pick, which would get me fired by Jerry Jones I’m sure.
15. PHI - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU.
Honestly, I think Philly will trade somewhere, but if they stay put they take the best defensive tackle on the board. WWTD – The Dolphins have this pick from the earlier trade and take pass rusher Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina, causing riots in south beach. I like Ingram a lot, though. He reminds me of the guy they have on the other side, Cameron Wake.
16. NYJ – Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina.
The Jets like him too. WWTD – The next best thing, Andre Branch, DE/OLB, Clemson. I don’t know if he is versatile enough for Rex Ryan’s scheme, but he can flat out fly to the QB. Very young Terrell Suggs-like, but has quite a bit of a bust factor.
17. CIN – Janoris Jenkins, CB, N Alabama.
Classic character issue guy but fills a need and has a ton of talent. You can almost write these players in as Bengals. Personally, I wouldn't draft him. WWTD – I traded this pick the Seahawks, and they take Chandler "Bones" Jones, DE, Syracuse, a prototypical right defensive end that could move Red Bryant to Tackle and free up Daryl Tapp on the left. Plus two extra mid-round picks. High five to me!
18. SD – Andre Branch, DE/OLB, Clemson.
I talked about him earlier. Don’t be surprised if they uber-reach and take Harrison Smith, SS, Notre Dame. If that happens I’ll be pissed and then talk myself into liking it after three whiskies. WWTD – Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama. I watched a lot of Alabama games and the player that always stood out as a beast was Hightower. I like him as almost a dedicated blitzer, giving the Chargers schematic versatility and inside pass rush, then taking over for Takeo Spikes next year. I mean, watch this:
19. CHI – Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse.
After trading for Brandon Marshall, the only holes on the bears are at right DE and o-line. Mike Martz de-emphasizes o linemen, so they go defense here. WWTD – I would love this pick for the Bears, but he is gone so I draft Quentin Coples for them instead.
20. TEN – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama.
Their pass D sucked with Courtland Finnegan last year, and now he’s with the Rams. Yikes. WWTD – the exact same thing.
21. CIN – Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech.
A nice Jerome Simpson replacement. WWTD – Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor. Fits the offense, and Andy Dalton’s skill set, better.
22. CLE – Reilly Reiff, OT, Iowa.
Would be a good fit at RT in Cleveland, but will probably be gone at this point. WWTD – Stephen Hill, to inject some more desperately needed octane into that offense. I'd go for right tackle in the second round.
23. DET – Cordy Glenn, OT, Georgia.
They need a new left tackle, and they think this guy fits in. Also, no CB prospects worth taking here. WWTD – Cordy Glenn is better as a guard on a smash mouth team, not as a left tackle on a pass first team. I would take Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford, who is solid if un-spectacular.
24. PIT – Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama.
Everyone has him going to the Steelers or Ravens…WWTD…But I want him on my team. Steelers really need a NT, and Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis is a freakish athlete at 6’3”, 350 pounds (seriously? A 4.98 40 and 44 bench press reps? Is that human?). People say he looks sluggish on film, but I think it’s because he played too many snaps in college. Limit his playing time and this guy could be a monster.
25. DEN – Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan St.
Everyone thinks the Broncos will simply go best available 3 technique DT. WWTD – Colby Fleener, TE, Stanford. I think they will be okay on D and should make sure Peyton is happy. Fleener is a nice safety blanket for Manning and the only stud TE in a really weak class.
26. HOU – Peter Konz, G/C, Wisconsin.
The Texans’ O-line, which was the best in football, got decimated by defections in the offseason. Now they need to re-load it. WWTD – Konz. This team is a left guard and some luck away from having a really special year.
27. NE – Nick Perry, DE, USC.
They will likely take a solid, big, well-coached pass rusher who can do a lot of things. WWTD – Perry. He fits well here.
28. GB – Shea McClellin, DE/OLB, Boise State.
He really seems like a Clay Matthews clone, and you can bet the Packers would want two Clay Matthews. WWTD – Lamar Miller, RB, Miami. But if I were drafting for the Packers, I’d take the fastest running back in the draft and make opposing defensive coordinators poop their pants.
29 . BAL – Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin.
Don’t be surprised if the Ravens go o-line. WWTD – TRADE alert! AJ Smith is likely going to get fired if he doesn’t win the division and a playoff game this year, so why not mortgage the future? The Chargers trade their second round pick (#49) and next year’s second round pick to move back into the first and take Harrison Smith, SS, Notre Dame! Holy jeez, do we ever need a safety. Please make this happen sweet lord Tebow.
30. SF – Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor.
Randy Moss is no long term answer, and San Francisco doesn’t have any true slot guys on the roster. WWTD – Cordy Glenn is available as a punch-you-in-the-face right guard perfect for Harbaugh’s offense.
31. NE – Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis.
A lot of people think he will slip in the first round, and Bellichick likes taking D lineman in the first round. WWTD – TRADE! New England always trades backwards for future picks, and Saint Louis has a million extra picks now from the RGIII trade. The Rams send next year’s Redskins first round pick and a third round pick this year (#65) to the Pats for #31, and they take Reilly Reiff, OT, Iowa to shore up the o-line by moving Jason Smith inside to guard. Then with pick #33 they take Rueben Randle, a big athletic WR, and with pick #39 they take David Wilson, RB, Viriginia Tech, an explosive runner. Tell me the fans (and Sam Bradford) wouldn’t be happy about that.
32. NYG – Colby Fleener, TE, Stanford.
This makes a lot of sense as TE is one position on the Giants that is very thin. WWTD – Doug Martin, RB, Boise State. They need a big bell cow to replace Brnadon Jacobs and lighten the load for Ahmad Bradshaw.
Clearly, you can see that if I were GM of all the teams everyone would win the Super Bowl every year. Happy Draft Day!