NFL Draft Reports Mock Draft 1.0

Finally, the time has come to post an NFL DR mock.

Bare in mind that these picks aren’t what I think each team should take with their pick, but what they are likely to take.

1. Kansas City Chiefs – Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel

This one’s a bit of a no-brainer. The Chiefs have already visited with Joeckel and have another visit scheduled with Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson. The release of starter Eric Winston and the possible trade of franchise-tagged Branden Albert in the future, Kansas City is looking for a long term solution at left tackle. Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher is also a possibility, but Joeckel’s looking like the top guy for the Chiefs right now.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher

The Jaguars are another tackle-needy team, as 2009 second-rounder Eben Britton hasn’t panned out due to injuries and poor play (Britton moved to guard in an attempt to make up for poor tackle play), resulting to his departure in free-agency, Guy Whimper was cut, Tyler Polumbus signed with the Redskins and 2011 undrafted free-agent Cameron Bradfield isn’t a viable option at starter. Eugene Monroe is locked in as a starter at tackle, but the opposite side is completely unmanned after inactivity by Jacksonville in free-agency.

3. Oakland Raiders – Florida DT Sharrif Floyd

Floyd has been a consistent pick for the Raiders over past weeks, as the Raiders have been revamping their defensive line–Oakland started by cutting Richard Seymour and letting Desmond Bryant walk in free-agency, with rumors saying Tommy Kelly is likely to be cut due to an exorbitant contract over the next two years. The additions of Pat Sims and Vance Walker have made it so that the roster isn’t completely devoid of interior linemen, but they’re rotational talent at best. Floyd offers Oakland a dynamic rusher who has played both outside and inside on the line, and should fit well in Oakland’s hybrid defense.

4. Philadelphia Eagles – Alabama CB Dee Milliner

I’m not a believer in the Geno Smith rumors to Philly. They’ve got too much of a need at corner and Milliner offers an immediate starter to replace Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Free-agent signees Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher would compete for the opposite corner spot. Milliner is the consensus top corner in the draft and shores up a position of need for the Eagles.

5. Detroit Lions – BYU DE Ezekiel Ansah

Ansah has drawn comparisons to Jason Pierre-Paul for good reason–he’s big, athletic, and relatively new to football. Ansah saw success at BYU and should continue to develop into a monster pass-rusher to replace departed end Cliff Avril. With some development, Ansah could very well offer a dangerous combination of an edge-setting run-stopper and a destructive pass-rusher.

6. Cleveland Browns – Florida St. CB Xavier Rhodes

This is the first wild card pick I’m throwing out. Unlike many pundits, I don’t expect Cleveland to go after a pass-rusher after the additions of Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves to complement Chris Gocong and Jabaal Sheard. Rhodes is a physical corner who would team up with Joe Haden as an impressive duo at corner. Rhodes is definitely a reach at sixth-overall, but of the top-ten talents available the only one the Browns could pursue is West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. Instead, Cleveland could take this opportunity to get some return on their pick by trading down for a team desperate for a pass-rusher.

7. Arizona Cardinals – Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson

While some believe that Arizona will go with a quarterback at seventh, rumors out of Arizona have new coach Bruce Arians talking up Drew Stanton as the Cardinals’ starter. Johnson offers Arizona a long term starter at tackle, and would let the Cardinals move Levi Brown inside to guard, shoring up a shoddy offensive line. With Johnson at left tackle and Bobby Massie at right tackle, Arizona would have a tackle duo for the future.

8. Buffalo Bills – West Virginia QB Geno Smith

With the Cardinals passing on Smith at seventh-overall, there’s a very good chance that the Bills won’t pass up Smith with the following pick. Rather than waiting and banking on Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib, Buffalo gets their franchise quarterback here with a player who can do it all-pocket quarterback and scrambler in one package. Buffalo is a quarterback away from contending, and could shore up the few other needs in later rounds.

9. New York Jets – Oregon DE/OLB Dion Jordan

A year after grabbing starting end Quinton Coples in the first-round, Jordan offers a good sized pass-rusher for a 3-4 defense that’s sorely missed an impact outside ‘backer over the past couple seasons. Recently signed ex-Chargers linebacker Antwan Barnes could offer some pressure as a situational player, but the departure of ineffective veteran Bryan Thomas leaves a clear hole at outside ‘backer. New York could address a need at quarterback in the second-round–if they’re in fact looking for a replacement.

10. Tennessee Titans – Alabama OG Chance Warmack

Warmack has an edge over North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper due to the fact he’s played in a zone scheme in his time at Alabama. Warmack offers a great upgrade for Tennessee, and while Cooper would do the same, the lack of needed scheme training for Warmack means he’ll be more prepared than Cooper to step in at guard.

11. San Diego Chargers – North Carolina OG Jonathan Cooper

The Chargers are a victim of tackle necessity in the NFL right now, as the top three tackles have already gone in the top-ten. Cooper offers an upgrade on recent acquisitions Chad Rhinehart and Rich Ohrnberger at guard, and makes the loss of past starter Louis Vazquez to the division rival Broncos sting less.

12. Miami Dolphins – Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson

In this situation, Miami would likely look to trade down to grab a lower ranked tackle or corner, as the top players on the board at both positions would be reaches at the 12th pick. While Miami did grab both Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson in free-agency, Joe Philbin favors having four receivers in his offense and Patterson offers a young receiver who can develop behind Wallace, Brian Hartline and Gibson as the fourth receiver. While Gibson or incumbent Davone Bess will man the slot, Patterson could be the long term successor to Hartline opposite Wallace.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Utah DT Star Lotulelei

Lotulelei has dropped down boards as of recent weeks, but he’d still be a good pick for value at 13th overall. Tampa Bay has been looking for a big body to match up with Gerald McCoy at tackle, and with the signing of Dashon Goldson they’re no longer in need of a safety.

14. Carolina Panthers – Ohio St. DT Johnathan Hankins

While the Panthers could go with a receiver or Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, Hankins offers a better run-stopper than Richardson and the re-signing of Dwan Edwards offers a pass-rushing interior lineman to pair up with the big Hankins.

15. New Orleans Saints – Georgia DE/OLB Jarvis Jones

The Saints addressed a problem position at corner by adding Keenan Lewis in free-agency, so further aiding the defense is a must. While nose tackle is a position of need as well (free-agent signing Brodrick Bunkley flopped last season), top ranked tackle Sheldon Richardson is too small to play nose tackle in Rob Ryan’s 3-4 scheme. As the Saints convert to 3-4, Jones will step in as a pass-rusher for New Orleans, with Junior Galette as the opposite starter and Martez Wilson taking on a rotational role.

16.  St. Louis Rams – West Virginia WR Tavon Austin

The departures of Brandon Gibson and Danny Amendola means that Sam Bradford is in dire need of receivers. Austin is an explosive slot receiver who could make the loss of Amendola hurt a little less. With Brian Quick and Chris Givens likely starting outside, the Rams will still need more work even after the addition of Austin.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Texas A&M DE/OLB Damontre Moore

The Steelers would look for Moore to convert to 3-4 pass-rusher from 4-3 end at Texas A&M, so he may not be an impact player immediately, but Moore has the potential to be the outside ‘backer that Pittsburgh’s been missing for a while. Moore could immediately start over Jason Worilds, and would give the Steelers not only a stand up rusher, but also and athletic tackler who can set the edge in the run game.

18. Dallas Cowboys – Missouri DT Sheldon Richardson

While the Cowboys need a guard and could go with a pass-rusher in Florida State’s Bjoern Werner, Richardson is the best defensive player on the board and will fill a need at tackle now that the Cowboys are converting from Rob Ryan’s 3-4 defense to a 4-3 front. Richardson offers an interior rusher and capable run defender, even if Richardson doesn’t have the abilities of a nose tackle.

19. New York Giants – Georgia LB Alec Ogletree

Some pundits may have the Giants going with Manti Te’o, I’m more inclined to think the Giants will avoid the press and go with the higher rated Georgia product in Ogletree. An athletic ‘backer who played as a safety early in his college career, Ogletree can cover and can play against the run, playing inside and providing an immediate upgrade on Mark Herzlich and Dan Connor.

20. Chicago Bears – Alabama OT D.J. Fluker

It’s no secret that Chicago sorely needs offensive tackles. Fluker could step in and provide an upgrade in both the run and pass game. Although Fluker is more suited to right tackle than the blindside, Chicago’s staff still holds out hope that current left tackle J’Marcus Webb will pan out. The Bears dealt with a need at linebacker by signing free-agents D.J. Williams and James Anderson, will still need to address tight end at some point in April’s draft.

21. Cincinnati Bengals – Florida S Matt Elam

With the market for right tackle Andre Smith surprisingly weak, it’s likely the Bengals will bring back Smith to start opposite Andrew Whitworth–removing a need to draft a tackle. As Taylor Mays has been exposed as a poor coverage safety, the Bengals are direly in need of an upgrade, and reports are Cincinnati will look to find a replacement early on in the draft.

22. St. Louis Rams – Florida International S Jonathan Cyprien

Safety is a big issue for the Rams following the release of starter Quinton Mikell, as both starting positions are vacant in St. Louis. Cyprien is a solid tackler with a knack for locating the ball and knocking it out of runner’s hands. While many consider Cyprien as unsuited for a true center fielder role, he is capable in two-deep coverage, is a ball hawk and plays well in the box.

23. Minnesota Vikings – California WR Keenan Allen

While the Vikings already added a star receiver in Greg Jennings, Jerome Simpson was underwhelming for the Vikings in 2012. Allen is extremely polished for his age (he’s only 20-years-old), and will challenge Simpson immediately. Minnesota can afford to look offense here and go with a defensive players with their second first-round pick.

24. Indianapolis Colts – LSU DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo

While previous mocks had the Colts taking a tackle in the first round, the acquisition of Gosder Cherilus makes tackle less of a need, and the only remaining weakness on the Indy offensive line is at right guard. Mingo would be a terrific value pick this late in the first-round,  and while the Colts did sign Erik Walden and Lawrence Sidbury to man outside ‘backer opposite Robert Mathis, Mingo could shape up as the long term successor to Mathis while also providing insurance for the pass-rush should Walden and Sidbury not pan out in Indy.

25. Minnesota Vikings – UCLA DE Datone Jones

The Vikings can use a defensive end opposite Jared Allen right now, but Minnesota also has to think of the future with Jared Allen entering a contract year. Jones offers an edge-setting run defender that can use some work as a pass-rusher, but he employs many pass-rushing techniques and can move inside on later downs. If Jones pans out, he could be valuable leverage against contract negotiations with Allen.

26. Green Bay Packers – Florida St. OT Menelik Watson

This is only the second wild card pick I’m throwing out, as Watson could fix a problem at left tackle that the Packers have been unable to fix for several seasons. Watson is a monster tackle and has took up football relatively late in his career–with some seasoning he could be a franchise tackle. While Watson is old (he’s already 25-years-old), Minnesota won’t get a shot at him late in the second-round.

27. Houston Texans – Notre Dame ILB Manti Te’o

The Texans may be in need of a receiver, but even worse is the need at middle linebacker. Brian Cushing may be a clear starter, but the opposite inside position has been a problem due to recurring injuries to Darryl Sharpton. Te’o would provide a playmaker in the interior next to Cushing while receiver can be addressed in later rounds.

28. Denver Broncos – Florida St. DE Bjoern Werner

While recent rumors out of Denver claim that the Broncos are likely targeting a big corner like Desmond Trufant to pair with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for the future when Champ Bailey is gone, it will be tough for John Elway and company to pass up such a value pick after losing Elvis Dumervil to a procedural debacle. Werner could be brought along behind a free-agent end (like Dwight Freeney or John Abraham) in his rookie season as Derek Wolfe and Robert Ayers man the opposite side.

29. New England Patriots – Washington CB Desmond Trufant

It’s unlikely New England will be able to pass up Trufant after he got past Denver. The Patriots need defenders and Trufant displays a great combination of size and speed with an ability to play both in the slot or outside that would immediately benefit New England.

30. Atlanta Falcons – Florida St. DE Cornellius Carradine

While there are some durability concerns with Carradine, the Falcons need an end following the departure of John Abraham, and the ends on the market (Freeney and Osi Umenyiora) are short term solutions at best. While the Falcons could also look at tight end in anticipation of Tony Gonzalez possibly retiring following the 2013 season, Carradine is a potentially dangerous end who could step in for the Falcons and make the loss of Abraham less damaging to the Atlanta defense.

31. San Francisco 49ers – Alabama DT Jesse Williams

Williams offers San Francisco a big body to man the middle either immediately or in the future. While the 49ers signed Glenn Dorsey to play nose tackle in 2013, he could be shifted over to end in 2014 should veteran Justin Smith (who turns 34 in September) hit free-agency following a contract year. Williams has the ability and size to play nose in the NFL, and although he won’t do anything more than stop the run, his amazing strength (600 lb bench press) draws Vince Wilfork comparisons.

32. Baltimore Ravens – LSU ILB Kevin Minter

With the departures of Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe, the Ravens are extremely thin at inside ‘backer. Minter would step in next to Albert McClellan as a starter in Baltimore’s 3-4 system, offering an instinctive run defender who excels at stripping the ball from runners. Although he doesn’t possess great speed and is a bit undersized, Minter takes very good angles to bring down ball carriers and has a very high motor on the field.

So what do you think? Comment below with your opinions.

For more mock drafts from other sources, check out the mock drafts page.

The next feature up is the NFC Past Drafts features, beginning with the Dallas Cowboys.

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